In my house, any excuse to break out some dessert recipes is a good enough excuse for me. Someone’s birthday, a holiday, or even because it is Friday and everyone deserves to make their own sundae! With the summer season unofficially starting with Memorial Day, I figure we can talk confectionery ideas to get everyone in a sugar rush by the long weekends close. Ready to talk sweets? You know I am!
What is quick, easy and fun for everyone at your barbecue? Make your own ice cream sandwiches!
Now, you can go all out and make your own cookie, or you can grab a package at your local grocer. Either way, you’re going to want to choose two large cookies and your favorite ice cream. I usually make mine with chocolate chips and French vanilla ice cream. Classic, creamy and loved by everyone. If you’re making your own, grab your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe — I always use the one on the back of the bag of chocolate chips — and bake some cookies.
Scoop yourself about a tablespoon or so you get a good healthy serving of cookie with your ice cream. The key is to make sure they are completely cooled when you assemble everything. Take a cookie and spread as little or as much ice cream on it. I will usually keep the ice cream between a quarter- and a half-inch from the edge. Take your second cookie and sandwich them together. That’s why you want some wiggle room on the edge, so when you gently press the cookies together, the ice cream can evenly occupy that space.
The best part is then taking your sandwich and dipping the ice cream portion into some sprinkles. I love rainbow sprinkles and always have these on hand. If your container isn’t large enough to dip the cookie, you can use a dessert spoon to sprinkle them over your sandwich. Once you have your sprinkles on your cookies, place them in the freezer to set them up.
With a standard batch of chocolate chip cookies, you can probably make a dozen or so sandwiches. Other ideas to dip the ice cream in are crushed Oreo cookies, mini marshmallows and shaved chocolate.
My second sinful dessert idea is for the peanut butter lover in your life; homemade peanut butter cups.
Super simple to make and even easier to munch on. I make them twelve at a time. Take a standard muffin tin and place twelve muffin liners into each cup. In a bowl, mix a cup of confectioner sugar with a cup of graham cracker crumbs. After it is thoroughly combined, add nine ounces of melted peanut butter. (Using the microwave to melt the peanut butter is fine.) When you add the peanut butter to the dry ingredients, I recommended first mixing with a wooden spoon. Then, once the peanut butter is cooler to the touch, just go in with your hands and mix it together. Make a nice thick paste and leave this in the bowl. Melt down chocolate chips or bars of chocolate, whichever you prefer to work with. If you are using the microwave, melt at 30 second increments as to not overcook the chocolate. There is no rule on the amount of chocolate to melt down. I probably go through two bags of chips when I make this treat.
Once you have your chocolate melted down, put that into the bottom of each muffin liner. Make a nice bottom layer. Even get it up on the sides. I hold my spoon in place and then move the liner around. Once you have all your cups filled with chocolate, add your peanut butter. No exact science, just fill up your cup with a healthy amount. Once the cups have been filled with peanut butter, add a final layer of chocolate covering. I even get creative and flick my wrist to get a decorative swirl with the chocolate. You can never be too flamboyant with chocolate.
Now some people have to have their fruit and whipped cream for outdoor barbecues and soirees, but I say life is better with chocolate and sugar. Whichever you prefer, just remember to enjoy the time with friends and family. Now go get baking!