If you’re regular reader, you’re probably well aware of my obsession with sweet and salty combinations.
I honestly had the most wonderful weekend — these ice cream sandwiches were key, and probably should be part of every weekend for the rest of my life.
On Saturday, a handful of friends and strangers embarked on a river tubing trip. The weekend before, I had made these saltine ice cream bars. Naturally, I avoid them like the plague (especially when I know I’ll be wearing a bathing suit a few days later), so I piled the individually wrapped cracker bars into a ziploc and into a cooler bag. Let’s be real. I didn’t avoid them as much as I should have.
I borrowed Kristen’s car for the drive to West Virginia (and Virginia, and Maryland), and with fewer people tied to our bunch of inner tubes than I was expecting, I had way too many ice cream bars left. So after a couple of runs on the river (and a great roll of fisheye film), I did what I do best: I made friends.
There was the belligerent and NSFW-named team of 29 southern Marylanders who were too drunk to understand “does anyone want free homemade ice cream sandwiches?” but there was an awesome group of girls who were waiting for the bus back to the parking lot at the same time. So I did the college thing and walked over with a bag of melting ice cream bars.
How to make friends 101.
It even escalated to my handing out blog business cards (they’re just the cutest) and one of the girls begging me to cater a bridal shower — why not?
And it even carried through the evening, when I was out to drinks, and complimented a random lady’s super pretty criss-cross backless dress. I’m not exactly sure how it turned into a card exchange, but hey, it’s DC. At least my cards have photos worth salivating over.
Sunday was spent sleeping in, and eventually just chatting in my living room with the Baltimore friends, which later faded into a spontaneous sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay. Gotta love being friends with awesome people who know other awesome people. I really couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.
This week, there’s a lot of freelance, and a lot of True Blood. Due to too much flopping in bed this weekend, I didn’t get anything cooked… so we’ll see how I hold up.
Saltine Brownie Ice Cream Bars, mostly from Lady and Pups
~60 saltine crackers (2 long packets)
Coconut oil spray (or olive oil, or melted butter… but coconut oil is healthier)
Brownie layer, via Food.com
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ice cream layer, from Martha Stewart
240 g of sweetened condensed milk (try not to eat it with a shovel)
1 and 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 and 1/3 cup heavy cream
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9×13 brownie pan with parchment paper, and arrange half of the saltines so they are perfectly lined up. Cut the edges to fit with a sharp knife, and spray one side of the crackers with coconut oil — then flip them all over in place, and spray them again.
It’s important that you remember where you start laying down the crackers, because you’ll want the top later to match for perfectly-sized ice cream bars. I ripped the corner of parchment paper in the nice corner of my saltine grid to remember where to start with the top layer.
Next, combine all of your brownie ingredients with the paddle fixture on your stand mixer. When fully incorporated, carefully pour the batter over the saltines. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes — you want the brownies slightly undercooked (so they’ll be fudgey when frozen).
After your timer goes off, let the brownies cool on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes, and then put the entire brownie pan into the freezer for an hour or so. It’s VERY important that the brownies are cold when you add in the ice cream layer.
To assemble the ice cream, whisk your condensed milk, vanilla, and bourbon in a mixing bowl until fully incorporated. Then, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the heavy cream on high until it forms stiff peaks. Pour half of the condensed milk mixture into the cream, folding carefully until mixed. Add the remainder of the mixture, and fold again until mixed.
Then, pour the ice cream mixture on top of the brownies, spreading evenly with a spatula. Carefully arrange the remaining saltines on top of the whipped cream, and freeze overnight.
Cut with a sharp knife, and individually wrap the ice cream bars in saran wrap (or eat them immediately).