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NORTHWOODS COOKS: Stay cool with ice cream treats

Have fun making homemade ice cream sandwiches from different types of cookies and ice cream. Add candy sprinkles for a colorful finishing touch.

Summer weather is upon us. Ice cream desserts are the perfect ending to a meal at the cabin or for a cool and refreshing afternoon snack.

Ice cream in a bag

This 15-minute recipe is a fun way for children or kids at heart to make their own dessert. Once made, the ice cream may also be topped with hot fudge, strawberries or sprinkles or used as the filling for ice cream sandwiches (below).

1 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups ice

1/3 cup kosher salt

In a small Ziploc bag, combine half-and-half, sugar and vanilla. Push out excess air and seal. In a larger Ziploc bag, combine ice and salt. Place small bag inside bigger bag and shake vigorously for 7 to 10 minutes until ice cream has hardened.

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Ice cream sandwiches

While ice cream sandwiches are sold in most grocery stores, they can also be easily made at home from ingredients already on hand. For a fun twist, set out several types of ice cream and several type of sandwich materials. Here are a few combinations to get started:

• Ginger cookies filled with maple nut, blueberry or lemon ice cream

• Mini cinnamon rolls filled with coffee or maple nut ice cream

• Brownies filled with mint chip, strawberry or coffee ice cream

• Mini waffles filled with rainbow sherbet and shredded coconut

• Donuts sliced in half and filled with ice cream and sliced strawberries

• Peanut butter cookies spread with strawberry jam and filled with strawberry ice cream

• Peanut butter cookies filled with chocolate ice cream

• Chocolate chip cookies filled with cookies and cream ice cream

Ice cream sandwiches may also be made ahead of time by wrapping in plastic wrap and placing on a baking sheet or in a container in the freezer. Remove and thaw slightly before serving.

Peanut butter ice cream pie


9 graham crackers, crushed

3/4 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted


1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, 3/4 cup finely chopped peanuts and sugar. Stir in melted butter or margarine. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake crust in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Chill.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix ice cream and peanut butter together on medium-low speed until combined. Pour mixture into chilled crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

*A pre-made graham cracker or chocolate crust may also be used.

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Brownie ice cream cake

1 box fudge brownie mix (plus water, oil and eggs called for on box)

1/2 gallon (8 cups) vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

1 cup Hershey hot fudge topping, warmed if desired

16 maraschino cherries with stems

2 tablespoons candy sprinkles

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch, round cake pans with foil. Grease bottom of pans with shortening or cooking spray. Make brownie batter following directions on box. Divide batter evenly between two pans and bake 19 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the side of the pan comes out almost clean. Cool brownies completely in pans for about one hour and leave in pans. Spread slightly softened ice cream evenly on brownies in pans. Freeze at least 2 hours or until ice cream is firm. Remove ice cream cake from pans and remove foil. Place on serving plates. Cut each dessert into eight wedges. Drizzle each wedge with hot fudge topping. Decorate with cherries and candy sprinkles. Cover any unused portion in freezer.

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