NORTHWOODS COOKS: Cool off with ice cream treats

Homemade ice cream scoops topped with berries or served in a waffle cone with sprinkles is the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. (Adobe Stock)
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With the official arrival of summer and the Fourth of July coming up next weekend, homemade ice cream or a decadent ice cream dessert is refreshing on a hot day. Enjoy one of these tasty treats from as an afternoon treat or refreshing dessert.

Easy Ice Cream In A Bag

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup half-and-half


1 Tbsp. white sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup ice cubes, or as needed

3 Tbsp. ice cream rock salt

Combine milk, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla extract in a pint-size resealable plastic bag and seal tightly.

Put a scoop of ice, 3 tablespoons ice cream rock salt, and the bag containing the milk-cream mixture into a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and seal tightly.

Rock the bag back and forth (do not shake) until contents thicken into ice cream, about 10 minutes. Wipe salt from the top of the pint-size bag before opening to prevent salt from getting into the ice cream.


Easy Strawberry Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups mashed fresh strawberries

2 drops red food coloring


In a large bowl, combine milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, strawberries and food coloring. Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Peanutty Ice Cream Pie

1-1/3 cups finely chopped peanuts

3 Tbsp. margarine, melted

2 Tbsp. white sugar

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup


1/4 cup flaked coconut

3 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

1/4 cup mini candy-coated chocolate pieces

Combine the peanuts, butter and sugar; press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch pie plate. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and corn syrup. Add coconut and peanuts. Stir in ice cream just until combined. Spoon into crust.

Cover and freeze overnight or until firm. Just before serving, sprinkle with mini candy-coated chocolate pieces, if desired.


Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

24 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped

2 (8-oz.) containers whipped topping, thawed

12-oz. jar hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

12-oz. jar caramel ice cream topping

1/4 cup chopped pecans, or to taste

Arrange a layer of ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch dish. Top with a layer of whipped topping, hot fudge topping, and caramel topping. Repeat layering with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, hot fudge topping, and caramel topping, ending with a top layer of whipped topping. Sprinkle with pecans. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and freeze until set, at least 30 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Cake

18-oz. package small chocolate chip cookies

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1 cup hot fudge topping

2 quarts ice cream (vanilla, cherry, chocolate or butter pecan flavors work well)

1 cup whipped cream

12 cherries

Crush half the cookies (about 20) to make crumbs. Combine crumbs with melted margarine and press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan or pie plate. Stand the remaining cookies around the edge of the pan. Spread 3/4 cup fudge topping over crust. Freeze 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, soften 1 quart of ice cream in microwave or on countertop. After crust has chilled, spread softened ice cream over fudge layer. Freeze 30 minutes.

Scoop remaining quart of ice cream into balls and arrange over the spread ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, 4 hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with remainder of fudge topping, whipped cream and cherries.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to and they may appear in a future issue.

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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