Dazzle your guests with homemade ice cream confections

Americans eat over a billion gallons of ice cream each year. Much of this is in the form of cones, covered bars, sundaes, sandwiches between chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or Oreos, or maybe those special-occasion ice cream cakes and pies that look too pretty to cut. Restaurant goers glancing over a dessert menu often smile with satisfaction when they see a fancy ice-cream confection listed, yet these are some of the easiest desserts to make in your own kitchen. The freezer does most of the work, and they can be made well in advance. Presented proudly at the table, these confections are likely to bring a round of applause.

Crunchy Ice Cream Bars 2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes or crispy corn cereal 1 1/3 cups shredded coconut 1/2 cup chopped nuts 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 1/2 gallon ice cream of your choice, softened

In large bowl mix together cereal, coconut, nuts, sugar, and butter. Press 2/3 of the mixture evenly in ungreased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Pack softened ice cream over cereal layer. Press to make even. Sprinkle with remaining cereal mixture. Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze at least 12 hours. Cut into bars. Serves 10 or more.

Giant Triple-Strawberry Sundae 1 quart tub firmly packed strawberry ice cream 1 10-ounce package frozen sliced, sweetened strawberries, partially thawed 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste 1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced Whipped cream or whipped topping Large strawberry (garnish)

With scissors, cut ice cream container open from top to bottom. Remove ice cream in one piece. Place top side down on chilled serving platter. Freeze until serving time.

In blender or food processor, pur'ee frozen berries with lemon juice, or mash until smooth. Stir in juice. Spoon fresh strawberries around the base of ice cream. Drizzle some strawberry pur'ee over ice cream.

Top with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping. Top with a large sliced berry. Serve immediately with sliced strawberries. Pass remaining pur'ee and whipped cream. Serves 8.

Berry Patch No-Bake Ice Cream Pie 4 cups fresh blueberries 1 cup sugar 2 cups water 1/4 cup cornstarch 1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened 2 tablespoons orange juice

Combine blueberries and sugar. Mix water and cornstarch and stir into berries. Simmer until sauce is thickened. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture for decorating top. Cool. Spoon blueberry filling over crust. Spoon ice cream over blueberry filling. Beat orange juice into reserved blueberry filling. Drizzle over ice cream. Freeze. Remove pie from freezer 30 minutes before serving, to soften enough to cut. Cut into wedges. Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Fruit Sherbet-Macaroon Loaf 2 1/2 cups crumbled soft-type coconut macaroons 2 pints fruit-flavored sherbet 1 pint frozen vanilla yogurt

Line a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with a strip of foil 9 inches wide and 15 inches long. Spread 1 cup of the crumbled macaroons evenly on the bottom. Spoon 1 pint of the sherbet into the loaf pan. Press into an even layer with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup more crumbs.

Transfer yogurt to a bowl. Stir with spoon to break up the lumps. When fairly smooth, spoon evenly over crumbs and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with an additional 1/3 cup crumbs. Repeat with remaining sherbet and crumbs. Fold foil tightly over top of loaf. Freeze overnight.

To serve, unwrap loaf and unmold from pan onto serving dish. Peel off foil. Cut into slices. Serves 8.

Cookie Ice Cream Log 1 pint ice cream, any flavor in round carton 1 dozen 23/4-inch packaged round chocolate wafers

Cut ice cream into 6 slices. With rolling pin, crush 6 chocolate wafers to make fine crumbs. On waxed paper, alternate ice cream slices and chocolate wafers. Shape into even log. Roll log in crumbs from the 6 chocolate wafers, coating well. Freezer-wrap log and freeze. To serve, slice diagonally.

Chocolate Chip Treatwiches 1 package chocolate chip cookie mix Ice cream Chocolate sprinkles

Prepare cookies according to package directions. Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons ice cream into flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie. Roll edges in chocolate sprinkles.

Honey of a Peanut Butter-Ice Cream Pie 12 ounces chocolate wafer crumbs 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter or magarine, melted 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened 2 cups creamy peanut butter 1 cup honey 1 cup toasted cashews 2 cups chocolate fudge sauce, heated 2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9-inch springform pan. Blend chocolate crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in medium bowl. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cool.

Mix ice cream, peanut butter, honey, and cashews in large bowl. Spoon into prepared crust. Freeze at least two days. Place pie in shallow pan of hot water 10 seconds. Remove pie from pan. Top each serving with sauce and whipping cream.

Serves 12 to 15.

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