Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crunchy Ice Cream "Casserole"

I asked for this recipe many moons ago at a choir potluck picnic. It's so simple, full of texture (crunchy! gooey! creamy!), and just screams summer... but melts quickly so beware!

Bring this to your next picnic or summer party and I can guarantee that your friends will be asking for the recipe just like I did 10 years ago. Enjoy!

Crunchy Ice Cream "Casserole"
1.5 c. flour
1 c. oats (uncooked, old-fashioned or quick oats will do)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1.5 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 c. melted butter (2 sticks)
12-oz. jar caramel ice cream topping (calls for entire jar but I rarely use that much)
1/2 gallon ice cream of choice (butter pecan, vanilla, etc. are all good options)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, chopped nuts, and melted butter in a bowl with a spoon until evenly moistened. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until brown. Cool and crumble. Try not to eat it all!

Spread half of the crunchies in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Spoon over top approximately half of the caramel topping, then top with an even layer of the full carton of ice cream (softened slightly). Spoon remaining half of caramel topping on top, then sprinkle with the remaining half of the crunchies. Cover with foil and freeze until set. Cut and serve!

My Birthday

I'm super late (although I started this post on 7/25 so at least there's the illusion of being posted in my birth month), but it's now become a tradition to share my birthday desserts every year.

We attended a wedding in NY on the Hudson the day before my birthday, so although my birthday was spent in a car, we did intentionally stop to get a peanut butter cup sundae (with "peanut butter puddles" ice cream) in Hershey, PA at one of my favorite ice cream establishments.

Yeah, so I'm sort of anti-Hershey, but the roads were paved brown so it made me happy.

On our way home, we stopped for dinner at Chef Geoff's downtown. Their Dark Chocolate Tart with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream was divine! Sooooo rich though. Not for the quasi-chocoholics—only the hardcore ones. (And, as in previous years, I still had a birthday cake waiting for me at home... oof.)

The following day, M really REALLY outdid himself and took me to Restaurant Eve for dinner. We didn't do the tasting menu, but had a wonderful dinner in the bistro and the most faaaaabulous peanut butter chocolate dessert (see a theme?) imaginable: The Butterfinger.

Specifically, "'Butterfinger' Napoleon of Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Mousse with Vanilla Ice Cream."

Holy cow. HOLY COW. It was more salty than overly sweet and definitely the highlight of my entire meal (and birthday). It was so good that it needs a close-up shot.

Until next year...
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