Sticky subway rides of bodies pressed up together, melted eyeliner and slippery feet inside my sandals, unexpected drops of condensation falling on my forehead from air conditioning units protruding from apartment building windows way up high: it’s summer in the city. On my daily commute home, I’m taunted by the summer heat. It’s almost a losing battle; however, there’s one thing that saves me some sweat—sitting idle next to a fenced–in park, wedged inconspicuously between a parked car and a bustling intersection, is a blue and white Mister Softee ice cream truck.
Summer is synonymous with ice cream (as well as sunburn). The ice cream truck on my commute reminds me of many previous summers spent wrapped up in oversized beach towels as my sisters and I ate Chipwiches from the pool snack bar. It reminds me of twilights spent running into parking lots, muddy cleats from my soccer scrimmages in hand, as I rushed to buy a treat before the ice cream man pulled away. It reminds me of late–night drives to my local ice cream parlor during which my dad let me open the sunroof and sit in the front seat, searching the sky for fireflies and licking ice cream tributaries off of my fingers—cautious to keep the car clean.
Other than the memories it carries, ice cream is hands–down my favorite food. As a child, my birthday cakes only consisted of those amazing Carvel cakes with smooth chocolate and vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookie crunch in the middle. During the summer, you definitely don’t want to turn on your oven. The air conditioner in my house is currently broken, and the thought of adding more heat to the atmosphere is unbearable. So, naturally, my solution is to create a refreshing summer treat that you can eat with your hands, make a complete mess of, and is reminiscent of my childhood days—ice cream sandwiches. These ice cream sandwiches are extremely simple to make and don’t require any baking, measuring or mixing, which is a huge plus. They’re more exciting than a plain wafer cone of your favorite soft serve (not that there’s anything wrong with that), you can use any flavor of ice cream to make them and best of all you don’t have to chase down an ice cream truck in order to get them.
Serves: 12 ice cream sandwiches
What you’ll need:
- 6 graham crackers
- A container of 2 or 3 of your favorite ice cream flavors
- Line a square or rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
- Break the graham crackers in half and line the bottom of the tray with one layer of graham crackers.
- Shortly microwave your ice cream in 10 second intervals until it’s softened but not melted.
- Spoon the ice cream out onto the graham crackers. Even out the layer as much as possible with the back of your spoon or with a spatula. Resist the temptation to eat all of the ice cream during this step.
- Place the pan into the freezer for about 30 minutes or until the ice cream layer hardens.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with your second ice cream flavor. Feel free to repeat steps 3 and 4 with a third ice cream flavor if you want to get fancy.
- This time, before placing the pan into the freezer, add a top layer of graham cracker halves that line up with the halves that form the bottom layer of your ice cream bars.
- Freeze the tray overnight until the ice cream sets (This is the hard part—I’m sorry).
- Remove the tray from the freezer and use a knife (run the knife under hot water to facilitate cutting) to slice the ice cream into bars.
- Feel free to roll the outside of the bars in sprinkles, chocolate chips or dunk them into melted chocolate and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks:
- Add your favorite ingredients within the layers of the bars such as chocolate chips, marshmallows, fruit, peanuts, coconut flakes, etc.
- You can also use another kind of cookie other than graham crackers (frozen waffles? Girl Scout cookies? The possibilities are endless).
- Wrap the ice cream sandwiches in wax or parchment paper in order to prevent freezer burn.