Step back into your childhood with this nostalgic recipe for homemade strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. Fresh fruit and cream will bring a bright flavor to the bars and the strawberry/cookie crumb will transport you back in time to a happy summertime place.
I saw an ice cream truck recently while I sat at a red light in my car. I heard the familiar music and watched as children still in swimsuits ran towards the truck. I smiled at the happy memories the sight invoked.
I remember as a child, getting so excited when I heard the chiming music of the ice cream truck. And the man inside was always so sweet and friendly, making suggestions and telling us to ‘be good and enjoy’ as he handed down our treats.
My dilemma was whether to get the fudgesicle or the strawberry shortcake bar. I adored both, but usually, the bar won out. I salivated waiting to sink my teeth into the sweet confection of semi-crunchy, flavorful mystery pink and white bits covering the creamy vanilla ice cream that wrapped around a center of strawberry sorbet. Heaven. Pure heaven.
Not long after my walk down memory lane, I found what I thought to be those childhood delights in my grocery store. And yes, of course, I bought a box.
I waited for dessert with tremendous anticipation to dig into one. Upon opening the wrapper, my nose was assaulted with the offputting scent of fake strawberry extract. Confused but undaunted, carried on.
Imagine my disappointment to discover the chalky, icy consistency of the vanilla ice cream; the strong chemical taste to the ‘strawberry’ center; and the mushy, grainy consistency of the coating.
This was not the strawberry shortcake ice cream bar of my youth. I was offended and indignant. How could ‘they’ tamper with my beloved summertime treat? I was on a mission to recreate that childhood memory.
This recipe recreates that nostalgic taste, but with a freshness and creaminess, the ice cream truck treats never had.
You will need popsicle molds for this recipe. I like using silicone molds because they make unmolding the bars so easy. You basically can peel the mold off of the bar. Flawless and simple.
TIPS FOR MAKING STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICE CREAM BARS
- Be sure to use freeze dried strawberries and not dehydrated strawberries. The freeze-dried berries are crunchy and will break down into a crisp bit. The Dehydrated ones maintain a bit of chewiness that is not what we want in this recipe.
- If you don’t have, can’t find, or don’t like Lorna Doone cookies, use vanilla wafers, vanilla sandwich cookies, or any shortbread cookie instead.
- Take the time to freeze the bowl and beaters before you start whipping the cream. It will whip faster and easier.
- Short on time? Buy frozen strawberries in syrup instead of mashing and macerating fresh berries. Trust me, no one will know you took the shortcut.
This summertime treat will take you on a nostalgic journey to your childhood. Creamy, fresh strawberry ice cream enrobed in crunchy, sweet strawberry and cookie crumbs will evoke memories of running to the ice cream truck when you heard the distinctive music.
- 1 pound fresh, ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (more if your berries are not sweet. Taste to be sure)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, ice cold
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, ice cold
- 2 (10-ounce) boxes of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
- Place your mixing bowl and beaters into the freezer while you mash the strawberries.
- In a large bowl, place the sliced strawberries, along with any juice that may have accumulated, and the granulated sugar. Stir to combine and then mash the berries and sugar together until the mixture is somewhat chunky with medium sized berry pieces. Set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the cold bowl and beaters from the freezer.
- Pour in the ice cold heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and ice cold sweetened condensed milk.
- Whip the mixture until stiff peaks form. Depending on what mixer you are using, this could take 5 – 10 minutes. Be careful not to over whip the cream or you will have sweet, flavored butter (which would be delicious on a bagel).
- When the cream is whipped, fold in the strawberries and the syrup. Continut to fold until the berries are well incorporated.
- Using a spoon, divide the mixture among the popscicle molds. If you have leftover ice cream, pour it into a freezable, covered container to enjoy later. Place the sticks into the molds and cover the molds with plastic wrap.
- Freeze the molds for at least 6 hours or preferably, overnight.
- Make the coating. Place the cookies in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the cookies are roughly chopped.
- Add the freeze dried strawberries in the food processor. Pulse together with the strawberries are fully integrated with the cookies and the crumbs are small in size.
- Pour in the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Add the strawberry/cookie crumb mixture to a shallow plate.
- Put parchment paper on a large baking sheet and set aside.
- Unmold the bars and place them onto the parchment paper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 minute to soften slightly.
- Coat each bar with the strawberry crumb mixture. Press the bar gently into the crumbs to ensure that they stick. Repeat on all sides of the bar. Place back onto the parchment paper and continue with the remaining bars.
- Once all the bars are coated, return the baking sheet to the freezer for about 30 minutes to harden.
- Serve immediately or individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Enjoy and regress back into your childhood.
- Serving Size: 1
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