A few years ago we realized that our kitchen was missing a very important appliance… an ice cream maker! After doing some research, Adam surprised Ryan with one for his birthday, plus a cookbook to go with it called Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones. The very first recipe we made was the vanilla—made with real vanilla beans—and it was the creamiest and smoothest ice cream we had ever tasted. We immediately looked into the ice cream shop listed on the cover of the book: Bi-Rite Creamery. Well, as anyone in San Francisco could tell you, it is a popular place with almost 8500 rave reviews and a 4 1/2 star rating on Yelp. The point is: these people know their ice cream. So when we decided to make cookies and cream ice cream bars for this Labor Day weekend, the obvious choice was to begin with this book. We used their classic cookies and cream recipe as the base to get that silky rich texture that they are so well-known for, and we added more cookies to give it a more chocolatey flavor and a delicious crunch. And when we were experimenting with ways to keep the prep time under five minutes, we discovered an ingredient that makes these decadent bars even creamier, turning this simple and refreshing treat into one of our new favorite desserts.
We performed some tests. Delicious, ice cream tests. The original Bi-Rite recipe involves some extra steps: separating eggs, cooking the ice cream mixture on the stove, and using an ice bath to cool it off. But when we tried substituting greek yogurt for the egg yolks, we were deliciously surprised by how perfectly it replaced them—plus, now there isn’t any cooking involved! You mix everything in a bowl, pour, and freeze. We tried both ways side by side, and from the first taste it was obvious that the yogurt version was not only simpler to make, but now had more depth and enhanced the flavor of the ice cream.
Cookies and cream is one of our favorite combinations, and we wanted to make sure that every bite had delicious chunks of chocolate cookies so we add quite a bit more than the recipe calls for. We also found that by stirring in ground cookie crumbs to the creamy vanilla ice cream adds a rich, chocolatey flavor and a wonderfully creamy, pudding-like texture. Labor day is here and we couldn’t think of a more relaxing and refreshing way to celebrate. Bring these heavenly frozen treats to your party, and you will be the hero of this holiday weekend!
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Bars
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely chopped into crumbs in a food processor
2 to 3 chocolate sandwich cookies, broken into large pieces
In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, sugar, cream, milk, salt and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the cookie crumbs and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a measuring cup for easy pouring.
Fill one popsicle mold about 1/3 full of the cream mixture, then sprinkle a few cookie pieces over it. Add more cream mixture until it is about 2/3 full, then sprinkle a few more cookie pieces on top. Then add more cream mixture until the mold is full. Repeat for the other 3 popsicle molds. Freeze according to manufacturer directions, usually about 4 hours, and enjoy!
— We use the Norpro Ice Pop Maker for the molds.