Rocky Road Ice Cream Bars
This recipe takes the classic American ice cream and turns it into simple, festive bars. They start with a no-bake chocolate cookie crust that gets topped with chocolate ice cream, salty toasted nuts and, of course, mini marshmallows, making this a treat everyone will love. Using a rich, dense ice cream is key to these bars, so buy a premium ice cream for this recipe if you can, since some supermarket versions may have a lot of air incorporated. Serve the bars straight from the freezer (with napkins!) or on dessert plates with a drizzle of hot fudge sauce, and watch them disappear.
- Serves: 12 persons
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 9tablespoons/125 grams unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1(9-ounce/255-gram) package thin chocolate wafer cookies
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½cups/225 grams raw almonds, walnuts, pecans or a combination, chopped (about 8 ounces)
- 2pints/1 quart chocolate ice cream
- 2cups/115 grams miniature marshmallows
- Store-bought or homemade hot fudge sauce, for serving (optional)
Step 1Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Place 8 tablespoons/115 grams of the butter in a small skillet and melt over medium heat; set aside.
Step 2Place the cookies and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, and process until the cookies are very finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even layer, packing the crust lightly with the bottom of a measuring cup. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the crust is firm to the touch.
Step 3Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the nuts and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing often, until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
Step 4Soften the ice cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until easy to scoop but not melted.
Step 5Scoop large spoonfuls of ice cream all over the crust, and working quickly, use an offset spatula or wooden spoon to smooth the ice cream into an even layer with no gaps. Sprinkle the nut mixture and marshmallows over the ice cream and press them lightly into an even layer using the palms of your hands.
Step 6Cover the pan with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut the ends of the ice cream away from the edges of the pan and lift the overhanging parchment paper to remove the bars. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares. Serve straight from the freezer, drizzled with hot fudge, if desired.