Bless Your Spoon: Beat the heat by chilling out

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Beat the summer heat by chilling out with one of these frosty, crowd-pleasing treats. Summer doesn’t get any sweeter. I love these old-timey frozen desserts; they’re perfect at the end of a hot summer day. Get creative by using your favorite ice cream flavor combination to elevate these pure and simple ingredients to delicious deserts. Most of today’s recipes are easy to assemble, but a few are more complicated for those who enjoy a challenge.

The good news is each cool and creamy concoction starts with a store-bought, premium brand of ice cream. That makes the preparation easier and that’s always a good thing. If your ice cream is too hard and you can’t spoon it out, peel off the carton and slice it with a cake knife. You can cut the ice cream into pieces and cover the necessary area. This method works fine unless you need to add an ingredient to the softened ice cream. In that case, you can whip the ice cream in your mixer to soften, then fold in the extra flavors. I served ice cream from Baskin Robbins when I was a teen, which was my first paying job. Believe me, scooping up that rock-hard ice cream was more challenging than you’d think. Once you have the dessert assembled, keep it covered and frozen until serving time. When ready to enjoy, remove your ice cream treat from the freezer 10 minutes before serving.

August is the month when we’re all on board with the adage, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And if we can’t do that, at least we try to steer clear of a hot oven. I can almost feel the burn after experiencing so many hot and humid days.

In life, we can’t always avoid negative situations. We all have times when we’re feeling the heat, as if our feet are being held to a fire. We have worrisome days. Dealing with people can be difficult. But no matter how challenging life seems, we have the blessed assurance that God is always with us.

Isaiah 43:2 reads, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

In difficult situations with others, sometimes we need a period of cooling off — a time to chill. Solomon asked God for wisdom when he became king. Nearing the end of his life, Solomon looked back and wrote of his personal experiences hoping to prevent his readers from any future bitterness. He advised, “If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest.” That’s true for all relationships. Hold your post, and try to maintain calmness about yourself.

Through all circumstances in life, God will provide us with peace of mind — we can turn our worries into prayer. In Philippians, Paul writes of the joy he found from dedicating his life to serving Christ. Despite his many troubles, Paul considered everything in life a loss compared to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

So, on those days when you can’t steer clear and have to handle the heat, know that that this too, shall pass.

Minted Raspberry Candy Fruit Mold

• 6 cups red raspberry sherbet

• 4 cups peppermint ice cream

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 3 Tbsp. confectioners sugar

• 1/8 tsp. salt

• ¼ cup mixed candied fruit (cherries, pineapple)

• ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds

• ¾ tsp. rum flavoring

In a freezer, chill a 2½ quart mold. In a bowl, stir sherbet to soften. Spread layer over bottom and side of mold. Freeze firm. In a bowl, stir peppermint ice cream until softened. Spread over sherbet layer and refreeze. In mixer bowl, whip heavy cream, adding sugar and salt. Fold fruits, almonds, and rum flavoring into cream. Pile creamy mixture in center of mold, smoothing top. Cover and freeze overnight. To loosen ice cream from mold, immerse in pan of hot water, peel off toil and invert onto chilled plate.

Easy Crunchy Cream Dessert

• ½ stick melted salted butter

• ¾ cup brown sugar

• 2½ cup Rice Krispies cereal

• 1 cup flaked coconut

• 1 cup chopped pecans or almonds

• ½ gallon softened vanilla ice cream

In a saucepan, melt butter and combine all ingredients except ice cream. Toast in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes while occasionally stirring. Place 1½ cup of mixture in bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Cut softened ice cream in slices and fit it on top of crunchy mixture. Cover with remaining mixture. Cover pan and freeze completely. To serve, cut in squares.

Chocolate Cookie and Ice Cream Pies

• 2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

• ¼ cup melted salted butter

• 5 oz. evaporated milk

• 2 Tbsp. softened butter

• ½ cup sugar

• 2 oz. semisweet chocolate

• ½ tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 quart softened vanilla ice cream

• 8 oz. Cool Whip

• Chocolate garnish

Combine crushed cookies and butter. Press evenly into 2 8-inch pie pans. In a saucepan, heat milk, butter, sugar and chocolate, and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to completely cool. Spread the softened ice cream evenly over the crusts. Evenly spoon the chocolate sauce over the ice cream. Freeze for several hours. Top with whipped topping and garnish in chocolate curls. Use any ice cream you desire.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pies

• 12 oz. crunchy peanut butter

• 8 oz. thawed frozen whipped topping

• 1 quart softened vanilla ice cream

• 2 chocolate crumb pie crusts

• Whipped topping

• Chocolate shavings

In a bowl, combine peanut butter, whipped topping and ice cream. Stir until well blended. Spoon evenly into 2 crumb crusts. Freeze at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped topping and shaved chocolate. Makes 2 pies. Make one for yourself and take one to a friend.

Peppermint and Chocolate Dessert

• 25 crushed chocolate wafer cookies

• ¼ cup melted butter

• ½ gallon peppermint ice cream

• 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

• ¼ cup butter

• ¾ cup sugar

• 5 oz. evaporated milk

• Whipped cream

• Fresh mint

• Crushed peppermint candy

In a bowl, combine cookies and butter. Press into bottom of a 9×13 dish. Evenly spread softened ice cream over the crust. Freeze. In a saucepan, combine chocolate butter, sugar and milk. Cook while constantly stirring for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and completely cool. When cool, spread mixture over frozen ice cream. Freeze. When ready to serve, cut into squares and top with whipped cream, crushed peppermint, and sprig of fresh mint.

Pistachio Nut Dessert

• 50 Ritz crackers

• 1 stick melted salted butter

• 2 small boxes pistachio pudding

• 1½ cups whole milk

• 1 qt. softened vanilla ice cream

• 9 oz. Cool Whip

• ½ cup toasted coconut

Finely crush all crackers and add melted butter. Press into bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, combine pistachio pudding with milk. Fold in the softened ice cream. Mix well. Fold in Cool Whip. Mix well. Pour on top of the crust. Sprinkle coconut evenly over top. Freeze completely.

Chocolate Cookie Freeze

• ¼ cup melted butter

• 28 finely crushed Oreo cookies

• ½ gallon softened coffee ice cream

• 6 Tbsp. salted butter

• 4 oz. semisweet chocolate

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 can evaporated milk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 12 oz. Cool Whip

• 1 cup chopped toasted almonds

Combine crushed cookies and butter. Spread into bottom of a 9×13 dish and freeze. Spread softened ice cream over top of cookies. Refreeze. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, sugar, milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Cool completely. Pour evenly over ice cream and refreeze. Combine Cool Whip and nuts. Spread evenly over chocolate. Freeze until ready to serve.

Butterscotch Delight

• 4 Tbsp. melted butter

• 1 cup finely crushed ginger snaps

• 1 quart softened vanilla ice cream

• 2 crushed chocolate Heath bars

• ½ cup light brown sugar

• ½ cup light cream

• 4 tbsp. butter

• ½ cup almonds

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine butter and crushed cookies. Press into and line a 5-cup mold. Freeze. Soften ice cream and add crushed candy bars. Mix well. Spoon into the crumb-lined mold. Freeze. When ready to serve, remove and serve topped with sauce. For the sauce, in a saucepan, combine sugar, cream, and butter. While constantly stirring, bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla. Serve sauce cold or warm over ice cream.

Chocolate Mocha Torte

• 1 cup crushed macaroon cookies

• 3 Tbsp. melted salted butter

• 3 cups softened chocolate ice cream

• ½ cup cooled, hot fudge sauce

• 3 cups softened coffee ice cream

• 4 oz. crushed toffee candy bars

In a bowl, combine cookies, crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. Spread evenly the softened chocolate ice cream over the cooled crust. Drizzle with half the hot fudge sauce. Freeze several hours until firm. Top with another layer of softened coffee ice cream. Evenly sprinkle with crushed candy. Drizzle with remaining hot fudge sauce. Cover and refreeze until firm.

The Rum Raisin Dessert

• ½ cup chopped almonds

• ½ cup toasted flaked coconut

• ½ cup dark raisins

• 4 cups softened vanilla ice cream

• 1 Tbsp. rum extract

• Long stem maraschino cherries

• Whipped cream

In a bowl, combine almonds, coconut and raisins. In another bowl, combine softened ice cream with rum extract and almond mixture. Spoon into greased or paper-lined 2½-inch muffin tins. Freeze completely. When ready to serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and add a stemmed cherry to the top.

After Diner Orange Dessert

• ½ cup crushed vanilla wafers

• 1 quart softened vanilla ice cream

• 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate

• ½ cup light corn syrup

• 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

• 5 oz. evaporated milk

• 1½ cups miniature marshmallows

In the bottom of ab 8-inch dish, sprinkle wafer crumbs evenly. In a bowl, combine ice cream and orange juice concentrate. Mix well. Spread evenly the ice cream over the crumbs. Cover and freeze. In a saucepan, combine corn syrup, chocolate chips, evaporated milk and marshmallows. Slowly heat until all melts together. Mix well. Allow to slightly cool. Spread over the frozen ice cream. Refreeze until firm. Cut in squares to serve.

Dirty Mud Pie

• 21 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

• 6 Tbsp. melted butter

• 1 quart softened chocolate ice cream

• 4 Tbsp. cold brewed coffee

• 2 Tbsp. brandy

• 2 Tbsp. coffee liqueur

• 1 cup heavy whipped cream

• 12 oz. store-bought fudge sauce

• Toasted almonds

• Cherries

In a bowl, combine crushed cookies with melted butter. Press into a 10-inch pie pan. Freeze. In a mixer bowl, beat ice cream with coffee, brandy, and liqueur. Beat in 4 Tbsp. of already whipped heavy cream to ice cream. Spread evenly over frozen pie shell. Freeze until hardened. When ready to serve, spread fudge sauce on top of frozen pie. Cover with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with toasted nuts and cherries. Serve immediately.

Frozen Banana Split

• ½ cup softened butter

• 1 cup milk chocolate chips

• 2 cups confectioners sugar

• 1½ cup whole milk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 2 cups crushed graham crackers

• 5 sliced bananas

• ½ gallon neopolitan ice cream

• 1 cup whipped heavy cream

• Nuts in syrup

In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips. Add sugar and milk and bring to a boil while constantly stirring for 8 minutes, and mixture is thickened. Stir in vanilla. Completely cool. Cover bottom of 9×13 dish with cookie crumbs. Cover with sliced bananas. Slice ice cream and fit in place to cover bananas. Cover evenly with cooled chocolate sauce. Freeze. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts or a spoonful of nuts in syrup.

Fall Pumpkin Special

• ¼ pound chopped marshmallows

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

• 1/8 tsp. ground ginger

• 1/8 tsp. salt

• 1-pint vanilla ice cream

• Crumbled ginger cookies

• Whipped cream

• Mandarin oranges

In a saucepan, while constantly stirring, heat marshmallows, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. When marshmallows are melted, remove from heat and allow to slightly cool. When cooled, stir in ice cream. Mix well. Line a 9×9 pan with cookie crumbs, reserving ¼ of crumbs to use as topping. Pour pumpkin mixture over crumbs. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Freeze. Before serving, remove from freezer 10 minutes. Cut in squares and top with whipped cream and a sliced mandarin orange.