If you are hosting a July 4 picnic, homemade ice cream sandwiches will be a hit with adults and children. My only problem was how to select one recipe from the cool new "Ice Cream Sandwiches: 65 Recipes for Incredibly Cool Treats" by Donna Egan.
I could have asked my 10-year-old grandson Zach, but he's so silly he'd probably suggest the Jumbo Ice Cream Sandwich.
So I asked the serious one, my granddaughter, Ashley, who's a lot more mature than her mother and I were at 12.
She chose the Banana Split Sandwiches. The recipe calls for banana bread. If you don't have time to make it, you can buy ready-made. The bread and filling can be made several days ahead, then the treats can put together the day they're to be served. Use the dip and sweep method of measuring flour for this recipe.
BANANA SPLIT SANDWICHES
1 loaf banana bread (recipe below)
2 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
Prepare the banana bread.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine 11/2 cups of the marshmallows, the chocolate chips and the half-and-half. Stir until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, set aside, away from the heat, until the chocolate mixture has completely cooled, then fold the whipped cream into the chocolate along with the remaining marshmallows and the nuts.
Cut the bread into slices a generous 1/2 inch thick. Cut each slice in half.
Spread the desired amount of filling onto 1 slice. Place the matching slice on top and press gently until the filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with remaining slices.
Freeze about 1 hour, until set, then serve. (Or will keep frozen for up to 2 weeks.)
3 large or 4 medium very ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 81/2-by-41/2-by- 21/2-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl vigorously mix bananas until light and fluffy. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Add flour and baking soda and mix well. Add bananas and stir until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Scatter nuts on top. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes before removing. Cool completely.
-- "Ice Cream Sandwiches: 65 recipes for Incredibly Cool Treats," by Donna Egan 2013 $16.95)
These brownies will satisfy everyone's chocolate craving. Orange juice and zest add punch.
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil about 1 inch over the edges. Grease foil. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is pale yellow and thickened. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Add to egg mixture, beating just until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the 1 cup melted butter until combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Make the frosting. In a large bowl combine the 1/4 cup softened butter and orange peel. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the juice, beating until combined. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons juice to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Spread evenly over brownies. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
For the glaze: In a medium saucepan stir semisweet chocolate and 1/2 cup butter over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in corn syrup. Cool 15 minutes. Slowly pour glaze over frosting. Tilt pan gently to spread glaze evenly. Chill 30 minutes or until set. Using the edges of the foil, lift out of the pan. Cut into bars.
-- "Better Homes and Gardens Baking: More Than 350 Recipes Plus Tips and Techniques" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, coming out in Oct. 2013, $29.99)
Arlene Burnett: email@example.com.