A great way to get kids into the kitchen with a smile is the promise of a sweet treat at the end of their labors. With that in mind, I asked my kids to help me make these gooey frozen S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches, and they were happy to oblige!
In spite of my 3-year-old’s initial apprehension about making what she assumed would be ice cream between two slices of bread, the experience turned out to be educational, delicious, and fun. The recipe involves a few steps, but none are too complicated for kids to get involved with. Arranging marshmallows for toasting, stirring chocolate sauce, and positioning ice cream on the graham crackers are all easy enough tasks for small helpers to lend a hand. And while the process of toasting a marshmallow seems pretty straightforward to an adult, for a child it’s a great lesson in how a little heat can completely transform an ingredient.
For this ice cream sandwich recipe, a little prep goes a long way. Here are a few key takeaways for making them with kids:
- Slice the ice cream. Yep — get out a big knife and slice off squares of ice cream; this technique saves a lot of drippy mess.
- The recipe requires a few steps, so make sure kids know that going in. Patience is key! The easiest sandwiches to work with are those that are frozen solid, so try to get the graham crackers and ice cream into the freezer overnight before topping with marshmallows and chocolate.
- Keep a constant eye on those oven-toasted marshmallows. They can go from completely un-toasted to a smoking mess in a matter of seconds. Unless the kids are looking for an education in smoke detector response times, watch the marshmallows the whole time they’re in the oven. (I may have not done this the first time around, and may have almost set the kitchen on fire. Fun!)
- For your youngest helpers, melting the chocolate can be a fun project. Use a stable double boiler, and have them help stir in the chocolate and vegetable oil. They’ll see the hunks of chocolate transform into a silky liquid right before their eyes.
S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes: 12 sandwiches
12 rectangular graham crackers
1 quart vanilla ice cream
8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
15 large marshmallows (better to make a few extra)
1. Set the tub of ice cream on the counter to defrost slightly. Line a freezer-proof tray with foil and set aside.
2. Use a large chef’s knife to cut down the center line of each rectangular graham cracker, making 24 squares.
3. Dump the quart of ice cream out onto a cutting board, and, working quickly, cut out twelve 1/2-inch thick squares of ice cream. Set each square on a graham square and then top with another. Arrange squares on the foil-lined tray and set in the freezer to harden for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Place any leftover ice cream back in the carton and refreeze.
4. To make the magic shell, rough chop all of the chocolate, but be sure to set aside 3 ounces. Put 5 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to the chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove double boiler from heat, and stir in remaining chocolate until smooth. Keep chocolate sauce over very low heat until ready to use.
5. To toast the marshmallows, turn broiler to low. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Then set a small 2 x 2-inch square of foil under each marshmallow (this will make it simple to transfer gooey marshmallows to the ice cream sandwiches). Set baking sheet under the broiler, and, watching constantly, toast for 45-75 seconds, or until marshmallows are a very light golden brown. (Note: Unattended marshmallows can melt and catch fire in a matter of seconds, so it’s essential to keep a watchful eye.)
6. Remove sandwiches from freezer, add a toasted marshmallow to each, and then drizzle with warm chocolate sauce. Set sandwiches back in freezer for about 2 hours, until set. Then enjoy!
Image Source: Elizabeth StarkMore On