One of my favorite things to do is to spend time in the kitchen with younger people who want to learn to cook – or who at least want to get their hands messy and play around for a while!
Kids are not afraid to explore, imagine, risk and even fail. And on the flipside, cooking can give children a quick boost of confidence when their creations come out of the oven and into their mouths as planned.
Not too long ago, a mom I know asked me to come hang out with her college-age daughter and a few of her friends. These young women were moving from dorm life to apartment life, and this mother wanted me to help the girls make the transition from cafeteria dining to apartment cooking as smoothly as possible.
Of course, I think I ended up learning the most and having the most fun, which is usually the case when you’re the teacher, isn’t it? We had a wonderful afternoon together, and it was such a delight to be a part of their beautiful lives.
Half-jokingly, I told the girls that the way to a man’s heart is often straight through his tummy, and it might be a good idea to have a dessert ready to go on those late nights they found themselves “studying” with the cute boy from the business school.
This recipe for Toffee Ice Cream Squares is one I put to good use while a student at Baylor University, and I still do today. It makes a ton and can stay in the freezer for several days, cutting off only the amount of squares you need at any one time.
The recipe is also quite versatile. Feel free to use graham cracker crumbs instead of chocolate; use chocolate chips or nuts instead of toffee; and definitely experiment with lots of different ice cream flavors. And now is the perfect time to do that, as Goldenbrook Ice Cream is on sale this week at all Brookshire’s.
Toffee Ice Cream Squares
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted melted butter
9 ounces chocolate toffee candy bars, crushed
1/2 gallon Goldenbrook Homemade Vanilla or other favorite flavor ice cream, softened
Hot fudge sauce (see recipe below)
Mix chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan. Freeze 15 minutes to set crust. Meanwhile, mix the crushed candy bars in with the softened ice cream. Scoop back into crust, making even with the back of a spoon. Put back into the freezer to harden. To serve, cut into squares and drizzle with warmed hot fudge sauce. Serves 8-12.
Hot Fudge Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa, evaporated milk and corn syrup together in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 5 minutes to thicken. Make sure you time it from a good roiling boil and not the first few bubbles that will persist for several minutes beforehand. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. OPTION: If you want really thick hot fudge sauce, you can boil for a few minutes more.