Peppermint Icebox Dessert

by Rachel on February 3, 2012

Peppermint Icebox Dessert

This was absolutely my favorite dessert as a kid. My grandmother, sister and I went into a formal mourning period when Thrifty Drugstores stopped carrying the peppermint ice cream that is an essential part of this dessert.  Eventually fancy Santa Barbara-based McConnell’s started to make peppermint ice cream. At first I could only find it in December, but I now I see it year-round. There are a number of store brands of ice cream that make peppermint. It seems like a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert to me. It’s so 1950s in look and taste. What could be better for Valentine’s Day than to harken back to a simpler time and a simpler cooking sensibility? This dessert makes me think of my maternal grandmother – who made this for me every winter. I have no idea where the recipe comes from. When my mother emptied my grandmother’s recipe box, there it was – written in pencil in her loopy cursive. Here it is for you, written in my loopy blog!

Peppermint Icebox Dessert (9 servings)

Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup ground pecans
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Chocolate Spread:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 ounces best quality unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 quart peppermint ice cream

Crust:

Over low heat brown the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, butter and sugar.  Stir until lightly brown. Put half of the graham cracker/nut mixture in the bottom of a 9×9-inch pan. Reserve the remainder.

Chocolate Spread:

Place the chocolate in a double boiler and stir over medium heat until the chocolate is melted.  Take the pan off of the heat and allow the chocolate to cool slightly.  Beat the egg yolks with a whisk and gradually add the melted chocolate whisking constantly.  If you dump hot chocolate into the yolks you’ll have a concoction no one will want to eat.  Even the most obsessed chocolate lovers draw the line at scrambled eggs and chocolate.  Cream the butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add the chocolate/egg mixture.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites in to batter mixture.  It’s an odd looking mixture.  Don’t worry – it freezes well and tastes even better!

Spread half the chocolate mixture over crumbs.  Put in freezer for 20 minutes.  Spread 1-quart peppermint ice cream over chocolate mixture, freeze (this takes another 20-30 mins).  Keep the remaining chocolate spread in the fridge.  After the ice cream layer is frozen, spread remaining chocolate mixture over top. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top of chocolate mixture, pressing them into the ice cream with a spatula. Freeze again.

Enjoy.

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