Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
Strawberry Shortcake Bars
I grew up in Bakersfield for four years from ages seven to eleven. Those summers were filled with running around from from house to house, swimming, and riding bikes all day like little country bumpkins. It was all powered by Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars I’d buy from the ice cream truck man.
Not that I was thoroughly picking a part what I loved so much about these popsicles when I was a kid...But, each bite had a perfect crunch, a pop of strawberry flavor that didn’t taste totally artificial, the tiniest bit of saltiness, and some vanilla to wash it all away. I remember never wanting to buy them at the supermarket because they seemed too special to not buy on a whim and savor every moment.
Being vegan, the joke’s on me because there is absolutely no whim option for ready to eat Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars! That being said, it’s given me the perfect opportunity to make an even more delicious version that’s got a better cookie crust to ice cream ratio. Translation: 60% cookie crust/crumble, 30% vanilla ice cream, and 10% perfectly tart strawberry sauce.
I opted for a bar rather than a popsicle structure for this recipe because popsicles are so tedious and (usually) unrewarding to make. Ice cream bars, however, are going to be beautifully layered squares without the risk of losing the top layer to a cheap popsicle container.
I use a mixture of vanilla sandwich cookies (the Golden Oreos brand is vegan in the U.S.), freeze dried strawberries, Rice Krispies, and vegan butter for both the crust and the crumble. The freeze dried strawberries flavor and color the crust without making it soggy like fresh strawberries would. The cookies provide our vanilla flavor and general structure of the crust, and the rice krispies add a very necessary crunch.
This process involves four twenty-minute intervals of each layer going in the freezer to set, followed by four hours to reeeeally chill and set before you dig in. I guess what I’m saying is, plan ahead with making these. Find something fun to do for each 20 mins.
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars:
3 cups chopped fresh chopped strawberries
3 tbsp sugar
Cook for 5-6 mins in a medium saucepan until strawberries just start to break down and mixture is bubbling. Remove from heat, transfer to heat-proof bowl, and place in refrigerator to cool.
Cookie Crust Base:
20 vanilla cookie sandwiches (I use Golden Oreo’s)
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
6 tbsp melted vegan butter
Pulse above ingredients in a food processor until the crust can be pinched together. Butter up an 8x8 baking pan. Place one parchment paper sheet parchment paper on pan leaving an overhang for easier removal of the bars. Press crust into pan and...
CHILL IN FREEZER FOR 20 MINS
(and now take ice cream out of freezer!)
Ice Cream Base
2 pints vegan vanilla ice cream
Take ice cream out of freezer and allow to soften, about 20 minutes. Transfer ice cream to large mixing bowl and stir up with a rubber spatula until ice cream is a consistent, spreadable consistency. This was, you don’t have ice-ey chunks. Spread HALF of the ice cream mixture on top of the cookie crust base. Place remainder of ice cream in the refrigerator (no, not the freezer) And then take your cookie crust/ice cream layer pan and…
CHILL IN FREEZER FOR 20 MINS
Now, after chilling, spread your Strawberry Sauce evenly over the ice cream layer. You might have some sauce leftover, no worries. Now...
CHILL IN FREEZER FOR 25 MINS
This interval, we can’t be lazy. We must prepare our Cookie Crumble. The crumble that seals the deal on these wanna be corporate ice cream bars…
6 vanilla cookie sandwiches
1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup rice krispies
3 tbsp freeze dried strawberries
Pulse just the cookies, vegan butter, and strawberries together until mostly incorporated. Then, pulse in the rice krispies only 2-4 times to preserve their crunch and also keep the creme/pink color pattern to look like the corporate popsicle we’ve all come to love.
SPREAD LAST HALF OF ICE CREAM ON TOP OF STRAWBERRY LAYER.
If strawberry sauce swirls with the ice cream, don’t fret. It still looks beautiful a little mixed and mingled. Next, we...
SPRINKLE ON THE COOKIE CRUST
FREEZE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ICE CREAM BARS FOR AT LEAST FOUR HOURS OR OVERNIGHT!
This is a must in order for the bars to set and become beautifully layered bars and not a bunch of melted, sloppy goodness! Take bars out of freezer five minutes before slicing into them.