*This post was created in partnership with Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker because I find chocolate and summer to be a natural pair. I’m partial to Scharffen Berger’s bittersweet varieties (although Ivy argues that milk chocolate is best) as they’re softly sweet, with a nice acidity and deep cocoa flavor, which works perfectly in these ice cream bars.
The air smells of the last of the lilacs and a briny sea scent that the gentle, nearly warm breeze carries in from the Sound below. The sun lights the streets until nearly 10 pm and we lose track of the time we once dictated by the tint of the sky outside. There’s baseball practice that hurries us through dinner and games on Saturdays where the boys litter the grass with salt-licked sunflower seed shells. It’s June. The time of year where summer teases us with the occasional scent of the neighbors firing up the bbq, the kids wandering out of their houses to play in the street after dinner, and the distant chimes of the ice cream truck. We’re counting down the last days of school.
We all overslept this morning. Again. I popped up out of bed, looked at my phone then ran around the house trying to induce the sense of urgency needed to get everyone off to school on time. They didn’t quite get it. And I’ll admit neither did I. It’s hard to encourage the kids to persevere through these last couple of weeks of school, to continue to try their best and push hard when all I want to do is stay in bed with the warmth of the sun on my face then linger outside in the evening until dark, light up the fire to roast marshmallows and eat off paper plates outside.
Their school clothes have holes in the knees and are fraying at the sleeves but I refuse to refresh them at this point. Their lunches are far less thought out than they were in September and I’m trusting them to be getting all their homework done because I feel the shift. The summer shift. I’m trying to set a good example and be their buoy and cheerleader as they try to finish strong. But I’m also pushing back bedtime and dreaming with them about our summer travels to Europe, camping trips and lazy sun-lit mornings and definitely not thinking about third grade math.
Summer, we’re ready for you. Signs of our summer eagerness show up in the kitchen where I toast a pan full of marshmallows under the broiler. Soft interiors and crisp and caramelized outsides that I fold into vanilla bean flecked ice cream. Layered between two soft homemade graham crackers and then dipped in bittersweet chocolate. I would have stopped there but Ivy suggested a few flakes of salt to finish them off. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud.
These ice cream bars are a sweet taste of summer, and as if we needed it, are getting us even more excited for warm evenings sitting by a dancing fire, tasting the sweetness of the chocolate with sticky marshmallow fingers. Only 14 more sleeps – but who’s counting?
*This post is sponsored by Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. As always, the words, photos and recipes are mine.
Scharffen Berger crafts the richest, most flavorful chocolate by sourcing the best cacao in the world, blending it in small batches, and gently processing it to maintain the subtle flavors in the beans.
Be sure to check out their website where you can find a wide variety of baking chocolate as well as bars that need nothing more than a little unwrapping.
Thanks so much for supporting that brands that help keep Not Without Salt running.
Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwiches with Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
Makes 1 1/2 dozen bars
I’ve gone ahead and included a recipe for homemade graham crackers, one that I’ve adapted from King Arthur Flour. It’s a lovely soft cinnamon scented cracker that works beautifully here but you know you more than welcome to use store bought graham crackers here too. I assure you, no one would complain.
1 cup Graham Flour or Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallow
1 1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream
9.7 ounces (1 bar) Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flavorless oil (you can use grapeseed, rice bran, coconut, canola, etc.)
For the graham crackers:
In a large bowl combine the graham flour, all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
In another bowl whisk together the egg, butter, honey and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a spatula until just combined.
Shape the dough in a rough rectangle then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick using a bit of flour if it starts to get a bit sticky.
Cut the cookies into the desired shape (I like the size of a quarter of an actual graham cracker – it’s about 1-inch by 2 1/2-inches) and prick each cookie with a fork to prevent them from puffing up too much.
Set them onto the sheet pans and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake until puffed and golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. For the purpose of using these crackers in an ice cream sandwich I like to keep them a bit softer so I take them out perhaps a bit sooner than you would for a more traditional graham cracker.
Let the cookies cool on the trays.
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Assemble the ice cream bars:
Line the bottom and sides 9×13 baking dish with two alternating pieces of parchment paper so that there’s a bit of overhang on each side.
Soften the vanilla ice cream by letting it sit out of the freezer for 20 minutes or so.
Set your oven to broil and scatter the marshmallows in a shallow roasting dish. Broil until the caps are copper colored and you can smell caramelized sugar.
Fold the toasted marshmallows into the softened ice cream then add that to the prepared 9×13 dish. Smooth it out to create an even layer of what is now toasted marshmallow ice cream. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Once completely firm remove the ice cream from the pan and cut it out to match the shape of the graham crackers. Sandwich a layer of ice cream between the graham crackers then place those on a sheet tray and return to the freezer until firm. If the ice cream melts too quickly in the process simply return it to the freezer for at least 20 minutes then continue.
Melt the chocolate with the oil in a microwave or over a double broiler. If using a microwave heat in 20 second intervals and stir really well between each heat so as not to scorch the chocolate.
Dip the ice cream bars halfway into the chocolate then return to the sheet pan and top with a few pieces of flake salt. Freeze again until firm and then you’re ready to enjoy.