Introduction: Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars

About: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.

Here's another recipe I knew I wanted to make the minute Michael Symon prepared it on The Chew, boy am I glad I did! I have a long history with Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake bars; I used to eat them in the school cafeteria after lunch, at sporting events, and through college they were a favorite frozen treat. The yummy crumb on the outside, vanilla ice cream with a strawberry (though perhaps I should call it "strawberry like?") center inside, a great combination of flavors.

Michael Symon came up with a way to re-create these bars sans the use of artificial flavors and colors, as that's how I prefer to eat these days, I gave it a go. I even went so far as to make my own strawberry sherbet (you can use store-bought if you prefer) because I had frozen local strawberries and knew they'd make these bars fantastic. Google led me to a recipe for "5-Minute Strawberry Sherbet in the Food Processor" from the site Shockingly Delicious that I knew I could make in my Vitamix and this whole dessert can easily be made in less than an hour. The "hard" part is waiting at least 4 hours for the flavors to meld and the bars to set before eating, but I assure you, this recipe is worth waiting for!

Strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are truly a perfect summer treat that bring you right back to childhood, hearing the jingle of the ice cream truck, grabbing some change, and running to catch it. I hope you'll make them soon, enjoy!

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars by Michael Symon:

Strawberry Sherbet recipe by Dorothy Reinhold found here:

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You'll need:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup milk powder

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries

Pinch salt

4 tablespoon butter (melted)

2 pints vanilla bean ice cream

1/2 pint strawberry sorbet (the recipe I used for strawberry sherbet follows after the next step, or use store-bought)

Step 2: Make Crumb Topping

Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray then line it with wax paper (I made a nonstick foil sling, but still sprayed it to be on the safe side). Set aside. Remove the ice cream and sorbet (if not making homemade sherbet) from the freezer to soften.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, milk powder, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, strawberries, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix the ingredients and break up the strawberries in to smaller pieces. Next add the melted butter and continue to pulse until small crumbs form.

Sprinkle a third of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared 8x8. Set aside. (This recipe uses 1/3 crumbs for the bottom, 1/3 for the top, and 1/3 to coat the sides, I didn't intend to wrap the bars individually, so I split the crumbs in half; half for the bottom layer, half for the top.)

Step 3: Homemade Strawberry Sherbet

This is a very easy recipe to make IF you have a good food processor or high speed blender; if you don't, I'd suggest buying store bought sorbet/sherbet. As this makes an instant frozen sherbet you want to make sure to have your ice cream almost softened, and crumb topping made and bottom layer in the pan.

Homemade Strawberry Sherbet:

1 pound frozen strawberries (I used local strawberries I hulled, washed, and froze)

1 (4- or 6-ounce) container strawberry yogurt (can use plain or vanilla yogurt; I used 4 oz. strawberry Kefir)

2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar (more if needed, I used 1/4 cup as my strawberries were on the tart side)

Water (I used about 3 Tbsp.)

To make sherbet, place frozen strawberries, yogurt, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water in bowl of food processor. Whirl until thick and creamy, a minute or two, stopping to scrape down the bowl. Don’t walk away or it may overprocess and liquefy. It will look like thick frosting. (I used the tamper in my Vitamix to push the strawberries down, I probably only needed a minute of blending time to get the perfect consistency, you're looking for the clover shape that happens if you've made other Vitamix frozen treats.)

While processing, add another tablespoon or so of water if it needs help achieving the right consistency. Taste and add another tablespoon or more of sugar (I added 2 more tbsp. sugar) if needed, to suit your palate. Serve immediately (best!), or store in a tightly sealed container in the freezer.

This makes almost 2 cups sherbet, the recipe only uses 1 cup, but I loved this sherbet so much I decided to use all of it, use the amount you prefer.

Step 4: Assemble Bars

When the ice cream has softened (you can put it in to a mixing bowl and work it with a spatula) spread one of the pints in to the bottom of the pan in an even layer, over the crumbs. (My ice cream was pretty soft, I decided to freeze it about 10 minutes to set up a bit so it could support the sherbet. If you find any of the ice cream/sherbet layers get too soft at any point, simply freeze them about 10-15 minutes before adding the next layer.)

Next, spread the sherbet/sorbet over the top followed by the other pint of ice cream.

Top with another third (in my case half) of the remaining crumb mix. I used a piece of wax paper to gently push the crumbs into the ice cream.

Step 5: Freeze, Serve, and Enjoy

Place in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.

Un-mold the bars and peel the wax paper (foil). Cut into rectangles and stick a popsicle stick into each one. Dust the sides with the remaining crumb and place back in the freezer for 30 minutes to set, and enjoy.

As you can see, instead of cutting into 8 rectangular bars, I made 9 squares (as there are three of us it was fair!), we ate them on plates with forks. Cut and serve however you like, I promise they're delicious even without the traditional popsicle stick! Not using the sticks allowed me to store them in the pan in the freezer (my pan has a lid), they lasted three days, I'd imagine they would easily last longer.

Sit back, enjoy the summer sunshine, eat a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar and be glad you didn't have to chase down the ice cream truck with your bad knees!

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