Feel free to use this recipe as a framework, switching the ice cream flavors and/or cookie and nut combination. For added value, this crowd-pleasing dessert offers make-ahead convenience and built-in portion control!
Girl Scout cookie time is a happy time for my husband who looks forward to Thin Mints and Trefoils every year. Trefoils are the shortbread cookies. They are so basic, yet so buttery good.
Since they are his favorites, and because we all love ice cream, I thought it would be fun to invent a fun dessert using both…plus a few other tasty ingredients for good measure.
I love this treat, not only for its taste, but because it can be made in advance and is special enough for entertaining.
You may absolutely use this recipe as a framework, switching the ice cream flavors and/or cookie and nut combination. Vanilla or peanut butter swirl ice cream rolled in chopped, lightly salted peanuts and drizzled with hot fudge is another favorite combination in our house. Or use Oreos on cookies and cream ice cream. Choose your favorites and create from there.
When my older son tried this combination for the first time, he said proclaimed it to be one of his favorite all-time desserts. For me, this is also a smart dessert because the pre-scooped balls ensure portion control!
- 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 8 shortbread cookies (Girl Scout Trefoils, Pepperidge Farm Butter Chessman or another shortbread or butter cookie of your choice)
- ¾ cup salted cashews
- butterscotch or caramel sauce
Scoop ice cream onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm. Meanwhile, crush or finely chop the cookies and cashews. I use my mini chopper or chop by hand and keep the mixture a little chunky. (You could also use a regular food processor; just take care not to over process.) Transfer the crumbs to a pie plate or shallow bowl.
When ice cream is firm, roll the balls in the crumb mixture, pressing to coat well, then return them to freezer immediately. Repeat until all of the scoops are well coated, and freeze until ready to eat. The coated ice cream balls will keep for several days in your freezer; simply cover when completely frozen. (They will technically keep for several weeks; the cookies and nuts, however, may lose some of their crispness.)
Prior to eating, allow the ice cream balls to sit on counter for five minutes (give or take a few depending on how firm they are frozen and how warm it is) to soften slightly. Top with butterscotch sauce and enjoy!
•Other delicious combinations can be made with chocolate sauce (like this salted hot fudge sauce) and a variety of ice cream flavors like Heath bar, butter pecan, mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream and cookie dough ice cream
•Strawberry and black raspberry ice cream offer delightful options for those who enjoy fruity flavors.
•For a nut-free version, crushed Oreo cookies (or K-Toos for a gluten-free alternative) can be used for the coating.
•For a cookie-free alternative, chopped salted peanuts are especially tasty.
•For a mud pie variation, use coffee ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbs, and hot fudge sauce
•Dairy-free ice creams may be used as needed.
•When serving a larger group, feel free to mix and match flavors for a dessert that is sure to please all!