June. How are you surviving it? I know you don't need me to tell you it's a happy yet hectic few weeks, mixed with a little heartbreak, especially for those of us with kids moving on and moving up this month. Jackson graduated from grade eight last Friday night, and after more than a decade the doors are closing on our elementary school experience. Only for now, of course, because in three years we'll be sending our little one off to Kindergarten, and then we'll get to do the whole thing all over again. Oh, my heart.
To celebrate the special occasion we threw a big backyard party on Saturday night and invited our Sunday Supper crew for dinner. As I hinted at in my newsletter, I made nothing but large platter salads and filled the buffet table with the following: Cobb salad, chicken Caesar salad, Orzo salad with shrimp, taco salad, and chopped Italian salad with salami, chickpeas, provolone, and pepperoncini peppers. There were also various salad dressings, fresh bread and tortilla chips to round out the menu, and I made a dozen hot dogs for the little kids and served them with a platter of watermelon sticks. Once they caught wind of my all-salad menu I spent the pre-dinner hours dodging a few side-eyes being thrown in my direction, so I'm glad I had a plan B in place for them.
While dinner may have lacked some excitement for the kids, my dessert more than made up for it. Two of my nieces spent part of the night arguing over who would get to help me in the kitchen the most, and my food-phobic nephew was third in line for what's sure to be the best dessert I'll make this summer: a build-your-own ice cream sandwich bar. When I walked into the backyard carrying a basket of 48 oversized cookies, four litres of ice cream, and aluminum pie plates loaded with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, and chopped Skor bars you can be sure I had everyone's attention.
The how-to for something like this is simple, and it starts with filling your freezer with several dozen cookie dough balls. For those interested, I made chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter chocolate chip, and sprinkle cookies, all of which are decidedly kid-friendly and my own boys' personal favourites. I did this a few days in advance and on Saturday morning, I baked off four dozen so they were fresh for when we needed them. I lined a large wicker basket with the cookies, going heavy on the sprinkled variety as I knew they would be popular with the young ones, and set out ice cream scoops, ice cream, and the candy-covered pie plates, which were just large enough to allow for rolling the edges of the cookie into a sweet coating that added some nice crunchiness to the sandwich. It was awesome, and most of the adults joined in on the fun, too. After all, who doesn't like an ice cream sandwich?
A Build-Your-Own Ice Cream Sandwich Bar
Serves as many as desired
- Homemade cookies (2 per sandwich)
- Assorted ice creams
- Coatings for rolling and covering the side of the cookies (i.e. sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, Skor bits, cookie crumbs, etc.)
1. Fill your freezer with frozen cookie dough balls up to one month in advance of your party (you can freeze almost any drop cookie in its raw state).
2. On the day you want to serve the cookies, baked off as many as needed and allow them to cool completely before serving.
3. Remove ice cream from freezer and thaw for 5-10 minutes so it softens slightly.
4. Fill pie plates or another shallow plate with assorted coverings.
5. To make a sandwich, lay two cookies bottom sides up on a plate. Place a scoop of ice cream on one cookie and sandwich it with the second cookie placing it bottom side down on the ice cream. Roll the sides of the sandwich in the desired candy to cover the exposed ice cream. Eat and enjoy.