Don’t bemoan the heat. Beat it by whipping up some delicious frozen dishes.
By Jennifer Kornegay
You can eat ice cream, popsicles and other tasty frozen treats all year long. But there’s an extra layer of pleasure when enjoying one in the heat of summer. The temperature difference alone is a little thrilling. That first touch of frigid contact on warm skin (made even hotter by our annual seasonal sweater) is a sensory jolt.
It’s a bit magical too; every lick or bite calls up the sights and sounds of childhood: The memory of an ice cream churn’s dull whir, spinning to transform a few basic ingredients into a frozen dream. (Or watching in anticipation and relief as some unlucky someone other than you hand-cranks an old contraption.) Running toward the tinkling tunes of the ice cream truck, trading allowance for something cold and colorful, eating it fast to fight the melt, slurping too quickly and suffering the dreaded brain freeze, but still keeping your smile.
Those were charmed days, and we’d all do well to not just remember the carefree attitude they represent but relax and embrace it once again. So when the temps approach triple digits, we can moan and complain with zero effect. Or we can head into the kitchen and spend a little time and effort creating our own edible AC. Be cool and choose the latter this summer, and use this month’s reader-submitted recipes to indulge in some frosty fun.
Cook of the Month: Mary Rich, North Alabama EC
Mary Beth Rich enjoys cooking for her family; it’s one way she expresses love. Her family loves that she loves cooking for them, especially her Frozen Samoa Pie, a cool treat she describes as “refreshing, rich, yummy goodness.” “It is great for family get togethers and goes really well with a cookout,” she says. “It is a big request from my family in the summer.” It’s second only to her homemade biscuits, a delight she’s now teaching her five-year-old granddaughter to make. Rich has been cooking since she was a child, and in addition to desserts and biscuits, she makes jars and jars of jellies and jams, including a few unique floral-based flavors. “I make a jelly from the blooms of Queen Anne’s Lace and one from dandelion flowers,” she said. “It tastes like honey and sunshine.”
Frozen Samoa Pie
- 50 Nilla Wafers
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- (not margarine)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4-ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Cool Whip, defrosted
- 4 cups toasted coconut, divided
- 2 cups caramel, melted and divided
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
Make crust: In a food processor, pulse Nilla wafers until they are fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl, then add butter and sugar and stir until combined. Grease a 9-inch pie plate and press in the crust mixture.
Make filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt until fully incorporated. Fold in Cool Whip. Make middle layer: In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups toasted coconut with 1 cup caramel.
Pour half the cream cheese mixture into the pie pan and cover with coconut caramel. Smooth to the edges to make a layer. Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture, then add the remaining 2 cups toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips. Drizzle with remaining caramel and melted chocolate and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Serve.
Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons carob powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg white
- 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons milk
Ice cream ingredients:
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
Directions for cookies:
Mix together flour, carob powder and baking power. In separate bowl, mix together butter, egg white, vanilla, honey and milk. Add dry ingredients and mix. Grease or oil a 9×13-inch pan. Pour batter into pan in an even layer. Bake at 320 degrees for about 20 min. Allow to cool, then cut into cookies. I used a spice container lid about 2 1/8-inches. Put cookies on plates, and place in freezer. Once firm, you can create the sandwiches.
Directions for ice cream:
Place all ingredients in one bowl. Use a hand mixer for 5 minutes, then place in freezer. Before it’s ready to serve, it’s usually a good idea to mix again so the fat doesn’t collect on top. When ice cream is frozen, remove from freezer to create sandwiches. The ice cream may need to be mashed with a spoon and stirred to make it softer and easy to spread.
Spread on one cookie and top with another. Repeat. Place back in freezer to firm up, if needed.
Joe Wheeler EMC
Piña Colada Wedges
- 18 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon rum extract
- 3½ cups (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed and divided
- 18 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
- 2 2/3 cups coconut
Beat cream cheese, sugar and rum extract until smooth. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping, pineapple with juice and 2 cups coconut. Spread mixture in an 8-inch square pan. Spread remaining whipped topping on top. Freeze 2 hours. Garnish with coconut, cherries and pineapple.
North Alabama EC
- 2 pints ice cream (brick-style)
- 1 pound, sponge or layer cake (1-inch thick)
- 5 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2/3 cup sugar
Lay ice cream bricks side by side, measure length and width. Trim cake 1-inch larger on all sides than ice cream measurements. Place cake on a piece of foil. Center ice cream on cake. Cover; freeze until firm. At serving time, beat together egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar beating after each tablespoon is added. Transfer cake with ice cream to a baking sheet. Spread with egg white mixture, sealing to edges of cake and baking sheet all around. Swirl to make peaks. Place oven rack in lowest position. Bake in a 500-degree oven about 3 minutes or until golden. Slice; serve immediately.
Tallapoosa River EC
Fresh Fruit Yogurt Pops
- 1 6-8 ounce container of vanilla Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup of berries, your choice, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped nuts, your choice
Pour yogurt into a small mixing bowl. Add berries and gently stir. Add chopped nuts and combine. Pour mixture into a push-up pop container or other pop mold. Freeze until solid. Yield: 2 pops.
North Alabama EC
Frozen Fruit Salad
- 1 can peach pie filling
- 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup Cool Whip
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Mix all and freeze in an 8-inch square pan. Leave out a few minutes before serving.
Karen Faye Fitzgerald
Joe Wheeler EMC
Coming up in August… Corn!
It’s time to spice up our recipe selection and you could be a winner! We are looking for fresh, creative recipes from readers just like you. In addition to our monthly Cook of the Month prize, beginning in January, all cooks who submit a recipe will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a gift basket full of Alabama Living merchandise. Take a look at our upcoming themes and send in your favorite recipes today!
Themes and Deadlines
September: BBQ | July 8
October: Pumpkin | Aug. 8
November: Nuts | Sept. 8
Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.