Early in my childhood we moved around quite a bit before settling into the house that I now call my childhood home and where my Mom still lives today. Since I was so young when we lived at all of those other houses, I have very few memories of these homes, but the memories I do have are very distinct.
Like the one house we lived in when I started Kindergarten and where we lived when my little sister was born. Or the house we lived in when I was real little, where I remember vividly watching Saturday morning cartoons with just my Mom (way before all my siblings came along).
Besides the home I grew up in, the house that I have the most memories of, was the house we lived in when I was in first grade. I loved that house for so many reasons! Because the next door neighbors had kids the same age as my sister and I; that we constantly played with. Because we didn’t have a fenced backyard and our house backed up to an enchanting and mystical wooded forest. Because it was our first house in the city we would eventually call home.
One distinct memory I have of this house was the old school ice cream truck that would come around the corner, blaring that happy, sing-song melody, every Saturday afternoon. That magical song and the anticipation of an ice cold treat brought us running! And since we have such awesome parents, of course they would let us carefully flag down the ice cream truck, hand over our hard earned allowance and pick out a delicious frozen treat.
We loved this weekly ritual! That is, until that one time my tongue got stuck to my rainbow pop because it was so cold and my Mom had to run warm water over my popsicle to melt it and quickly rip it off. (imagine a scene from a popular Christmas movie… only real life and a popsicle not a metal flag pole…)
That was a sad, sad day in my youth. That traumatizing event really put a damper on my Saturday ice cream truck love, causing me to forfeit my weekly frozen treat for weeks. But I quickly got over it, because a few weeks later I was out flagging down that big, glorious ice cream truck, forking over all my hard earned allowance for another special frozen treat (just not a rainbow pop)!
To this day, ice cream and other frozen treats remain my absolute favorite special indulgence. However, now as an adult, it is not getting my tongue stuck to a rainbow pop that is raining on my ice cream day parade, it is sensitive teeth and gums. My sensitive teeth and gums have been a real problem the last few years, making it difficult to enjoy the foods I love, especially those frozen treats (super sad for a recipe developer/food blogger). Luckily, I recently discovered at my local Kroger store the Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen. The Enamel Toothbrush is designed with ultra soft bristles, to care for sensitive teeth and the Actis Enamel Pen blocks sensitivity at the source of pain. Simply: Brush, Apply, Go! (check your local Kroger or Kroger banner store for a digital coupon so you can try it too!). Since discovering this proactive way to take care of my teeth, I have been able to enjoy all the frozen treats I want (Smile.), like biting into one of these Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches without worry!
I have always loved a classic ice cream sandwich, that simple vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two soft, rich and chocolaty cookies; but who does classic anymore these days!?! While there are several steps involved, these “trashed up” ice cream sandwiches really are quite simple to make. I started with a rich and creamy cream cheese based ice cream custard, stirred in a chunky, homemade strawberry sauce and then sandwiched the frozen ice cream in between two crispy graham crackers to get that full strawberry cheesecake effect. This special frozen treat came out absolutely amazing and will definitely be a treat we make well into the hot summer months!
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches
By Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 10-12 minutes Chill Time: Overnight plus 4 hours Churn Time: 20-25 minutes Yields: 15-20 ice cream sandwiches
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1 lemon, juiced and zested
15-20 whole graham crackers, broken in half
In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup sugar and softened cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. Let milk simmer for 1-2 minutes, then slowly beat approximately 1 cup of the hot milk into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the entire milk/cream cheese mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the ice cream custard thickens slightly, about 5-6 minutes; being careful not to let the mixture boil as the egg will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot ice cream custard through a strainer into a large bowl. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the strawberries, remaining ¼ cup sugar, lemon juice and zest. Let strawberries cook for 10-15 minutes, breaking up and mashing the strawberries with a wooden spoon or potato masher as they cook. Set aside to cool completely.
Pour cooled ice cream custard and strawberry sauce into separate containers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
After refrigeration, stir chilled custard. Churn custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 20-25 minutes, until the ice cream is soft serve consistency. Stir in chilled strawberry sauce, blending until fully combined. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
To assemble ice cream sandwiches, allow ice cream to soften to room temperature for 3-5 minutes. Line up graham crackers on a cutting board. Working quickly, scoop ice cream and place on half of the graham crackers. Top ice cream with remaining graham cracker halves. Serve immediately or wrap ice cream sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe plastic storage bag.