Razzle Dazzle

With many people heading back to school this week, we tend to think of summer as a thing of the past. However, the weather tells us a different story, and frosty cool treats will still be welcomed by your family. Instead of serving simple store-bought ice cream, dress it up by creating your own exciting razzle flavors.

Try some of these enticing desserts today!

This one is for those with sophisticated taste:

Vanilla Chocolate Chestnut Ice Cream

1 1/3 cups heavy cream or topping, thawed
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
6 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter or
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur
1 qt. vanilla ice cream softened (parve or dairy)
1 cup chopped chestnuts (available ready-to-use)

In a heavy saucepan boil the cream, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced to about 1 cup. Whisk in the brown sugar and simmer the mixture, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate, mixing the mixture until it is smooth, and whisk in the butter and the liqueur. Cool slightly.

Stir chopped chestnuts and half the sauce into softened ice cream, just until swirled. Freeze.

Serve the remaining sauce warm over the ice cream.

Peanut Butter Brittle Ice Cream With Dark Chocolate Sauce

For peanut brittle:
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups roasted unsalted peanuts (about 1/2 lb.)
A pinch of salt
For the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter or
1/3 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened
Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 quart vanilla ice cream (parve or dairy)
1 cup peanut butter

To make peanut brittle:

Lightly oil a cookie sheet or line with a silpat. In a small saucepan, cook sugar over moderate heat, stirring with a fork, until melted. Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan until golden. Add peanuts and a pinch of salt, stirring until mixture is combined well (caramel will not completely coat nuts). Immediately transfer mixture to foil and cool completely about 20 minutes. Break brittle into pieces. In a food processor, pulse brittle until coarsely ground. Brittle may be made three days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Prepare sauce:

Cut butter or margarine into pieces. In a heavy saucepan, heat coffee with brown sugar over moderate heat, whisking, until sugar is dissolved. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisking until smooth. Add butter and vanilla, whisking until butter is melted.

Soften ice cream and stir in peanut brittle and peanut butter until well combined. Pour sauce generously over ice cream and serve.

Sauce keeps, covered and chilled, one week.

Simple and delicious!

Halvah Nut Razzle

1/3 cup crumbled halvah
(vanilla or plain, not chocolate)
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1/8 cup chopped roasted unsalted pistachios (shelled)
1/8 cup roasted unsalted almonds (slivered or chopped)
1/8 cup chopped roasted
unsalted cashews

Stir halvah into ice cream until well combined. Add chopped nuts and mix to combine. Freeze and serve.

This one is a hands-down fave!

Raspberry Chocolate Razzle Squares

20 chocolate-covered graham cracker cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups crumbs)
1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
1 pint raspberry sherbet, slightly softened
For the sauce:
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
¼ cup fruit liqueur

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Press cookie crumbs in bottom of sprayed pan. Bake at 375° for seven minutes. Place in refrigerator or freezer until cool.

Spread softened ice cream over cooled crust. Place spoonfuls of sherbet randomly over ice cream; swirl gently into ice cream, smoothing top with knife. If ice cream is very soft, freeze 20 minutes. Cover with foil or plastic wrap; freeze six hours or overnight.

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberry juice cocktail, sugar and cornstarch; blend well. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 15 minutes. Stir in liqueur and cool completely.

Just before serving, let dessert stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into squares; place on individual dessert plates. Spoon sauce over each serving.