"I Want S'more" Ice Cream and Ice Cream Sandwiches

I have a few friends who enjoy cooking as much as I do. We like trying new things and are unafraid to experiment and modify recipes. One day our discussion turned to two classic summertime desserts - ice cream and s'mores. I started thinking about combining the two - somehow incorporating chocolate and marshmallows into ice cream in a way that wouldn't make it feel or taste like rocky road.

"I want s'more" ice cream

A little research brought me to this recipe. When I was imagining a s'mores ice cream I didn't think of making a chocolate base but this recipe seemed straight forward enough. What I also liked is it didn't incorporate eggs nor did it require me to cook a custard - you know I like my simple recipes.

One thing led to another and I started wondering if one could actually toast Fluff - a fun but slightly scary idea since setting my kitchen on fire was not something I wanted to do. (The answer, by the way, is yes...)

I decided to use classic s'mores ingredients - Honey Maid graham crackers and a Hershey's bar. Fluff was a new ingredient for me. First thing I did was test out toasting Fluff under my broiler - I wanted the toasted flavor on the marshmallows to mimic a real s'mores. I lined my sheet pan with a Silpat mat, spread out the Fluff and set the broiler to its low setting. I then watched the Fluff like a hawk. Like toasting marshmallows over a campfire, it seems to go slowly at first but when the Fluff started to toast and brown, it went quickly.

"Toasted" Fluff

I made this recipe a few times and something I learned is that my ice cream maker does not like Fluff - toasted or otherwise. When added to the ice cream in the last five minutes as the directions specified, the Fluff solidifies and clumps onto the blade and the machine struggles to continue churning. I actually thought I was going to break the blade and stopped the machine.

First attempt - creamy chocolate ice cream, not much Fluff

Since most of the Fluff attached itself to the blade rather than incorporating into the ice cream I didn't think there was enough in the ice cream itself. I also couldn't really taste the graham crackers. I wanted more of those flavors to make it a s'mores ice cream and not just a chocolate ice cream with some random bits.

It's because of this problem that I came up with the idea of making an ice cream sandwich. Mixing in additional ingredients by hand wasn't an option (I was too lazy). But then I thought, why not take a couple of graham crackers, spread a bit of Fluff on each one and sandwich the ice cream between them. So simple, so delicious. Just the perfect thing to have on a warm summer evening.

Since my first attempts I've found that layering the toasted Fluff in the container, rather than trying to churn it into the ice cream, works very well and saves me from the anxiety that my ice cream maker is going to break. As I transfer the ice cream to the storage container I layer ice cream, then Fluff, then more ice cream, and so forth and so on. I mix everything a bit as I'm layering to break up the Fluff layers a bit. The Fluff never fully solidifies so it's easy to scoop.

For a friend who loves marshmallows and s'mores but is lactose intolerant I used this recipe from PBS for a dairy-free, coconut milk chocolate "ice cream" base instead. And rather than using a Hershey bar, I substituted a very dark (72% cocoa) chocolate. From all accounts this was very successful and satisfying.