Ice Cream Bars
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream (see related recipe
- 9 or 16 Popsicle sticks
- 20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
Tear off a piece of plastic wrap at least 16 inches long and press it into an 8- or 9-inch square metal baking pan. Smooth the plastic wrap so that it is contoured to the bottom and sides of the pan. There will be an overhang on one side. Spoon the ice cream into the plastic wrap¿lined pan and use your hands or the back of a spoon to press it evenly into the pan. If the ice cream is too hard, let it soften for a few minutes at room temperature. Fold the overhang over the ice cream. Cover the pan tightly with additional plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or up to 6 hours to harden the ice cream.
Form the ice cream into bars
Line a rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Remove the pan from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap. Use a knife to cut the ice cream into nine 3-inch squares or sixteen 2-inch squares. Now, using the plastic wrap overhang, lift the entire slab of ice cream out of the pan. Set the ice cream, still on the wrap, on a work surface. Use a metal spatula to separate the squares and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Insert a Popsicle stick halfway into one side of each square. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and return to the freezer for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
Make the chocolate coating
Put the chocolate and oil in a heatproof glass or stainless-steel bowl. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is barely lukewarm, 15 to 30 minutes.
Dip the ice cream bars
Remove the ice cream bars from the freezer. Working quickly, use the Popsicle stick to lift up 1 square. Dip it into the chocolate until the ice cream is completely covered. Let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Return the dipped bar to the baking sheet. Continue dipping the remaining bars. You are likely to have extra chocolate; save it for another use.
Freeze and serve the bars
Return the dipped bars, uncovered, to the freezer until the ice cream and coating have both hardened, at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. If you leave them in the freezer for longer than 2 hours, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap after they have hardened. Makes 9 large or 16 small ice cream bars.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Mastering Series, Frozen Desserts, by Melanie Barnard (Simon & Schuster, 2006).