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fried ice cream bars

Ice Cream Crunch Bars


Vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between a crispy buttery layer reminiscent of fried ice cream!


2 1/2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cups brown sugar
optional: a few shakes of cinnamon
8 tablespoons real butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (or one ‘carton’ since they keep shrinking), softened to the consistency of soft serve (see note)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil or a parchment sling, extending a little over the edges of pan.

Place Rice Krispies, pecans, coconut, and brown sugar in a 9×13 inch pan.  Drizzle butter over mixture and combine well (a fork, or clean hands work well.)  If desired, sprinkle in a few shakes of ground cinnamon and mix in.  Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking time.  Remove from oven when toasted and golden brown and let mixture cool completely.

Remove half of crispy mixture and spread remaining half in an even layer on the bottom of pan.  Gently spoon softened ice cream on top of mixture.  Use a spoon and very gently spread mixture, being careful to not lift up crisp from bottom of pan.  (see notes for a tip). Spread ice cream out evenly and then top with remaining crisp mixture.  Gently press top crisp into ice cream with hands.  Cover pan with plastic or foil and chill until firm (preferably overnight.)  When ready to serve, use foil/parchment to completely remove ice cream from pan.  Slice into squares and serve.


Softening the Ice Cream:  I’ve found it helps to tear off ice cream container and place the whole frozen block into a large bowl.  Use a sharp knife to cut it into several large chunks.  At this point you can leave it at room temperature for a while, or very carefully microwave at a low heat to gently soften, stirring in between.  The consistency you’re going for is soft serve ice cream.  It helps to stir it vigorously as it softens until it’s nice and smooth.

Spreading the Ice Cream: If you’re not careful, you will mix up your bottom layer of crisp. With your ice cream very soft and smooth, just spoon large spoonfuls as evenly as possible in your 9×13 pan.  Avoid dumping the whole thing in there at once.  Stand next to your sink with hot water running and use a large metal spoon dipped in the hot water to spread ice cream.  The eat will help it glide over the ice cream smoothly and make the process much easier!  Continue dipping and spreading until it’s smooth.  See blog post for photos of this process.