Makes 12 bars


Cookie Base:
  • 2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (12 to 14 crackers)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten

    Sweet Cream:
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 6 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    To Finish:
  • 2 pints mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or finely chopped chocolate (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature


    For the best results, make these Canadian layered dessert bars a day or two in advance to be sure they're frozen solid. For a potluck, travel with the uncut bars in the pan, packed on top of ice in a cooler and cut them just before serving.

    Active time: 1 hour
    Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

    To make cookie base: Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the edges on the long sides. In a large heatproof bowl, stir together crumbs, almonds and cocoa powder. In a small pot, whisk together butter, sugar and egg, and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until just thickened and mixture reaches 165°, about 5 minutes. Stir into crumb mixture, then press firmly into prepared pan to make an even layer that covers the bottom. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

    To make sweet cream: In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, pudding mix and vanilla, and beat again, starting on low and increasing speed after the sugar is incorporated, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread evenly over cookie base and freeze again until firm, about 1 hour.

    To finish: Transfer ice cream to a large bowl and break up with a spoon. Set aside for 10 minutes to let soften, then stir to create a spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over sweet cream layer and freeze again until firm, about 1 hour.

    In a small pot, melt chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until almost smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add butter and continue stirring only until melted, briefly returning to the heat, if needed. Stir in cream until well combined. Working gently but quickly (chocolate will begin to harden when it touches the ice cream), spread evenly over ice cream layer. Freeze again for 1 hour.

    When ready to serve, use a paring knife to loosen ends, then use parchment paper to transfer bars to a cutting board. Using a slicing knife, carefully cut into rectangles. (For clean cuts, dip the knife blade into hot water and wipe dry before each cut.) Serve immediately.

    Make ahead: Prepare recipe through step 4 up to 2 weeks in advance; wrap well in plastic wrap and store in freezer. Cut bars just before serving.

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