Ever since I was a little girl (and this is no exaggeration), I've been obsessed with an Oreo-mint dessert my family ate every summer at Mennonite camp. I know what you're thinking: "Wait, I'm sorry, did she just say Mennonite camp?"
Yeah, really. My family has deep Mennonite roots, and here's the deal: The Mennonite and Amish communities are known for ridiculously-amazing comfort food--think breads, pies, biscuits, cakes, dinner casseroles, and more-- which is one of the many reasons why I still love returning to camp with my family every summer my schedule allows.
This year, I returned to the now-famous family vacation spot (go ahead and make fun of my "Amish camp") after more than 5 missed summers, and I couldn't wait until Thursday night (the meal schedule has literally not changed in the slightest in my 23 years of life) when I knew they would serve my favorite treat of the week, simply dubbed the "Oreo-Mint Dessert."
I probably had 4 helpings at dinner that night (#noshame) and left our vacation scheming as to how I could re-create the dessert at home. Because, see, there's one difference between you and me: You walk away from your favorite restaurant after discovering an amazing dish and can't wait to return and order that dish again. I don't have that luxury. When I gawk and rave over a new (or old) favorite dish... I'm inevitably
forced, I mean, encouraged to figure out how to make my own version (and teach you people how to do it, too). Did I mention yet that I love my job? Because I do. So while the meal schedule at camp hasn't changed one bit since growing up, one thing has: I'm now an adult who develops recipes for a living, so naturally, I had to nail this one.
Okay, enough with the narrative and on to the recipe. But first, check out the drip. I'm extremely proud of that drip--just ask my roommate.
After returning from camp, I worked for several days developing my own unique version of the chocolate-mint dish: 3-Ingredient Oreo-Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches. That's right, a mere 3 ingredients are all you need for unbelievable mint-chocolate bliss straight from the Amish themselves (well, maybe not quite). Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies form a firm and stable, yet tooth-tender crust when mixed with store-bought fudge topping. After the crust sets in the freezer, mint chocolate chip ice cream (the perfect filling) is smoothed in between the cookie-brownie sandwich for a drool-worthy, impressive treat that comes together without any of the fuss of a "from-scratch" dessert.
Oh, and the whole process involves no cooking whatsoever. It's the perfect dessert when it's too hot to turn on the stove or oven--which is literally everyday here during our scorching Alabama summer.
The best part of this dessert is you can experiment with other flavors using the same construct (think chocolate-peanut butter, caramel-pretzel, and more). I'd love to hear in the comments below what you think of the original recipe and which variations you'd like to try at home.
1 (14.3-oz) package chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)
2/3 cup prepared fudge topping
1 quart mint-chocolate chip ice cream, softened
Recipe makes 9 large sandwiches or more if you cut into smaller bars.
1. Place cookies in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs begin to form. (Do not over-process, you want a mix of large and small cookie pieces). Transfer cookie crumbs to a large bowl. Add fudge topping to bowl and stir until combined.
2. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with wax or parchment paper, allowing edges of the paper to extend over sides of pan. Firmly press 1/2 of the cookie mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Place another layer of wax or parchment paper over the cookie layer; press remaining 1/2 of the cookie mixture into an even layer over the paper on top of the first cookie layer. Place another layer of wax or parchment paper over second cookie layer to cover; press firmly to adhere. Freeze at least 3 hours.
3. Lift the sides of the second layer of wax paper to remove the top cookie layer from pan; set aside. Spread softened ice cream in an even layer over bottom cookie layer in pan using a rubber spatula. Peel away both layers of paper from top cookie layer and gently place on top of ice cream layer; press firmly. Freeze 4 hours or until ice cream is firm.
4. Slice into 9 bars and serve immediately, returning any remaining sandwiches to freezer. Sandwiches, kept individually-wrapped in plastic wrap, can be kept in the freezer for up to 10 days.
Tip #1: To create even layers, dampen fingers slightly with water to make the mixture easier to spread.
Tip #2: To easily cut bars, run knife under hot water just before slicing.