If you’ve ever enjoyed ice cream from the Bauder Pharmacy stand at the Iowa State Fair, chances are pretty good that you’re going to melt over my next two words:
And if you have no idea what I’m talking about…
You. Are. Missing. Out.
(By the way, that’s “YAMO” for you acronym-texting, smart phone junkies. I made it up. Unless someone else already did…I don’t know. I don’t text!)
Like most fairgoers, I have my list of must-have foods to be eaten once-a-year at the fair. But unlike many fairgoers, other than a Campbell’s corndog, the rest of my list cannot be eaten on a stick. A BBQ pork sandwich dinner at the pork tent, deep-fried cheese curds, a cup of Barksdale’s cookies, the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Cattleman’s Beef Quarters (where they serve pork sausage), honey lemonade in the Ag building, and at the top of my list…..a peppermint bar from Bauder’s.
Pink peppermint-stick ice cream is piled high between two layers of crushed Oreo cookies and a layer of hot fudge, neatly wrapped in red-and-white-checkered tissue paper, and served with a spoon. (Check out a few photos at My Homemade Iowa Life.) Except for the bite or two that my sister always manages to mooch off of me, I’m not too keen on sharing this once-a-year treat. Which is kind of funny, because every year we say that we should make them at home so we can enjoy them more often than once a year.
Then we realize that we need peppermint stick ice cream, and in August, when it’s 326° outside and the humidity in Iowa makes it feel like 800°, you can’t find a winter-themed ice cream flavor in any grocery store north of the equator. I’ve checked.
So, we soon forget all about our novel idea to extend a favorite summer treat. But this year, when the first carton hit the freezer shelves at my local grocery store, I again thought of those Bauder’s peppermint bars. Since I’ve been making pie every week, I wondered about turning that peppermint bar into a pie. So I did!
For this first go-round, I went all out. Knowing that peppermint stick ice cream is a limited-time flavor, I decided making my own would allow for somewhat impromptu indulgence of this treat any time of year…dangerous I’ll admit, but for now I’ll take my chances. And for all the scratch cooking and baking I do, I realized that I had never made my own hot fudge sauce. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to start.
I had no idea how many ways there are to make hot fudge sauce, and my first attempt (that already sounds like it ends badly) wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in hot fudge. The first sauce I made with corn syrup and cocoa was a little hard and chewy when served on ice cream, likely because I overcooked it. (I had to test it, what do you expect?)
I needed a sauce to withstand the freezer without becoming too hard. I came across a recipe using sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. I wanted a more-chocolaty flavor than I got with the cocoa, so I thought I’d try it. This hot fudge was just what I wanted. So good! The real test was in the fact that I kept going back to the fridge with a spoon. (And it wasn’t for the good-for-you sautéed kale and mushroom dish on the middle shelf. Which I happen to like a lot.)
Start to finish, it took a little while to make this pie, mostly in waiting time. Waiting for the ice cream mixture to chill. Waiting for the hot fudge sauce to cool and chill. Waiting for my daughter to crush the candy canes (after waiting for her to unwrap them first – I didn’t want to eat plastic). Waiting for the ice cream to firm up in the Oreo cookie crust-lined pie plate in the freezer.
Waiting for this pie to be finished is also why you have waited to read about it. But trust me. It’s worth it!
If you don’t want to wait as long as I did, you can go the convenience route and use a premade Oreo cookie crust, store-bought peppermint-stick ice cream, and a jar of commercial hot fudge sauce (my recommendation would be Mrs. Richardson’s). Either way, you won’t have to wait until August for the Iowa State Fair to roll around again. You can enjoy this copycat version of Bauder’s famous peppermint bar – in a pie – whenever you want.
You’ll even have enough to share with your sister.
Yours in pie,
This recipe looks lengthy, but you can easily prepare each part ahead of time and assemble it all at once when you’re ready. If you decide to forego homemade and settle on convenience, you will need: a prepared Oreo cookie crust, 1 quart peppermint-stick ice cream, 8 oz. hot fudge sauce, 18 Oreo cookies (for the topping), 2 candy canes, and a partridge in a pear tree. (Just kidding on the last one. That wouldn’t be very tasty.)
Peppermint Bar Ice Cream Pie
For the crust:
18 Oreo cookies
3 T. melted butter
Pulse cookies in a food processor or place inside a re-sealable bag and crush with a rolling pin. Gradually add melted butter and combine well. Press mixture into pie plate (I used a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate) and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the ice cream:
from Itsy Bitsy Foodies, with slight changes
(This made a full 1 ½ quarts of ice cream in my machine. You'll need about 1 quart for the pie.)
3 eggs, well beaten
2 c. whole milk
1 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
3-5 drops red food coloring
1 c. crushed candy canes
In a large saucepan, beat the eggs, milk and sugar until well blended. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. It should smoothly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool completely. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, peppermint extract and food coloring. Stir until blended and refrigerate until completely chilled, for several hours or overnight.
Use a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to crush the candy canes (some will be finely crushed, others in small pieces). Following the instructions for your ice cream maker, pour the chilled mixture into your machine and process, adding crushed candy canes according to machine instructions (usually five minutes before ice cream is finished). Transfer the ice cream to a sealed container and let it ripen for several hours. Or…
At this point in making the pie, you can carefully spoon ice cream into chilled prepared cookie crust, then place in the freezer to firm up. You will need approximately one quart (4 cups) of the ice cream. Don’t overfill the pie plate! Be sure to save some room at the top of the pie plate for adding the hot fudge layer and the cookie/candy cane topping.
For the hot fudge sauce:
from Eagle Brand®(This makes 2 cups, but you'll only need 1 cup for the pie.)
1 c. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 T. butter
2 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk, butter and water in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Beat smooth with wire whisk if necessary. Stir in vanilla. Cool and store in refrigerator.
For the cookie topping:
18 Oreo cookies
2 large candy canes
Place cookies in a re-sealable bag and gently crush with a rolling pin, leaving slightly large chunks, so the cookies look more like crumbles rather than finely crushed. Set aside. Use a meat tenderizer or rolling pin to crush the candy canes, leaving mostly large chunks. Set aside.
Once the ice cream has set firm in the prepared cookie crust, slightly warm the fudge sauce in the microwave just enough to make it pourable. You don’t want it warm enough to melt the ice cream. You’ll need about 1 cup of the sauce. Carefully pour it onto the ice cream and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Carefully sprinkle on the crumbled Oreo cookies and press gently into the fudge sauce. Sprinkle on the candy cane chunks. Return pie to freezer to firm up until ready to eat.
When serving, remove pie from freezer and let it set at room temperature for 5 minutes or so, to make slicing easier.