There's Independence Day, of course. We went to a great barbecue party at a friend's house. Fabulous :)
And the 4th is also my dear daughter's birthday. The whole country celebrates with fireworks JUST. FOR. HER.
(What? You thought the fireworks were for Independence Day? Sorry to burst your fantasy bubble!)
Later in the month we celebrate my birthday :) and our anniversary.
So July is just one party after another, all month long!
This year, I thought ice cream sandwiches would be fun, so I started browsing through the internet for ideas. Susan Branch had an interesting sounding recipe on her blog - Susan Branch's Ice Cream Sandwiches - but I couldn't find the ingredients here in our corner of the midwest.
So I came up with my own concoction - -
Ginger Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches
The ingredients are so simple:
For the sandwich part, you need a thin, crispy cookie. Anna's was the brand I found here, but I've seen other brands in other parts of the country. Basically, you need to look for the cookies that are sold stacked vertically in boxes like this one. These are ginger, but there are other flavors, too.
The salted caramel part needs, well, caramel. And salt. You also need a small can of evaporated milk.
And finally, the ice cream. Since my ginger cookies were already going to be fighting for attention with the salted caramel, I chose vanilla ice cream. If you had vanilla cookies, chocolate ice cream would go well.
So the first step is to lay the cookies out on a tray, pretty side down. I lined my tray with parchment paper.
You might want to have two boxes of cookies handy, because these can be pretty fragile. You might find several broken cookies.
And then you'd have to eat them instead of using them for your ice cream sandwiches.
Too bad. :)
Now unwrap your caramels (I used a 4 ounce bag) and put them in a microwave safe dish with one Tablespoon Sweetened Condensed milk.
Microwave for thirty seconds, stir, then microwave and stir at 15 second intervals until the caramel is runny. I only had to heat mine for a total of 45 seconds.
Next, drizzle the caramel on half of the cookies, and then sprinkle with coarse salt. I used a half-turn with my salt grinder.
Let the caramel cool for about ten to fifteen minutes, and then put a small scoop of ice cream on each caramel drizzled cookie. Put the other cookie on top and squish them together carefully and lightly. Be careful not to break the cookies!
You can eat them immediately (of course!), or you can put the tray in the freezer for a couple hours. Once they're completely frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag or container.
Now, if you've been paying attention, you'll notice that I only used one tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk out of the whole entire can.
And since I'm not one to waste anything I don't have to, I made Magic Cookie Bars - Mounds Candy Bar style.
Preheat your oven to 350°.
In a 9x9 square baking dish, melt 1/4 cup butter. (I just stick the baking dish in the oven while it's preheating.)
Sprinkle 1 cup graham cracker crumbs on top of the melted butter.
Sprinkle 1 cup 60% Cacoa Ghiradelli Baking Chips on top of the graham cracker crumbs.
Pour your leftover sweetened condensed milk over the chocolate chips.
Sprinkle about 1 cup flaked coconut over the whole thing (I used unsweetened coconut flakes).
Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until it's bubbly and the top is browning.
Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.
The perfect way to use leftovers, and my husband loved them!
What is your favorite way to celebrate in July?