A Beautiful National Day for Summertime

Today is National Banana Split Day. Yum! Perfect dessert as we go racing headlong into the end of Summer. Have you ever wondered who came up with this delicious summer treat? Like so many recipes of old, it’s hard to say with complete certainty.

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Oh Wow – What a Simple Day!

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. I was going to skip it completely and go with something else – anything else. Have you ever tried to make an Ice Cream Sandwich using cookies and ice cream? Very messy.

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The Magic of Summertime Ice Cream

Peaches peak in July. July is in the heart of summer, and the entire month is dedicated to Ice Cream. It only makes sense that National Peach Ice Cream Day be celebrated in the middle of July.

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A Reason for Ice Cream

Did you know that today is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day? In my opinion, there are only two kinds of Vanilla Ice Cream worth eating – Vanilla Bean and French Vanilla. I remember as a kid we took turns cranking ice cream. If you didn’t crank, you didn’t get a scoop.

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Get on Board the Spumoni Ice Cream Terrain

Did you know that today is National Spumoni Day? Spumoni ranks right up there as one of my favorite Italian desserts. You can even enjoy a Spumoni inspired Baked Alaska, another of my favorites on a warm summer evening despite the fact that Baked Alaska Day is in February. But then, that’s a subject for another day, right?

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Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream with Home-Made Toffee

Okay; so now I am putting the cart before the horse so to speak. I’m getting ahead of myself – sharing a recipe that I have yet had the pleasure of playing around with. However; this is so straight forward, it’s almost fool-proof. I am so excited about the prospects of having Butter Brickle Ice Cream whenever I want that I could not wait to share.

Gunther's Ice CreamUp until a year ago, we lived just south of Sacramento. That meant we could have a cone on a warm summer’s night at Gunther’s Ice Cream parlor. If it isn’t “world-famous” it should be. Gunther’s has been around since 1940. Their ice cream is the absolute best. End of discussion. Patrons line up around the block – you stand in line for what seems to be forever!

Don’t like lines? Me either. When we lived further north, we could take a beautiful drive along the Sacramento Delta to a little hole in the wall town – Locke. In Locke, there was a little hole in the wall joint called Mel’s Mocha and Ice Cream that served up cones, shakes and malts all featuring Gunther’s Ice Cream. Needless to say, Hubby, Kiddo and I routinely made an afternoon of heading out to Locke. I always got the Butter Brickle Ice Cream in a sugar cone. Yum! I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here if you want Butter Brickle Ice Cream you have one of two choices – Gunther’s or homemade.

05-15-2016-delta-farms-8

The delta drive is not as convenient now that we’re living further south. No connection to the river I love so much. And no Butter Brickle Ice Cream – oh my! You can imagine how thrilled I was to find a recipe for my favorite Ice Cream from Chef Savvy.  She makes it all look so delicious and oh so easy at her site with beautiful step-by-step pictures. (http://chefsavvy.com/recipes/butter-brickle-ice-cream-made-with-homemade-toffee/)


Old Fashioned Butter Brickle Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee
Homemade Toffee
1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted Butter

Add brown sugar and butter to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook until a candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. If the mixture is getting too brown turn down the heat.

Pour mixture onto a silicon baking sheet and allow to cool.

Once cooled, shatter the toffee into small pieces and set aside. (Smacking the brickle with a small hammer works well. Just be sure to cover the toffee first to keep the pieces from flying about the kitchen).

Butter Brickle Ice Cream
2 Cups half and half
1½ cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at lease 4 hours or overnight. (This helps get the ice cream really cold before churning mixture).  While mixture cools, make toffee (recipe below).

Take chilled ice cream mixture out of the refrigerator and add to your ice cream maker. Follow manufactures instructions.

Once the ice cream mixture has finished, place in a freezer-safe container with a good cover. The ice cream will be soft-serve at this point. Add broken bits of Toffee and mix well with a spoon to incorporate the brickle into the ice cream. Cover and freeze for several hours until firm. Serve and enjoy.

Butter Brickle


I must admit there were certain advantages to taking a drive along the river for some ice cream. There’s the delta itself with all its different draw bridges, old river towns and the standard detour to the Delta Farmer’s market just a little further downriver. Nothing like locally grown fruits and vegetables. Now that we’ve moved from the area, a trip to the farmer’s market is an 80-mile drive. We have a lovely garden for vegetables, still I miss the fresh fruits of the delta.