What comes to mind when you think of your childhood summers? Maybe going swimming with your friends, staying up late (cause hey, school’s out!), barbecues, family trips to the beach? I grew up in rural southern Arizona so I didn’t have a lot of options as a kid when it came to fun summer activities. Most often, I think of summers depicted in movies, and no movie better captured that ideal childhood summer than The Sandlot.
How could you have a better summer than these kids? New friends, plenty of baseball, chasing your crush, fireworks on the 4th of July and neighborhood block parties with the smell of grilled hot dogs in the air — summertime perfection. The Sandlot was a favorite of mine as a kid, and I still love it 21 years after it came out. It’s a classic summertime movie!
Remember the s’mores scene? That’s what I had in my head when I was creating this treat. Did I mention these would make the perfect ending to your 4th of July meal?
“You’re killing me, Smalls!”
There’s no better summertime snack than the s’more. I’ve made my fair share of s’mores-related treats for the blog already, but they had yet to include one of my favorite things, ice cream — that is, until now. Meet the s’mores ice cream sandwich! (Pssst — check out the bottom of the post for more tasty 4th of July-appropriate drinks, snacks, desserts and meal ideas!)
s’mores ice cream sandwiches
makes 12 sandwiches
12 whole graham crackers, broken into 24 squares
2 pints chocolate ice cream, slightly softened (I used Haagen Dazs’ Chocolate Chocolate Chip)
2 egg whites (60 g)
1/2 c (100 g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the sandwiches: Grab a 9″ x 13″ baking dish or half-sized sheet pan and line it in both directions with parchment paper (I know I used plastic wrap, but parchment would be easier), making sure it overlaps the edges by a few inches. Lay 12 graham cracker squares flat-side up/hole-side down on the parchment, starting in one corner and going down so that the crackers are against two of the four sides of the pan. Place them right next to each other in three rows of four crackers each.
Let the ice cream soften on the counter for 8-10 minutes, and scoop it into a medium sized bowl. Using a spatula, stir the ice cream around until it’s melty on the edges and soft enough to spread without melting too much. Carefully spread the ice cream on top of the crackers, going to the edges of the cracker layer, but not beyond it. Smooth the top as best you can, and top the ice cream layer with the remaining 12 graham cracker squares facing flat-side down / hole-side up in the same formation you used on the bottom layer.
Pull the edges of parchment paper tightly over the top layer of graham crackers, smoothing the side of the ice cream layer through the paper so that it’s level with the exposed edges of the crackers. Place the entire pan on a stable surface in your freezer, and freeze a minimum of 6 hours or overnight so that the ice cream is super frozen solid.
For the marshmallow meringue: In the bowl of a stand mixer set over a small pot of simmering water on low heat, stir the egg whites and the sugar. Whisk gently while the water under the bowl continues to simmer (but don’t let the water touch the bowl!), and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes.
Transfer the bowl to your stand mixer and with the whip attachment, beat the whites and sugar along with the salt and vanilla for 5-6 minutes on medium speed (Kitchen Aid speed 4-5), and then on high (speed 10) for 8 minutes. The meringue should be very glossy and hold stiff peaks.
For assembly: Pull the pan of frozen sandwiches from the freezer and pull away the parchment, setting the whole block of ice cream and graham crackers on a cutting board. Using a large knife dipped into hot water and wiped dry, cut the sandwiches into squares, using the square cracker edges as a guide. Place the cut sandwiches back into the freezer for a few minutes if the ice cream starts to soften too much. If they’re still solid, grab a butter knife and the bowl of meringue and gently spread a thin layer of meringue on the 4 exposed edges of ice cream, being sure to cover every bit of ice cream. Place back into the freezer for a few minutes if the sandwiches are softening too quickly.
From here, you can totally leave the sandwiches with just soft marshmallow-like meringue, but to get the authentic s’mores look and taste, carefully toast the meringue edges with a kitchen torch. Place the completed sandwiches back into the freezer if you want them to solidify a little more, or you can wrap them in small squares of parchment paper (be careful, the parchment might pull off the meringue layer). They’ll keep well for at least a week, but they’ll probably be eaten by then!
These are my kinda summer treat, y’all. Chocolate? Check. Ice cream? Check. Graham Crackers? You betcha. The toasty, marshmallow-y meringue is the crowning glory of these sweet little melty squares. I’m sure Hamilton Porter would approve! So, grab one of these ice cream sandwiches from the freezer, sit back and enjoy. I hope you’re lucky enough to eat these while surrounded by friends and family, watching some celebratory fireworks light up the warm summer night sky after scarfing down some grilled burgers or hot dogs. Sounds pretty close to a perfect Sandlot-inspired summer, if you ask me. Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everyone!
For some more 4th of July grub, check out these ideas!
Lemon-Strawberry Ice Cream
Peach Pie Ice Cream
Strawberry Balsamic + Black Pepper Popsicles
Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas
Vegan Cherry + Apricot Tart
Sparkling Fruit Sodas
Panzanella Salad with Crispy Parmesan
Potato Salad with Chives and Crispy Bacon
Mini Taco Salad Cups
Tortas de Carnitas (Roast Pork Sandwiches) with Pineapple and Pickled Onions
Cobb Salad Sandwiches with Chicken, Bacon + Hard-Boiled Egg