debbi-newheadshotWhen the Lowcountry heat and humidity set in, I crave foods that are sweet and cold. And when it comes to frozen desserts only one thing comes to mind – ice cream! You may not know this, but ice cream has been around way longer than electricity.

Both Alexander the Great and Roman emperor Nero Claudius Caesar used to ask for snow flavored with fruit juice and honey. Marco Polo actually revolutionized ice cream when he tasted the frozen dessert that historians say closely resembles contemporary sherbert and took the recipe to Italy. By the 16th century, ice cream was a luxury, served only to kings and queens and not for the common-folk. What used to be a luxurious indulgence for the wealthy has now become a delicious treat for everyone. August is a great month to indulge in your favorite ice cream treat!

Frozen Caramel-Toffee Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
24 ice cream sandwiches
2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 jar caramel sauce
1 jar chocolate sauce
1 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 bag Heath toffee pieces
Spray a deep-dish 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Layer 12 ice cream sandwiches side by side in bottom of pan. Spread one container of whipped topping over the sandwiches. Drizzle half of the caramel and chocolate sauces over the whipped topping. Sprinkle with 1 cup of pecans. Repeat with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping, caramel and chocolate sauces, and pecans. Top with toffee pieces. Cover tightly and place in freezer for several hours or until firm. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and cut into squared with a sharp knife. Serves 12 to 15.

Peach Ice Cream Smoothie
1 cup sliced fresh peaches or frozen thawed peaches
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup sugar
2 cups vanilla ice cream
¾ cup milk
Blend peaches with pineapple juice and sugar until smooth. Add ice cream and blend until soft; pour in milk and pulse to mix in. Serves 2.

Pink Lemonade Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 quart vanilla ice cream
6 drops red food coloring
1 (16-ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Rosebud candy mints, for garnish
Prepare cake mix according to package directions using two 9½-inch round layer cake pans. Cool layers. Stir ice cream in a bowl to soften. Quickly stir in the food coloring and half of the lemonade concentrate. Spread evenly in a foil-lined 9½-inch round layer cake pan; freeze 2 to 3 hours or until firm. Place one cooled cake layer on a serving plate; cover with ice cream layer, then top with second layer cake. Whip the cream with the sugar and remaining concentrate until stiff. Frost sides and top of cake with the whipped cream mixture. Garnish with rosebud candy mints, if desired. Return to freezer for at least one hour before serving. Serves 8 to 12.

Ice Cream Crunch
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar, packed
3 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and brown sugar until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. In a large bowl, combine cereal, coconut and nuts. Add sugar mixture and stir until coated. Press half of mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Spread ice cream over crust. Top with remaining cereal mixture. Cover tightly and freeze until firm. Serves 12 to 15.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake
2 cups Oreo chocolate cookie crumbs, divided
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup butterscotch-flavored topping
½ gallon ice cream (any flavor), softened
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Maraschino cherries, for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup cookie crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter. Press crumb mixture on the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Spread butterscotch-favored topping over crumb crust. Top with softened ice cream. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cookie crumbs, pressing lightly. Top with whipped topping. Cover and freeze for four hours or until firm. Garnish with maraschino cherries. Serves 8 to 10.

Banana Parfait
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
2 tablespoons rum
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium bananas, ripe but firm
Vanilla or peanut butter ice cream
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, combine caramel topping, rum and cinnamon. Cut bananas in half lengthwise then cut in half again crosswise.  Add the bananas to the caramel mixture; heat through. Spoon bananas into dessert dishes; top each serving with a generous scoop of ice cream. Spoon warm caramel-rum sauce over the ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.

Butterfinger Delight
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
2 small packages French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed
6 Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Using a hand mixer, blend pudding mix into the ice cream until well blended. Spread mixture over the graham cracker crust, cover and freeze until set. Before serving, top with frozen whipped topping and sprinkle with crushed Butterfingers. Serves 12 to 15.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of two cookbooks, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon.  Debbi’s website address is She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at



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