Need a new, easy way for staying cool in August (and staying in touch with your inner child)? Look to the end of the rainbow for this pot–of–gold recipe! These ice cream sandwiches will make you do the happy dance and perhaps give you leprechaun–spotting powers too.
As a kid, my brother and I referred to Lucky Charms as "Saturday morning cartoon cereal." For a couple of precious hours on our special weekend day, we would lay towels on the carpet, a foot from the tube and watch our friends the Ninja Turtles, Captain Planet, Transformers and finally the Care Bears do their thing.
That sacred time was accompanied by a sweet cereal, and looking back this feels like quite a coup for us, considering the no sugar, no TV rules and regulations that governed the rest of our week. My older, far cooler brother (I mean he would be wearing his He-Man costume at breakfast; he looked rad!) would dive into his bowl of Lucky Charms with the gusto of a hound dog, reaching for his seconds before his bowl was even empty. The Ninja Turtles were powered by pizza, Nick (my bro) was determined to be rocket-fueled by this cereal.
I was slow and precise with my precious bowl of contraband cereal. More on the cloudy speed of Friendship Bear, I let my spoon frolic into the meal, prancing a few morsels into my delighted mouth every few minutes. It would take me the full two hours to finish my Lucky Charms (I only dream of such patience with food now!). Of course, I was careful to save as many of the marshmallows for the very end — my favorite part — where I'd slurp the powder pink, sugar-flavored milk, dotted with melted mallows in one final frenzy. Life was good!
Those days are long behind me (although I still sheepishly adore the Care Bears). And yet I find myself buying Lucky Charms maybe once a year. The box is still tantalizingly friendly and seductive to children and the marshmallow to cereal ratio seems to have stayed the same. They've added an extra marshmallow to the mix, similar to when M&M's added blue to their line-up. When a heat wave recently struck and a box of Charms was in my cupboard, along with marshmallows left over from camping, as well as a pint of vanilla ice cream, an idea was born.
These Lucky Charm ice cream sandwiches are outrageous. How could something that makes guests smile so much be so sinful? They are decadent, but absolutely worth the time, effort and calories. In fact, I think I've given up the bowl/milk Charm format I embraced for so many years and moved onto this new incarnation. Make extras, you'll need them.
(And by the way, if you love marshmallows as much as I do, check this out - did you know you can buy just the marshmallows?? In bulk?!)
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups Lucky Charms cereal
1 pint French vanilla ice cream
Heat butter, marshmallows, vanilla, and salt in a large pot set over medium heat. Cook down until melted, about 5 minutes, stirring continuously with a heat-proof spatula. Turn off the heat and pour in the Lucky Charms cereal, and stir with a spatula until evenly coated with marshmallow mixture. The consistency will be very thick and slightly difficult to stir. Scoop out the Lucky Charm/marshmallow mixture onto a lipped baking pan and press down into the pan, flattening as much as possible. Your hands will be very sticky, but keep pressing down hard to create an even plain of Lucky Charms.
Allow to set/rest for about 5 minutes then cut out circular shapes using a cookie cutter. You can store the "cookies" in a sealed container for a few days at this point.
To serve, smear about 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice cream between two Lucky Charm cookies, creating a sandwich.
(Best eaten while watching cartoons.)
(Originally published August 11, 2011)