8 Brilliant Desserts to Make with Store-Bought Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Bars © Tina Rupp
By Kristin Donnelly Posted May 30, 2015

Whether you melt ice cream to make biscuits or spread it into a pie crust, these recipes include inspired ways to transform store-bought ice cream into an entirely new dessert. 

Whether you melt ice cream to make biscuits or spread it into a pie crust, these recipes include inspired ways to transform store-bought ice cream into an entirely new dessert. 

1. Bonbons. If you work quickly, you can coat scoops of ice cream in a chocolate shell, sprinkle with flaky salt and then re-freeze. Or, perhaps more fun, coat the scoops with popcorn or crushed candy and serve on sticks

2. Biscuits. Looking for a way to use some melted ice cream? Make these luscious biscuits for berry shortcakes. 

3. Bread pudding. Want another genius use for melted ice cream? Use it in place of custard to make bread pudding. 

4. Sandwiches. Sure, you could sandwich ice cream in store-bought cookies, but why not take it up a notch? Make them Alain Ducasse-style, sandwiching caramel ice cream in dacquoise (a crisp, nutty meringue). Bake homey cardamom-spiced oatmeal cookies or use pre-made chocolate cookie dough to create ice cream sandwich bars.

5. Boozy Float. Make a riff on a Manhattan by spiking store-bought vanilla ice cream with bourbon, whipped cream with sweet vermouth and serving both with cherry soda. 

6. Charred Banana Split. To update this sundae shop classic, grill the bananas and serve them with coffee ice cream. 

7. Pie. For an easy but impressive dessert, spread softened ice cream in a graham cracker crust and then re-freeze until sliceable. Or use a homemade brownie as the crust and top it with ice cream, caramel sauce and hot fudge sauce before freezing until firm. 

8. Terrine. Layer three types of ice cream (or even a mix of frozen yogurt and sorbet) in a plastic-wrap-lined loaf pan and freeze until you can slice into beautiful rectangles. 

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

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