Thursday, March 22, 2012

Individual Butterfinger Ice Cream Pies

When I was making this dessert, I kept thinking of the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention".  After awhile though, it occurred to me how ridiculous it was to think that those words truly applied.  One does not NEED ice cream pies.   I mean really, REALLY?  Anywhoooo...

Since moving into our new home where I can actually cook again, I have been doing so constantly.  Cooking, baking, scouring cookbooks and in all ways scheming how to create from and enjoy my kitchen in the company of others.  We have a dinner or party on the books every weekend now until Easter.  I love it, and so does Zack in case you're wondering.  Last weekend, he was hosting a guys night.  I wanted to make sure there was delicious food, without him having to do much (because he is a brilliant computer programmer, but somewhat developmentally delayed in the kitchen).  We talked for awhile and looked through my notebook of absolute winners and he chose Beef Bourguignon.  I can make it ahead, it will taste even better that way.  He can put it in the oven to warm 30 minutes before dinner, warm up smashed potatoes, toss a salad and dinner is done!

The next essential question, what about dessert?  In the "keeper" desserts section of the note book is this caramel peanut crunch ice cream pie that would bring tears to your eyes, and he promptly chose that.  Cut to time for party prep.  I was home, day 2 of being sick and really much better, but still didn't feel like getting out of my pajamas to head to the store for the ingredients that I was missing.  Here is where the turn of phrase comes in.  I thought to myself, what DO I have that would make a great ice cream pie and why in the world shouldn't I just make it from whatever I have?  I mean, you can't go wrong, can you?  Well, I don't think you can.  This recipe is for Butterfinger ice cream pies, my necessity "invention" of the day, but you could modify this in so many different ways.  No vanilla wafers?  Use graham crackers or biscotti or shortbread.  No vanilla ice cream? Well, do you have any other kind in the house?  Raid that stash of Halloween candy you are giving your kids only 1 a day of and see what you find.  Rachel has kit-kats in hers (though I deplete them slowly every time I'm there - I wonder if she'll notice?).  I happened to have crushed Butterfingers in my freezer from an ice cream sundae bar I did for a party months ago.  Or you can make your own, as Ashley does!  I also had cream and many things in which to flavor it.  You can do that too.  This peanut butter cream is particularly scrumptious.  Anyway, the point is, this is a fun method and idea for a make-ahead dessert that I think will wow.  Individual desserts are always fun, and chances are you have the stuff in your pantry and fridge to make a version right now! 

Individual Butterfinger Ice Cream Pies
An invention of Julie Hubert

Make 4 individual pies, using 4" ramekins.

for the crust:
2 oz vanilla wafers
2 oz cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 Tbl sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  If you have convection, use it here but decrease cooking time by 2 minutes.

Pulse together these ingredients in the bowl of your food processor until the wafers are uniformly crushed and mixture is uniform.  Very lightly press 1/4-1/3 cup into the bottom of each of your 4" ramekins.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool fully on a rack.

for the ganache:
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 oz chopped chocolate
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
pinch of sea salt

Place cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute to melt.  Stir to combine and add espresso powder if using.  (Espresso powder doesn't make it taste like coffee, just makes it taste better somehow)

for the topping:
2 oz cream cheese, softened (optional)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

the rest:
1 pint premium vanilla bean ice cream, softened and stirred till its more like soft serve, for spreading into ramekins.
2 crushed/chopped Butterfinger candy bars, or snickers, or chocolate covered peanuts, or whatever!

Spread 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream over the cookie crust and top with 2 Tbl of the butterfinger crumbles and a good drizzle of ganache, as much as you'd like.   Freeze for 30 minutes.  Top with 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the peanut butter topping, smooth the top and garnish with additional cookies. Serve with warm ganache if you'd like - you should have extra. :)

Four Happy Guys!


  1. Super yummy! I could use the homemade butterfinger from


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