Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Grandma's Oreo dessert

Whew.  It's Wednesday, right?  Right.  What a fabulous weekend that was.  Thank you for all of the birthday wishes!  29 has gotten off to a busy and fun start.  I ran, ate (obviously), celebrated with friends and family, soaked up the sunshine in my beloved city, and even snuck in a day off at the country home (a.k.a. my parents') on Monday.

Does anyone else feel like the longer you're away the harder it is to return to the everyday routine?


Yesterday, I punched in (and out), hit the gym, made dinner, prepped lunches for the week, and tidied up the aftermath of the post-weekend-away mess.  Just when I thought it the everyday routine was back, I opened the freezer and spotted the last remaining trace of my birthday celebration.  Squee!

A single serving of one of my birthday cakes.  Yes, cakes.  As I shared on Friday, I couldn't decide between the remaining two cakes in my March July Madness bracket, so I made both!  A new recipe and an oldie but goodie.

Goodie = Grandma's legendary Oreo dessert

Though the sour cherry pie has more history attached to it, the Oreo dessert is the hands-down favorite in the Kemp family.  We request it at nearly every opportunity -- river days, Christmas and Thanksgiving, even on Grandma's birthday.  Hey, if we knew how to make it, we would've made it for her... probably.

Now, after 29 years, I finally know how to make it!  A few weeks ago, I realized I didn't have the recipe anywhere in my archives and immediately made a sweet pleading call to Grandma.  She delivered and even fielded a few phone calls when I had questions.  That lady could make this dessert in her sleep, I swear!

Layers of crushed Oreo cookies sandwiched around a thick layer of French vanilla ice cream and sticky sweet homemade sauce make one heck of a simple yet irresistable cool treat!  Every family member has a favorite part.  Crunchy cookie crumbs?  Gooey layer of sauce that hugs said cookie crumbs?  Dreamy vanilla ice cream that, when it starts to melt, acts as a second sauce.  Oh.Em.Gee.  Forget sugar plums; this is the stuff of dreams, people!

And, though they're optional, Grandma always tops hers with the cutest seasonal sprinkles -- like tiny red candy cane and green tree sprinkles -- so I followed suit with bright rainbow sprinkles.  Rainbow sprinkles are totally the bacon of the sweet foods universe.  Nearly everything improves with the addition of rainbow sprinkles, amIright?!

I've never been so thankful to see leftovers in my entire life.  That single serving of Grandma's Oreo dessert was just what I needed to reflect on the sweetest birthday yet :)

Two years ago: Tomato, corn, and cheddar pie
Three years ago: Summer vegetable frittata with goat cheese

Grandma Kemp's Oreo Dessert
-makes 12 generous servings

A few notes: Feel free to halve this recipe and use an 8-inch square pan.  If so, I'd recommend using 1 egg + 1 egg white, 3/4 cup of sugar, and 3/4 (6 Tablespoons) stick of butter for the sauce.  For the Oreos, go with 8 on the bottom and 8 on the top; I'll leave you to decide how you use the remaining 12...  Finally, if you want to take a shortcut, you can substitute store-bought butterscotch topping for the homemade sauce layer.  It won't be an exact match for flavor and consistency, but it'll do in a pinch and the result will still be pretty darn tasty!

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter or margarine
28 Oreos
Half gallon French vanilla ice cream

Crush 14 Oreos with rolling pin in plastic bag (or in a small food chopper).  Line 9-by-13-inch metal pan with crumbs.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine eggs, sugar, and butter.  Stirring constantly, cook until sauce becomes thick.  (This is not the time to multi-task, as even a moment away from this sauce could result in scrambled eggs in what should be a homemade butterscotch sauce.  Bad times!)  Sauce should be consistency of thick butterscotch or caramel.  Another way to check is to scrape the bottom of the saucepan with a spatula -- the bottom of the pan should remain visible for about 3 or 4 seconds.

Remove pan from heat and pour evenly over crumb-lined pan.  Add sliced ice cream (see pictures above) or spooned, if you prefer, on top in an even layer.  Crush remaining Oreos and spread on top, pressing flat.  Cover and freeze 4 hours or overnight before serving.

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