When I tell you that this is probably one of the best desserts I've ever made and eaten, you must take my word for it and believe that it is PHENOMENAL. Picture it: a brownie bar, layered with ice cream, dipped in chocolate, all dipped in a warm caramel sauce. As you bite into its hard chocolatey exterior, the warm caramel that started to melt the ice cream bursts out and together, fills your mouth with rich decadence, drips down your chin, fingers, tasting like something that God made himself...all the while playing 70's porn music in your head as you take every bite. Why? Because this is food porn at its greatest.
The Eskimo Bar, as its called, was discovered while watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the Food Network, with "Chilled Perfection" being the focus of the episode. Giada de Laurentiis talked about how she encountered this glorious dessert at the Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Once I saw it, I knew I had to have it in my belly, fast. I wasn't going to go to Wyoming anytime soon, so I had to do the next best thing--make it myself.
The concept itself seemed pretty simple. Brownies, ice cream, chocolate, and caramel. Easy. I know how to make all of those things.
Instead of making a regular (ahem, boring) caramel sauce, I decided to take it up a notch by making a dulce de leche dipping sauce with rum. You know, because that's just how I roll.
SO SO GOOD.
Although I brought out two Eskimo bars, I told myself that I would only eat one of them, and the other one would only be for presentation and picture taking. Clearly, that plan failed. I ended up eating that one bar, plus one-half of the "presentation" bar, and then I called it quits.
Okay, so that was actually a complete lie. I decided to Man vs. Food it and ended up eating the whole thing.
Never in my life have I felt so satisfied, so dirty, yet so sick (from the sugar overload) and so so guilty. You know something is really good when you feel really guilty about it.
With that said, here's the recipe for my version of the Eskimo Bars! I promise you won't regret making it.
You're welcome. :)
HOMEMADE ESKIMO BARS
Brownie Layer (recipe adapted from Ready for Dessert):
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup flour
Ice Cream Layer:
About 1 1/2 pints of good quality vanilla bean ice cream (I used Haagen Daaz)
Magic Shell Layer (recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe):
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup coconut oil
Dulce de Leche Dipping Sauce:
1 can (13.4 oz) Dulce de Leche
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dark run, brandy, or bourbon
For the brownie layer, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Layer an 8-inch square pan with 2 lengths of foil, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the foil with butter.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and stir vigorously for 1 minute, until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake until the center feels almost set, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the ice cream layer, soften the ice cream for 15-20 minutes, and spread an even layer onto the brownies, smoothing the top. Place the pan in the freezer for several hours (overnight is better) until the ice cream is set and frozen.
Remove the pan from the freezer, and lift the foil with the brownies out of the pan. Using an extremely sharp knife, (I recommend keeping a bowl of hot water next to you for cleaning the knife and making cutting through frozen ice cream and brownie easier), cut the brownies into long, thin bars. (The size that you cut it is up to you.) Return the bars to the freezer to let the ice cream set again for a few hours.
For the magic shell, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is combined and has a smooth and glossy consistency.
Once the ice cream is set, it's time to dip the brownies into the chocolate. Working one at a time, gently hold the brownies by the bottom and dip them into the chocolate mixture, then place on a baking rack to allow any excess chocolate to drip. Remove them from the rack and return them to the freezer to harden the ice cream.
For the dipping sauce, place the dulce de leche, half & half, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes or until gently boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum.
When you're ready to serve, bring out the Eskimo Bars and let them sit at room temperature for about 5-7 minutes. By then the dulce de leche sauce will have cooled just enough so that you won't burn your mouth and fingers!
Dip the Eskimo Bars into the sauce and enjoy all of its wonderful goodness!
If you are unable to find dulce de leche at your grocery store, you can always make it from scratch--all you need is condensed milk! Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice's blog has an easy recipe for dulce de leche. No exploding cans involved! Alternatively, you could just buy a pre-made caramel sauce.