I often find the words “back in my day” tumbling out of my mouth. As enjoyable as I find these trips down memory lane, I’m not sure the person I’m forcing the reminiscence upon would say the same. Unless we happen to have a shared or similar point of reference…and then I need to watch out. Because this leisurely stroll can quickly become an all out sprint that leads to things I never expected. Case in point? Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars.
My pal Amber spoils me. Seriously. For as long as I have had the good fortune to know her, she has been a cool breeze on a warm summer day. In the midst of pain she is ready with a comforting embrace. When the Universe smiles on you, she celebrates your good news with joy and enthusiasm. When you say that you don’t know how you’re going to get through this, she reaches into her bag of tricks and gives you the tool you need [or has Amazon deliver it to your door ; ) ]. And when you randomly start talking about the Good Humor truck from back in the day, she not only skips down memory lane with you, she plants the seed in your head to recreate your favorite offering from the ice cream man. This is how her visit through town resulted in me reuniting with my old friend Strawberry Shortcake.
For me, Strawberry Shortcake was all about the outer crumb coating. The rest of the ice cream was merely the vehicle to get the crumbs in my mouth. So I got excited when Amber alerted me to the fact that there was a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake AND the Crumb Topping in a new cookbook, Classic Snacks Made From Scratch. It pretty much sparked an obsession to drown out the voice in my head screaming “I WANT IT. MAKE IT NOW!”
There’s no clever or interesting side story here. I bought the cookbook. I bought freeze dried strawberries. I bought a pint of Breyer’s Strawberry Ice Cream. I had the rest of the ingredients so I got down to business.
Eventually, the crumbs were just as good in my kitchen as they were in my memory. I say eventually because Strawberry Shortcake Crumb Topping is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I dipped a damp finger into the crumb to give them a taste and thought they were good…but something was missing. Turns out that something was the ice cream. There is a dynamic between the crumb and the ice cream that brings the crumb topping to life. Just add ice cream and it goes from being “eh” to being “hell yeah”.
By the time I had worked my way through that pint of ice cream I wasn’t just topping my Breyer’s with the crumbs. I was mixing them in like my own private Ben and Jerry’s flavor.
Strawberry Shortcake Crumb Topping
Adapted from Classic Snacks Made From Scratch
BAH Note: You’ll have to search around for freeze dried strawberries. I found mine at Wegmans. If you have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods nearby, I’d start there. Or you can save yourself some searching and just hit the online bazaar that is Amazon and have them delivered to your door.
To make the strawberry powder, pulverize the freeze dried strawberries using your method of choice – food processor, mortar and pestle, or plastic bag and rolling pin. You want the powder to be fine. Approximately 3/4 of an ounce of freeze dried strawberries will net the 3 tablespoons you need for the recipe.
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup powdered milk
- 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberry powder (see note above)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and use a fork to stir until you get clumps of crumb.
Serve on the ice cream flavor of your choice.