Salty Peanut-Pretzel Ice Cream Cake

My Version - made for father's day 2020
When one of my friends shared a link to this recipe I drooled. I'm not a baker or big dessert person, but love having a few things up my sleeve that will surprise people when I host a dinner.  One I haven't shared is an Oreo Cookie Cheesecake that serves 20. It's amazing and always a hit.

This recipe for Salty Peanut-Pretzel Ice Cream Cake was posted on a website called Cooking NYTimes and is credited to Yossy Arefi.  It's a wonderful mix of ice cream, peanut butter, salty pretzels and peanuts. Just listing those ingredients makes my mouth water.

The pretzels are my MEH, so may look at alternatives, but first time I try it the way it is. The one exception I might make is a small drizzle of dark chocolate on each layer.  It would add a little more visual appeal and an extra note of flavour without overpowering the other ingredients.

Be aware - it says 40 minutes plus freezing time to make, but the freezing time is significant. So while not hard you have to allow time to create this masterpiece.  You can be doing other things around the house while the first freezing takes place, or run a short errand.  But you do need to be around.

Hope this tastes as good as it sounds and looks.  I'll probably be making this for my husbands birthday which falls right on father's day as well. So if you make it before me, let me know your thoughts.

Update - made it with a few adjustments and it was absolutely fabulous. So I've updated the list of ingredients and instructions below to what I made. 

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Salty Peanut-Pretzel Ice Cream Cake 

Ingredients -

2 C                  Mini pretzels
1/2 C               Salted peanuts (preferably dry roasted)
2 T                  Light brown sugar
4 T                  Unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 Liters           High-quality vanilla ice cream
¾ C                 Natural, unsweetened peanut butter, well stirred (made my own see note)
2 T                  Honey
Caramel and Chocolate Ice Cream Syrups

1                     Aersol container of real whipped cream - not the fake stuff - from the dairy section in your store, or whip up your own from regular whipping cream. Probably about 1-1/2 cups.

Instructions - 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add pretzels, peanuts and brown sugar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse sand with a few larger pieces remaining. Pulse in the butter until well combined.

Press about 3/4 cup of the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Spread the remaining mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake crust and crumbs until light golden and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. The crust may take a bit longer to brown (another 2 to 3 minutes). Set pans on a rack to cool completely.  

When the crust and crumbs are cool, transfer 1 quart of the ice cream to a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to break it into a few pieces. Let the ice cream sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Drizzle half the peanut butter over the top and gently fold it into the ice cream, so some ribbons of peanut butter remain.

Scoop the ice cream mixture onto the cooled crust carefully, dropping by dollops to cover as much as the crust as possible. Then use an offset spatula to gently spread it to the edges of the pan, being careful not to pull the crust away from the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the top of the ice cream with 1 tablespoon of honey and use the tip of a knife or wooden skewer to swirl it as best you can into the surface of the ice cream.

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the peanut-pretzel crumbs from the baking sheet over the top and gently press them into the ice cream.  Now do a back and forth zig zag drizzle of caramel syrup followed by a back and froth zig zag drizzle of chocolate syrup.  You can have them go the same direction like in the image above or have one go top to bottom and the other side to side. Up to what you want it to look like.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the cake in the freezer.

After about an hour, soften the second quart of ice cream, and mix the remaining half of the peanut butter into it, and spread as before. Drizzle the remaining honey over the top and swirl it into the surface of the ice cream. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the peanut-pretzel crumbs  Wrap the remaining crumbs tightly and store on the counter top. You want them to stay dry and crispy.  Repeat the caramel and chocolate syrup drizzles.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and return it to the freezer to chill the cake for at least 4 hours before serving, and up to overnight.

To un-mold the cake, run a thin knife or offset spatula under hot water to warm it, and slide it around the edges of the cake. Remove the outer ring of the spring form pan. Cover the top of the cake with whipped cream. You can do it with small dollops or if you have the aersol can, you can go around the top in one long swirl from the outside edge into the centre. Sprinkle the remaining peanut-pretzel mixture around the top edge and add one last decorative drizzle of of caramel and chocolate syrups. Slice and serve.