Novelty Ice Cream Week: How to Make Your Own Klondike Bars

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Using our trusty homemade Magic Shell recipe, your very own Klondike Bars are nearly within reach...so what would you do for one? [Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

When my career of writing about food on the Internet inevitably makes me millions, I'm going to have some special requests. Among them: commissioning spooky directors like David Lynch, M. Night Shyamalan, and Tim Burton to film commercials that answer one simple question:

Go on, tell me you wouldn't watch 'em.

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But it takes more than an irresistibly catchy jingle to make the Klondike Bar one of the ice cream truck's most enduring treats. You need a top-notch chocolate coating—neither too thin nor too bulky—and quality vanilla ice cream in side. Wrap it up in foil and leave out the where-am-I-going-to-throw-this-away popsicle stick, and you have a true winner of frozen Americana.

Here's how to make an even better version at home.

First up you'll need to whip up a batch of chocolate dip for the snappy shell. Go ahead and make the full two cups. The more chocolate dip you have, the easier it'll be to dip your bars in one fell swoop.

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Next: the ice cream. Making your own Klondike Bars means you can use whatever ice cream you want, but I think vanilla pairs best with the chocolate's bittersweet flavors. Regardless of your flavor choice, stick to a high-quality ice cream that doesn't have much added air. Airy ice creams melt fast, and melty ice cream means messy Klondike Bars.

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If you're making your own ice cream, consider hardening it in a long, flat pan (like a loaf pan) lined with wax paper. Then you can turn out the hardened ice cream and cut out neat square slices. But for the purposes of this demo we'll stick to store bought ice cream, in this case Haagen Dazs.

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To start, remove the lid and plastic seal, then score the edge of the container with a sharp knife, cutting just deep enough to go through the cardboard. Peel off the container and you'll be left with a nice conic section of ice cream.

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If you're okay with round ice cream bars, just go ahead and slice the pint into circles. But if you want the signature Klondike shape you'll need to to lay the pint upside down and slice off the edges. Try to cut straight down for even squares. (Okay, I kinda failed at that, but YOU CAN DO BETTER.)

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Then lay the ice cream brick on its side and cut it into roughly three-quarter-inch squares; one pint should yield three to four servings.

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Arrange the squares on a cutting board or small aluminum sheet pan lined with wax paper. As soon as all your ice cream is laid out, get it back into the freezer as soon as possible. Move fast for minimal melting.

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Let the ice cream harden in the freezer, which—depending on your freezer's strength and the temperature in your kitchen—could take as little as 30 minutes or as long as two hours.

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Once your ice cream is firm again, take the squares out of the freezer one by one. Stab one end with a popsicle stick or fork and quickly dip it into your waiting bowl of chocolate dip. If you made your dip ahead of time, be sure to give it a quick stir to reincorporate any separated oil.

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Rotate the bar above the dip so any excess can drip off. The shell needs a good 30 seconds to completely harden—it'll go from glossy to fudgy-looking to completely matte.

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Wait 10 seconds after that, then lay the bar on a fresh sheet of wax paper and slide the fork out. Get your newly formed bar back into the freezer and pull out the next square of ice cream. Dip and repeat.

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It's best to wait half an hour before digging into your Klondike Bars. I like wrapping them in foil, both for the classic Klondike look and to protect your fingers from the chocolate shell.

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I also like holding them out in front of people and making them do humiliating things for a Klondike of their own. But you can be a better friend than that.

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