I HEART ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

6 ounces (1½ sticks) butter, cut in bits

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut in bits

1¼ cups sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups "slow churned" reduced-fat vanilla bean ice cream, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15-by-10-inch baking sheet pan with parchment or foil; coat the liner with cooking spray.

2. Combine the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave 30 seconds and stir. Repeat 2 more times until the mixture is smooth when stirred.

3. Whisk in the sugar; when fully combined stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Transfer to the prepared pan, spreading the batter to the edges. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; 15 minutes.

4. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Use a 3-inch heart shaped cookie cutter to cut 20 hearts; cool.

5. Spread about 3 tablespoons of ice cream on each heart; top with a second heart and place on a parchment-lined tray in the freezer. Repeat with remaining ingredients and allow the sandwiches to refreeze at least 20 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 377 calories, 5 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 20 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 105 mg sodium

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NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER-CHOCOLATE-MARSHMALLOW CANDY

1 (9-ounce) bag peanut-butter filled chocolate morsels, coarsely chopped

? cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1½ cups crispy rice cereal

1 cup mini marshmallows

½ cup peanuts, coarsely chopped

1. Combine the peanut butter-filled chips, chocolate chips and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds, stir and repeat 2 or 3 more times, until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool 1 minute.

2. Stir in the cereal, marshmallows and peanuts. Scoop by the spoonful into miniature muffin cups or mini-muffin paper liners. Refrigerate at least an hour, until firm. Makes about 36 pieces.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 74 calories, 1 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 27 mg sodium

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HOMEMADE BANANA ICE CREAM SUNDAE

Plan ahead: the bananas need to be frozen first for at least 2 hours, and the ice cream should be frozen at least 4 hours.

For the ice cream:

3 ripe bananas

¼ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the sundae:

4 vanilla wafers

8 tablespoons prepared chocolate sauce

8 tablespoons whipped cream

4 maraschino cherries

1. Cut the bananas into 1-inch pieces, place in a plastic freezer bag and freeze at least 2 hours.

2. Combine the bananas and heavy cream in the food processor; blend until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and again process until smooth. Transfer to a container and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Cover the container and freeze until the ice cream is firm, about 4 hours.

3. Place a scoop of the ice cream in each of 4 bowls. Place a cookie next to the ice cream (leaning along the edge of the bowl). Spoon the sauce over the ice cream and top with a dollop of whipped cream and the cherry. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 327 calories, 2 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 83 mg sodium