Hello Dollies are as much a part of my family as butter is a part of baking. The recipe for those delicious bars was passed down from my grandmother. I make them every year as a part of my Christmas cookie collection, and sometimes, I’ll make a random batch here and there. However, I don’t make them too often, because I want them to stay special.
For those who don’t know, a Hello Dolly is an absolutely irresistibly good bar composed of 5 layers: graham cracker crust, coconut, walnuts, chocolate chips, and sweetened condensed milk. It sounds simple, but when you bake it all together, it becomes chewy, gooey heaven. Such a simple pleasure, but such a pleasure indeed.
The only thing I love quite as much as a good Hello Dolly is integrating that beloved bar into other baked goods. In the past, I’ve made a Hello Dolly Pie and Hello Dolly Fudge. My dad in particular absolutely loves all these things since he remembers and adores Hello Dollies from his childhood. Because my dad also has a love for ice cream, I thought, why not combine the two sweets he enjoys most? And thus, my friends, Hello Dolly Ice Cream was born.
Literally every component of a Hello Dolly is at work here: toasted walnuts, toasted coconut, bits of graham cracker crust, ice cream made with sweetened condensed milk, and swirls of fudge take the place of chocolate chips. It’s pure perfection, the reincarnation of a Hello Dolly in creamy, frozen form. This stuff is just as decadent as the bar it’s based on, and just as delicious. The flavors and textures work together perfectly through the synchronization of sweet & salty, crunchy & creamy.
It’s my beloved childhood treat, frozen and served with a spoon. The only person happier than me is my father, who is begging me to make another batch this weekend.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Get my grandmother’s recipe for Classic Hello Dollies here!
- Don’t have an ice cream maker? Try topping store-bought vanilla ice cream with all the mix-ins, and you’ll get a similar effect.
- If you don’t want to wait to freeze the ice cream completely, you can serve it straight out of the ice cream maker like soft-serve.
- You can use chocolate chips in place of the fudge. I personally prefer the texture of the fudge.
- I used Wegman’s Triple Chocolate Dessert Sauce in this, and it was absolutely incredible, hands-down the best fudge sauce I’ve had.
Hello Dolly Ice Cream
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Yield: 1.5 quarts
- 4 cups cream or half-and-half
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 10-oz. jar hot fudge (I recommend Wegman’s Triple Chocolate Dessert Sauce)
- In a large bowl, combine cream or half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Spread the coconut and walnuts out in an even layer on the other baking sheet.
- Bake graham cracker “crust” and the walnuts/coconut for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool. Break the graham cracker “crust” into pieces.
- When ice cream mixture is chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s direction. It will be the consistency of soft serve. Immediately transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the graham cracker crust crumbs, walnuts, coconut, and the fudge just until combined. Do not over mix or you will melt the ice cream and blend the fudge in. Immediately transfer to an airtight container and freeze until it reaches your desired firmness, at least two hours or more. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.