I love Dairy Queen. If I had to pick my favorite place in existence on planet Earth at any given time, it would be Dairy Queen. I don’t care which one; they’re all amazing. If you’ve never been to one, then you can’t begin to comprehend my love. And even if you have, you still might not understand this complex relationship.
Our love affair began when I was as young as three years-old. Every Sunday night, my father would bring home Dairy Queen for the family to enjoy. My DQTOC (Dairy Queen Treat of Choice) always used to be a classic Oreo Blizzard: the world’s creamiest vanilla soft serve blended to frozen perfection with crushed Oreo cookies. So simple, but so tasty.
These childhood memories are probably what makes me so attached to Dairy Queen. Even today, their Blizzards give me a magical feeling of euphoria that I can’t begin to explain. I almost always get one. However, there is one other Dairy Queen treat that holds a special place in my heart: The Peanut Buster Parfait.
For those of you who don’t know (shame on you!), The Peanut Buster Parfait is constructed with layers of DQ’s amazing vanilla soft serve, rich hot fudge, and peanuts. For a nut AND hot fudge lover, this is heaven. It’s classic, not overdone.
There is a somewhat sad ending to this nostalgic stream of memories I’ve been sharing with you: currently, I live an hour and a half away from the nearest Dairy Queen. It is horrible. Everyday feels like I’m suffering from withdrawal. I have even gone as far as to go that hour and a half distance just so I could get a Blizzard. And every time I travel(which is rare), I make darn sure to stop by the nearest DQ while I have the opportunity.
However, there is some hope for those of us who cannot readily access a Dairy Queen store: Buster Bars. This is essentially a homemade, revamped version of DQ’s delicious Peanut Buster Parfait. You get the classic elements of the dessert (the vanilla ice cream, fudge, and peanuts), but you also get a few twists.
First of all, the peanuts are roasted. Roasting nuts brings out their flavor so you wind up with exponential peanut power in every bite. Secondly, the fudge sauce is homemade. Remember the Hot Fudge Sauce you whipped up a couple posts ago? Well, we’re gonna put it to good use.
Third, a good sundae needs whipped cream, so I’ll be darned if these Buster Bars don’t have some too. The original confection may not have adorned this topping, but that doesn’t mean our version can’t. That homemade whipped cream you made along with the hot fudge is going to do the job perfectly here.
Lastly, we’re throwing in an Oreo cookie crust to support all this wonderful stuff. Oreos and vanilla ice cream are made for each other, perfect for taking this dessert over the top.
Even if you have a DQ, I suggest you give this recipe a try. It has that familiar Peanut Buster flavor while packing a few new but welcome punches. This is a no-bake must-make.
A few tips before you get cooking/freezing:
- If you don’t have leftover hot fudge on hand or you don’t feel like making it, the jarred stuff will do just fine here. Feel free to take the shortcut.
- You can also use Cool Whip if you don’t want to make you’re own whipped cream, but I would still recommend the latter. Homemade whipped cream is so easy and SO MUCH BETTER than oily Cool Whip.
- You can double this recipe and make it in a 9×13″ cake pan if you’re feeding a crowd.
- If you don’t like nuts, substitute the nut layer with more crushed cookies or crushed candy of your choice. It won’t have that classic Peanut Buster taste, but it will taste like one heck of a sundae in bar-form.
- Take your ice cream out of the freezer ahead of time so it can soften!
Recipe by Colleen Bierstine
½ package Oreo cookies, crushed
4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
2-3 cups of Hot Fudge Sauce, divided (recipe here)
¾ cups peanuts
Homemade Whipped Cream (recipe here)
1. Place the Oreos in a blender or food processor. You may need to do two batches depending on the size of your blender/processor. Pulse until crushed to the texture of your liking.
2. Press the Oreos into bottom of a 8×8″ dish to make an even layer of crust.
3. Spread softened ice cream over Oreos. Place the dish in the freezer and allow time for the ice cream to freeze again.
4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Spread peanuts out in a single layer on the tray. Roast for 5 minutes, or until you can smell the peanuts in the air.
4. Warm the fudge sauce in the microwave (15-20 sec) so that it is liquefied again but not hot. Allow to cool, but do not allow to re-solidify.
5. Spread 1 cup of the melted fudge sauce on top of vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle roasted peanuts on fudge. Freeze again.
6. When ready to serve, cook remaining fudge in microwave until warm but not hot (about 20 sec). Cut buster bars into squares. Top with whipped cream and additional hot fudge.
DQ, I love you. Buster Bars, you’re awesome too.