Outrageous Eskimo Bars

If words could adequately describe the deliciousness you see before you, it would be summed up in the words I’ve translated from my eloquent husband while ice cream and caramel dribbled down his chin: “Uh, seriously, Mel, these are unreal.” And then he proceeded to steal my firstborn’s caramel sauce and eat five more. After the excitement had died down (and Brian gave Jackson his caramel back), he confessed that Eskimo bars would easily make it into his top five desserts of all time, which might possibly be the most epic statement to ever leave his dessert-loving lips. My kids? Well, they were wildly joyful at being able to dip the crackly-coated, ice cream-topped brownie into their very own special pot of warm caramel sauce. Their little lives were complete.

Have you heard of Eskimo Bars? Apparently a while ago on the Food Network show “Best Thing I Ever Ate” (do they even air that anymore??), Giada De Laurentiis expounded prolifically on her love for these crazy delicious bars she had in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I never saw the show, but my friend, Lisa, sent me her version of the recipe years ago (years, people!) and I just recently tried them. All I can say is, I am kicking myself for not trying them sooner. They really are unreal, just like Brian said.

Outrageous Eskimo Bars

Basically, you take a decadent baked brownie layer. Top it with a thick, creamy layer of good quality vanilla ice cream. Cut into rectangles and dip in a homemade magic shell mixture that hardens immediately and leaves a crisp, thin chocolate coating on the bars. Now here’s the kicker: you take the culmination of brownie, ice cream, chocolate bliss between your little fingers and dip it into luscious warm caramel sauce. It is messy. Very messy. But the absolute explosion of rich, decadent brownie sundae happening in your mouth will alleviate any worries about cleanup. Can you even stand it?

Outrageous Eskimo Bars

Now, listen. I know some of you (like me) hate the thought of dipping desserts. I get it. But I promise that the anxiety you are feeling is unwarranted! The chocolate shell mixture is so easy to work with that the dipping part is perhaps the easiest part of the recipe (but not the cleanest, not the cleanest at all). Don’t be like me and let years go by before you make these. Think of the rock star status you will earn when you serve these to your family and/or friends. And it will be well deserved. Keep in mind that you can make these start-to-finish several days or even weeks in advance and the process can be spread over several days.

While you contemplate those awesome facts, I will leave you alone as I go delve into the depths of my terribly narrow freezer and dig out the last three of these I hid away from humanity. Dark corner away from children, here I come. Oh my gosh. They are so good.

Outrageous Eskimo Bars

Outrageous Eskimo Bars

Yield: Makes about 16 bars

Outrageous Eskimo Bars

This recipe looks involved but it's actually quite easy - the trick is allowing time to freeze each step so that the ice cream doesn't melt while you are assembling and dipping. They can be made start to finish and stored in the freezer for up to a week (probably longer, actually!). Honestly, they are so worth the multiple steps: did I mention the comment "best dessert ever?"

Ingredients

    Brownie Layer:
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Ice Cream Layer:
  • 1 quart good-quality vanilla ice cream (storebought or homemade)
  • Magic Shell Layer:
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel Sauce:
  • 1-2 cups good-quality storebought or homemade caramel sauce

Directions

  1. For the brownies, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the mixture aside until it cools slightly (is warm to the touch not hot). It will look gritty but it will become smooth once the other ingredients are added. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack and then chill in the refrigerator or freezer until thoroughly cold - this will help the brownies hold up well to the ice cream layer that's coming.
  4. For the ice cream layer, soften the ice cream to spreading consistency (leaving at room temperature for 15-20 minutes should do the trick), then spread an even layer across the chilled brownies. The ice cream layer should be about an inch thick. Put the pan in the freezer until very firm (1-2 hours).
  5. For the magic shell, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the coconut oil and chocolate chips. It helps if the bowl is more tall than wide so that when you dip the bars, the chocolate mixture is deep and not super shallow. Microwave for one minute intervals at 50% power until the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture until it is smooth. It will be fairly runny.
  6. Remove the pan of brownies from the freezer. Gently lift the foil handles and remove the ice cream layered brownies from the pan. Cut the browines in half. Then, working with one half at a time (you might want to return the other half to the freezer if your kitchen is overly warm), cut rectangle into long, thin bars, about 1-inch by 4-inches. You should end up with 8 or so bars per half. Repeat with the remaining half. It is best to put all the cut bars onto a tray or plate and keep them in the refrigerator while dipping so they stay as cold as possible.
  7. Place a baking rack over a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper or even aluminum foil (to help with cleanup). Working one-by-one, gently hold the ice cream bar at the base of the brownie and dip it quickly into the chocolate shell mixture (tilt the bowl to help deepen the chocolate for easier dipping) until completely coated and place on the baking rack. Your hands will get messy but I promise it's worth it! Repeat the dipping process with each bar. After I dipped about 5-7 bars and the chocolate shell had hardened (it sets up very quickly, especially if your ice cream and brownie is very cold), I gently removed them from the cooling rack and put them in the freezer so the ice cream didn't melt and kept dipping the other bars that were waiting in the freezer.
  8. Make note that the chocolate shell mixture will want to stick to the baking rack so pry the eskimo bars carefully off the baking rack so the chocolate shell doesn't crack as you separate them from where the chocolate has hardened to the rack.
  9. When ready to serve, remove the eskimo bars from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 5-7 minutes. Warm the caramel sauce until it is runny and slightly warm but not overly hot (you don't want any burned fingers).
  10. Dip the eskimo bars in the caramel and enjoy!
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/outrageous-eskimo-bars/

Recipe Source: inspired by the famous Eskimo Bars at Snake River Grill in Jackson Hole exclaimed by Giada De Laurentiis as the “Best Thing She’s Ever Ate” sent to me by my friend Lisa H. (thanks, Lisa!)

73 Responses to Outrageous Eskimo Bars

  1. These look outrageous! I’ve got to make these for a summer cookout!

  2. heather says:

    I can attests that the brownie recipe is beyond heaven. So so good that a small one actually satisfies that brownie craving (well, once you get over how good they are and can control yourself). I think I see Eskimo bars in our future .. possibly this weekend.

  3. Becky says:

    So, I saw these right after I worked out, and I have to say that I’m glad they take a while to make or I would have eaten through that work out by immediately making and consuming these :)

    I think I might want to see if I could put these on a stick somehow. Sticks make fun food even a little more fun!

  4. Clare says:

    Thank you so much for providing a recipe for a healthy magic shell instead of that pricy chemical stuff. You sold me.

  5. Cara says:

    Oh for the love of all that is holy….these look incredible and I might just have to make these for my daughters sleepover on Friday night. 8 girls. Lord help me..

  6. Melanie says:

    Hey Mel! i LOVE your new look –the website is beautiful!! And these bars do look over the top amazing! With only 1/2 cup flour, I bet I could make a great GF version for my boys! I may have to try it out! Yum!!

  7. Jenna says:

    You’ve convinced me. (:

  8. Larissa says:

    OMG these look amazing!!! Pinning for future baking/freezing/dipping adventure!! Maybe for Mother’s Day, even. Or for our night doing dinner on vacation – that would be perfect!
    Thanks, Mel! Love your new look!

  9. Larissa says:

    What kind of ice cream did you use? It looks almost like soft serve?

  10. Mel says:

    Larissa – it looks soft probably because it had melted a bit. :) I used a good-quality vanilla ice cream from the store (can’t remember the brand but my options are limited here so it was probably Haagen-Daas or something like that).

  11. Chistine says:

    I am not familiar with using coconut oil. Would using another type of cooking oil work?

  12. Heather says:

    I have had the originals and oh my word they are out of this world. Looking forward to trying this at home.

  13. Cyndi says:

    These look amazing! I’m a little scared to do anything with ice cream but if you say their amazing then I got to make them!!! A great summer dessert!! Yum!

  14. WENDY says:

    I just started following you. These look delish. I will never make them, however, because I hate to dip!!!
    Anywho, I have a husband named Brian and a son named Jackson also! Please tell me you have a daughter named Ashlyn!!

  15. Michelle says:

    OMG, Mel, you are amazing! I will have to make these for my nephew’s graduation party this summer! I will email you soon as I have a lot to tell you too!

  16. Holy delicious!! These look super fabulous!

  17. Anne says:

    I have boys with nut allergies, and coconut oil is not an option in our house….do you know of any oil substitutes?? Thanks!

  18. Mel says:

    Christine – I think there are other homemade magic shell recipes that use butter instead. Try googling “homemade magic shell with butter.”

  19. Laurel says:

    This is amazing. I saw that episode and wrote down a note saying, we must go to Jackson hole to eat Eskimo bars. Something I’m sure would never have happened in my life. I’m so glad you posted this. Now I can fulfill that bucket list item in the comfort of my own home! Ha! You’re the best. Love the new site!

  20. I love these, and love the new site design! So fresh and clean! Sounds like your husband is about the same kind of eloquent food critic as mine :)

  21. Deb says:

    Well, let’s see how this works eggless… Wish me luck!!

  22. I want one of these!!!!!

  23. Deborah says:

    Yep – epic!! I can’t wait to try these!

  24. These are amazing! My son would love them!!

  25. Melissa says:

    Am I the only one thinking DARK chocolate here? Do you think there is a way to do that with the magic shell?

  26. Heather says:

    Oh my gosh! I saw that episode and was going to try and make them, but I totally forgot. I am going to try them for sure!

  27. Oh wow yum, these look so good!

  28. Oh my. These look amazing! Totally putting this on my “to try” list.

  29. Shannon says:

    Brownies, ice cream, chocolate, and caramel…..what could be better than that?!

  30. lisa says:

    Love love love the new website! And so glad to see these make the cut for MelsKitchenCafe :-)

  31. Megan says:

    I saw Giada talk about something similar on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and was DROOLING. Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten. I’m here in Green Bay visiting my parents, wish you were still here to meet you in person! Any food places I should hit up while I’m in town?

  32. These kind of look like Klondike Bars except a million times better! I must have them!

  33. Amanda says:

    I can’t believe that the magic shell is with Coconut oil! Love it!

  34. Oh heaven….these look incredible!! Can’t wait to make these this summer!

  35. As my son is looking over my shoulder. (Picture 10 year old boy scream here) “Mom, Mom, make those. You HAVE to make those!” I think I’m making these, lol.

  36. Lindsay says:

    I can’t stop thinking about these! Must make soon!

  37. Kathy says:

    Oh my word! Those look incredible! Very decadent! Can’t wait to try these!

  38. Roni says:

    Hey Mel! These looks awesome! I also love, love your individual serving plate you have with these and the little cup for the caramel. Do you remember where you got them by chance? I would love to get some!

  39. OH my goodness. These do look truly outrageous… and dangerous! Amazing recipe, Mel!

  40. Mel says:

    Hi Roni – it’s been a while but I’m pretty darn sure IKEA is the place for those!

  41. traci says:

    I just love seeing all your recipes all over facebook and pintrest!! So cool! And the look of your blog is awesome, you’re so inspiring… can’t wait to give these brownies a try… might have to double up my morning workout, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it!

  42. grace says:

    this is simply marvelous, mel, as is your new page design!

  43. Katie says:

    Mel, when you say “good quality ice cream” do you mean something like an all-natural vanilla Breyers, that gets rock-hard, or something softer?

  44. Mel says:

    Katie – I think I’m talking more about not buying an off brand vanilla (that tastes overly sweet and fake). Just use a brand that tastes delicious. You can soften any brand enough to spread over the bars.

  45. Annie says:

    I love all chocolate, & I’m just wondering, would the dipping chocolate be good as milk chocolate, or should i stick to the semi sweet?

  46. Mel says:

    Annie – my vote is to stick with semisweet. I’m sure you could try milk chocolate (I haven’t so I can’t vouch for the results) but the semisweet makes a perfect crackly not-too-sweet shell.

  47. Anne says:

    What do you think of using your deep, dark chocolate brownie recipe instead for the brownie layer? I know it turns out thicker than this recipe would, and maybe freezes denser? I love that one, but maybe I would love this one even more?? I might try both, you know, for posterity’s sake. I also don’t have a microwave, so will this brownie do okay on the stove? I might do it in the double boiler just in case.

    This recipe is inspiring all sorts of lovely addons, like coconut in the brownie layer, cashews pressed into the ice cream layer, and maybe even trying to integrate the caramel into the bar itself like those snickers ice cream bars… Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  48. Annie says:

    Thanks!! Can’t wait to make them!

  49. Mel says:

    Anne – my friend Lisa who gave me the recipe uses the deep, dark brownie recipe so I think it would work great since she raves about it. The brownie layer could honestly be any favorite brownie recipe. The eskimo bars are all about the combination (brownies, ice cream, chocolate covering) dipped in caramel but they could have a lot of variations and still be delicious. And yes, the stovetop would work just fine.

  50. Andra says:

    These were so delicious! I’ve been so excited to make them all week! I adore your caramel recipe and the magic shell was perfect! Tastes so much better than the nasty fake stuff. The only thing keeping us from placing these yummies into the top 5 desserts of all time for us is that the brownie recipe was just too fudgy and rich for us to then be covered in chocolate (even though it’s semi sweet) and dipped in rich caramel. I think we’d be obsessed with these using a more classic homemade brownie that’s less rich and fudgy like your ‘Easiest brownies in the world’. Something chewy and yummy but not to overpower the other delicious things going on like the shell, ice cream and of course the caramel! Obviously this is just personal preference! Also, as you mentioned, the bars stuck to the wire rack. Ours wouldn’t budge trying to pull them off the rack softly. We had to tug so they ended up much uglier than yours pictured. But that’s the story of my life. Overall I am so glad to have this recipe! They are sure to be a favorite with our personal brownie tweak. Thanks for sharing the best recipes in the world with us. We are picky picky and are so glad you are too and don’t use boxes mixes, canned soups, and other junk that tastes artificial. You are all that we need to have extremely happy and satisfied mouths and bellies!

  51. Amy Baldwin says:

    I love this, I see gluten free brownies with Breyer’s lactose free vanilla ice cream and your magic shell recipe! This would work even for those of us that can’t eat the good stuff any more!

  52. Lisa says:

    These were incredible. The brownie is amazing! A lot of the magic shell stuck to the baking rack I used but it didn’t matter as they were still delicious!!

  53. Melanie Erickson says:

    These were a HUGE hit with my family tonight! Definitely worth the time it takes to make the caramel sauce and Eskimo Bars! My kids were licking out their caramel dipping dishes when they were finished with the bars. OK….maybe I was too!

  54. Alisha says:

    These were delish! I sprayed my baking rack with cooking spray and they didn’t stick too badly. My kids loved helping with the dipping and I loved the coconut taste the oil added. I used Blue Bunny Homemade Vanilla ice cream because it’s quite simply the yummiest vanilla ever! If I were to make again, however, I would substitute another brownie recipe. I agree with a previous comment that this recipe was quite rich — more for those for a preference for dark chocolate. I used dutch process cocoa and doubled the recipe for my large family so 1 1/2 cups of cocoa for a 9×13 pan made for some dark chocolate brownies! (For those interested: I doubled the brownie recipe but the single recipe of magic shell was more than enough to cover the whole batch. I didn’t get as many cuts as Mel though. I cut the rough edges off mine and got about 20 1×4 bars for the whole 9×13 pan)

  55. JM says:

    A friend of mine told me about these and I was intrigued because i love anything caramel. I dumbed it down a bit because I am so lazy. I made Hershey’s Best Brownie recipe https://www.hersheys.com/celebrate/holidays/recipedetail.aspx?id=98 which is really good (lots of butter) and spread the ice cream on the cooled brownies. After freezing, I just drizzled the home made magic shell (made with Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate because I prefer milk choc.) over the ice cream and brownie and poured home made caramel sauce on the side. I did try other chocolates too, but the Cadbury was really luxurious with the rest of the ingredients. If you can get Trader Joe’s vanilla ice cream, it is the best, otherwise any will work. I think I used a store brand which was just great for this. For such simple ingredients you wouldn’t expect such a knock out dessert, but for some reason the combination just works. Loved these. Have to go eat some now. I think next time I won’t even bother to freeze the brownie and ice cream together. I will just plop a scoop of vanilla over a brownie and follow the rest of the steps. I’m lazy like that. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

  56. lulu says:

    These were delicious and very rich! I agree that prying the dipped bars off the baking rack is the trickiest part of the recipe. I ended up re-dipping (after they sat in the freezer again for a bit) the first few bars since so much of the magic shell came off — they were sort of ugly and lumpy, but still tasty. Do use cooking spray on the rack; it will help.

  57. Kelly says:

    Thank you for another amazing recipe! My husband took one bite and said “wow!” That pretty much sums it up. Our company was so impressed and asked for the recipe. This one is a keeper!

  58. Melanie M says:

    I made these yesterday, following the recipe exactly, and they were divine! The chocolate to ice cream to caramel to brownie ratio is just right, and we loved the dense chocolate fudgy brownies included in this recipe. We considered skipping the layering and dipping steps next time and just putting a scoop of ice cream on top of a brownie in a bowl with the magic shell and caramel on top. The taste would be the same but less messy and easier to assemble, but I was sharing with 7 kids and 3 adults this time, so anything would probably be less messy! Still, I’m dreaming about them again this morning! What a treat!

  59. Kennedy says:

    I am drooling.

  60. Kate says:

    I am actually in the process of making these right now and came across the comments regarding the magic shell sticking to the baking rack and now I’m nervous! I’m making these for my husband and in-laws for Father’s Day.

    Would setting them on Parchment paper work instead?

  61. Anne says:

    Kate – yes, parchment paper worked great for me.

    I actually wanted my caramel in the brownies, so I made the deep, dark, chocolate brownies, then added a layer of salted cashews, then a layer of buttermilk caramel sauce on top, froze it, then a thick layer of ice cream on top of that. I had a hard time cutting through the frozen brownie layer with my cake lifter spatula. The nuts and caramel in the middle made the brownie and ice cream layers separate too much, so I used short wooden skewers (for kabobs) in each one to hold them together. After dipping I just left the skewers in to make them easier to grab and inhale. Yum.

    If you use kabob skewers, this also makes them easier to dip. My strategy is to dip them, then suspend them in the air for a few seconds to let the chocolate shell harden before laying them down on your parchment or cooling rack or silicone mat, etc. This makes the chocolate less likely to come apart when you pick them up again.

    Next time I will cook nuts and caramel into the brownies themselves, and increase the coconut oil to 1 cup, making a 2 to 1 ratio chocolate to coconut oil. I doubled the recipe for the brownie portion and still had about twice the chocolate coating I needed, even doing a single batch of magic shell. As other commenters have said, the key is having enough depth in the magic shell mix to actually dip your bars.

    Later, after running out, the double caramel magnum bars were on coupon at Costco, and every time I ate one, I kept wishing I just had an awesome eskimo bar instead. This is a fabulous recipe, and well worth the extra effort, especially if you double or triple how many you make and stash them in the freezer. We had extras in the freezer for 2 weeks and they never got freezer burn or anything, even though I didn’t get the magic shell to cover the whole bars.

    Sorry for the epistle.

  62. Kate says:

    Okay, just finished these and Mel isn’t lying. These are DAMN good. I DID use the baking rack and found that if I put the bars on diagonally while they were “hardening”, hardly any magic shell peeled off.

    Also, DO follow Mel’s tip of making the brownies under-done. The toothpick should come out with wet crumbs. I lost track of time a bit after I stuck them back in the oven and they got done. Done as in I’d serve them and they’d be a nice, moist, delicious brownie. But for this recipe, keep in mind that you’re eating them frozen, so the doughier they can be coming out of the oven, the better Eskimo bar it’ll make!!!
    My brownies ended up a little hard because of baking them too long, but even despite that, I will SURELY make these again.

    Heaven.

  63. Jordan says:

    I wish I had your recipe (or your friend’s recipe) when I first attempted this back in 2010. My version is a little less fancy – brownie mix and store-bought Magic Shell – but yes, they turned out delicious!!
    http://aliceinthekitchen.com/2010/06/12/eskimo-bars-best-thing-i-ever-ate/

  64. I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this put up used to be great.
    I don’t recognize who you might be but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in case you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

  65. Caitlyn says:

    Hello- I am in the process of making these…brownie and ice cream are in the freezer awaiting the hard shell….I am wondering how long do you believe these can keep in the freezer after applying the shell? I am thinking for some time but didn’t know if you had a more specific time frame…thanks for the recipe!

  66. Mel says:

    Hi Caitlyn – I kept a few leftovers of these for at least 6 weeks and they were still great (as long as they are kept well-sealed so they don’t get freezer burn).

  67. Dijana says:

    Mel,

    When measuring the coconut oil, should it be melted or in it’s “hard” state? The coconut oil I have is solid but melts when heated up.

    Thanks!

  68. Mel says:

    Dijana – it needs to be melted.

  69. […] Recipe: Outrageous Eskimo Bars […]

  70. Adrianne says:

    I just finish doing this recipe and I can assure it´s one of the best desserts I´ve ever tried in my life! Thank you so much for the recipe! It is amazing !!!

  71. […] How To Make Eskimo Bars – If you’ve never heard of Eskimo bars before then let us tell you everything you need to know about them…fudgy brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, encased in homemade magic shell chocolate and dipped in warm caramel sauce! Utterly divine! […]

  72. Rachel Russell says:

    Ok- I messed up with my US measurements and thought a pint of vanilla ice cream was a quart (silly Canadians. ..arg) but could not go back to the store at 10 at night before Christmas Eve as would lose all sanity- so swapped the vanilla out for some chocolate peanut butter ice cream I had on hand.. and then swapped the caramel for chocolate sauce to try to match ice cream flavor.. .and HOME RUN!! So so so so fab! Will be dessert of champions if I can drive them across town tonight to our dinner before they melt! I put parchment on top of the cooling rack for drying instead of under and no problems at all with sticking- also lined the plates with parchment holding the completed and waiting-to-be-dipped ones and no sticking- AMAZING!!! Double dipped any that didn’t look perfect after the first re-freeze. We also cut them smaller for kid-sized consumers who will be already flying high from Santa chocolate by then. THANK YOU MEL!!!!!!!!!!!! Now v. excited to try them properly with vanilla and caramel now that I have mastered the ‘pint’ vs. ‘quart’ debacle. Merry Christmas!!

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