There might be school supplies taking over Target, but summer is not over yet! In Minnesota, we earn our summers, so I refuse to let a second of mine go to waste! These homemade snickers ice cream bars are one of my favorite ways to celebrate these warm (sometimes sweltering) temps. Can you believe I can enjoy this type of thing on a keto diet? Doesn’t look like diet food to me.
Back when I was in college, I found in the freezer section of my local grocery store a delight called Snickers Ice Cream Bars. I used to get the minis because they’re only 90 calories! Never mind the fact that those calories include 7 grams of sugar in a tiny 24 gram package!
I used to think calories were the important part, before I learned about the effects of insulin and how to hack my body with a keto diet. Now I eat more calories and weigh less. It’s brilliant.
If you make these, even using dark chocolate instead of sugar free chocolate, you’ll only be at 2 grams of sugar for about 45 grams of bar!
Anyway, lets get to the ice cream, amirite?
Low Carb Snickers Ice Cream Bars
Snickers Ice Cream Bars are made with peanut butter ice cream, peanuts, caramel, and chocolate shell. And this homemade version is no different.
Let’s talk caramel first: We’re going to use our fantastic keto caramel sauce. You’re going to make it like I described in the post, but you’re going to add 2 extra tablespoons each of the butter and cream for a total of 6 tablespoons butter and 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) cream. That’s so you get a caramel that’s still nicely soft from the freezer.
Once that is made, you need to cool it. You can leave it at room temperature for a bit, or you can make it up to three days ahead and store it in the refrigerator. We don’t need the whole batch for this, so you can use the rest for something else, or store it in the freezer for the next time you make these.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream
This is a no-churn ice cream recipe, you guys! So never fear if you don’t have an ice cream maker.
I got the idea for the ice cream base from this peanut butter popsicle recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. It was a great place to start, but I changed up the ratios a bit over time to make it a little softer for this application.
To make the ice cream base, we cream some cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer, then slowly add cream. For best results, it’s important to stop and scrape down the bowl several times as you’re adding the cream. Once the cream has all been added, beat it on high until stiff peaks form. Then fold in your peanut butter.
I skip any sweetener in this layer because I find the caramel and chocolate to be plenty sweet. However, if you have a super intense sweet tooth and it doesn’t send you into sugar cravings, you can add your favorite low carb sweetener here.
Then you spread the base into a 9×9 pan that has 2 pieces of parchment like you see above. It’s important to put the parchment in like this because it’s going to make taking it out a heckuva lot easier once it’s frozen. So don’t skip the parchment unless you enjoy swearing and throwing things.
After the base is spread evenly (I like an offset spatula for this) sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the top, then lightly press them into the base. This will keep them from giving you problems when you cover them in chocolate.
Then you’re going to drizzle half a cup of caramel over the top. Mmmhmm.
Then throw the whole thing in the freezer for AT LEAST 3 hours. You want it to be really firm. You can easily leave these in the freezer overnight, which is what I did because it was too late in the day and I ran out of light. Hashtag food blogger problems.
Once it’s nice and frozen, lift it out using the parchment and transfer it to a cutting board. Using a big ol’ knife, cut it into 24 pieces. That’s 4 x 6, if you prefer.
Then you need two baking sheets lined with more parchment. Divide the bars evenly among the baking sheets and put them back in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.
As far as chocolate goes, you can use 85% (or more) dark chocolate, like I did, or you can use some sugar free chocolate. I’ve been most impressed with Luv chocolate when it comes to sugar free chocolate (plus, they’re local!)
Melting your chocolate with coconut oil gives it a magic-shell kind of consistency. It makes the chocolate a little thinner and it also freezes more quickly.
I melt mine in the microwave– slowly, so as not to burn it– but you can also do it in a double-boiler if that’s your preference. I find using a 14 oz ramekin is perfect for dipping these because the chocolate can be deep enough, while the bowl is still wide enough to maneuver everything.
I use a small spatula and a fork. You want to work pretty quickly, so take out just one baking sheet at a time. Put the bar topside down, then quickly flip. Use the fork to lift it out of the bowl, then tap the fork on the side of the bowl to get rid of excess chocolate.
Put the covered bars back into the freezer to set completely.
Once you get to your second tray, you might find you need to pause and reheat your chocolate quickly. Don’t microwave for more than 10 seconds, though.
I found 6.5 ounces of chocolate to be the perfect amount, but if you run out you can always melt a little more with a bit of coconut oil to finish them out.
Also prepare for your last few to not be as pretty as the first. It’s the nature of the beast. Besides, you need to have a couple to test anyway, right?
If you have a little chocolate left, you might want to flip your (totally set) bars over and double check the bottoms. I find sometimes the fork leaves areas that don’t get coated. This is totally optional– it just depends on how persnickety you are. (You can probably guess where I fall on the persnickety scale. Hint: it’s rather persnickety.)
If you want to be fancy you can take a little more chocolate, melted with a little more coconut oil, and put it in a ziptop bag, snip off a corner, and drizzle some stripes on top. I have only done this for these blog pictures because I need the clicks, yo.
But if I’m just making these for myself I don’t bother. I do not need to impress myself.
You guys. These are life. I’m so glad I can eat stuff like this.
Make these for your end-of-summer last hurrah, you guys. DO IT. You won’t regret it and you might even ask me to marry you out of gratitude.
Just make them, ok?
Low Carb Snickers Ice Cream Bars
1/2 cup keto caramel, made with 6 Tbsp. butter and 8 Tbsp cream
4 oz. (113g) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (355mL) heavy cream
1 cup (240mL) natural creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup peanuts
6.5 oz (184g) 85% dark chocolate or sugar-free chocolate
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Make caramel sauce as directed, using 6 tablespoons of butter and 8 tablespoons cream. Cool and set aside (this can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.)
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese. Slowly add heavy cream, scraping down bowl often to prevent lumps. Once all heavy cream has been added, beat the cream mixture until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in peanut butter.
Line a 9×9 inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment so the parchment hangs over each edge. Spread the peanut butter mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle evenly with peanuts, pressing lightly into the peanut butter mixture. Drizzle caramel sauce over the peanuts and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Once fully frozen, use parchment to lift the frozen ice cream out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 24 even bars. Divide bars into 2 sets of 12 and place each set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place back in the freezer while melting the chocolate.
Melt chocolate with coconut oil over a double-boiler, or in the microwave for 30 seconds, then 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.
Working with one sheet of bars at a time, dip each bar in chocolate with a fork, tapping off excess chocolate. Place back on baking sheet. When all bars are covered, return the baking sheet to the freezer and repeat with the other batch. Once chocolate has set completely, move bars into an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition: Calories: 216 kcal; Total Carbs: 5g; Fiber: 1.6g; Net Carbs: 3.4g; Protein: 5g; Fat: 20.3g