Ryan Clark Bar Ice Cream Pie

Okay, the credit for this idea goes to $Bill. Bravo, very clever. It works on multiple levels.

Ryan Clark, free safety for the Steelers from 2006 to the present. Winning smile. 2008 Ed Bloc Courage Award winner. Isn't allowed to play in Denver because of sickle cell trait and a related injury he incurred during a game there in 2007. Pro Bowler. Super Bowl champ. You get the idea. 

Did I say winning smile?

Then there's the Clark Bar! A Pittsburgh original! Some might call it the distant cousin of the Butterfinger, but it's the blood relative (is that a gross food analogy?) of the Zagnut Bar. The D.L. Clark Company was founded in 1886 in Pittsburgh. The Clark Bar itself gained in popularity as it was shipped to troops during World War I, and more so when said troops returned home. Clark Bars are harder to come by these days as the manufacturers have rotated and product licensing changed hands (now made by NECCO).

After checking three corner stores, one candy store and one pharmacy, I finally scored at Wegman's, though you can order Clark Bars (or Zagnut Bars) online here. We're going to go out-of-bounds a little and borrow a recipe for a Butterfinger Ice Cream Pie, but substitute in the rare and retro Clark Bars AND use my own peanut butter-graham cracker crust. The no-bake ice cream pie is so, so easy that we can afford to put a little extra effort into the pie crust. You can use store bought peanut butter if you prefer, but I made mine from scratch using the food processor (the food processor is the real MVP of this recipe, it gets a pretty serious workout between the graham crackers, peanuts and Clark Bars). I learned the homemade peanut butter trick from this "A Cozy Kitchen" recipe. Only one ingredient: peanuts! Crazy easy. 

Finally, I ended up with almost twice as much pie crust as would fit in my 9-inch pie plate, so I stuck the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge. I adjusted the recipe to reflect this, but if you end up with excess, just save it for another pie - because what's better than one ice cream pie? Two!!

Ryan Clark Bar Ice Cream Pie

For the crust
1 sleeve graham crackers (yields about 1 cup graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup honey roasted peanuts (yields 1/3 cup peanut butter)
2 tbsp butter

For the pie filling
Recipe adapted from Big Mama's Home Kitchen
1/2 pint french vanilla ice cream
1/2 container Cool Whip/whipped topping
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts (yields 1/4 cup peanut butter)
3 Clark Bars

Pulse graham crackers in food processor until finely chopped. Whisk graham cracker crumbs with sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Grind peanuts in food processor on low until they become smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes (don't worry about cleaning food processor bowl in between ingredients, everything ultimately gets mixed together). Scrape peanut butter into bowl with crumbs and sugar. Melt butter over stovetop or in microwave and pour over mixture. (Now is a good time to take ice cream and whipped topping out of freezer and allow to thaw a bit.) Whisk everything together until throughly combined. Grease 9-inch pie plate with a little butter, pour crumb mixture in and form to fit the plate using your fingers. Place plate with crust into freezer while you prepare the pie filling. 

Pour 1/2 cup peanuts into food processor bowl and grind on low again until peanut butter forms. Scrape peanut butter into a large bowl. Scoop softened ice cream and thawed whipped topping into the bowl. Place Clark Bars in food processor and pulse until finely ground. Reserve 1/3 cup Clark Bar crumbs for topping. Pour the remaining crumbs into ice cream bowl and mix on low with hand mixer until creamy and thoroughly combined. Remove pie plate from freezer, pour in filling and top with remaining Clark Bar crumbs. Freeze for 3-4 hours until you can cut cleanly. 

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