From Dish Rachelle:
Imagine a restaurant where for years, they get your order wrong. You order chicken fingers and you get a chicken sandwich, you say hold the mayo and they bring you extra. You say “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae” but with chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. The waitress brings you Reese’s Pieces, or vanilla ice cream, or a bowl of New England clam chowder, or an extra napkin…
That was Friendly’s.
And yet, you kept going back. Like so many East Coast kids, you have childhood memories all wrapped up in Friendly’s. How you’d go every week after ballet class with your best friend and your Moms. How your grandmother would take you and always get a patty melt covered in translucent cooked onions. How your Dad always asked for sprinkles in his milkshake (aka Fribble) and called them “shots.” How when you were sick in high school, your stepfather would bring you home chicken fingers to help you feel better.
My favorite was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae and, as I learned last summer, so was Dish Erin’s. Walking through the mall on a weekend trip to South Jersey, we lost our boys to an electronics store, only to spot that faux old-timey red and white signage and make a unilateral decision to stop in for a snack. The boys caught up and, having grown up without Friendly’s on the West Coast and in NYC, they waited to be wowed. And so it began…our french fries arrived lukewarm, our Peanut Butter Cup Sundae had to be remade, and then showed up already melted, yet delicious, and don’t mind me, I’m trying to be polite because we’re sharing, and not eat all of it, and oh my god, is that a hair?
I won’t spoil Friendly’s for you by saying that it was long and black, yet nestled too deep in the sundae to be able to explain away as my own. What’s important is that I decided, once and for all, to recreate the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Sundae in my own (sanitary) kitchen. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Google “Friendly’s Peanut Butter Sauce” to find a thread on Chowhound devoted to the stuff, which is where I found a recipe to adapt.
(This recipe requires and ice cream maker. Purists will say that this should be made with vanilla ice cream, and where’s the hot fudge? I say see paragraph 1, and be happy for me that I’ll finally get my substitution on the first try.)
For the ice cream (makes 1 quart):
½ cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ tsp. salt
2 tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 egg yolks
1/3 (+) semisweet chocolate, chopped*
1 tsp. vanilla extract
*A chocoholic, I found 1/3 cup to be a little low. Tweak chocolate and sugar levels to your liking; this made a milky chocolate ice cream that tasted, because I used Nestle semisweet morsels, like Quik.
Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for tomorrow’s compensatory egg-white omelette.
Combine sugar, milk, cream, salt and cocoa powder over medium-low heat, stirring constantly so the cream doesn’t curdle. Bring to a low simmer. With the egg yolks in a separate bowl, gradually stir in about ½ cup of the hot liquid, which allows you to incorporate the eggs without them cooking. When mixed, return chocolate-y yolks to the saucepan. Heat until mixture reduces by ¼ to ½, and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla. Pour into a bowl and chill, covered, until cold all the way through, about 3 hours.
After it’s cold, the custard should look like a cross between pudding and melted ice cream. Pour into an ice cream maker – the base must be frozen – and churn for about 15 minutes. After the ice cream maker has done its work, the mixture will look frozen but loose, like soft serve. Pour it into a storage container and freeze for no less than 3 hours, preferably more.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes.
When you’re ready to serve, prepare the toppings.
For peanut butter sauce (makes about 1 cup, and file under the category of junk foods that were tastier before you knew what went in them):
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light Karo syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. peanut butter
Combine everything except the peanut butter in saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until heated. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from Chowhound (thanks, fellow addicts!)
For whipped cream:
Pour desired amount of heavy cream in a large bowl, and whip with a hand blender or electric beaters until light and fluffy. Since everything else was so sweet, I left out the sugar and added just a dash of cinnamon.
Garnish with an original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, just like at Friendly’s.