Best Ever Ice Cream is Butter Brickle!

Butter Brickle ice cream. This is it. Well, it may not actually be IT but it has brought back a lifetime of childhood memories and so it must be close. I’ve never seen it on grocer’s shelves (which is a big mistake) and yet I’ve never quite let go of how much I loved that delectable treat. Buttery toffee flavored ice cream with toffee bits? It’s not just an ice cream, it’s a journey through my childhood.

From the time I entered kindergarten at the age of four until we moved to a bigger home more suited for the size of our family (5 kids) when I was ten, we lived on St. Madelaine St. in Florissant, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. All of the streets in that neighborhood had Catholic names and both the Catholic church and school were within walking distance of our home. Did that have anything to do with the number of kids on our street? I don’t know but I have idyllic memories of those times; when walking outside meant finding a playmate and summer days meant trips to the community pool, playing ‘King of the Hill’ during the day and flashlight tag at night. I had a brother less than a year older than I was and another 2 years younger and I did what they did so I guess you could say I was a tomboy. One of my crowning achievements EVER was beating every single one of the boys down the hill in a road race (balloon tires and all) and I might have had reservations at first but wanting to keep up with the boys saw me swan dive from the high board and cannonball with the best of them.

But I was different from them in many ways. I loved to read and play with Barbie dolls (I was so afraid of tornadoes it was pathetic but I was a good mom…I didn’t race to the basement without those dolls!). I talked sooner than my older brother too. I remember the Sunday morning when I climbed out of my crib; grabbed our Sunday morning stollen from the kitchen table, climbed into his crib and we both finished it off but I blamed him. Oops.

Quite the trek for kids but it never seemed long!

Still, one of the summer memories that is most ingrained in me were the trips to Bergen’s Dairy on Florissant Road. I actually took a gamble they might be there but no; seems they’re long gone. Still that trip remains so familiar in my memory that I was able to recreate it with the magic of Google maps! A nice little trek for little kids…shows we worked for our ice cream! I don’t recall that I ever walked into Bergen’s and ordered anything but Butter Brickle ice cream. Oh, I recall perusing that board every single time but nothing ever held the same appeal and as evidence of true love; nothing ever has. Sadly it is unrequited love. Where has all the Butter Brickle ice cream gone? Really; why isn’t every dairy making it even if just for me?!!

I’ve found it in two local spots, neither close enough to walk to and sometimes an urge for an ice cream cone should not constitute having to make a 40 minute round trip. Maybe I wanted it all; the sense of family around me, the luxury of a warm summer night and walking lazily home, licking that amazing cone while fireflies fluttered all around us. A time when my world was at peace and seemed almost perfect.

Well, I’m grown up now…that sense of perfection is long gone and now we look for those moments of perfection to punctuate our hectic days. I thought I had found mine. One of those local shops actually agreed to provide me with their recipe and I was as excited as that schoolgirl from long ago. Until…they waffled. They thought better of it. They changed their mind. I don’t know about you but that set me on fire to make it MYSELF and I have to tell you…this is good, really, really good and in my quest to get it made I discovered some things I did not know.

Butter Brickle was the registered trademark of a toffee ice cream flavoring and of a toffee-centered chocolate-covered candy bar similar to the Heath bar. The flavor and the candy were produced by the Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy CO from Sioux Falls South Dakota. The ice cream was introduced to the world back in the 1920’s at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, NE. When the company was liquidated in the 1970’s the trademark and formula were sold to the makers of the Heath Bar whose assets were acquired by The Hershey Company in 1996. If you look closely you’ll see that the packaging on the Heath English Toffee Bits still includes a reference to this history by referring to the content as ‘Bits ‘O Brickle Toffee Bits’. I’ve seen recipes suggest using Skor candy bits covered in chocolate and I’m sure that must taste just fine but it is so not MY Butter Brickle!

I had searched for a recipe before but several were egg based and MY ice cream surely was not. One recipe that I saw repeated over and over in my Internet search called for ‘butter flavoring’ and that just seemed wrong so I took my own path. Wanting the ice cream to have a rich toffee/buttery flavor, I made a small batch of a butterscotch sauce that I cooked down until thick and brown which I then added to the ice cream base to intensify that toffee flavor profile. I had considered making my own toffee and breaking it into bits but stopped myself for a couple of reasons. First, breaking up homemade toffee into little bits seemed a disaster waiting to happen; I imagined toffee dust would ensue more than little toffee pieces. Second; without that effort at homemade candy in the mix, the ice cream was significantly easier to make and really, how much more authentic could you get then by adding the original product? This is decadent; exactly how I remember it. I’m in love.

Butter Brickle Ice Cream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A rich butter toffee flavored ice cream with toffee bits.
Ingredients
Butter Toffee Sauce:
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter Brickle Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp toffee sauce
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Heath toffee bits
  • Dash of salt
  • Additional bits for garnish if desired
Preparation
To Make the Butter Toffee Sauce:
  1. Put the butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan and stir until the butter melts.
  2. Simmer over medium low heat without stirring for three minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Allow to cool while you make the ice cream base.
To Make the Ice Cream:
  1. Warm the butter, brown sugar and half and half over medium until the butter and sugar have melted. Add the sauce and vanilla, still until thoroughly mixed and chill for a minimum of 4 hours; preferably overnight.
  2. Add the heavy cream and process the mixture in an ice cream machine.
  3. Add the toffee bits at the end of processing just to mix them in.
  4. Ripen in a container for a minimum of four hours before serving.
Notes
While this ice cream did freeze, it was never going to get as hard as some I've made but that bit of melting seemed to make it even more accurate...I also remember licking those dribbles that would find their ways down my forearm!

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been looking for this for years. Grew up outside a small town in North Colorado called Holy Oke. Every Sunday after church we’d head straight for the Sweet Shop. It was a small ice cream parlor with booths and chrome plated stools with vinyl covers. the kind that spin, but are stationary at the counter. Lunch was a Yum Yum burger (sloppy joe) with a bag of chips. But I always had to end my visit with 2 scoops of “butter brikkle ice cream”. That was the highlight. Since I can’t find it anymore, especially here in San Antonio, Texas, guess I’m gonna have to try your recipe. Thank You very much.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Very similar experience Tony except mine was a small place in Florissant, MO! Why it is not the most popular ice cream in the world is beyond me but hope you love my version as much as we did.

  2. Jesse says

    It doesn’t say how much salt to use in the toffee sauce. just to “Put the butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan…” – just checking so I don’t ruin this :-)

  3. says

    I found your recipe from a google search, and I was SO excited. I’ve been jonesing for some good old butterbrickle ice cream – I so loved it as a child. I am from MO, and although I grew up in the Kansas City area, I did live in St. Ann for several years when I was a young adult, and I’m very familiar with Florissant. What a small world! Anyway, thanks so much for this yummy recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Creative Culinary says

      It is a small world and I hope you like it…I did my best to create what is really sort of a toffee flavor ice cream with toffee bits too. Not a butter pecan base at all and certainly not using an artificial flavoring like I saw somewhere. So not MY memory! I haven’t been back to St. Louis for years; it would probably be unrecognizable!

  4. Debbie Reese says

    Funny story…I did a Google search for Butter Brickel ice cream because I was curious about the ingredients. Yours was the first one I decided to read and I read the entire post with fascination! Not only am I from St. Louis, but I totally identify with your childhood memories! I read with longing about those days of innocence and the simplicity of life. What is even more interesting is that I just bought my first quart of Butter Brickel ice cream… ever…from Oberweis. It is absolutely delicious! I’m a fan. Now, though, I may need to try making it! Thank you for the memories and the recipe, neighbor!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Nothing more fun than connecting with someone else over shared remembrances is there? I wish I could find some locally; the only way I get to enjoy it is if I make it. I’m jealous!

      BTW neighbor no more; I long ago moved to Raleigh, NC and then almost 30 years ago to Denver, CO. I still have some family there though but haven’t been back in years…I convince them to come to Colorado!

    • Creative Culinary says

      For me I not only love the taste Becca but it’s intertwined with such great memories. Why it’s my best ever!

  5. Nadia says

    I’ve made this ice cream a few times — it’s definitely my favorite — sometimes I add butterscotch syrup (couple tbsp) — this is delish, too. YUMMY thanks for sharing this one. I think it’s even better than store-bought brands. Plus I know EXACTLY what’s in it.

  6. Cheryl says

    My late Uncle Ed used to give us butter brickle when I was a kid and we’d go to visit him on the Oregon coast. I now live overseas, and the last time I came home to Portland, OR I looked for it, to no avail. I found butter pecan all OVER the place, and a disappointingly close butter toffee, but no butter brickle. Now I’m living in Paraguay, and I brought some “Bits o’Brickle” back with me, and I just finished making the base. Can’t wait for it to chill down and freeze it! The butter toffee sauce will also become a staple for me in the future… I enjoyed licking the pan once I had the 4Tbsp. of sauce I needed for the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I hope you like it Cheryl; I was sort of surprised that NO ONE had a recipe out there so this was most definitely seat of my pants winging it. Guess that’s called ‘recipe development’ huh? :)

  7. Charles Cooter says

    My Mom got me hooked on BB when I was 5 years old and have always had some in the freezer. It disappeared for awhile when I was in my 30’s. I have found out that you can still get it from Bluebunny.com. My Mom will enjoy it more if it is homemade!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I can get it from some local shops but I didn’t know Blue Bunny made it…still, homemade is the BEST. Hope Mom enjoys it!

  8. C L says

    I thought I was the only one who had a love affair with Butter Brickle ice cream! Thank you for posting your recipe. When I was a youngster and had a choice between chocolate ice cream or butter brickle, brickle always won! :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      For me there was never a choice…it was BB or nothing at all. How it ever disappeared is beyond me! :)

  9. Karen King says

    Butter brickle ice cream used to be my favorite, but alas, I cannot find it either. You have a wonderful story – I enjoyed reading it. Will be trying your recipe as soon as I eat the ice cream I already have. Thanks for sharing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I know SO many people that love it; how could it not be everywhere? I hope you enjoy it; I know we did…time to make some more!

  10. Paula says

    I haven’t been able to find Butter Brickle ice cream since I was a young adult. Thanks for this great recipe. I can now enjoy one of my favorite treats.

  11. Ava C says

    I have been missing this ice cream too, very glad I found this recipe!! I was wondering how much your recipe makes as my machine only makes 1 quart at a time. Thank you!

  12. says

    hi there, I too have enjoyed butterbrickel icecream, I was wondering can iuse a gallon of my fav icecream and turn it into a buterbrickel, I recall seeing it somewhere but can’t recall. so was wanting to see what you tought. thanks Russ

    • Creative Culinary says

      I couldn’t say Russ…I suppose if you wanted to soften some vanilla ice cream and then add the other components and re-freeze it, it would be close? Let me know if you try it.

  13. Pat Clarke says

    My mother loves, loves, loves butter brickle. It is getting harder to find and usually only High’s convenience stores have it. I did a search and found your site and this recipe. I had to look all over for the “brickle” (even was going to bang up Werther’s or melt the chocolate off of Heath bars!) until I searched online again and found them at Wegmans. I had to ask someone to help me because I did not see them as they were almost gone and way back out of view. After all of that, I made this ice cream for my mother for Thanksgiving and she loved it!! So did my sister and brother. I have never actually liked it, so I was pleasantly surprised when they all agreed that it was better than the High’s version. She even managed to get it home in good shape after a 3 hour drive. Thank you so much for this recipe and for sharing a wonderful story about it. I never knew what the “brickle” was until I read this. I wanted you to know how much this meant for me to be able to do for my mother and to have her love it so much!! I have bookmarked your blog and hope to find more recipes that will continue to make memories.

    • Creative Culinary says

      This might be the first comment I’ve ever had that made me both laugh and cry. Chuckled a bit at your quest for the ‘brickle’ but teared up at how much this meant to you and your mom…for that reason alone I’m glad I decided to just go for it…well, that and the fact that I love it so much too. I often call neighbors to come share something I’ve made that I love. I called no one. I was quiet as a mouse with my spoon and bowl of ice cream.

  14. Julie says

    How much salt? Step 1 put butter, brown sugar, cream, and salt into saucepan… I used a pinch of salt since I did not know. It seemed to turn out pretty good. Is it light brown sugar for the sauce and dark brown for the other? It seemed like the ice cream I made was a little darker than your picture so not sure if you used dark or light brown sugar in the base of the ice cream.

    It seemed to taste very good but I am giving it as a gift so I wanted to give them the recipe with the ice cream.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Oops…did I really forget salt? I was just telling my daughter last night that the hardest part of blogging recipes for me is to remember what I put into them; so many years of just cooking by taste; a pinch of this and a dash of that; now I try to take notes but this isn’t the first time I’ve messed up! It’s just a dash of salt…I’ve revised the online recipe to include that information…thank you!

  15. EA-the spicy rd says

    Love your childhood story, and love this ice cream! I am always on a search for English Toffee ice cream, my childhood favorite, but your post brought back wonderful memories for me too. I can’t believe I had forgotten all about Butter Brickle. Yum! Pinning this now. Yum, yum,yum!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’ve heard that so much…how many people forgot about it. Hard to understand but think we bloggers could bring about a resurgence!

  16. Diane Read says

    Wow some great recipes and I love the photos of the finished dish, it’s always reasuring to know what it should look like.. :))

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you Diane…and glad you stopped by. I never do the step by step business but yes, hoping that a decent photo of the results is helpful to readers.

  17. says

    Great story and what a delightful old fashioned flavor. Butter Pecan has always been a favorite and you don’t find it everywhere anymore. Now I can make this with an extra sprinkling of crunch candy.

    • Creative Culinary says

      There might be some old fashioned flavors I can live without but whoever decided ‘butter’ type ice creams were passe needs to wake up! Both are wonderful.

    • Creative Culinary says

      You are too kind but I do love your support Paula. I’m gonna open an ice cream shop right next to my bar. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      I know right…I mostly wondered how many kids would walk several blocks for an ice cream and not whine or want to bring their handheld video something? Too many I fear. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      So I’ve heard…I almost made the toffee too but wasn’t sure just how much smashing it would take without turning to powder; if you do it you MUST let me know!

  18. Margaret says

    Aren’t memories wonderful and when you make today as good as the memory it’s 10 times better. Great sounding ice cream.

  19. says

    What a wonderful story Barb! I think every one of us has a story connected with childhood and ice cream. Mine is long walks around Balboa Island licking a cone from the Jolly Roger… (sigh). As for your recipe, I think you nailed it… and you are right – American ice cream typically did not have eggs in it – as I recall, the ones that did were called “frozen custard” versus “ice cream”!
    Now, that bag of Heath butter toffee bits is calling to me from the pantry…. you know, you REALLY are not good for my productivity :-)!!!!
    Nancy@acommunaltable Most Recent Post: Hatch Chile Margarita

    • Creative Culinary says

      I always think of custard as the ice cream with eggs in it and then it’s also softer maybe. Maybe I don’t know because I’ve never made it? Probably. This is decadent; it will require a lot of sorbets in between!

  20. says

    This has been my favorite ice cream since I was a little girl growing up in the 50s. I am also surprised that it has faded away and has not been resurrected. It is a marvelous ice cream.

    I have seen it on a few ice cream shelves, and I did buy a carton of it once, but the makers got it all wrong. It was too creamy, not a bright enough flavor and had almost no brickle. Major fail in my eyes.

    I will have to try this in a month or so, to see if it matches up to my taste memory. Can’t do it before, as I am having major surgery this week.. But as soon as I am mobile enough, you can bet I will be making this!!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well the one thing I did was to put in a LOT of those brickle pieces…I always wished for more so made my own dream come true. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      Yes, I thought that was a small concession to today’s salted craze! Next up I’m actually going to see what I can do to lighten it up a bit. It is so good but sort of a once in a blue moon treat. I would prefer once a month. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      I only wish I had a photo. One of my sisters has deemed herself the owner of all things familial including family photos. It was like I never existed! :)

  21. says

    Oh yum! This is a wonderful post with stories from your childhood taking me back to thoughts of my own. In our house the ice cream flavor would have been mint chocolate chip– my mother’s favorite. I always preferred plain vanilla or maybe vanilla with something mixed in like chocolate chips. This butter brickle sounds and looks heavenly. Can’t wait to try it at my house!
    Holly Most Recent Post: Double Brownie Blast Ice Cream

  22. says

    Oh Barb, all this ice cream is making my mouth water more and more with each post but this one, this one in particular has my swooning and reliving my own childhood memories. I hadn’t thought about it in a million years but my grandmother always had butter brickle ice cream in her freezer when we were small children!! I completely forgot about that until I read your post. And why is it that no one makes that flavor anymore?!? It was my favorite as a child. Thank you for providing me a recipe to make my very own and for helping me remember what I’ve been missing all these years.
    Kate | Food Babbles Most Recent Post: Pate A Choux Swans with Vanilla Creme Patisserie ~ Daring Bakers’

    • Creative Culinary says

      You make me feel much less ancient that you have actually had it too. Whoo hoo!! Really why doesn’t someone make it…they would make a killing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      That needs to change. It’s like toffee ice cream with toffee pieces. How could that not be good huh?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I have always said that I’m sure my cavity was courtesy of a Heath Bar. Or make this ice cream…or both. I share the love.

  23. says

    I love butter brickle ice cream and you are so right, never see it in the stores. I think the closest I have found is Haagan Daz pralines and cream. Going to make this because lately I haven’t even seen pralines and cream in the grocery store. Thanks for recipe.
    Suzanne Most Recent Post: Sticky Glazed Baby Back Ribs

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