If you’ve ever made a Dairy Queen run on a hot summer night to enjoy their royal treat, the Peanut Buster Parfait, this one’s for you! I’ve added a buttery Nilla Wafer crust as the foundation for the vanilla ice cream, fudge topping, and crunchy peanuts to make a sliceable, make ahead dessert that will feed a whole crowd! This Peanut Buster Ice Cream Dessert is sure to be a hit at your next summertime get together.
How to Soften Ice Cream
One of the hardest parts of ice cream desserts is scooping all the ice cream out of the carton and spreading it into the pan. If you leave the ice cream on the counter to soften, or try to microwave it, the outside will be melty while the inside is still frozen solid. Here’s a great little hack to soften ice cream evenly: Put the carton of ice cream in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes, and it will be perfectly softened for scooping and spreading!
After you’ve put your ice cream in the fridge to soften, start to assemble the dessert by crushing the Nilla wafers into a fine crumb. I used a food processor, and added the melted butter right into the canister and pulsed once more to combine. Then press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan. Freeze.
Scoop the softened ice cream over the Nilla wafer layer, and spread into an even layer. Freeze again, at least four hours.
While the ice cream is refreezing, you can start on the homemade fudge topping. This is a really delicious recipe for hot fudge! I love adding just a bit of creamy peanut butter to it. This fudge topping is what makes this Peanut Buster Ice Cream Dessert so good! Make sure you let the fudge cool to room temperature before pouring it over the ice cream so it doesn’t melt.
The last step is just a generous sprinkle of peanuts over the top. You can use any salted, roasted peanuts, but the original Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait has Spanish red skin peanuts, so I used those. They were easy to find (Planter’s brand) at my local Walmart.
Cover and freeze the whole dish until you are ready to slice it up and serve! You’ll be so glad to have leftovers waiting for you in the freezer for another time. Enjoy!
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This Peanut Buster Ice Cream Dessert has a buttery Nilla wafer crust topped with vanilla ice cream, fudge, and crunchy peanuts!
- 2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 gallon vanilla ice cream (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups roasted Spanish red skin peanuts
For the Fudge Topping
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- Place ice cream in fridge to soften, and set a timer for 45 minutes so you don’t forget about it.
- In the meantime, add melted butter to crushed Nilla wafers and mix to combine, and then press into an even layer in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch dish. Freeze.
- When ice cream is softened, remove dish from the freezer and scoop ice cream into the pan. Use a flat spatula or bench scraper, dipped in hot water to evenly smooth the softened ice cream over the cookie layer. Freeze again until solid, about 4 hours.
- To make the fudge topping, add evaporated milk, butter, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips to a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Then keep the fudge sauce at a low boil for 8 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until completely melted. Let cool to room temperature at least one hour before topping the ice cream layer.
- Pour the cooled fudge over the ice cream layer, and the sprinkle peanuts generously over the top. Freeze again, at least four hours, or until ready to slice into squares and serve.
This recipe is inspired by Buster Bars Dessert from Valerie’s Kitchen.
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 673
- Sugar: 56g
- Sodium: 337mg
- Fat: 41g
- Saturated Fat: 21g
- Unsaturated Fat: 16.8g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 68g
- Fiber: 3.3g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 94mg
Keywords: peanut buster, ice cream dessert, vanilla ice cream, fudge topping, peanuts