Jose Mier Stumbles on a Delicious Butter Brickle Dessert

Frozen butter brickle recipe site Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA

Jose Mier, known as Sun Valley, CA’s most famous frozen dessert expert, has unearthed yet another gem: frozen butter brickle dessert on the Valerie’s Kitchen website.

Frozen butter brickle recipe site Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA
Frozen butter brickle recipe site Jose Mier Sun Valley, CA

Butter brickle, a nostalgic treat cherished by many, has a rich history and a distinctive flavor profile that combines the creamy sweetness of ice cream with the buttery crunch of toffee bits. This delightful confection has transcended generations, finding its place in the hearts and taste buds of dessert lovers around the world. In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve into the origins, evolution, and enduring popularity of butter brickle, as well as provide insights into its preparation, variations, and significance in the culinary world.

The Origins of Butter Brickle

The story of butter brickle begins in the early 20th century when it was first created as a candy. The Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is credited with inventing this delectable treat in the 1920s. The company’s founders, Luther and George Fenn, sought to create a unique and irresistible candy that would stand out in the crowded confectionery market. Their innovation led to the creation of butter brickle, a toffee candy made from butter, sugar, and almonds, which quickly gained popularity for its rich, buttery flavor and satisfying crunch.

The success of butter brickle candy soon caught the attention of ice cream makers. In the 1930s, the candy bits were incorporated into vanilla ice cream, creating a new dessert sensation that combined the smooth creaminess of ice cream with the delightful texture of toffee. This innovative combination was marketed as Butter Brickle Ice Cream, and it rapidly became a favorite among ice cream enthusiasts.

The Evolution of Butter Brickle

Over the decades, butter brickle has undergone several transformations, adapting to changing tastes and culinary trends. Initially, it was primarily enjoyed as a candy, but its integration into ice cream marked a significant turning point in its evolution. The unique blend of creamy ice cream and crunchy toffee bits created a multi-dimensional dessert experience that appealed to a wide range of palates.

During the mid-20th century, Butter Brickle Ice Cream was produced by various ice cream manufacturers, each adding their own twist to the classic recipe. Despite the variations, the core elements of buttery toffee and vanilla ice cream remained consistent, preserving the essence of butter brickle.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the availability of butter brickle declined as new flavors and trends emerged in the ice cream industry. However, its nostalgic appeal ensured that it never disappeared entirely. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in classic and retro desserts, leading to a renewed appreciation for butter brickle.

The Enduring Popularity of Butter Brickle

The timeless appeal of butter brickle lies in its unique combination of flavors and textures. The rich, buttery toffee bits provide a satisfying crunch that contrasts beautifully with the smooth, creamy ice cream. This harmonious blend of elements creates a dessert experience that is both indulgent and comforting.

Butter brickle also holds a special place in the hearts of those who grew up enjoying it as a treat. For many, it evokes fond memories of family gatherings, ice cream parlors, and carefree summer days. This sense of nostalgia has contributed to the enduring popularity of butter brickle, as people seek to recreate and share these cherished moments with new generations.

Preparing Butter Brickle

While butter brickle can be purchased ready-made from various ice cream brands and candy makers, making it at home allows for a personalized touch and an appreciation for the craftsmanship involved. Here, we will provide detailed instructions for making both butter brickle candy and Butter Brickle Ice Cream from scratch.

Butter Brickle Candy


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (optional)


  1. Prepare a Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This will prevent the toffee from sticking and make it easier to handle once it has hardened.
  2. Melt the Butter: In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add Sugar and Water: Once the butter has melted, add the granulated sugar, water, and salt to the saucepan. Stir constantly to combine the ingredients.
  4. Cook the Toffee: Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The mixture will begin to bubble and change color. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. When the mixture reaches 300°F (150°C), it is ready. This is known as the hard crack stage.
  5. Add Vanilla and Almonds: Remove the saucepan from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla extract and chopped almonds, if using. Be cautious, as the mixture will be extremely hot.
  6. Pour the Toffee: Pour the toffee mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Allow it to cool and harden completely.
  7. Break into Pieces: Once the toffee has hardened, break it into small, bite-sized pieces. Store the butter brickle candy in an airtight container.

Butter Brickle Ice Cream


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter brickle candy pieces


  1. Prepare the Ice Cream Base: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  2. Chill the Mixture: Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Chilling the mixture thoroughly will help achieve a smoother texture.
  3. Churn the Ice Cream: Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Add Butter Brickle Candy: During the last few minutes of churning, add the butter brickle candy pieces to the ice cream maker. This will evenly distribute the toffee throughout the ice cream.
  5. Freeze the Ice Cream: Transfer the churned ice cream to a lidded container and place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Scoop the Butter Brickle Ice Cream into bowls or cones and enjoy!

Variations and Modern Twists

While the classic butter brickle recipe remains beloved, creative variations and modern twists have emerged, showcasing the versatility of this timeless treat. Here are a few popular variations:

Chocolate Butter Brickle

Adding chocolate to the butter brickle recipe creates a decadent treat that combines the flavors of buttery toffee and rich chocolate. This can be achieved by drizzling melted chocolate over the toffee before it hardens or by incorporating chocolate chips into the ice cream base.

Salted Caramel Butter Brickle

The addition of sea salt enhances the buttery flavor of the toffee and adds a sophisticated twist. Salted caramel butter brickle can be made by sprinkling sea salt over the toffee before it sets or by using salted caramel sauce in the ice cream.

Butter Brickle Cheesecake

Incorporating butter brickle into a cheesecake creates a rich, creamy dessert with a delightful crunch. Butter brickle pieces can be mixed into the cheesecake batter or used as a topping for added texture and flavor.

Vegan Butter Brickle

For those following a plant-based diet, vegan butter brickle is a delicious alternative. Vegan butter and coconut cream can be used to create the toffee and ice cream, while maintaining the classic flavors and textures.

The Cultural Significance of Butter Brickle

Butter brickle holds a special place in American culinary history, particularly in the Midwest where it originated. It represents a time when small, family-owned businesses played a significant role in the confectionery and ice cream industries. The Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy Company, where butter brickle was first created, is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation of the early 20th century.

The popularity of butter brickle also reflects the broader trends in American dessert culture. During the mid-20th century, ice cream parlors and soda fountains were central to social life, serving as gathering places for families and friends. Butter brickle ice cream, with its unique combination of creamy and crunchy elements, became a favorite choice in these establishments.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in classic and retro desserts, driven by a desire for nostalgia and a return to simpler, more traditional flavors. Butter brickle has benefited from this trend, as people seek to reconnect with the flavors of their childhood and share them with new generations.

Butter Brickle in Popular Culture

Butter brickle has made its way into popular culture, often referenced in literature, television, and film as a symbol of comfort and indulgence. Its distinctive name and unique flavor have made it a memorable and beloved treat.

In the world of literature, butter brickle is occasionally mentioned in nostalgic or culinary-themed works, evoking memories of simpler times and cherished family traditions. It is often used to illustrate the enduring appeal of classic desserts and the emotional connections they foster.

Television and film have also celebrated butter brickle, with characters enjoying the treat in various scenes. Its appearance in popular media reinforces its status as a beloved and iconic dessert, further embedding it in the cultural consciousness.

The Future of Butter Brickle

As culinary trends continue to evolve, butter brickle is poised to maintain its place as a cherished and nostalgic treat. The resurgence of interest in classic desserts, combined with a growing appreciation for traditional flavors and handmade confections, ensures that butter brickle will remain relevant and beloved.

Innovative chefs and home cooks alike are exploring new ways to incorporate butter brickle into their creations, from cakes and cookies to gourmet ice cream sandwiches. The versatility of butter brickle, combined with its rich history and timeless appeal, makes it a versatile ingredient that can be adapted to a wide range of culinary applications.

Moreover, the rise of artisanal and small-batch food production has provided new opportunities for butter brickle to shine. Independent confectioners and ice cream makers are reviving the classic recipe, using high-quality ingredients and traditional methods to create butter brickle that is both nostalgic and contemporary.


Butter brickle, with its rich history and unique flavor profile, is a testament to the enduring appeal of classic confections. From its humble beginnings as a candy in the early 20th century to its status as a beloved ice cream flavor, butter brickle has captured the hearts and taste buds of dessert lovers for generations. Its combination of creamy ice cream and buttery toffee creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that is both indulgent and comforting.

As we look to the future, the timeless appeal of butter brickle ensures that it will continue to be enjoyed by new generations. Whether enjoyed in its classic form or reimagined in creative and modern ways, butter brickle remains a beloved treat that celebrates the simple pleasures of life and the joy of shared culinary traditions.