this is a great make-ahead desert.
makes 12 to 16 servings.
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 pints Häagen-Dazs® strawberry ice cream
1/3 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
whirl almonds and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until almonds are finely ground. set aside.
in a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and almond extract until soft peaks form. gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form, and sugar is dissolved. using a flexible spatula, fold in almond mixture. spread meringue on prepared pan into a rectangle approximately 8 x 11 x 1/2-inch thick. smooth and square edges.
bake in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until meringue is a light ivory color and slightly crisp. turn off oven; leave meringue in oven with door closed for 1 hour. remove from oven and cool completely.
to soften ice cream, place containers in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. scoop ice cream onto baked meringue. spread into an even layer. return to freezer.
put chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. heat in microwave oven 2 minutes, or just until chips begin to soften. knead bag to completely melt chips. snip about 1/8-inch off a bottom corner of bag. drizzle chocolate onto ice cream in a zig-zag pattern. cover with double layers of plastic wrap and return to freezer until completely re-frozen, 4 hours or overnight. to serve, cut into approximately 2 x 3-inch bars. can be made up to 3 days ahead.