5 Ingredients or Fewer

Mint Chocolate Harbor Bars

September 14, 2010
5 Stars
Photo by Ty Mecham
Author Notes

Harbor Bars are enormous, chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches made with soft chocolate chip cookies. They're a Maine thing, and my sister and I grew up eating them during the summer and fantasizing about them the entire rest of the year. At one point, Harbor Bars disappeared from the local markets for about ten years, and we were heartbroken. Then a few years ago, we spotted the signature wrapper in the far corner of the freezer at the general store in town. Harbor Bars were back, and as good as ever! Below you'll find my attempt at recreating the illustrious Harbor Bar—using mint ice cream, which is my favorite (it comes in vanilla as well); feel free to use whatever ice cream flavor you like. —Merrill Stubbs

  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 4 gigantic ice cream sandwiches (serves 4 to 8, depending on how willing you are to share)
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or organic vegetable shortening
  • 1 pint mint or mint chip ice cream
  • 8 chewy chocolate chip cookies (homemade or store-bought)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Put the chocolate and the oil or shortening in a deep saucepan that is not too wide (you'll be using this to dip the ice cream sandwiches, so think about that when you choose your pot). Over the lowest heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly to incorporate the oil and make sure the chocolate doesn't burn. As soon as it is smooth, remove the chocolate from the heat and set aside, letting it slowly come to room temperature.
  2. In the meantime, soften the ice cream for a few minutes outside of the freezer. Sandwich about 1/2 cup of ice cream between two cookies, pressing firmly and smoothing the sides. Repeat with the remaining cookies and then return the sandwiches to the freezer for at least half and hour to harden.
  3. When the chocolate is cool and the ice cream sandwiches have hardened, you are ready to dip! Lay a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Working with one sandwich at a time (and leaving the rest in the freezer), place the sandwich on a slotted spoon or perforated skimmer and lower gently into the chocolate. Turn the sandwich over so that the entire thing is coated evenly in chocolate, and then lift out with the spoon, letting an excess chocolate dribble through the holes. Transfer to the baking sheet and quickly repeat with the remaining 3 sandwiches. Immediately return the sandwiches to the freezer until the chocolate sets, at least 15 minutes.

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33 Reviews

Ellen D. June 19, 2020
Having grown up on the rugged west coast of Ireland, I love the sea. I’ve always dreamed of visiting the American costal areas of the north east. Merrill Stubbs description of a childhood spent In Maine, conjures up images of sun bleached wood and the smell of the sea air. We all have a favorite childhood treat and this delectable offering seems to fit my idea of what a summer in Maine must be like. I now find myself living in Americans Deep South, and while we’re in lockdown and unable to travel, I decided to transport myself using the powers of my imagination and a harbor bar. I made the chocolate chip cookies from scratch and used a really good store bought mint ice cream, being Irish we love our milk chocolate, so that was the coating. In the ten minutes or so that it took me to eat one of these beauties, I was transported to a deserted beach under the hot southern sun.
 
MisterC June 6, 2020
Harbor Bars a Maine thing? Nope, they were made in Central CT originally. I know, I grew up about 2 miles from where they made them.
 
AlexO March 2, 2020
These look amazing, but by "enormous" cookies, can you give us an idea of just how big they are? I can make the cookies, but I need to know how large I should make them. Thanks!
 
Ellen D. June 14, 2020
I recently made these using homemade chocolate chip cookies. Each ball of cookie dough weighed 33grams, I know this because I like my cookies to be the same size. The baked cookie was slightly larger than two inches in diameter. I used slightly less than half a cup of ice cream to sandwich the cookies together. I then melted one pound of milk chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil and used it to coat the sandwiches. I used almost the entire amount of chocolate to coat six sandwiches, roughly 60grams per sandwich. This makes for a substantial dessert, they are incredibly delicious. I’m planning on leaving a review here shortly. I hope this helps!
 
Nancy M. August 11, 2018
I don't particularly like chocolate chip cookies (I know, sorry), so I never make them. I realize I could make these with a different kind of cookie, but can anyone recommend a good commercial brand of chocolate chip cookie that is chewy and would work here?
 
Ttrockwood August 12, 2018
I don’t think there is such a thing. If you need to buy some most bakeries have them.
If you start with a thinner and crisp cookie it will soften after the ice cream sandwiches are the freezer a day or two, so you could use Tate’s brand chocolate chip cookies, they’re actually excellent
 
BrianV July 24, 2017
also created in SF in 1928

https://www.itsiticecream.com/about-us
 
BrianV July 24, 2017
versus Harbor Bars that were created in the 1970's:

https://newengland.com/today/food/new-england-made/harbor-bars-chessters-and-chipsters-in-praise-of-new-england-novelties/
 
Michele L. August 17, 2013
I found them in a small grocery store, Reilly's, in New Harbor!
 
Katrina K. July 8, 2013
I remember these from 30+ years ago when I would visit Bar Harbor. It was halfway scandalous when they were mass marketed, they were always better fresh from whatever ice cream store it was that made them.
 
Michele L. July 4, 2013
Thanks Kazugi and Merrill. There is a small grocery store near our house that I'll check as well as Hannaford. Otherwise I will definitely ask around!
 
Michele L. July 4, 2013
In which Maine town did you find these? I'd love to try them. We rent a house in New Harbor and visit Damarascotta, Boothbay, etc. What stores might carry them? Hannaford?
 
Kazugi July 4, 2013
We were further north on Mount Desert Island - Northeast Harbor. The local Grocery store on Main Street (Pine Tree Market) had them there. I would think you should be able to find them were you are as well....
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. July 4, 2013
Usually I find them at smaller grocery stores, but Hannaford may have them -- I'd just ask around, as someone is sure to know!
 
Kazugi July 24, 2012
Just came back from Northeast Harbor, Maine. Tried some different flavors, but the mint is the favorite. Very happy to see a way to make them myself, as they are really good!!
 
Desiree<3 March 27, 2012
4. Eat and enjoy! '!'
 
Ms. T. October 1, 2011
Yum! I was trying to figure out how to make homemade "It's It" ice cream sandwiches--kinda like a San Francisco version of Harbor Bars--when I stumbled upon your recipe. It was really helpful--thanks for the tips! Just posted the "It's It" recipe on my blog: http://www.stillsimmering.wordpress.com/
 
tina.obie July 14, 2011
http://www.harborbars.com/
 
MsMallo July 14, 2011
You can make your own chewy choco chip cookies too, to avoid the chemicals put in store bought ones. The trick to having them be, and stay- chewy is not under baking. Rather than following a standard recipe like on the back of a bag of chips, use: 1/2 c shortening; 1/2 c softened butter; 1 cpacked brown sugar; 1/2 c granulated sugar; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 2 eggs; 1 tsp vanilla; 2 1/2 c all-purp flour; 2 c choco chips.
beat first 2 ing on high 30 sec. and sugars and baking soda, beat until combined scraping sides of bowl. beat in aggs and vanilla until combined. beat in as much flour as you can, stir in any remaining flour witha wooden spoon. stir in chips. this is for rounded tsps baked at 8-10 min at 375. They are pretty small, but you can make 'em bigger and just watch them carefully to not over bake. Nice thing, too, is that making your own you can adjust teh sizes if you want bigger or smalled Harbor Bars or all different sizes... have fun... I'll make 'em soon!
 
Belle87ad July 14, 2011
This looks amazing!! I would also like to know what kind of cookies you recommend. I can't think of any brand name cookie that is chewie. Like Pepperage farms or something?
 
fuzion July 14, 2011
where do you get the cookies from? what kind of cookies do u use?
 
tink4858 July 14, 2011
sorry : cool
 
tink4858 July 14, 2011
so, if you let the chocolate colol while making the sandwiches< won't the chocolate harden?!?!?! and they sound amazing
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. July 14, 2011
You don't want it get cold, but it will still be soft and melted at room temp (the oil helps to keep it soft).
 
tink4858 July 14, 2011
so, if you let the chocolate cool, won't it harden?!?! and they sound amazing
 
deanna1001 July 10, 2011
Wow! This week glutton for life posted recipes for mint ice cream and chocolate cookies for what she called "sammies". But coating them in chocolate takes it to a whole new level...can't wait to make enough room in my freezer to try these. Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Merrill S. July 14, 2011
You're welcome!