Balboa Bars

Published December 13, 2011. Updated August 17, 2017

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If you’ve ever been to Southern California chances are you have had a Balboa Bar, if not you’ve been missing out =).  They are a deliciously amazing vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate and coated in your choice of topping.  I adore them!  My personal favorites are almond and toffee.  One thing I love about this ice cream bar, and making it at home, is the nearly endless possibilities of topping and the ability to even switch up the ice cream flavor.  You could make these for the upcoming Christmas holiday with peppermint ice cream, chocolate coating and crushed peppermint candies.  Or, you could do a cookies and cream bar with cookies and cream ice cream, chocolate or white chocolate coating and crushed Oreos (that would be delish).  These are a bit of work (more waiting than work =), but they are totally worth it!  If you’ve never tried a Balboa Bar you need to try these, and if you’ve been lucky enough to have a Balboa Bar before now you are in luck, you can make them at home!  Also, if you have leftover dipping chocolate, I’d recommend dipping bananas and sprinkling them with toppings and freezing them (another delightful treat they sale along with balboa bars).

Homemade Balboa Bars

For this recipe I followed the directions from Williams-Sonoma’s site, but I made a few of my own changes.  I used 20 oz. milk chocolate chips (rather than 20 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped) and I used 6 Tbsp canola oil (you could use canola, vegetable or coconut). Then the last change I made was adding assorted toppings.  I did this immediately after dipping the ice cream bar before the chocolate hardened.
*A side note, be sure to allow your ice cream to harden completely in the freezer before you begin dipping, otherwise you’re likely to have a messy disaster.  This will likely take more than 1 hour as recipe states.  I’d recommend freezing them 3 hours or overnight before dipping.

Here are some topping ideas I love:
-Toffee bits or chopped heath bars
-Toasted almonds, chopped
-Pretzels, chopped
-Chopped Oreos
-Your favorite candy bar, chopped
-Pie crust, crumbled (or graham crackers)
-Shortbread, chopped
-Candied or dried fruit, chopped
-Peanuts or any other nut, chopped
-Toasted, sweetened coconut
-Peppermint candy canes, crushed
-Mini marshmallows

…you get the idea =), make up your own the possibilities are nearly endless.

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  • Renee @ Tortillas and Honey

    CostCo makes these at their snack bar and I love them! I’m going to have to try these now that the weather is getting warmer. I cannot believe I haven’t thought of making them myself! :-)

  • Jaclyn

    Dianna – that is a brilliant idea! They would be like nestle crunch bars, but better since they are homemade =). I would recommend very lightly chopping the rice krispies rather than crushing, if you crush you will probably just get a bunch of powder because they are so delicate, hope that helps! Enjoy!

  • Jen

    Oh I remember these from my days visiting Balboa Island with friends. These, and the frozen chocolate-dipped bananas! Thanks for bringing back great memories. I’ve bookmarked your site… thank you!

  • Jaclyn

    Thanks Bella Michelle! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipes and I love your posts and blog! Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Bella Michelle

    I just wanted to let you know that I am quickly becoming one of your biggest fans as I have blogged about 2 of your recipes just this week (and gave you a shout out on my blog as well). Thanks so much for your great recipes which are wonderfully easy! Merry Christmas!