finely chopped freeze dried strawberries (a portion of one small bag)
Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream Bars
In a 3 quart saucepot, add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and water over medium-low heat. Stir to combine. Cook at a simmer until strawberries and rhubarb have fully broken down into a somewhat thickened jammy sauce, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
Once somewhat cooled, pour strawberry rhubarb mixture into a blender. Add sour cream, vanilla, and vodka, if using. Blend at medium speed for a minute, until mixture is pureed and no lumps remain.
Using a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, strain mixture to remove some of the strawberry seeds. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to press the liquid through and scrape the seeds out of the way. It doesn't need to be completely strained, but straining a good portion of the mixture will eliminate a lot of the seeds and improve the texture of the ice cream base.
Cover and chill strawberry rhubarb ice cream base in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Before churning the ice cream, prepare the ice cream molds. Place the molds onto a rimmed baking sheet and insert the popsicle sticks. If your molds came with lids, have them ready nearby. If not, get out a roll of plastic wrap and have it nearby. Set aside.
Churn the strawberry rhubarb ice cream base according to ice cream machine manufacturer's instructions. I found that this mixture firmed up sooner than some others I've made. Check it every 5 minutes to monitor doneness.
Working quickly, spoon ice cream into molds. Using the spoon, tamp down the ice cream so that it reaches the underside of the popsicle stick and extends to the corners of the mold. Using a bench scraper or mini offset spatula, smooth the ice cream so that it's level with the top of the molds. Wipe up any overflow. Place lids onto molds (cover with plastic wrap if your molds did not come with lids) and place baking sheet with filled molds into a level location in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours to set completely.
White Chocolate Shell
Place the finely chopped white chocolate and coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl.* Melt in the microwave using 15 second bursts. Stir well between each burst. There should be no lumps of chocolate or coconut oil remaining. Once completely smooth, set aside to cool slightly. *If you do not have a microwave, you can melt the chocolate and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler.
Pour the white chocolate mixture into a wide-mouth pint glass jar (see photos for reference) or a container with similar dimensions. It should be taller than it is wide in order to accommodate the length of the ice cream bar.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set next to the container of white chocolate.
Remove the fully frozen ice cream bars from the silicone molds and place back on the frozen baking sheet. One by one, hold the ice cream bar by the stick and dip into the white chocolate mixture. Make sure to coat the ice cream all the way up to where the ice cream meets the stick. Lift the bar back up and hold it over the glass jar while the extra chocolate drips off.
If you'd like to add the finely chopped freeze dried strawberries now*, sprinkle some onto each bar immediately after dipping, as the white chocolate shell begins to harden very quickly. I would dip the bar with my right hand, place it on the baking sheet, and then have the freeze dried strawberry bits ready to go with my left hand so that I could sprinkle them on before the chocolate coating solidified. If you have a kitchen assistant nearby, the second set of hands would be useful here! *Refer to main post for alternate decorating method.
Set the ice cream bar flat side down onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Promptly dip the remaining bars. If the white chocolate mixture cools too much and gets thick, heat it for 10-15 seconds in the microwave and stir well before resuming. As you dip the last of the bars, you may need to tip the jar of white chocolate on an angle and spin the ice cream bar in order to obtain full coverage.
Place the ice cream bars (on the baking sheet) into the freezer. After they've had a chance to firm back up for 30-60 minutes, serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer.