Beyond the Cone: Best Ways to Eat Ice Cream

Last week in Washington, DC the temperature peaked at 100 degrees. While that number is high enough as it is, the real temperature was probably closer to 105, considering the stickiness and unpleasantry provided by humidity.

When the sweat on my forehead makes it unbearable to sit outdoors for more than a few minutes and my feet begin to swell up while running errands on my internship, my mind thinks of only one thing: ice cream. I come to crave a crunchy cone with less than perfect packed scoops doused in sprinkles so that when the ice cream begins to drip on my hand a cool trail of rainbow tinted drops force me to lick my fingers clean.

But sometimes a simple cone of vanilla or chocolate chip cookie dough won’t do. Instead, I want something more decadent, something that will make me forget about being dressed in a full suit when the thermometer peaks above 85. Like a scoop between two cookies, or ice cream spread on top of a pie crust or on top of a cupcake. That’s dessert that will make you say “bring on the heat.”

**Tips and Tricks**

Sandwiches. Whoever decided to put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies is a genius in my book. Whether it be chocolate chip cookies with french vanilla or oatmeal chunk cookies with rum raisin, the possibilities for sandwiches are endless.

But no one ever said that an ice cream sandwich has to be made only with cookies. Channel your creativity and think beyond the cookie. Use a couple of graham crackers and marshmallows with chocolate ice cream for a cool twist on the s’more. For those afternoons when you have one of your toaster pastries left from breakfast, split it in two and load up generous spoonfuls between the halves. By replacing the frosting filling,  you can even make a whoopie pie sandwich with your favorite ice cream.

Pie. We have all had at least one birthday when we begged our mothers to swap out the traditional butter cream-frosted cake for  one made with ice cream. Though the cakes made of ice cream harken nostalgia, ice cream pies are equally worth a birthday candle or two. The cookie crust at the bottom provides a contrasting, crunchy bite to the frozen layers of ice cream smoothed on top. Alternate different types of ice cream, such as vanilla, chocolate and strawberry for a Neopolitan pie, or add mix-ins to the chilled filling to create your own flavor.

Cupcakes. Since there are ice cream cakes, of course there has to be ice cream cupcakes. A scoop of ice cream can replace the frosting on your favorite bake sale treat, or it can serve as a chilled surprise inside the petite cakes. Of course, the addition of the ice cream can only come after the cupcakes have cooled, but once they do, dessert becomes a two-for-one deal.

Truffles. Browse through any food blog and you are bound to find at least one recipe for homemade truffles. Truffles are unique because diners never really know what to expect until they take a sample and discover what it is inside; it could be cookie dough, creamy nutella or decadent chocolate ganache. To give truffles a frozen bite, simply scoop out small balls of ice cream and freeze until solid. Then, dip the balls into melted chocolate and refreeze until hardened. Because they are small and addictive, if you eat a  few of these, then a brain freeze will likely follow suit.

Tacos. Remember when summer meant the ringing of the bell and the return of the ice cream man in his truck? Among the pictures of firecracker pops, assorted creamiscles and chocolate-covered ice bars, there was often a picture of a dessert taco. Instead of chasing down the truck at first notice of its spirited tune, make a frozen version of the Mexican staple.

Sweeten a flour tortilla with cinnamon and sugar before letting it take a quick dip in hot oil. Fill the cooled, fried shell with ice cream and then load up the toppings. With whipped cream, cherries, coconut and sprinkles replacing sour cream, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese, your tacos become even more exciting.

After getting used to enjoying two flavors of gelato with every cone in Italy, Bethany Imondi, a rising senior studying Government and English at Georgetown University, takes way too long to pick which one flavor to order at the local ice cream shop. Read more…

Originally posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

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