I have ice cream lovers in my house. There is absolutely not a night where my two men are not digging into the freezer for the yummy creamy stuff.
School is almost out, summer is quickly approaching, and summer entertaining will be the order of the day.
One of my favorite parties for this time of the year is an ice cream party. It’s simple, it’s fun … and nothing says summer better than ice cream.
For a quick Friday night party, set up an ice cream bar, complete with plenty of ice cream, syrup toppings and candy. Use a variety of jars, I love to use canning jars, to display all of the sugary choices. I also like to make candy skewers to add a fun element.
For the skewers, simply thread favorite candies; marshmallows, Oreo cookies, chunks of favorite candy bars, or any favorite soft candy or confection, onto wooden skewers and place upright in a piece of foam, a glass, basket or even a covered coffee can.
It’s also fun to set out a plate of cookies, chocolate chip is always a favorite, that can be made into quick ice cream sandwiches.
While we love to make homemade ice cream, it’s not always feasible. Vanilla is always a favorite, but including strawberry and chocolate is always a plus.
One of the things I love to do for these parties is to make homemade toppings. Here are three of our favorites.
Dulce de Leche
(my husband’s favorite)
5 cups of whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, skimming off any foam. Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and coats the back of a spoon, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into heat-proof bowl. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.
1 lb fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the food processor and purée, or mash some with a fork or potato masher.
Strain the sauce and store in the refrigerator in a a sealed container.
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I love dark chocolate chips)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan, bring the first 5 ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Let stand one minute.
Cook again over medium heat for 1 additional minute, or until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Store in covered container in the refrigerator. Yield: 1 cup.