We’ve added another Shindigz Party Recipe author, Candace Schuler:
We’ve all participated in a wine tasting, right? Maybe even a beer tasting. Well, one of my favorite ways to entertain in summer is with an Ice Cream Tasting. It can be the sweet ending to a summer party or a party all by itself.
Start with three or four different brands of good quality vanilla ice cream. Put each container of ice cream into a paper bag to obscure the brand and label it with a number. Make scorecards for your guests. These can be as simple as asking them to rate the ice cream from most to least favorite or as complicated as a wine tasting scorecard with categories for mouth feel, flavor intensity, complexity, color, and finish. I’ve found the more items you give your guests to score, the more fun everyone has.
Once the tasting is done, invite everyone to make their own ice cream sundae with their choice of ice cream. (Make sure you have extra cartons stashed in the freezer). Provide an assortment of ice cream toppings. Chocolate syrup, chopped nuts, and a big bowl of freshly whipped cream are a must, of course. But I also like to provide a few slightly more sophisticated toppings such as small carafes of Galliano and Kahlua liqueurs, a bowl of mixed berries that have been marinated in a splash Grand Marnier, Spicy Pineapple Salsa, Peanut Honey Sauce, and Whiskey Sauce. Add a few shakers of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne for added kick and you’ve got an ice cream party for big kids.
Ice Cream Topping Recipes
Peanut Honey Sauce (makes about 2 cups)
I cup of peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your preference)
½ cup honey
¾ to 1 cup of half and half
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until peanut butter melts and all ingredients are well blended. This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator but must be heated to pouring consistency prior to serving.
Spicy Pineapple Sauce (makes about 2 cups)
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 or 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (depending on how hot you’re willing to go)
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
Cut off the top of the pepper, slice it in half the long way, and use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and membrane and discard. Chop the peppers into a fine dice. (NOTE: When handling raw peppers, always wear plastic gloves.)
Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the pineapple and jalapeno are soft. Set aside to cool, then store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Whiskey Sauce (makes about 1 cup)
½ cup (1 stick) of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
¼ cup Jack Daniels
Pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Simmer, whisking often, until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Cool slightly before serving. This one can be made ahead of time but it will thicken and separate if stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to make it a few hours ahead of time and let it sit on the counter to cool a bit before using.
Visit the Shindigz Ice Cream Party Store for supplies and decorations for your own Ice Cream Party!
Candace Schuler comes from a long line of foodies. Her grandmother taught her about planting, preserving, and cooking whole foods. Her father was a professional chef who taught her all about the importance of presentation and how to cook for big crowds. Her brothers have spent years in the restaurant business, and she and her sister constantly trade recipes via email for everything from fermented fruit kimchee to the perfect cheesecake. Candace is also a professional writer, which, she says, makes writing about party-worthy recipes for Shindigz the perfect gig. Contact her at www.CandaceSchuler.com