On Your Table: Beat the heat with Ice Cream treats

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By Cathy BranciaroliFood Correspondent , The Times

Ice cream makes for frosty summer desserts (Photo courtesy of TheMerryThought)

It’s that time of year, the time when the Mr Softie trucks start cruising neighborhoods blaring their widely known jingle or, in what must be a fit of desperation on the part of some driver, Christmas carols.   But they do indeed signal that it’s June and therefore it must be time to enjoy ice cream.

And who can resist?  Ok, recent weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to frosty treats, but nonetheless it’s time to enjoy their many pleasures.  Their luscious, dense-but-not-too-dense consistency is addictive.  Their light, airy, melt-away texture maintains its form as it’s rolled sideways in a cone with rainbow sprinkles.  A bowl of creamy scoops slathered in hot fudge sauce can make a person swoon.  And such a wealth of flavors, from the warmly familiar to the wildly creative. 

A recent survey conducted by Turkey Hill found that neither vanilla or chocolate are tops among Americans’ favorites.  While they may well be the best selling, they are not the most loved. Tops were rocky road, chocolate marshmallow, and butter brickle, with pecan as the favorite nut ingredient.  And don’t forget cookie dough with chocolate chips.

If these qualities don’t get you running out to the curb to flag down the Mr Softie truck, there are plenty of homemade ice cream shops in this area. Each of these and others will satisfy your every ice cream desire.  Nearly all open at mid-day or early afternoon and remain open into the evening.

In Kennett Square, La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream offers unique flavors including Mexican-inspired varieties. Their corn ice cream is among their best sellers.  While not a  top of mind flavor, folks pronounce it awesome, especially sprinkled with cinnamon or chili powder.  Its sister shop, Tropical Homemade Ice Cream in West, offers similarly delightful treats. They are located at 231 E State St, (610) 444-2996 and 125 N. Church St (610) 696-4027 respectively.

In Unionville is Foxy Loxy, named with a nod to the region’s equestrian heritage.  The shop boasts a charming shade-covered patio and specialty sundaes including Ducky Daddles, a true fox chasers delight with butter pecan ice cream, maple syrup and whipped cream for a topping.  5 Cemetery Ln, (610) 347-1928

Scooped Ice Cream in Chester Springs offers varied flavors including sugar free lemon, butterscotch, coconut gelato, Concord grape sorbet and chocolate caramel sea salt.  They are located at 130 Pottstown Pike (484) 358-7099.

Margo’s Old Fashion Ice Cream in Downingtown, 131 Mill Alley (610) 269-9410, was described by a visitor as “a gem of a place with so many flavors to choose from”.

And since Food & Wine Magazine reported that ice cream sandwiches beat out ice cream cups, pops, cones and bars respectively as the most popular ice cream novelty, this column features an easy approach to making these wickedly good frozen treats.

Easy Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

This is a free form dessert, very handy for picnics and for letting the kids try out their creativity

Ingredients

2 pints vanilla ice cream or flavor of your choice like cookie dough, chips or caramel swirl, let soften

1 Bag of cookies, your choice of chocolate chip, oatmeal, or brownies –  whatever

1 small container cookie sprinkles, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces etc.

Plastic Wrap

Assembly

Place cookies or brownies top side down on a cooking sheet lined with parchment.  Using a small ice cream scoop, place a generous scoop on the center of each one.  Place another cookie or brownie top side up on each one.  Put into freezer to firm up for 10 minutes then remove for final assembly.  If you are using sprinkles or chips, take each sandwich and roll on its side in the topping.  Wrap each sandwich in plastic and place back on the cooking sheet.  Freeze till totally firm, another 20 minutes.  Then they are ready to enjoy.

Cathy Branciaroli also writes about her adventures in the kitchen on her award-winning blog Delaware Girl Eats

 

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