Last year I went to an old fashion ice cream social at 18 Reasons, a nonprofit organization that aims to build relationships around food and community. This blog had only been around for five months and I was a bit green around the gills but I was super excited to bring some balsamic strawberry brownies to the event. A year later, I found myself co-hosting the now 2nd annual ice cream social at 18 Reasons, under our DIY Desserts event banner. This time I brought a batch of my brown butter, bay leaf and vanilla bean ice cream, which I had already blogged about, as well as homemade mini chocolate ice cream cones (and a few strawberry-sumac ones as well). They seemed to be a huge hit, as they were snatched up so quickly that AJ barely had time to photograph them
The ice cream social had people bringing in batches of their own hand churned ice cream, along with toppings for sundaes. My co-host Melanie had actually texted me a few hours before the event, in a slight panic state telling me she didn’t know what to bring. I calmly texted back that she just needed to buy some heavy whipping cream, whip it with some powdered sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. Instant homemade topping for the sundae bar. Keep that in mind if you are ever at a loss as to what to bring to an ice cream social and don’t have time to make ice cream or mini ice cream cones like I did.
The event was super fun (as usual). How can you go wrong with ice cream? People brought homemade (and a few storebought) items for the sundae bar, and we provided some starter items from BiRite Market/Creamery, including vanilla bean, their signature salted caramel ice cream, some bananas, and some olive oil & Maldon sea salt (for a Sam’s Sundae, which can be found at the Creamery ice cream shop down the street).
18 Reasons was moving to a new space in less than a month, but we had the Ice Cream Social in the old space. It was cozy with everyone bumping into each other and generally socializing while eating as much ice cream, sundaes (and the cones, while they lasted) as they can. Of course, some of the kids there had a little too much ice cream. AJ asked them why they weren’t eating any ice cream, and one replied that they did and they were just in the bathroom sick from eating too much. Yikes! Of course, ten minutes later, I caught them scooping up another bowl of ice cream so apparently it wasn’t too serious.
Some of my favorite ice cream combinations included a goat cheese ice cream (so good, I wasn’t the only one who loved it, people were telling everyone to try it) along with the boozy cherry sauce. The orange sherbert someone brought was delightfully tangy and old school. And there were a number of hot fudge sauces there that had me dipping seconds.
I was also really enamored with the brandied peach ice cream. I’m a sucker for anything with alcohol in it (which is funny as I don’t drink much) but the combination of bourbon and fresh peaches had me scooping up some more. The coconut ice cream was super refreshing and the homemade candied cornflakes gave a delightful caramel crunchy texture to anything it was sprinkled on. Of course, there were several salted caramel sauces, all of which were excellent and made me wish 18 Reasons had provided straws (I know that sounds ridiculous, but really, I love me some salted caramel).
Old fashion vanilla ice cream, old school chocolate ice cream, fancy hazelnut ice cream, chocolate mint ice cream, coffee ice cream, the choices were unending it seemed. The table seemed to groan with all the treats that were offered to everyone. People kept on bring more and more items. Soon my mini chocolate cones were gone, lickety split.
People hung out, got their ice cream social on, and generally enjoyed themselves, which is all I can ask for at a DIY dessert event. The conversation was fueled by sugar and dairy and creative flavors combinations and I couldn’t help myself as I took what seemed like yet one. more. scoop. of ice cream.
Our next DIY Dessert event is our annual holiday cookie exchange. It will be on the first Thursday of the December, so be sure to mark you calendars: December 1st. To kick off the holiday season, the DIY Dessert event will be held at the new beautiful 18 Reasons space. Last year, the cookie exchange was out of control ridiculously fun, with us running out of platters to serve up the cookies! Remember to bring at LEAST 3 dozen cookies (if last year was any indication, you might want to bring more) and a container to bring home some cookies as well. We’ll have plates out for people to sample the cookies there, and you can take a sampling of cookies home for you to enjoy. Hope to see you there!
You’ll notice that my chocolate cones are ultra black in color. That’s because I used black onyx cocoa which is a special Dutch-processed cocoa. It’s what makes Oreo cookies look so dark. If you can’t get black cocoa, the cones will be fine with either natural cocoa or dutch processed. Just make sure the cocoa is unsweetened.
You will need two pieces of specialty equipment for this. A pizzelle cone mold or cream roll horn mold and a 4” circle acetate stencil. You can find the cone mold at kitchen supply places like Sur la Table or online. As for the stencil, just take a sheet of acetate (I bought it at a local art supply store), and just cut out a circle with an X-Acto blade. Very crafty Martha Stewart of me, I know. If I start scrapbooking though, someone please slap me.
60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
18 g (2 tablespoons) black onyx cocoa powder (see note above)
60 g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
120 g (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
90 g (3 large) egg whites at room temperature
sprinkles or slivered almonds as decoration (optional)
1 pizzelle cone
1 4” in diameter circle acetate stencil
a small offset spatula (this is optional, but will make your life much easier)
1. Preheat an oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
2. Place the flour and cocoa powder in a medium mixing bowl, and using a balloon whisk vigorously stir until uniform in color and evenly distributed.
3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes until white and fluffy.
3. With the mixer turned on to medium speed, add the egg whites slowly, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl between additions.
4. Add the dry ingredients (flour and cocoa) to the batter. Beat until incorporated.
5. Place the stencil on the lined baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of batter onto the baking sheet inside the stencil using the offset spatula if you have it, to the edges of the stencil, lift straight up and move the stencil an inch away from the first circle and repeat. Repeat until there is no more room on the baking sheet. Add sprinkles or slivered almonds onto the circles, if you using. I tried to sprinkle them on the edge of one side of the circles, so when I molded them, they would be at the top of the cone, but that’s your call.
6. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until they look dry and start to look crispy on the edges. Working quickly while they are hot, wrap the circles around the pizzelle cone and leave to cool on wire rack. If the cones start too cool too fast, stick them back in the oven to warm up and get more pliable. Your fingers might burn a bit when working with the hot cones, but it’ll be worth it, and you’ll have ice cream soon to cool them with.
7. Serve the same day, or store in an airtight container for a day or two.