Though I am well past school-age and work 20 hours a week, summer still feels like vacation to me. The relentless sunshine and days spent on the pool deck certainly contribute to that feeling, but it’s more that there is a sense of “Ahhhhh….” The kids are chill, the days are long and lazy, and we eat ice cream just about every day.
Yep, that’s right, every day. Let me tell you, that $$ can add up quickly if you are hitting the local dairy bars all the time. I am a huge Dairy Queen fan, but even I can’t justify more than a once-weekly visit, since it costs about $15 if all five of us get Blizzards. And, just forget about trying to afford a cone for yourself and the family at a boutique ice cream shoppe in a prime tourist location – we dropped $18 for five teeny-tiny cones in Camden, Maine. I could have eaten all five and still had room for a salad. Those had better be some darn special cows.
This all explains the motivation behind this post. It is SO MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE to buy ice cream at the grocery store and scoop it at home. “But that’s not special!” your kids may whine. “You don’t have those cool cones like they do at [insert favorite ice cream place here].” Well, I’m here to tell you it is SO EASY and FUN to dip your own cones, and you’ll save yourself some $$!
Sugar cones ($2.50/12 pk)
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips ($1.25/6 oz.)
1/2 bag white chocolate chips ($1.40/6 oz)
Crushed M&M’s (free, nicked from kids’ Halloween bags)
Crushed Butterfingers (ditto)
Chopped walnuts (handful — $0.25?)
Sweetened coconut (handful — $0.25?)
1) Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
2) Put chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in two different microwave-safe bowls. Microwave at 20-second intervals, checking with a quick stir at the end of each interval for degree of meltedness. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Baking chips strangely keep their morsel shape even when completely melted through, so it is easy to miss that they are done if you are simply looking through the microwave door.
3) Taking one cone at a time, swirl it through the melted chocolate, using the flat side of a spoon to smooth the chocolate up the sides a bit. Immediately roll the cone in your choice of coatings, then rest upside-down on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Continue with remaining cones. Once tray is filled put in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to harden.
Voila! For about $6, you have made twelve gourmet cones to be served with your favorite store-bought ice cream.