Sometimes, you just want to sit down in front of the TV and polish off an entire pint of ice cream. But if you need to feed your sweet tooth and are feeling slightly more ambitious, there are plenty of ways to easily upgrade your store-bought ice cream and turn it into a truly memorable dessert. We’ve put together this list of five super-simple ways to jazz up that pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
1. Imperial Stout Flout
The beer float is the grown-up version of the classic summer staple, the root beer float. This version combines the rich, full flavors of chocolaty stout with creamy vanilla ice cream for a delicious and boozy dessert. Recipe from Brooklyn Brewery.
- 2 (12-ounce) bottles of Brooklyn Black Chocolate stout or other imperial stout
- 1 pint of vanilla ice cream
- 1 bar of spiced Mexican chocolate or dark chocolate
Directions: Pour the beer into two glasses. Add one large scoop of vanilla ice cream to each glass. Grate a small amount of chocolate onto the top of the drink. Serve.
2. Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
This ice cream sandwich cake looks fancy, but it’s actually a breeze to make. All you have to do is layer a few ingredients in a pan, freeze, and serve. You can also easily adapt it to suit your taste or the ingredients you have on hand — try substituting butterscotch or chopped walnuts for the toppings, or using ice cream sandwiches made with chocolate filling. Recipe from Food.com.
- 24 vanilla ice cream sandwiches
- 2 (8-ounce) containers whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (12-ounce) jar hot fudge topping, warmed
- 1 (12-ounce) jar caramel topping
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
Directions: Place 12 of the unwrapped ice cream sandwiches in a single layer on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread one container of whipped topping on top of the sandwiches. Top with half of the hot fudge topping and then half of caramel topping.
Top with the remaining 12 ice cream sandwiches and then repeat the layering steps with the remaining whipped topping, hot fudge, and caramel. Sprinkle with the pecans.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and freeze until the cake sets, about 30 minutes.
3. Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches
This dessert hack is so simple that you’ll be kicking yourself for not thinking of it sooner. All you need to make this delicious snack from Frosting and a Smile are some Oreos, ice cream, and sprinkles or mini chocolate chips (if you’re feeling fancy).
- Oreo cookies
- Ice cream flavor of your choice
- Sprinkles or other garnish
Directions: Twist off the top of an Oreo cookie. Using a small ice cream scoop, top the bottom half of the cookie with the ice cream. Top with the other half of the cookie and flatten gently so you have a sandwich. Roll the edge of the sandwich in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. Serve immediately or store in the freezer to enjoy later.
4. Strawberry Balsamic Vanilla Gelato
Rich, creamy vanilla gelato gets an instant upgrade when you mix in a homemade strawberry balsamic sauce. We think it’s the perfect finale to an Italian dinner for two. Recipe from Michael Chiarello of the Food Network.
- 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup superfine sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pint of softened vanilla gelato
Directions: Put the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle the balsamic vinegar and sugar over them. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss gently and marinate for 2 to 3 minutes.
Blend the marinated strawberries into the softened gelato until combined. Return to the freezer to harden, then serve.
5. Baked Apple Ice Cream Bowls
Fall is the perfect time of year for this apple-and-cinnamon-flavored dessert, which combines warm, softened apples with sweet, cold vanilla ice cream. Recipe from Tickle Me Tattooed.
- 4 apples
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Vanilla ice cream
- Caramel topping
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice off the top of the apples and hollow them out using a spoon or melon baller.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon and then add it to the inside of the apples. Place the apples in a baking pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the apples from the oven. Fill each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then top with the caramel. Serve.
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