forward back
Jul 30, 2015

Frozen Sweet Treats for Summer

Since 1984, America has been celebrating its favorite frozen dessert every July with National Ice Cream Month. At the IOT Culinary Arts program, we love this creamy treat served every which way whether it is floating in a bowl, scooped into a waffle cone or perched atop chocolate cake.

Of the more than 1,000 ice cream flavors on the market, the versatile vanilla is still the hands-down favorite, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). Not surprisingly, chocolate, cookies & cream, strawberry and mint also top the favorites list, but these basic flavors simply serve as inspiration for more imaginative creations for us chefs.

Every year, culinary artisans across the country face off in the Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Competition to showcase their creamery concoctions. The 2015 winners of the IDFA event served up a decadent Black Raspberry Krunch Sundae Cone, a Hawaiian Wedding Cake Ice Cream and a German Chocolate Cake Ice Cream. Other crowd favorites blended in berries for sweetness, baked goods for crunchiness and flavored beverages for fragrance.

The culinary inspiration for creating new frozen treats is endless! How would you jazz up these traditional ice cream desserts?

Frosty Hots
There are few things more sinfully delicious than a scoop of vanilla ice cream that is coated in breading and then flash fried in sizzling oil. After just a few seconds, a warm, crispy shell emerges housing a frozen-solid ice cream ball. Various recipes call for you to wrap the ice cream in a thin pie crust or roll it in crushed corn flakes or cookie crumbs. Traditional toppings range from sprinkled cinnamon sugar to drizzled honey or caramel sauce. For an Asian-inspired twist, roll green tea ice cream in tempura batter and top the fried balls with red bean paste.

Delightful Ice Cream Sandwiches
You can recreate this childhood treat using any flavor ice cream or type of cookie. We really love the idea of a fluffy banana ice cream sandwiched between two peanut butter cookies, cool mint ice cream smashed between double chocolate chip wafers and a tart raspberry sorbet sitting between lemon biscuits. Finish off the dessert by rolling the edges in chocolate chips, roasted nuts or wild berries.

Luscious Ice Cream Pies and Cupcakes
This twist on the popular ice cream cake is the perfect treat for a summer potluck. You can play around with the traditional pie crust using nuts or crumbled cookies, infuse the ice cream with liqueurs or layer a tart sorbet with a creamy mousse. Garnish the no-bake pie with seasonal fruit or fresh berry syrup. Easily create the same recipe in cupcake sizes by lining a muffin pan with wrappers and then adding in a layer of ground cookies and ice cream topped by melted chocolate. Let the dessert harden in the freezer before serving.