Photo by Lauryn Bodden.

National Ice Cream Month: DIY Dessert Ideas

Hi. My name is Lauryn. I am an ice cream addict. It’s a serious problem that has me running to the store at late hours to fill my craving, and even consuming a remaining pint for breakfast, because why the hell not?

I am the person standing in the frozen aisle for two hours because I can’t decide between Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked or Bluebell’s Mint Chip (in the end I always choose both). I am the individual who must get only a pint because once I start I can’t stop. I am the individual who samples every flavor at Baskin Robbins even though I already know what each tastes like. I am the person that judges you when you say your favorite flavor is simply Vanilla. I am the girl who gets butterflies in her stomach when she hears that sweet song of the ice cream truck coming around the corner. I am the individual who suggests an ice cream social for office parties every time. Soft serve, frozen custard, gelato or even frozen yogurt–I don’t discriminate.

Now, as a struggling ice cream addict, I take National Ice Cream Month very seriously. I make it my personal responsibility to give thanks to this guilty pleasure however possible by consuming it by the bucketful. For the month of July, we have one more reason to forget the calories and pass a frozen pint back and forth from the comfort of the couch or on the lawn of Klyde Warren Park.

Thankfully, Dallas is an ice cream mecca, with the most creative combinations to appease any craving. However, sometimes we get pressed for time or we just simply don’t want to venture out in our sweatpants, so we settle for a nice gallon of store-bought. That’s when you get creative and dress up a boring bowl to one worthy of Carnival Barker’s approval.

Bakerella | Flickr.
Bakerella | Flickr.

The Bowl:
1. Make it fruity by using a hollowed-out orange peel or apple.

2. Make a chocolate cup–because the more chocolate, the better.

3. This might turn out as another Pinterest fail, but turn a muffin pan upside down and mold a hard cookie dough around each muffin placement. Bake for normal time or until golden brown.

4. Do the same as the cookie bowl, but use rice krispies. You may find this one a little easier.

The Sauce:
1. Olive oil with a bit of lemon zest and/or sea salt will amp up your ordinary scoop or chocolate and vanilla.

2. Honey can become a little hard when it reaches colder temperatures, but you won’t mind with the addition of a little fruit or nuts.

3. Ginger syrup and dash of curry powder is apparently mind-blowing.

The Toppings:
1. Whether you have caramel-covered, chocolate-covered, or the regular buttered kind, popcorn adds a salty aspect to your sweet bowl.

2. This is a trick I learned from grandma: take your favorite brand of potato chips with a little chocolate syrup and revel in this sweet, salty, crunchy creation.

3. Like a little heat behind each bite? Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs of a chili pepper and boil it with one can of crushed pineapple until the sauce turns a caramelized light brown. Hot sauces, especially sweet and fruit based ones, are nice additives for the Texan that likes a bit of a kick.

4. I know you don’t mind sneaking a little booze in when needed, so try soaking fruit like cherries in brandy, or whatever else floats your boat, and plopping them on top.

Bacon and maple. Does it get better? Rene Noel | Flickr.
Bacon and maple. Does it get better? Rene Noel | Flickr.

5. Bacon is everything, so why not put it on your ice cream? Make a batch of maple-candied bacon by tossing uncooked bacon with maple syrup, some cayenne pepper, brown sugar and salt and cooking at 350 for about 25 minutes or until it’s to your liking.

6. If I am already ruining my diet, I like to go big. Take a doughnut, sprinkle it with some cinnamon sugar, and toast it in a panini press or in the oven. It’s up to you whether the doughnut happens to make it to your bowl before consumption or not.

7. Make an adult float using local brews like Lakewood Temptress. Stouts are known to pair well with a scoop of classic vanilla.

8. Convince yourself you’re actually eating a little healthy by grilling up some watermelon and throwing it on a bowl of vanilla with honey and lime.