Whether you’re throwing a birthday party or just getting together with friends, this old-fashioned ice cream social has it all, even a cherry on top.
Set out some parfait bouquets
Making these carnation “sundaes” is a great pre-party activity for the kids. Have them place glass marbles in each dish, leaving an inch or so of space at the top, then add water. Insert the carnations and top with a cherry.
Pretty garland decoration
Set a party mood by hanging a string of these colorful utensils from the serving table. First dip spoons into nontoxic acrylic paint and allow the excess to drip off. Lay the spoons on a protected surface, then sprinkle them with sprinkles (fun to say and do). Use adhesive-backed Velcro dots to attach the dried spoons to a length of rickrack. The spoons look good enough to eat – but don’t let little kids try!
Tell the kids that years ago, folks who made ice cream sundaes were called soda jerks. When they’ve stopped laughing, have them use crayons, markers and stickers to decorate their own retro-style hates. (We got these at Amazon.com, four for $4.30.)
Cone-to-cone relay game
After your guests have had their fill of ice cream, put their serving skills to the test with this relay race. Divide the players into two teams, each forming a line. Give each player an ice cream cone. At “Go,” teams pass a small foam ball from one cone to another. If the ball drops, the team has to start over. The first team to pass the scoop down the line wins.
Set the scene
A make-your-own sundae station tempts guests with a host of toppings. The premeasured ice cream and make-ahead cookie bowls allow for easy serving and cleanup.
Place toppings, such as fruit, candy and sprinkles, in individual bowls. Set the nuts to one side in case any guests are allergic.
Use a tiered cupcake rack to hold ice cream cones.
Please eat your bowl
Our cookie and brownie bowls are home-baked, using muffin tin molds and dried beans for weights. See the recipe below.
Get the scoop
The day before the party, place servings of ice cream into cupcake liners. Put them on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refreeze. When guests arrive, simply set out the scoops and let people serve themselves.
Don’t fudge this topping
No ice cream sundae is complete without hot fudge. For our easy homemade version, combine 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, 3 / 4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a double boiler. Heat over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is creamy and smooth. Makes 1 1 / 2 cups.
For extra party pizzazz, customize your sauce with a special flavoring.
• Orange: 1 cup hot fudge + 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
• Mint: 1 cup hot fudge + 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
• Mexican: 1 cup hot fudge + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + a pinch of chipotle chile powder
Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray. Line each cup with your favorite cookie dough (our testers liked chocolate chip and sugar cookie), keeping the dough about 1 / 4 inch thick. Place a cupcake liner over the dough in each cup and weigh it down with a layer of dried beans. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Let the pan cool for 5 minutes, then remove the beans and liners. Let the cookie bowls cool in the pan for 10 minutes more before carefully removing them.
Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray. Fill each cup halfway with your favorite brownie batter. Coat the bottom of a second muffin tray (the same size as the first) with cooking spray, then place it on top of the filled cups and press down until the cups almost touch. Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes. Let the top pan cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing it. Let the brownie bowls cool in the pan for 10 minutes more before carefully removing them.