Simply Celebrate Life!
Why not host a Sweet get together this Summer with an Ice Cream Party?
I have Ice Cream in my blood. My grandparents owned a Baskin-Robbins franchise, and so Ice Cream has been a part of my life and memories since birth. The family joke is that it was probably melted into my bottle as a baby. I can remember Ice Cream cakes at every family birthday, and even had an Ice Cream cake for my Wedding, large enough to feed 350 people! I have fond memories attached to Ice Cream that connect me to family and friends for as long as I can remember.
Ice Cream! It’s the perfect treat, I love the way the cold, creamy texture rolls on my tongue. It’s one of those things in life I could never give up. And when I began to think about planning a whole party around my favorite dessert, and sharing that love with my family and friends; I got SO excited! I thought about keeping it focused just to Sundaes, or Shakes, but why limit myself? I decided to create an Ice Cream Bar where my friends and family could create whatever Ice Cream Concoction they could possibly conceive of! And here are my ideas so you can host your own Ice Cream Bar. This is the perfect idea for a Birthday Party, Girls Night, Game Night, Family Night, Whatever!!
I created this Invitation on my favorite Digital Scrapbook software, Scrapbook Boutique, in less than 15 minutes! I love things that are cute AND easy!! I thought these bright mix of colors were perfect for a Summer get together inspired by Ice Cream and all things Happy!
While an Ice Cream bar is a great idea for any occasion, I was hosting a Ladies Night In. I decided to keep the decorations simple and stay completely focused on my dessert bar setup. My colors and design were completely inspired by a Scrapbook Pack of coordinated papers by American Crafts. Every detail and decoration was from this one pack of paper, and some coordinating ribbon.
I created this banner by simply cutting some triangles from my scrapbook paper and sewing them onto a length of grosgrain ribbon. That’s it, and then hung it over my Ice Cream Bar, simple and festive and Oh, So Cute!
I let the Ice Cream Bar become it’s own decorations as I embellished jars and bottles with touches of coordinated scrapbook paper and ribbon. You can see here that I used the 12×12 sheets by themselves to create my backdrop. Then I used strips of paper and ribbon wrapped around bottles and jars. I also cut some scalloped circles with my favorite paper punches to finish some of my embellishments.
Bottles of IBC Root Beer and Cream Soda would have been cute enough with this setup, but simply wrap a strip of Scrapbook Paper around the bottles and they were instantly so much cuter and coordinated with everything else.
Since I wanted to have a cute Ice Cream bar that gave people choices in how they wanted to create their Ice Cream treats, I also wanted to give them choices in how they served themselves or what they built their treats in as well. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE cute serving dishes and have quite a collection, so here is what I did.
I found these white paper Ice Cream cups at a local Restaurant Supply store. I simply wrapped them in a strip of my paper and they were suddenly even more fun. I’m sure you can find these Waffle Bowls at any local grocery store, but I was lucky when they perfectly fit into these cute little white porcelain bowls. I also had to get some Old Fashioned Ice Cream Sundae bowls that you can see peeking in the back of this picture. I also supplied Old Fashioned Soda glasses so they could build Ice Cream Sodas, Floats, Shakes or Malts if they would prefer. If this fun variety of bowls doesn’t inspire my guests to start creating, I don’t know what will!? Of course, you can simply put out whatever bowls you have at your own bar and they will taste just as fabulous!
My main inspiration for my Ice Cream Bar was Chocolate! I used it as a base for my ingredients, but also for my foundation of color. The rich brown colors let my pops of bright colors in the Scrapbook Papers really Pop too! It also help me focus my fun choices in ingredients as well. It helped me stay somewhat focused while adding Chocolate Chips and Chocolate Sprinkles, versus lot’s of candy pieces and fresh fruit. As well as offering Chocolate Sauce, Hot Fudge and Hot Caramel in those same rich brown hues. But depending on your own Color theme and purpose, you could add other fun colors in Sprinkles, sauces, candy, fruit, whatever you want to add to your own Ice Cream Bar.
What would a Sundae Bar be without Whipped Cream, Chopped Nuts, and of Course a Cherry on Top!?
Besides offering choices to Build Your Own Sundae, I offered choices to Build Your Own Soda Fountain Treat.
I LOVE a Root Beer Float or a perfect Chocolate Malt, and actually make a fabulous Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda as well.
While I had several Half Gallon tubs of a few of my favorite Ice Creams available (served in a tub of Ice to stay cold), I also wanted to serve a fabulous Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. I found my FAVORITE Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from the Ice Cream guru himself, David Lebovitz. Everyone loved it, and I know I could have eaten the entire quart by myself and been very, very happy!
For a richer custard, you can add up to 3 more egg yolks. For a less-rich custard, substitute half-and-half for the heavy cream, realizing that the final texture won’t be as rich or as smooth as if using cream.
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.
2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Used vanilla beans can be rinsed and dried, then stored in a bin of sugar. That sugar can be used for baking and, of course, for future ice cream making. Also, if you really don’t want to bother with the Vanilla Bean, you can substitute 1 T. of Pure Vanilla Extract after removing the custard from the heat.
(Adapted from David Lebovitz)
While you can buy jars of Hot Fudge and Hot Caramel and keep it even easier. I LOVE homemade sauces and was excited to make and share my own recipes for this party.
1. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it’s pourable but still thick.
(Recipe adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker)
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
Serving: You should let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will give it time to thicken a bit.
Storage: Store the chocolate sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Rewarm before serving.
(Adapted From David Lebovitz)
These cute little jars were perfect to showcase and serve the perfect toppings for our Sundaes, Chocolate Sprinkles, Sliced Almonds, and Chocolate Chips! Yum!
Finish off your Creative Ice Cream Creations with a Cherry on Top… Of Course!
We made Fabulous Ice Cream Sundaes!! Classic, Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Caramel or Hot Fudge, topped with Whipped Cream, Almonds and a Cherry!
We made my favorite Chocolate Malts! I had a pitcher of Ice Cold Milk and some Malt powder handy for Shakes and Malts. I know some people love their shakes mixed up in a Blender, but my favorite are hand stirred and don’t forget the Malt powder, I can never have enough in mine!
I had cold bottles of IBC Root Beer and Cream Soda for Floats and Freezes. (You can have Sodas in any flavors you like but these were the right colors for my Bar.) Orange Soda with Vanilla Ice Cream or Sprite with a Raspberry Sherbet are SO yummy too! I also had some Club Soda available in case someone wanted to make an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda too!!
Here are just a few of the big smiles from my happy guests!! (Notice my sister hiding in the back of both of these, hee hee!)
Shannon loves to be the photographer and not so much the subject, so I love that I get to share this cute photo of her!
Cute Katie is a girl after my own heart, we could not get enough of the Caramel, maybe I should set up a trade with my Caramel for her homemade Bread!
You know me, I can use any excuse to host a party, or to eat Ice Cream for that matter, so NO excuses…
Now go start planning your own Ice Cream Party for any occasion, or no occasion at all!