Who says you have to eat your ice cream in a cup or cone? Surprise your kids with ice cream critters shaped like their favorite animals.
Ice cream in the flavor of your choice
Shallow baking pan or cookie sheet
Animal-shaped cookie cutters (available at craft or
kitchen supply stores)
Embellishments for facial features (try chocolate chips,
sprinkles, candy pieces, etc.)
Choose an ice cream flavor that will work with your animal
choices. For example, we used green mint chocolate chip ice cream
to make frogs and turtles. Vanilla ice cream would make great polar
bears. Strawberry ice cream would be perfect for creating pink
Let the ice cream sit out on the counter until it is soft
enough to spread easily. Using a spatula, spread a 1-inch layer of
ice cream on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan lined with a
piece of parchment paper. Try to make the layer smooth and
uniformly thick. Put the ice cream-filled pan back into the freezer
until it hardens again. Meanwhile, put the plates you are going to
serve your ice cream on into the freezer to chill as well.
When the ice cream has returned to its original consistency,
use the cookie cutters to cut out animal shapes. Dip the cookie
cutters into a bowl of warm water first to make it easier to cut
through the ice cream. Serve the ice cream critters on chilled
plates. Feel free to add additional detail to your critters. For
example, we used a chocolate chip as an eye for a turtle and fresh
mint leaves to create a grass-like background.
If your shapes aren't coming out well, smooth the ice cream
back into an even layer, put it back in the freezer to harden and
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.