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
- Parchment paper
- 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 pigs.
- 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 apiece 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 try again.