Craving a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream but not ready to mingle…or pay an arm and a leg for a cone? Try these Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams and make your own!
I’ve committed to being the ice cream lady. I’ve promised the kids on my street that they can come to my door any day between 1pm and 3pm and get an ice cream cone. I bought several half gallons (or whatever portion of a gallon they are today!) and put out the word. But I wanted more for myself and friends…so I decided to try making some Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams.
Now to be honest, on a street with 24 kids of all ages, it’s really only a couple that I’m super close to that are aware of this treat; all 24 might be a bit hard to handle. But I remember the one year that I bought a $5 gift certificate for every one of these kids so they could get an ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.
A couple of weeks later I piled four of them in my car to make a run there and honestly; I almost died when $5 was not enough for one lousy scoop of ice cream. Made me nostalgic for Bergen’s Dairy which was our favorite place when I was growing up. Sure cones were cheaper but even with inflation, the price of ice cream cones has gone nuts!
There were five kids in my family growing up (my youngest sis was born when I was 16), and my dad would walk us to the dairy almost every week in the summer for a two scoop ice cream. Now my dad had a decent job and we never did without but no way, no how, would he have been spending the equivalent of $40/week on ice cream cones!
So my combined history of coming from a big family accompanied by my single mom frugality always has me on the lookout to ‘do it myself.’ Trying these Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams was so worth it. I offered specialty ice cream cones to half a dozen adults for a couple of bucks which means I can do it more often too…hurrah!
It seemed simple enough too right? Just scoop out some ice cream and add some ‘stuff’ and mix it in. OK, not hard but not THAT easy. It’s called Cold Stone for a reason. That stone is kept ice cold and makes the process more amenable than my kitchen counter did, even if it is granite.
So I learned a couple of things that you’ll know BEFORE you start that will make trying this easier!
- My first thing was to pre-scoop the ice cream and put it back into the freezer as round balls; let them go for a couple of hours if you can or overnight. Letting more surface area get exposed to the cold made for a much colder product to start the mixing in with and expect it to stay cold and not melt.
- You have to mimic that Cold Stone. I have granite countertops and a marble cutting board in the kitchen. I had good success if I lay a bag of ice cubes on the stone for 20-30 minutes while I prepared the mixins. When I went to shoot photos; it didn’t work as well with my faux marble in my studio but hey…don’t use faux. Even if you don’t have granite or marble, get that surface cold; a cold cookie sheet would even work better than a room temperature butcher block or laminate counter top.
- Mix-ins don’t have to be fancy. Everything I used came from my pantry or fridge and only one item, the mascarpone whipped cream for the Strawberry Shortcake version had to be made. We used Ghiardelli Fudge and Caramel sauces (my favorite prepared sauces), toasted pecans, pecan shortbread cookies, potato chips, strawberries and the whipped cream. I made a third too that we loved with peanut butter cookies, fudge sauce, and more potato chips. Yum…but no photos.
I had ingredients for three different combinations (but only took photos of two). I invited my neighbors down for socially distanced cones in the driveway and they could choose from the following menu:
- Vanilla ice cream with toasted pecans, pecan shortbread cookies, potato chips, and caramel sauce
- Vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries, pecan shortbread cookies, and mascarpone whipped cream, and
- Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cookies, potato chips, and fudge sauce
Using only vanilla ice cream was a good idea; I was game for mixing stuff up but not having to deal with multiple types of ice cream to start and that worked fine. For the kids who prefer keeping things simple, they could order a vanilla or orange sherbet cone. Everyone was happy!
Everything is dumped on the cold surface. Wanting to make sure that I didn’t serve melted ice cream, I honestly froze everything. The board, the ice cream scooper, the separate scoops of ice cream, the pastry scraper I used to do the job; seriously everything…I had to get photos too so super cold was super important!
If you don’t have a pastry scraper a spatula or two will do the trick as well.
Everything is dumped on a cold surface and then quickly mixed together. Use the pastry scrap to move the ice cream around and chop stuff if necessary. I found Keebler store-bought Waffle cones were the ideal size.
I keep sugar and cake cones on hand for the kids around here but they really don’t hold much more than one small scoop. The waffle cones you see at dairies are huge but the store product was just right, not so big but still capable of a nice size scoop or even two with lots of goodies.
Maybe the best part is that it’s all left to your imagination and your pantry. If called into duty I also had Kit Kat Bars, a huge Heath Bar, some cashews, gummy bears (I do have kids show up here!) and more. While the kids have an open door to a daily cone, I think I should also include a weekend break for adults with these cones; it was fun to gather safely, and to enjoy something special right here at home!
PIN IT! ‘Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams featuring Strawberry Shortcake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Ice Cream’
PIN IT! ‘Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams featuring Caramel, Pecan, Shortbread Cookies and Potato Chip Vanilla Ice Cream’
Do It Yourself Mix-In Ice Creams
- 24 oz Vanilla Bean Ice Cream approximately half a container
- ½ cup Toasted Pecans coarsely chopped
- 5 Pecan Shortbread Cookies
- ½ cup Potato Chips crushed
- Caramel Sauce
- 4 oz Mascarpone Cheese half a tub of cheese, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz Whipping cream
- 1 pint Fresh Strawberries
- 5 Shortbread Cookies
- Scoop out 10-12 scoops of ice cream, place on large plate or tray and return to freezer for at least 60 minutes.
- Fill a ziploc bag with ice cubes or use freezer packs and place on surface you plan to use for mixing in of ingredients. In between mixing different ingredients, wipe the surface and put the ice on it again. Keeping the stone cold is key!
- You can use dry ice too; it will get it even colder but wrap it in a towel and be careful about touching it; it can burn very quickly.
- If making the Strawberry Shortcake version, make the whipping cream. Combine the mascarpone cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium high until it starts to fluff up; turn mixer to high and beat until combined and sturdy. Put into a container and keep refrigerated until ready to mix-in ingredients.
- Crush cookies and chips, chop any nuts if desired (combining them with the pastry scraper will chop them too. Slice berries. Keep everything in assorted containers to add as each cone is made.
- Put two scoops of ice cream on the cold surface, sprinkle with desired mix-ins.
- Using a pastry scraper or spatula, cut through the ice cream and the ingredients and fold them over each other until just mixed together. Immediately scoop up and put into the waffle cone.