Merry Minty Christmas

I’ve felt honored to create recipes for Dreyer’s ice cream for many years. When they requested a series of simple yet clever peppermint ice cream holiday recipes, I was challenged to top the success of the Peppermint Brownie Presents I created in 2001. Easy and clever isn’t always easy to invent! My recipe inspiration often comes in unexpected ways. I thank Maurine, the administrator of the San Francisco Professional Food Society for our conversation that inspired these simple cookie ‘ornaments’. The ice cream drum cake sprang from my memory of a Betty Crocker Boys and Girls cookbook recipe that used peppermint sticks to decorate a cake like a toy drum. And the chocolate soda is simply a perfect combination of chocolate and mint. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Peppermint Ice Cream Ornaments
Decorate the tops of purchased chocolate wafer cookies using cookie icing, sugar crystals and candies.
Place a scoop of peppermint ice cream on one unfrosted cookie; flatten and smooth edges of ice cream with a table knife.
Top with a frosted cookie. Place in a covered container and freeze. Repeat to make as many as desired.

Peppermint Drum Cake Peppermint Ice Cream Drum Cake
Bake a single layer 8 or 9-inch cake in a springform pan (if using cake mix, use half or make two cakes). Cool in pan, then freeze to firm top of cake.
Spread 1 carton Dreyer’s peppermint ice cream over cake in pan. Freeze.
Remove sides of pan. Frost sides of cake and 1-inch border around cake top. Return to freezer if ice cream softens too much.
Squeeze decorating icing in criss-ccross pattern on top. Press sugar sticks or straight part of candy canes diagonally around sides (about 24 sticks).
Place candied cherries on top of cake.
To make drumsticks, moisten 2 large marshmallows with water. Roll in colored sugar crystals. Insert pretzel rods.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Peppermint Soda is even simpler: Stir 1/4 cup whole milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup* and 3/4 cup sparkling water in a tall glass. Top with 2 scoops of Dreyer’s Peppermint Ice cream. Garnish with whipped cream and a candy cane.Peppermint Chocolate Soda

I prefer homemade chocolate syrup. It’s easy to make, tastes really good, and keeps several weeks in the refrigerator.
*Chocolate Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of salt
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir sugar, cocoa and salt together in a small saucepan.
Using a whisk, gradually stir in water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly then chill. Use in chocolate sodas or for ice cream topping.
Makes about 1-3/4 cup.

Recipes by Rosemary . Photos by Eskite photography, styling by Kim Kissling

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