It was my birthday last week and I decided to throw an ice cream social birthday party to celebrate! One of the women from my baking club is moving to the UK for a few years and allowed me to "babysit" her ice cream maker while she's away. I quickly began brainstorming all the different flavors I wanted to make. I initially had a list of at least six different flavors but I think I was underestimating how much ice cream my friends and I could eat and how much my freezer could hold! So I narrowed my list down to only four flavors.
My favorite everyday ice cream flavor is cookies and cream. I found a no-cook vanilla base and decided to use birthday cake flavored Oreos to help make it extra special. I think this was the crowd favorite at the party based on how much (more like how little) of it was left!
Since I had a vanilla based flavor, I knew I needed a chocolate one as well. But I wanted to kick it up a notch and so I added chunks of candy bar. And not just one candy bar, not two but four candy bars! I stirred in a mix of Kit Kat, Twix, Snickers and Reese's Cups - all of my favorite flavors.
As some of you may remember, I have made a pistachio cake the past few years for my birthday. I decided not to make a cake this year but still needed to have pistachio in my life. So I knew a pistachio ice cream was a must for my birthday. This recipe differed from the previous two in that the ice cream base was a cooked custard. And holy cow was this ice cream good. I think it might have been one of the best scoops of ice cream I've ever had - and well worth all the extra steps, dirty dishes and calories!
Lastly, I made a fresh strawberry sorbet. I found the recipe in a Ben & Jerry's cookbook and it was a nice, light alternative to the rich and heavy ice creams. It reminded me of the little Italian water ice cups I used to eat as a kid. It's a great refreshing treat to beat the heat of summer!
Once I had my theme and flavors selected, I focused on the decorations and party favors. I saw many ideas I liked on Pinterest but as the party drew closer and closer, I only had so much time to get everything done. To really highlight the theme, I got an ice cream cone table cloth and napkins and found the most adorable ice cream bowls and spoons that look like ice cream cones.
One of my favorite ideas I saw was to make ice cream cone balloons. I got some pink, blue, green and purple balloons and took some brown kraft paper and formed it into a cone and attach it to the balloons. In a bunch, they made the perfect center piece for the living room.
Now you can't have an ice cream social without all the sundae fixings! I organized cups of candy, nuts, sprinkles and cherries onto one of those cardboard cupcake stands. Cups of homemade whipped cream and bottles of chocolate sauce flanked the display. Everything was set for a party!
Before my guests left, I wanted them to take a little favor from the party. In addition to my friends' kids getting to take home their ice cream bowls, everyone got a little ice cream shaped chocolate. I found the adorable chocolate mold online and painted and piped in melted chocolate to make these favors. They were the proverbial cherry on top!