I spent a lot of time at the park when I was little. I did all kinds of things: biking, roller skating, playing soccer and just about any other sport/activity you can think of alone or with my friends. One of my favorite activities – if I had a bit of change in my pocket – was paying a visit to the ice cream truck when it rolled through the parking lot. I tried everything, from flavored chewing gum that only cost pennies (when I really didn’t have anything to spend) to colorful, shaped ice cream pops with balls of rock-hard frozen chewing gum embedded in them (awful, but oh-so appealing anyway). My absolute favorite treats were Drumstick Sundae Cones: sugar cones filled with vanilla ice cream, dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with nuts.
The original cones will be classics for a long time to come, but these days I’m not content to stick with only one kind of ice cream treat. I want better chocolate, more interesting flavors and – most importantly – I want it to be homemade. So, just like I did earlier this year with Girl Scout Cookies, I set about making my own homemade ice cream Drumsticks!
I picked up a package of sugar cones at the grocery store and searched through the ice cream to find a flavor that appealed to me. Homemade ice cream or gelato would be great, too, but I didn’t have any ready in my freezer. I settled on a delicious flavor called “French Silk”, which is vanilla and coffee swirl ice cream with big chocolate chips.
Drumsticks have a chocolate plug at the bottom that prevents ice cream from leaking out as it softens while you eat it. Instead of melting chocolate and waiting for it to set, I used some chocolate chips to “plug” the bottom of the cones before filling them with ice cream. Sugar cones are pretty much the only way to go for these treats. Cake cones won’t hold up to the process while remaining crispy and waffle cones are inconsistent in size and shape, more prone to leaks than sugar cones are. I topped each of the filled cones off with a scoop of ice cream (rounding it off with a spoon to try and get a perfect shape) and put them in the freezer to chill.
My freezer happens to be perfectly set up for freezing homemade Drumsticks. The top shelf is made of a wire grate that is the ideal size to hold each cone upright as the ice cream freezes. If you haven’t lucked out in the freezer design department, you can use anything from a tall, narrow glass to a cardboard/styrofoam egg tray with holes punched through the bottom to support the cones while they chill. As a last resort, the cones can also be laid flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet to set up, although the shape will be slightly compromised if you have to go with this route.
Once the ice cream-filled cones have frozen solid, they can be dipped in chocolate. I used a dark chocolate and butter ganache. Chocolate alone can be on the thick side when melted, but adding butter to the chocolate gave it a much thinner consistency that made it easier to work with. When you dip the cone, work quickly but don’t worry too much about the ice cream melting; the chocolate freezes onto the cone slightly faster than the ice cream melts. If you want to add nuts to the chocolate coating, simply roll the cone in chopped peanuts (I prefer roasted and salted for this) right after the cone has been coated. Put each one back in the freezer immediately after you dip it.
Once the cone has frozen up again, all there is left to do is eat and enjoy. I know that I did!
Homemade Ice Cream Drumsticks
1/2 gallon ice cream (any flavor), slightly softened
8 sugar cones
1 1/4 cups semisweet/dark chocolate chips
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted/salted peanuts, optional
Set up freezer with a holder to support ice cream cones, or place 8 narrow glasses inside that can support the cones. Alternatively, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a piece of parchment paper and setting it in the freezer.
Place 2 chocolate chips in the bottom of each of the sugar cones.
Use a butter knife to fill each of the cones with ice cream, then top off with a rounded scoop of ice cream. Place each ice cream cone in the freezer as you finish, either placing them inside the narrow glasses (or other stand) to hold them upright or laying them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Freeze for at least 3 hours.
Melt the remaining chocolate chips with 2 tbsp of butter in the microwave, working in 30 second increments. Choose a small bowl because it makes dipping easier. Stir in remaining butter. Chocolate should be smooth and relatively thin.
Working with one ice cream cone at a time, dip the frozen ice cream scoops in chocolate, rotate to coat and return to freezer. If using nuts, quickly dip chocolate into nuts before re-freezing.
Chill at least 1-2 hours before serving. Store in airtight bags.
Makes 8 drumsticks.