By Sherrie Norris
The third Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day, but someone understood that this delectable treat deserved more than just one day in its honor. That “someone” was none other than President Ronald Reagan, who in 1984, designated the entire month of July as National Ice Cream Month. Aren’t we glad he did? But, we also have to thank Kentucky Senator Walter Dee Huddleston for initially introducing a resolution for the proclamation, or we might never have been able to celebrate such an occasion.
It is estimated that at least 90 percent of the country’s population enjoys ice cream in some form or fashion. And, of course, in most locales, July is the perfect time to indulge. Statistics tell us that nearly three-fifths of all ice cream is produced and consumed in July, followed closely by June and May.
If you ask some folks, however, any day is a good day for ice cream.
According to the International Dairy Foods Association, in 2021, ice cream makers in the U.S. churned out more than 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream. The majority of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers have been in business for more than 50 years, and many are still family-owned businesses.
Also, the IDFA shares, that while ice cream makers are seeing increased demand for non-dairy ice creams and plant-based ingredients, consumers rank these at the bottom of the list for most-consumed types of ice cream and frozen desserts.
It is estimated that the average American eats about 20 pounds of ice cream each year, or about four gallons.
America’s Top 10 favorite flavors of ice cream are:
- Cookies and Cream
- Chocolate Chip
- Cookie Dough
- Butter Pecan
- French Vanilla
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
(10) Caramel/Salted Caramel
What type of “container” do consumers prefer:
Waffle cones beat out sugar cones, but more than one-third of consumers prefer to eat their ice cream out of a bowl.
What about toppings?:
Chocolate is the most popular topping sauce, beating out caramel, with nuts and sprinkles favored among dry toppings.
We could go on and on with all the available stats, but the most important thing is — It’s time to celebrate!
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup sugar
2 tsps. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker no more than two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Serve immediately or store in covered containers in freezer.
Homemade Ice Cream Cake
½ qt. container vanilla ice cream
½ qt. container chocolate ice cream
¾ cup hot fudge sauce
12 Oreo thins, crushed
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
sprinkles or other decorations as desired.
Remove ice cream from the freezer; let set for about 15 minutes.
While ice cream is softening, line two 8-inch cake pans with plastic wrap, leaving several inches of overhang.
Spoon each of the softened containers of ice cream separately into prepared pans, pressing down to remove air bubbles as you go. Cover with plastic wrap and press down evenly to smooth the top. Freeze for 8-12 hours or until hardened.
One hour before assembling cake, place a freezer-safe serving platter into freezer.
In large bowl, whip heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate.
To assemble cake: remove ice cream layers and serving platter from freezer. Unwrap the tops of the ice cream layers; using the excess plastic wrap, remove layers from pans. Place chocolate layer on the bottom. Smooth an even layer of hot fudge over the chocolate layer, leaving a ½-inch border. Sprinkle crushed Oreo thins over hot fudge; press down gently. Add vanilla layer over top. Spread whipped cream overtop of the entire cake, add sprinkles as desired and freeze until ready to serve.
Caramel -Topped Ice Cream Dessert
2 cups (about 16) finely crushed shortbread cookies
1/4 cup cashews, finely chopped
1/3 cup butter, melted
½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 (5 – oz.) cans evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pretzel sticks, coarsely crushed
½ cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 (12-oz.) jar caramel ice cream topping, warmed
Combine crust ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Press onto bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Freeze 10 minutes.
Spread ice cream over crust. Cover; freeze 1-2 hours or until set.
Meanwhile, combine fudge layer ingredients, except vanilla, in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 7-9 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool completely.
Pour cooled fudge layer mixture over frozen ice cream. Freeze 4 hours or overnight until set.
Combine pretzel sticks and cashews in bowl; set aside.
Let dessert stand at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares to serve Drizzle each with about 1 Tbsp. caramel topping; top with about 1 Tbsp. pretzel mixture.