Plus 17 more inventive toppings you have to try.
Making ice cream from scratch is hard, so I often opt instead to garnish vanilla Häagen-Dazs with something fun, like candied bacon — easy to make by brushing on maple syrup and brown sugar as it bakes. Delicious! Or, I let the ice cream soften a bit, mix in something like broken-up Butterfingers or cookies — or anything yum — and refreeze. Vanilla doesn't have to be vanilla.
- 2/3 cup grade A or B maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 pounds beef or turkey bacon
Preheat the oven to 325oF. In a small heavy saucepan mix together the syrup, mustard, and sugar and heat slowly on low heat, stirring often. Cook until syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon in a large pan on medium-high heat using a “bacon weight” to keep the bacon really flat as it cooks. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, drain the bacon on a paper towel. Lay the flattened bacon on a jelly roll pan and brush the glaze on both sides. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Not into bacon? Try more of my favorite vanilla ice cream toppings:
- Candied bacon (shown)
- St-Germain liqueur, plus berries and chopped basil
- Dehydrated or fresh fruit
- Caramel popcorn
- Olive oil and lemon zest
- Cotton candy and edible gold flakes (buy on Amazon)
- Candied ginger or orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Brown rice cereal, dipped in melted chocolate and cooled
- Whipped cream mixed with malted milk
- Hot fudge with crumbled candy canes (any time of year!)
- Crushed malt balls and toffee—dangerously good
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans
- Any flavor of Compartés chocolate bars, broken up
- Salty pretzel pieces
- Lillet rosé dessert wine
- Crumbled shortbread
- Crushed Oreos. I love them.
This story originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of House Beautiful.