Yep, We Seriously Want You to Add Bacon to Your Vanilla Ice Cream

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.


Caramelized Bacon

  • 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:

  1. Candied bacon (shown)
  2. St-Germain liqueur, plus berries and chopped basil
  3. Dehydrated or fresh fruit
  4. Caramel popcorn
  5. Olive oil and lemon zest
  6. Cotton candy and edible gold flakes (buy on Amazon)
  7. Candied ginger or orange, grapefruit, or lemon peel
  8. Toasted coconut flakes
  9. Brown rice cereal, dipped in melted chocolate and cooled
  10. Whipped cream mixed with malted milk
  11. Hot fudge with crumbled candy canes (any time of year!)
  12. Crushed malt balls and toffee—dangerously good
  13. Chocolate-covered espresso beans
  14. Any flavor of Compartés chocolate bars, broken up
  15. Salty pretzel pieces
  16. Lillet rosé dessert wine
  17. Crumbled shortbread
  18. Crushed Oreos. I love them.

This story originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of House Beautiful.

Rosemary & Mint Easter Roulade


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 cup Rosemary Mint Syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch


  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary mint syrup
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons malted milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 cups fresh mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons julienned mint

Line the base and sides of a 13 by 9-inch pan with parchment paper, making sure to overlap all edges. Spray parchment with coconut spray. For the meringue, in a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they begin to firm up. Add the rosemary mint syrup to the whites, tip into the bowl in a slow stream. Continue beating until a firm, glossy peak forms. Slowly add in the vanilla, vinegar, and cornstarch. Spread the mixture inside the prepared pan and level with an offset spatula.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F, until a crust forms and the meringue is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool. Unmold the cooled meringue onto a fresh piece of parchment paper. Slowly peel off the lining paper.

For cream place the mascarpone and rosemary mint syrup in a mixing bowl and slowly whisk until smooth. Then slowly add the cream and turn mixer up for about 4 minutes, until your whip cream is ready.

Spread half of the mascarpone whipped cream over the meringue. Leave room around the edges. Scatter 2 cups of the berries evenly over the whipped cream.

Roll up the meringue into a log shape. Carefully transfer the log onto a serving dish. Use the remaining cream to cover log.  Chill for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve adorn with julienned mint and sprinkle with remaining berries.


Rosemary Mint Simple Syrup:

In pan heat 2 cup water, 2 cup sugar, 1 cup pulled mint, 1/4th cup rosemary. 

Bring all ingredients to a boil, As soon as it coats a spoon turn off and let it cool.

Strain out herbs and place syrup in a jar. Keep extra for a sneeky!

Lulu's Banana Zabaglione with Fresh Berries and Shortbread Cookies

Banana Zabaglione Makes about 3 cups; serves 8

8 large egg yolks ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar ¾ cup banana liqueur 1½ cups heavy cream 2 cups fresh berries Rosemary Shortbread, for serving (recipe follows)

1. Place the egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and liqueur on the top of a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl above a saucepan of simmering water. (If using a bowl, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.) Whisk the custard mixture constantly. 2. Continue whisking for about 8 to 10 minutes. The custard mixture should become light, creamy and a pale yellow. If you’re serving the custard as a sauce, cook until slightly thickened. (Increasing the cooking time will thicken the custard to a mousse-like texture.) When it reaches the desired consistency, remove the sauce from the heat and continue whisking for a minute or two to prevent the custard from sticking to its container. 3. Cool down the Zabaglione by placing the bowl in an ice bath. 4. In a stand mixer or food processor, beat the cream with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar with a hand mixer until it holds soft peaks. Fold the cream into the Zabaglione and serve immediately or let it cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Rosemary Shortbread

These are good with coffee, tea, or a warm cup of milk with a touch of honey

Makes 2 dozen

1½ sticks margarine, softened 1¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup sugar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. Cream the margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and mix well. Fold in the rosemary. 3. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and press them flat with the back of a fork. 4. Bake for 10 minutes. 5. Store the shortbread in a covered container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze them, wrapped in plastic wrap in a zip-top bag, for up to 1 month.