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.

Happy Halloweekend!

Happy Halloween! It's that time of year to let your sweet tooth run wild! I'm serving up some unconventionally delicious fall treats. Enjoy!



Inside Out Caramel Apples

3 large Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples*
1 large lemon
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (alternatively, maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate sauce (optional)

Cut your apples in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the insides, leaving the walls intact at about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thickness. Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto the apples and allow to set. This will keep them from turning brown right away.

In a sauce pan over high heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup. Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved. Allow to boil, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 230F, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, stir continually until it stops bubbling. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Using a paper towel, wipe your apples down, removing the lemon juice as much as possible. If the inside of your apple is too wet, the caramel wont stick. Pour the caramel into the hollowed out apples until just below the top.

Chill in the refrigerator until the caramel has set, about 20 minutes. Cut into slices** and drizzle with chocolate sauce if desired.



Pumpkin Spice Popcorn


⅓ cup popcorn kernels
3 tbs coconut oil
3 tbs brown sugar (optional: 1 tbs brown sugar for topping)
½ tsp pumpkin spice mix
salt to taste


  1. In a medium to large saucepan, place 3 tbs of coconut oil and 3 (yes 3) popcorn kernels.
  2. While the oil is heating up, measure out the 3 tbs brown sugar and place in a bowl.
  3. Once the popcorn kernels start to pop, add in the ⅓ cup of kernels and continuously move the pan over the heat.
  4. After about 1 to 2 minutes stir in the brown sugar, cover, and continue to move the saucepan over the heat until the kernels start to pop.
  5. Move the saucepan rapidly over the heat (be careful) holding onto the lid until the kernels stop popping.
  6. Place in large bowl, wait for it to cool a bit, and top with pumpkin spice, salt to taste, and extra brown sugar (optional). Stir.




Ginger Rum Cocktail

·     Fresh ginger

·     ¾ oz lemon juice

·     1 oz apple juice

·     1 oz simple syrup

·     1 ½ oz Depaz Amber Rhum

Muddle ginger, lemon and apple. Add Rhum. Shake with ice and pour over ice into highball glass.



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Lulu's Ginger Cookie Cake

2 cups heavy cream1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon sour cream or creme fraiche Ginger cookies (recipe below)

In an electric mixer, beat the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Place a layer of ginger cookies in a 9 inch spring-form pan. Spread 1/2 of the whipped cream over the cookies. Top with another layer of cookies & spread remaining whipped cream over the cookies. Top with a final layer of cookies. Cover with plastic wrap & place in the fridge at least 6 hours or overnight. Release side of pan to serve. Save three extra cookies to crumble and sprinkle on top of cake.


2-½ cups whole-wheat flour 1-½ teaspoons ground ginger 1-teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1-teaspoon salt 1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ¾ cup butter ½ cup sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 egg ¼ cup molasses ¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Topping: ¼ cup white sugar 1-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1-teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, molasses, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Mix. Then add the flour and baking soda. Mix. Last but not least add the crystallized ginger. For topping mixture place ingredients in to a mixing bowl and mix together. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Then roll the balls in the topping mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes approximately 38 cookies.