Food hacks: Ice cream

The weather is getting warmer and the time for root beer floats and ice cream sandwiches is here. This tasty frozen treat is appreciated in many parts of the world as a sugary dessert (or breakfast, we won't judge!) that most anyone can enjoy. Whether you eat it sandwiched between two cookies, on a stick or straight from the tub, we've got some ice cream hacks that will make your summer even better.

Cut it
We've all bent a spoon or two in our intense moments of needing ice cream right away. Quit ruining your grandmother's antique silverware and learn how to make ice cream scooping way easier. A great way to do this is by pre-cutting it. Warm a sharp cutting knife by dipping it in a glass of hot water. Now open your ice cream container and use the knife to cut 1-inch squares like a checkerboard. This will loosen the ice cream, making it much easier to get into with a scoop. You can repeat this process until you have enough of the treat for yourself and your guests.

Make an easy sandwich
Ever tried to squeeze a scoop of ice cream between two cookies? The cookies often break and the ice cream doesn't budge much. Don't fight the ice cream, work with it. Buy a small container of the kind of ice cream you want in the middle of your sandwich. Hold the container horizontally so the end you open is not at the top, but on the side. Use a bread knife to cut into the container all the way through, parallel to the opening. Now make another cut so that the ice cream is as thick as you want it to be in your sandwich. Once you've finished cutting, add another small slice into the outside of the container so you can get it off of the round of ice cream you've just made. Add it to your cookies and you've got a nearly no-mess alternative to smashed cookies and a hand full of ice cream.

Try a cookie bowl
Fancy ice cream parlors sometimes offer their wares in edible bowls. Cookie bowls are super good and you only have to wash the spoon when you're done! Make your own at home by molding cookie dough over the bottom side of a muffin tin. Bake as you would a normal cookie and you'll soon have a great vessel for your favorite frozen treat. Just be sure to let the bowls cool entirely before you put ice cream in them – you don't want them to melt. 

Enjoy some toppings
You know the little crumbles in DQ Blizzards and McDonalds McFlurries? You can make your own by simply placing your chosen ingredient (Oreos, M&Ms, etc) in a clean pepper grinder. Crank the handle over your ice cream and you've created your own version of the desserts. If you use Oreos, remove the cream part before adding it to the grinder or you'll have a sticky mess that doesn't crumble like you want it to.

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