Ice-cream's cookies and accompaniments

Cookies are not only delicious to eat with ice cream, some also can be shaped into cones, cigars, or cups to hold or dress up ice cream. You have to work quickly, wrapping or draping still-soft, warm cookies around your chosen shaping tools. For cones, wrap the soft cookie around a cone-shaped mold or shape by hand, then hold the cookie until it’s firm enough not to unroll. For cigars, roll the soft cookie around a wooden spoon handle or, for a larger version, wrap loosely over a rolling pin. For cups, drape the soft cookie over upturned cups or ramekins, then flute and shape slightly.



Chocolate cups

These cups are quick to make and are great for serving ice cream. They can be stored for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. To make them, melt 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate. Using either a double layer of paper cupcake liners or reusable silicone cupcake liners, paint the inside of 6 with a thick, even layer of the chocolate. Turn them upside down on a board or baking pan and let set. When they are hard, carefully peel away the liners and neaten the top edges.

Wafers

Wafer cones have been used for serving ice cream since the early nineteenth century, and they remain the most popular way of enjoying a scoop of ice cream on the move. Thin, flat wafers with a waffle pattern stamped on the surface can also be used to make ice cream sandwiches; or look out for fan-shaped wafers which make an excellent edible decoration for sundaes served in tall glasses.

Tuiles

Make these pretty curved biscuits to go with the more delicately flavored ices and sorbets.

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. orange or lemon zest or 2 tbsp. sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line baking pans with nonstick baking paper and set out your shaping tools. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually whisk in the sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Pour in the butter in a fine stream and fold in gently along with any flavoring. Place a few spoonfuls of batter well apart on the baking pan. Flatten out with the back of a spoon as thinly as possible. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the edges begin to turn brown. Remove from the oven and lift straight off the pans with a flat spatula. Shape immediately because they harden quickly. Makes about 30.

Freezer cookies

Keep a batch of this cookie dough in the freezer, rolled into a cylinder shape and wrapped in foil. Then you can slice cookies onto a baking pan, or add the uncooked dough straight into an ice cream.

  • 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually work in the egg and vanilla. Knead in the flour and baking powder to make a soft dough. Add flavoring if you wish — 2 to 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange rind, or 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (replacing 1 tablespoon flour). Chill until firm. Form a long roll and freeze until required, or roll out on a floured surface and cut into circles or shapes, as you wish. Place on baking sheets and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes until firm. They will crisp up as they cool. Makes about 20.

Ginger snaps (also called brandy snaps)

These crunchy, spicy, and lacy cookies can also be shaped in various ways to serve ice creams and sorbets in or with. I often serve ice cream in ginger baskets.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (or 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest or 2 tsp. brandy)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Melt the butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan until the ingredients are dissolved and well blended. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then beat in the flour and flavoring of your choice. Drop teaspoonfuls about 3 to 4 inches apart on baking pans and bake only 3 or 4 at a time for 6 to 7 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven, lift off the pans with a flat spatula, and shape immediately because they harden quickly. Makes about 20.