This summer has been very low-key for us. We will be taking a family trip to Comic-Con in a couple weeks so we’ve been saving our dollars and hanging out at home…A LOT. Our family fun has this summer has been having a BBQ and watching the latest movie that we pick up at the Redbox. Not real exciting stuff, but it suits us fine.
That was until we did the unexpected: we hosted an ice cream sundae party.
I was one of a few lucky bloggers selected by Smart & Final to have my own ice cream party. They provided me with all the goodies, and I got to plan and organize what I knew would be a memorable event for my family and friends. I had a BLAST and made all kinds of creative party decorations (made from digital scrapbooking supplies, of course). I also wanted to make this ice cream sundae party memorable for my guests, so I added a few things that I knew would do that – such as chocolate ice cream bowls (made from water balloons) and an ice cream topping for the adults: Tequila Caramel Sauce.
One of the first things the kids and I did was we made our chocolate ice cream bowls. We’ve seen this done online and have always wanted to try it ourselves, but I knew I wanted to put my own fun twist on it. Using a 12oz bag of First Street milk chocolate chips, I melted it in the microwave according to the directions on the bag. We also blew up lots of water balloons.
With a small spoon, we put a bit of chocolate directly onto wax paper, which was on top of a baking sheet. Then, we dipped the bottoms of the water balloons into the melted chocolate and set the balloon directly onto the chocolate “base” we put on the wax paper.
This shows just a few that we did, but we did a BUNCH of them (I ended up using 2 bags of chocolate chips – 24 oz total). After we were done with them, I put them in the refrigerator. I don’t think this is absolutely necessary for everyone, but my house was fairly warm and I wanted the chocolate to set a bit quicker.
But we weren’t finished there. I wanted to give these chocolate bowls some extra fun, so I melted more milk chocolate chips (about 6 oz) and put an assortment of First Street Dec-O Toppes into bowls. Working carefully, but quickly, I dipped the top of each bowl into the melted chocolate and then directly into the decorations.
Kinda cool, huh? After I finished dipping the tops, I put them back into the refrigerator to let the chocolate firm up and I got busy on my Tequila Caramel Sauce.
Now, Smart & Final provided me with lots of great toppings for my ice cream sundae party and while I enjoy them too, I wanted to do something was special and unique for my adult guests. Tequila Caramel Sauce is perfect for that! This is the second time I’ve made Tequila Caramel Sauce – the first time you might remember from the Chocolate Marquise on Torched Meringue post I did. I felt in love with it then and realized how VERY simple it was to make this delicious sauce.
Tequila Caramel Sauce starts with 8oz of sugar and 4oz of water. You boil it and as it cooks, the sugar starts to caramelize and turn thicker and darker in color. The images above aren’t the best quality but it does show you how it changes as it cooks. Oh, and I used my Anthropologie Mini Latte Bowl for serving the sauce…those bowls make me happy.
After it’s finished cooking, you add in a bit of salt and 2 tablespoons of tequila. That’s it…totally easy.
NOTE: See the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
I did a few other things, like I toasted coconut. David and I love coconut (oh, Stabucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccinos…I would like to marry you), so this was a definite for one of our sundae toppings. And it’s so easy to toast coconut – I just put it in a pan on my stove and over low-medium heat, I browned it. It’s easy to burn coconut so you have to keep it moving and watch it very closely, but the results are A-MAZ-ING.
It was time to get our party started!! I made all sorts of party decorations from digital scrapbook products (I used the Make A Wish Kit at Happy To Create for most everything). I made a framed art that welcomed our family and friends. I made my own ice cream cone wrappers and a tabletop pennant banner.
I also made lots of little signs for all the different items on our DIY ice cream sundae table. Here was the one for the toppings.
Our guests got busy making their sundaes. We had 3 kinds of ice cream: First Street Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (that was my favorite), First Street Chocolate Ice Cream, and First Street Moose Tracks.
Some of my guests (who I won’t mention but they know who they are) freaked out about having their faces shown, but Matthew was always happy to have his photo taken. He was in heaven when he heard we were having this ice cream party.
I placed most of the toppings in little plastic see-thru cups that had been lined with cupcake liners. I placed all the cups on a scrapbook paper lined tray.
Everyone had a blast making their sundaes. It was funny listening to a couple people say that they had enough on their sundae and then they saw something else that we had, like the toasted coconut, and they added even more on.
It also got rather competitive with a few people saying they were the pros at sundae making. In hindsight, I should have had a sundae competition with prizes for the best looking sundae, the biggest sundae, the ugliest sundae, and so on. Ha! That’s a good idea for next time.
It was a fun & memorable night. While I was taking photos and enjoy hanging out with everyone, I was reminded how things like this create long-lasting memories. Ice cream is something our family enjoys fairly regularly, but having sundaes like this is much less common, and we’ve never had a full blown ice cream party. It was a good time full of conversation, laughter, and full bellies – what could be better?
Here’s the recipes!
- 1 cup sugar (8 oz)
- 1/2 cup water (4 oz)
- 1 cup heavy cream (8 oz)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and sugar caramelizes and becomes darker in color.
- Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream to the darkened sugar mixture. It will bubble and pop, so use caution and be careful to not overflow the pot; you can add less cream at this point, if necessary, to avoid overflowing the mixture.
- Return the saucepan to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar bits and to finish adding the rest of cream (if not all added at this point). The sauce will continue to darken. When the sauce is smooth, all hardened sugar has dissolved, and the sauce has darken to your liking, remove from heat.
- Whisk in the salt and the tequila. Set aside until ready to serve as an ice cream topping or as a drizzle on cakes or other baked items.
- 1-2 bags First Street Milk Chocolate Chips (12oz each; amount actually needed will depend on how many you wish to make)
- 6oz First Street Milk Chocolate Chips (this is in addition to above)
- First Street Dec-O Toppes (such Rainbow Crystals, Dandy Daisies, Dark Chocolate Sprinkles) or other edible toppings (such as chopped nuts)
- Water Balloons
- Wax Paper
- Blow up several water balloons. You will need one balloon per ice cream cup. Have extra balloons on hand in case any of them pop. Line a baking sheet or tray with wax paper.
- Melt chocolate chips according to package directions.
- With a spoon, put a small amount (size of a quarter or so is fine) of melted chocolate on the wax paper. Dip the bottom of a balloon in the melted chocolate to coat it completely. Place the bottom of the balloon directly on top of the chocolate you placed on the wax paper. Repeat with remaining balloons.
- Allow chocolate dipped balloons to get firm. If your home is very warm, or to speed up the process, you may want to place them in a refrigerator. When chocolate is firm, pop balloons with a thumbtack or pin. Discard popped balloons.
- Place each First Street Dec-O Toppes (or other edible topping) in separate bowls. Melt an additional 6oz of milk chocolate according to package directions. Dip the top of each chocolate bowl in the newly melted chocolate and then dip in the topping of your choice. Return each bowl to the wax paper. Refrigerate again, if necessary, to firm up the chocolate.
- To use, place a chocolate bowl on a plate or in a bowl. Fill bowl with ice cream and top, as desired, with other sundae toppings.
This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are 100% my own.