- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A sure sign that summer is near: Publishers are rolling out their latest batch of ice cream and frozen treat cookbooks. For those without the cash or counter space for an ice cream maker, Sunil Vijayakar’s “Ice” (Ryland, Peters & Small) is the answer. This small book covers sorbets, granitas and sherbets and includes many recipes that don’t require an ice cream machine. The mixed-berry iced souffles, for example, use a food processor to puree berries, which then are folded into whipped egg whites and Greek-style yogurt. The resulting treat is airy, elegant and delicious. Even easier are the crushed ice sticks (also called golas). Essentially, crushed ice is pressed around a stick, then used to sop up fruit-based cordials. For those who have indulged in an ice cream maker, there is David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop” (Ten Speed Press), a hefty treatment of numerous ice creams, sorbets and granitas as well as the things that go with and into them. Although equipment is key, Mr. Lebovitz’s recipes are simple and easy to follow. Many also are creative, such as roasted banana ice cream and sweet-potato ice cream with maple-glazed pecans. There’s plenty for those with less adventurous tastes, too, including lemon-buttermilk sherbet, which is deliciously rich and lemony. FROZEN TREAT Vegan ice cream too often tastes like it sounds — deprivation. However, Turtle Mountain, based in Eugene, Ore., has shown it is possible to ditch the cream and still have a creamy frozen treat. Its newest variety of ice cream, Purely Decadent Dairy Free, Gluten Free Cookie Dough, isn’t just dairy-free, it’s also gluten-free. Mind you, this won’t fool fans of the real thing. As with most vegan ice creams, the first bite or so of Turtle Mountain’s cookie dough telegraphs that something isn’t quite normal. This quickly fades, though, and the ice cream proves satisfying. That’s likely thanks to the added cookie dough and chocolate chips, which provide plenty of appealing taste and texture to make up for the creaminess some people will feel is missing. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s diet. A half-cup serving has 230 calories and 8 grams of fat. (For comparison, Edy’s Grand cookie dough ice cream has 180 calories and 9 grams of fat.) Still, if you want to indulge without the dairy, this is a great way to go. KA-DINKS Though it’s certainly easier to eat ice cream directly from the pint, it can seem a bit gauche to try that when entertaining. So to help you dress up your ice cream for company, glassware maker Libbey has introduced Ka-dinks, a set of funky ice cream sundae glasses in a mix of bright pastels. They are available at major retailers nationwide, or visit www.libbey.com/store. The cost is $19.99 for a 4-piece set. The Ka-dinks 5-ounce sundae glasses have a cool look and feel, and their naturally frosted appearance is enhanced by a quick visit to the freezer before they’re filled with a favorite frozen treat. If you’re more the frappe or float type, Libbey has 17-ounce soda glasses in the same multicolored line and at the same price. GOING BALSAMIC It may sound strange, but balsamic vinegar is an amazing accompaniment to sweet treats, especially if they involve chocolate. In this recipe, the vinegar is stirred into softened vanilla ice cream that is studded with chocolate cookies. The best part? No ice cream maker is needed. Instead, you doctor up a pint of your favorite store-bought vanilla. Balsamic ice cream This recipe is adapted from Delicious, a British food magazine. From start to finish, the recipe needs 3 hours. ½ cup balsamic vinegar 10 cream-filled chocolate cookies (such as Oreos) 1 pint vanilla ice cream In a small saucepan, simmer the balsamic vinegar until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, place the cookies in a zip-close plastic bag and gently pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to crush into small chunks. Set aside. Once the vinegar has cooled, soften the ice cream by microwaving it in 5-second bursts until easily mixed with a spoon. It should be soft, but not melted. Transfer the ice cream to a medium bowl. Drizzle the vinegar into the ice cream and mix well until thoroughly blended. Add the cookies and mix well. Cover the ice cream and return to the freezer until firm, 2 to 3 hours. Makes 1 pint.

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