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Favorite unusual toppings for vanilla ice cream?

cimui Feb 25, 2007 01:09 AM

I'm throwing a friend of mine a blast from the past birthday party complete with laser tag (we're 80s babies) and an ice cream bar. I'm planning on buying good vanilla ice cream and laying out a bunch of toppings--but with a semi-adult twist. Aside from the usual suspects like hot fudge, crushed cookies and candy, what would you have on hand? I love mandarin oranges in syrup or lychees in syrup over mine, maybe azuki or sweet mung beans. Other ideas?

  1. Emme Feb 25, 2007 01:30 AM

    Fresh buttered popcorn.

    Cinnamon flavored graham crackers w/ sauteed apples in Calvados.

    Chocolate (white or dark) covered pretzels.

    1. GroovinGourmet Feb 25, 2007 03:49 AM

      This just popped up in conversation last night. One of the early New American restaurants in Salt Lake City was Café Bacchus. The chef has resurfaced at a new wine bar in town and it reminded me of what was then (late '80s')a most unusual dessert:

      Homemade vanilla bean ice cream with raspberries and balsamic vinegar. AWESOME!

      4 Replies
      1. re: GroovinGourmet
        spyturtle008 Mar 3, 2007 09:59 AM

        I recently bought a bottle of fig balsamic vinegar with just this in mind... Wonderful -- great combo of sweet & tart -- over Breyer's vanilla.

        Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend my favorite food of all time, Jeni's Ice Cream, in Columbus, OH -- yes, she does mail order, and yes, these flavors are as decadent as they sound and worth every penny...


        1. re: spyturtle008
          maxelope Apr 25, 2012 04:06 PM

          That's funny, I was just at Jeni's on a trip to Columbus two weeks ago... and I got her Goat Cheese and Balsamic Fig ice cream :D Delish!

          1. re: spyturtle008
            melpy Apr 27, 2012 09:07 AM

            Interesting. I have pear and cinnamon flavored balsamic that I bet would be delicious!

          2. re: GroovinGourmet
            biondanonima Jun 14, 2012 11:46 AM

            I like to cook plums in a little brown sugar and balsamic and use them, warm, as a topping for ice cream or yogurt. YUM!

          3. b
            bijoux16 Feb 25, 2007 04:03 AM

            I like gummy bears in my vanilla ice cream, but I don't know anyone else who does. :) my friend used to work at a small frozen yogurt place (not ColdStone) and she said some of the more popular choices were - animal cookies (the pink and white ones with sprinkles), honey roasted peanuts, fresh pineapple with coconut, and granola.

            1. h
              HDinCentralME Feb 25, 2007 05:07 AM

              Dark amber maple syrup (preferably from Maine).

              1. b
                bogie Feb 25, 2007 05:28 AM

                Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce. Spicy, adult dessert fun!

                1. m
                  marlie202 Feb 25, 2007 05:36 AM

                  chocolate chili sauce

                  1. v
                    violet heather Feb 25, 2007 06:01 AM

                    Malted Milk Powder - The salty grit is a good combo with the sweet smooth.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: violet heather
                      sillyrabbit Feb 25, 2007 07:46 AM

                      Exactly! My big brother always put Nestle Quik powder on his ice cream. Ah, good memories. The chocolatey crunch is a great compliment to the smooth vanilla.

                      1. re: sillyrabbit
                        chigirl71 Mar 3, 2007 07:40 AM

                        I *love* Ovaltine powder on vanilla ice cream.

                      2. re: violet heather
                        calmossimo May 6, 2012 08:04 PM

                        +1 for malted milk powder!

                      3. p
                        piccola Feb 25, 2007 06:17 AM

                        Dulce de leche
                        Cereal - either healthy (Grape Nuts) or indulgent (Cocoa Puffs)
                        Crushed peanut butter sandwich crackers
                        Red hots
                        Crushed chips of any kind

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: piccola
                          melpy Apr 27, 2012 09:08 AM

                          Grapenut flavored ice cream is super popular where I live!

                        2. carswell Feb 25, 2007 06:22 AM

                          Treacly Pedro Ximinez sherry
                          A shot of scotch with a dusting of finely ground espresso beans

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: carswell
                            GG Mora Feb 25, 2007 07:09 AM

                            I was going to recommend finely ground espresso powder. It sounds a little wierd if you've never tried it, but it definitely transcends. Never tried it with scotch; that sounds delicious. (Hello, Carswell)

                          2. t
                            torta basilica Feb 25, 2007 06:43 AM

                            Not really adult, but I love salted Spanish peanuts & really good honey...

                            1. l
                              Lucia Feb 25, 2007 07:04 AM

                              caramel and pretzels

                              1. l
                                lucyis Feb 25, 2007 07:38 AM

                                warmed peanut butter
                                wet nuts

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: lucyis
                                  GreenDragon Jun 14, 2012 11:26 AM

                                  I was wondering when someone would start with the alcohol! I have tried Kahlua, Amaretto, and Baileys. They are all good. I'll bet Godiva Chocolate Liquours would be tasty, as well.

                                  1. re: GreenDragon
                                    Fydeaux Jun 15, 2012 06:09 AM

                                    I dont know if it's still made or not, but there used to be an Israeli liqueur called Sabra, kind of an orange/chocolate kind of thing. Too sweet in all but the tiniest of sips, but great over vanilla ice cream.

                                    And now that I'm thinking about it, i remember having spumoni with Cointreau a long time ago and enjoying that too.

                                    1. re: Fydeaux
                                      Steve Green Jun 16, 2012 05:57 AM

                                      Sabra is still around. My parents had a bottle lying around when I was young and I remember liking it. Picked up a bottle a few years back, and it's way too sweet for me now. Will have to try it over ice cream. Those liqueurs don't spoil, do they?

                                      1. re: Steve Green
                                        mamachef Jun 16, 2012 06:32 AM

                                        Nah. The incredibly high sugar content should keep it just as good as the day you opened it. Gaaaaah Sabra. My folks kept a bottle of it around, and me and my girlfriends snatched that and a bottle of sloe gin in high school, and proceeded to get sickeningly buzzed, and I do mean sickeningly, and the aftermath was.....not good.

                                      2. re: Fydeaux
                                        KSlink Jun 16, 2012 08:08 AM

                                        You are the only other person I've come across who remembers Sabra, delightful stuff! I used it with Amaretto, Frangelico, and Kahlua in a memorable tiramisu--and have never been able to find it again.....:(

                                      3. re: GreenDragon
                                        pdxgastro Jun 15, 2012 09:43 PM

                                        Ha. Thanks for the reminder. We used to pour Menta, an electric-green mint liqueur, over ice cream. For the kids! Italians are crazy like that. :o)

                                    2. Sarah Feb 25, 2007 07:41 AM

                                      Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal, especially after the ice cream gets kinda soft and melty!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Sarah
                                        Emme Feb 25, 2007 09:47 AM

                                        And Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Captain Crunch.

                                        1. re: Emme
                                          Oh Robin Feb 26, 2007 08:02 AM

                                          Yes! CT Crunch on Dreyer's Double Vanilla rocks! I'm not alone!

                                          1. re: Emme
                                            juli5122 May 2, 2012 01:40 PM

                                            Captain Crunch with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt is insanely good.

                                        2. p
                                          peppatty Feb 25, 2007 07:58 AM

                                          coarse sea salt and apple pie

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: peppatty
                                            piccola Feb 25, 2007 04:19 PM

                                            First time I see "apple pie" as a topping...

                                          2. f
                                            Flour Child Feb 25, 2007 08:01 AM

                                            Espresso powder and brandy. Thank you Julia Child!

                                            1. s
                                              shaebones Feb 25, 2007 08:34 AM

                                              Your favorite granola

                                              1. Karl S Feb 25, 2007 09:09 AM

                                                Bar none, amarena cherries (wild Italian mountain cherries in syrup; Fabbri is the most commonly available brand in the US, in the white & blue glass/porcelainish vase-shaped containers).

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                  biondanonima Jun 14, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                  By far my favorite of all gelato flavors - I order it every time I see it! Nothing is better than amarena!

                                                2. Abacus Feb 25, 2007 09:15 AM

                                                  Extra crunchy peanut butter. That's all I want on my vanilla.......

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Abacus
                                                    susancinsf Feb 25, 2007 11:24 AM

                                                    You can also mix the peanut butter with the maple syrup someone mentioned earlier, and pour over a combo of both...

                                                    or Kahlua.

                                                    1. re: Abacus
                                                      piccola Feb 25, 2007 04:21 PM

                                                      Almond butter works well too - it's runnier than PB, more like a sauce

                                                    2. s
                                                      sue zookie Feb 25, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                      Rhubarb compote. We just had this last night over vanilla ice cream. And such a beautiful color.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: sue zookie
                                                        katielp May 2, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                        Yes, I agree -- a loose rhubarb compote, like the Bonne Maman one. It's also very nice with waffles and cream.

                                                      2. MsDiPesto Feb 25, 2007 10:38 AM

                                                        Someone's already mentioned basalmic vinegar, but here's another fave of mine:

                                                        Powdered ginger. Divine!

                                                        1. d
                                                          Displaced California Foodie Feb 25, 2007 10:41 AM

                                                          Crushed mint Gril Scout Cookies!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Displaced California Foodie
                                                            jfood Feb 25, 2007 11:13 AM

                                                            Edy's out east has this already blended into a vanilla base this time of year. Very good.

                                                          2. n
                                                            newbatgirl Feb 25, 2007 10:44 AM

                                                            Perhaps toasted cubes of really good pound or chiffon cake? Then topped with the eater's choice of syrup? Awww, now I am getting hungry!

                                                            ETA: How about a riff on waffle cones? Make a batch of homemade waffles, perhaps a flavored kind like gingerbread, cut into strips and toast until slighty crispy. Then people can poke as many strips as they like into their cups of ice cream or dip into a selection of syrups.

                                                            1. k
                                                              kobetobiko Feb 25, 2007 11:30 AM

                                                              I like to top my vanilla ice-cream with fresh-ground black pepper, and some Malton sea salt. Sometime I will substitute the black pepper with chilli powder.

                                                              I always like to have some salty component with my sweets, and sometimes a kick! (like this one)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: kobetobiko
                                                                jem Feb 25, 2007 05:05 PM

                                                                me too! i've also tried crispy bacon.

                                                              2. d
                                                                debbiel Feb 25, 2007 01:29 PM

                                                                Not necessarily unusual, but honey or kahlua or irish cream

                                                                1. jenniebnyc Feb 25, 2007 04:27 PM

                                                                  toasted coconut
                                                                  salted pistachios - i get them shelled from Trader Joes
                                                                  wet walnuts
                                                                  brownie cubes
                                                                  peanut brittle
                                                                  candy cane bark
                                                                  cinammon and sugar

                                                                  Fresh whipped cream

                                                                  1. t
                                                                    tomato Feb 25, 2007 04:35 PM

                                                                    I don't think I went to a single 80s birthday party that didn't somehow involve marshmallow fluff.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: tomato
                                                                      jenniebnyc Feb 25, 2007 04:39 PM

                                                                      i guess we should add Magic Shell to the list too then.

                                                                      1. re: tomato
                                                                        cimui Feb 27, 2007 05:49 AM

                                                                        Heh! Like those "Double Dare" themed parties (after the TV show) where one of the "challenges" involved sticking your face into a vat of this stuff to fish out a spoon with your tongue? I loved those!!

                                                                        Err... okay, never mind.

                                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                                          lizrdkng67 Feb 28, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                          I forgot about Double Dare & their physical challenges! Rock on marshmallow fluff!

                                                                          1. re: lizrdkng67
                                                                            lollya Mar 6, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                            the big nose, where you had to pull the flag out of the nostril! yikes.

                                                                      2. c
                                                                        chocolatstiletto Feb 25, 2007 04:40 PM

                                                                        trader joe's pumpkin pie spice with extra ginger or cardamon

                                                                        and something taught to me in quebec when I was eight- dark maple syrup, mmm....

                                                                        1. JMF Feb 25, 2007 06:26 PM

                                                                          Grade B Maple Syrup
                                                                          Assorted unusual honeys like buckwheat, tupalo, leatherwood
                                                                          Assorted premium liqueurs like Drambuie, Benedictine, Grand Marnier, Chambord, etc.
                                                                          Homemade Fruit syrups and sauces
                                                                          Ginger Syrup
                                                                          Fruit compotes
                                                                          Nut compotes
                                                                          Hot Sauces, especially some of the sweet and fruit based ones
                                                                          Whiskey, rum, and spirit soaked fruit and dried fruit like dark rum soaked pineapple or Bourbon soaked dried apricots
                                                                          Reduced balsamic vinegar
                                                                          Assorted high quality baking style spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
                                                                          Chopped candied ginger, candied citrus peel, candied fruit
                                                                          Dried pineapple, banana chips, etc.
                                                                          Assorted chopped nuts
                                                                          Honey roasted nuts
                                                                          Wine and spice poached pears, peaches, and stone fruit
                                                                          Rough chopped, sugar and spice sauteed apples
                                                                          Dessert wines
                                                                          Bananas Foster
                                                                          Cherries Jubilee

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            tobycat Feb 25, 2007 06:59 PM

                                                                            Creme de menthe over vanilla

                                                                            Peanut butter with hershey's chocolate syrup mixed over vanilla

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: tobycat
                                                                              lollya Mar 6, 2007 09:23 AM

                                                                              aw toby...
                                                                              my nana used to make me ice cream with creme de menthe on it. ahhh. i miss her.

                                                                            2. GiGii Feb 25, 2007 07:02 PM

                                                                              I think melted peanut butter or peanut butter cups would be amazing on vanilla ice cream. or perhaps melted crunchy m&ms.

                                                                              1. ipsedixit Feb 25, 2007 08:07 PM

                                                                                Midori sour

                                                                                1. f
                                                                                  Fleur Feb 25, 2007 11:54 PM

                                                                                  I have always loved good Vanilla Ice Cream with some warmed real Grade B Maple Syrup. Just the right combo.

                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                    lizrdkng67 Feb 26, 2007 08:05 AM

                                                                                    dark maple syrup mixed with a shot of Jack Daniel's - pure vanilla heaven to top off your ice cream!

                                                                                    1. MVNYC Feb 26, 2007 08:14 AM

                                                                                      Get a really good sweet Russian Imperial Stout and make a Stout Float. Man oh man are these good.

                                                                                      1. PamelaD Feb 26, 2007 08:26 AM

                                                                                        Bailey's Irish Cream

                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                          themirthmobile Feb 26, 2007 11:32 AM

                                                                                          my dad's thanksgiving cranberry sauce
                                                                                          some coffee or espresso, gets a bit melty and oh so delicious!

                                                                                          1. Tara9000 Feb 26, 2007 12:38 PM

                                                                                            Brown sugar!

                                                                                            1. optimal forager Feb 26, 2007 03:42 PM


                                                                                              1. l
                                                                                                Lilbug Feb 26, 2007 04:23 PM

                                                                                                My Dad's cousin invented Colby cheese. He was less well known for his ice cream
                                                                                                sunday known as a Joe's Special. Vanilla ice cream covered with chocolate syrup,
                                                                                                plain malted milk powder on top of chocolate sauce, then sprinkled with peanuts.

                                                                                                1. Tartinet Feb 26, 2007 04:37 PM

                                                                                                  Spanish preserved pumpkin chunks (they come in a jar of dark sweet syrup and I forget the name) and toasted pepitas.

                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                    gezzell108 Feb 26, 2007 07:55 PM

                                                                                                    i had this in japan and it was wonderful:
                                                                                                    a really mild soy sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream. just a little bit though...

                                                                                                    also: RIVER CHOCOLATE COMPANY CHOCOLATE SAUCES!!
                                                                                                    totally amazing. made from single plantation chocolates and mixed so each has a distinct flavor. my favorites are the moroccan orange (blood orange and caradmom infused cream in dark chocolate) and kumbe african (dark chocolate with a kenyan dark roast, delicate)

                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                      SarahAlex Feb 26, 2007 07:58 PM

                                                                                                      I second soy sauce! Sounds starnge I know.. but it comes out like butterscotch, really! Works best with vanilla soft serve Ithink... although I'm a fan of fresh churned myself :)

                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                        cimui Feb 26, 2007 09:11 PM

                                                                                                        Wow. These suggestions are WONDERFUL. I'm going to have the best ice cream bar that's ever existed thanks to all of you. =)

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: cimui
                                                                                                          JMF Feb 27, 2007 05:01 AM

                                                                                                          Can you report back afterwards and tell us what you put out and what were the favorites?

                                                                                                          1. re: JMF
                                                                                                            cimui Feb 27, 2007 05:42 AM

                                                                                                            Yes--if I live to tell the tale. =)

                                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                                          timmy Feb 27, 2007 03:46 AM

                                                                                                          shredded coconut

                                                                                                          1. MeffaBabe Feb 28, 2007 03:55 AM

                                                                                                            Maple Syrup with walnuts gets my vote. It is so delicious... maybe I'll go get one for breakfast!

                                                                                                            1. thegolferbitch Feb 28, 2007 03:58 AM

                                                                                                              Ripe, ripe sliced peaches.

                                                                                                              1. q
                                                                                                                Querencia Feb 28, 2007 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                1) "Sawdust": put any old cheap peanut brittle through the Cuisinart to powder it. 2) Any liqueur---Kahlua, amaretto, Chambord, Chocolate Cherry, etc.. 3) Put some chopped glace' fruit (fruitcake fruit) in a Mason jar with some walnuts or pecans and some chocolate chips. Cover with dark rum (like Myer's), put a top on the jar, and let sit ad infinitum in the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                  meatn3 Aug 23, 2012 09:11 AM

                                                                                                                  Oh my! This sounds dangerously good.

                                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                                  lalache Mar 3, 2007 05:03 AM

                                                                                                                  Had this at Bouillabaisse 126 in Brooklyn - was the recipe of a former manager's French grandmother. It was a warmed mixture of halved strawberries slightly cooked in butter, a bit of browned sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Serve over vanilla gelato. This was a nice variation on the berries dashed with balsamic that I like to have in the summer.

                                                                                                                  1. rabaja Mar 3, 2007 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                    Chestnut honey, thinned out slightly and warmed.

                                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                                      cimui Mar 3, 2007 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                      Ice cream bar was a huge hit, Chowhounds! Thanks again for all your great suggestions. Toppings served included:

                                                                                                                      warmed grade B maple syrup
                                                                                                                      clover honey
                                                                                                                      homemade hot fudge and butterscotch sauces
                                                                                                                      cherry brandy
                                                                                                                      pear schnapps
                                                                                                                      bourbon whiskey
                                                                                                                      roasted pears
                                                                                                                      candied pecans, crushed pistachios
                                                                                                                      crushed potato chips
                                                                                                                      crushed rice Chex, peanut butter Cap'n'Crunch, Rice Krispie Treats cereal, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch
                                                                                                                      espresso powder
                                                                                                                      cubes of pound cake
                                                                                                                      cubes of cheese cake
                                                                                                                      phyllo cups
                                                                                                                      graham cracker crumbs

                                                                                                                      I didn't take a poll to see what my guests liked best--all the toppings got hit pretty hard--but my personal favorite combo was bourbon and honey. Wow. I might have to have that again for dessert tonight. =)

                                                                                                                      1. 2m8ohed Mar 4, 2007 03:18 PM

                                                                                                                        Once, aftter poaching pears in port, I boiled the leftover port into a syrupy sauce... that was the best vanilla ice cream topping I've ever had. Second best was chocolate fudge zinfandel sauce from a Napa winery. Can't remember which one.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: 2m8ohed
                                                                                                                          cimui Mar 5, 2007 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                          Mmm, the pears were definitely a nice, nice addition. I liked roasting because you end up with a crust that's almost carmelized. I plan to try this with other fruit. Bet figs and peaches would be great.

                                                                                                                          Sounds like an interesting sauce. I haven't really ever really gotten the hang of chocolate with non-dessert red wine (most wines are acidic enough that the combo tastes a bit off to me), but if you can remember the name, I'd love to try.

                                                                                                                        2. k
                                                                                                                          kleinfortlee Mar 5, 2007 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                          PLAIN M&MS

                                                                                                                          1. bitsubeats Mar 5, 2007 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                            how about canned cream of corn?

                                                                                                                            sounds very asian

                                                                                                                            1. louweezy Mar 6, 2007 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                              crushed lorna doone's.

                                                                                                                              1. weezieduzzit Apr 25, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                I reduce any leftover red wine with some sugar and crushed cardamom pods. Strain it once it is a (not too thick) syrup consistency and drizzle over ice cream when warm but not hot.

                                                                                                                                It started with having it leftover from poached pears, like 2m8ohed, and then I added the cardamom.

                                                                                                                                1. mattstolz Apr 26, 2012 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                  i literally like every idea so far, but for unusual i say you go with Pop Rocks!

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: mattstolz
                                                                                                                                    mattstolz Apr 27, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                    oh or bacon. candied bacon. mmm

                                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                                    freia Apr 26, 2012 06:55 PM

                                                                                                                                    Smoked almonds and bittersweet hot fudge sauce -- salty, smoky, sweet, doesn't get any better!

                                                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                                                      sandylc Apr 26, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                      1. Unsweetened cocoa powder.
                                                                                                                                      2. Salted nuts.
                                                                                                                                      3. Hot espresso.
                                                                                                                                      4. Don't forget whipped cream!

                                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                                        jester99 Apr 27, 2012 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                                        Sorghum for Southerns and wanna be Southerns like me. I find it also goes great with strawberry ice cream too.

                                                                                                                                        1. melpy Apr 27, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                          Not reading all now because I am at work buy my gramma used to put on Spanish peanuts and real maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                          My best friend as a kid would use gummy bears.

                                                                                                                                          I like warm nutella.

                                                                                                                                          1. limster Apr 27, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                            A fruit-based granita (I like lemon or grapefruit) for textural contrast and the sweet-sourness vs rich creaminess balance.

                                                                                                                                            Jams (Christine Ferber's confiture if you can get them, would probably work well, with a light and thinner consistency).

                                                                                                                                            (The topping I most often get though, is another scoop of ice cream, but I guess that doesn't count.)

                                                                                                                                            1. pinehurst Apr 27, 2012 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                                              Finely, finely sliced salty black licorice.

                                                                                                                                              1. gmm Apr 27, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                This is a five year old thread, but since it's come up again, recently I've been cooking fresh pineapple chunks with brown sugar until it's all thickened and adding a splash of rum at the end and serving that over vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: gmm
                                                                                                                                                  rabaja May 2, 2012 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I still have two cups of pineapple in the fridge that we brought back from Kona last week. I am totally surprising my new husband with this dessert tonight. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gmm
                                                                                                                                                    gmm May 3, 2012 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                    It works just fine with canned pineapple chunks too. Wish I had some right now. :) Hope you enjoyed it!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gmm
                                                                                                                                                      rabaja May 3, 2012 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                      We did, thanks again!
                                                                                                                                                      It was so quick and easy, and a delicious treat. I should have cooked the fresh pineapple a little longer in the brown sugar, as it was still a little firm for me, so I can totally see how canned pineapple would work well. Perfect way to enjoy the last of our honeymoon pineapple, thank you!

                                                                                                                                                  2. l
                                                                                                                                                    littlemissmuffin Apr 27, 2012 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Potato chips and chocolate syrup! Back in the 1980's I had a friend who ate ice cream with chips and chocolate syrup, and I was horrified yet mesmerised at the same time. I finally tried it and it was great! You have to just leave the chips on top and eat fast though or they get soggy.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littlemissmuffin
                                                                                                                                                      mattstolz Apr 27, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                      have you tried Ben and Jerry's Late Night Snack?

                                                                                                                                                    2. kubasd Apr 27, 2012 08:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                      Slightly crushed pretzel M&Ms... the salty/sweet crunchy/creamy contrasts are awesome.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Caroline1 May 2, 2012 08:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Well, I've scanned the list and I don't think anyone else has mentioned my favorite ice cream topping. Cross and Blackwells Mince Meat! It is drop dead deeeeeelicious! Great at Christmas time, but I like it just as much on 4th of July. Try it, you'll LIKE it!

                                                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                                                          Sharuf May 2, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                          There was once a fancy icecream parlor at the Town and Country Center in Palo Alto -- many, many decades ago. They had a sundae like I've never seen before or since - It was a generous bowl of vanilla ice cream with a great big scoop of semi-soft chocolate something-or-other. Like a cross between mousse and fudge. Hey - when you're 19 you can eat stuff like that. Don't remember if whipped cream and a cherry were part of the production, but that would be good too.

                                                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                                                            josephnl May 2, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                            If you can get it...it's Canadian, and not well distributed in the US...is Sortilege liqueur. This blend of maple syrup and Canadian whiskey is wonderful on vanilla ice cream!

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                                              pdxgastro May 3, 2012 01:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Haven't read all the replies but I was going to say walnuts and maple syrup (my favorite FroYo place had this as a topping choice). Sortilege sounds great for an adult crowd! :o)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                                                                                freia May 3, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Yup, home made "maple walnut" ice cream. Yours is my "go to" topping whenever I have vanilla at home!

                                                                                                                                                            2. smaki May 3, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                              This tastes as good as it sounds weird. Cut up one habenero chili pepper as fine as you can after remove: stem, seeds, and ribs. Heat on medium above boiling heat with one can of crushed pineapple in a sauce pan until sauce turns light brown when begins to caramelize. The combination of hot and sweet is very tasty. Great over vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                              Sometimes serve it with Hershey's chocolate syrup from a can with the yellow plastic lid. Also like it with fresh strawberries when in season. Also good with a banana pealed and sliced.

                                                                                                                                                              Good things to have to top ice cream include: sprinkles, chocolate chips, strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, almonds, peanuts, & walnuts. How about to cut / break up candy into chunks that dairy queen makes blizard flavors our of like: Heath, Resers Peanut Butter Cup, Butter Finger, M&M's...

                                                                                                                                                              Possibly put the vanilla ice cream on top of cake, a good cookie, or maybe a chewy brownie before you get started for another texture.

                                                                                                                                                              Hope you guys have fun!

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: smaki
                                                                                                                                                                pdxgastro May 6, 2012 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                That chili/pineapple concoction sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pdxgastro
                                                                                                                                                                  smaki May 7, 2012 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  It is. If try it you will see. The sweet takes away the extreme hot leaving great flavor. I often enjoy the pineapple chili caramel by itself with vanilla ice cream. While sometimes great with the other stuff and is tasty on all kinds of ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                              2. d
                                                                                                                                                                DrMag May 6, 2012 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I heard a guy on NPR mention that he put high quality olive oil on vanilla ice cream- I've been dying to try it

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DrMag
                                                                                                                                                                  calmossimo May 6, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  i can vouch that olive oil on either chocolate or vanilla ice creams is incredible. even better with lemon zest and/or flaky sea salt. NOMS.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DrMag
                                                                                                                                                                    Emme May 7, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    i love to top chocolate mousse or chocolate ice cream with olive oil powder (made from whizzing together olive oil with tapioca maltodextrin until powdered). according to molecularrecipes.com:
                                                                                                                                                                    "There is still a scientific explanation of why chocolate pairs well with olive oil. Chocolate is made up of cacao solids, cacao butter, vanilla and sugar. Cacao butter is very fatty and coats the tongue. The extra virgin olive oil decreases the fat thanks to the polyphenols it contains, a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods, and these polyphenols dry the mouth and allow the cacao flavor to come through."
                                                                                                                                                                    must try pairing with vanilla now.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. f
                                                                                                                                                                    Fydeaux May 7, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    When I was little, I used to like to put apple butter on vanilla ice cream. Today I think I would mix in some brandy with the apple butter, just enough to make it syrupy.

                                                                                                                                                                    Somebody mentioned mincemeat as a topping, and I love that idea. It occurs to me that if one should have any charosset left over from Passover, that would be good too.

                                                                                                                                                                    Gotta love these zombie threads!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. JMF Jun 14, 2012 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I responded to this over five years ago... but just a few days ago I got to sample a brand new product just hitting the shelves. Filthy Black Cherry's! Filthy Foods is a line of premium cocktail garnishes like olives stuffed with blue cheese, hot peppers, or cornichons, and actually tasty maraschino cherries, but these new candied black cherries are unbelievably good. I had some of them and the syrup over ice cream and it was sublime. I actually contacted the brand owner, who I have met a few times, and suggested he bottle the syrup to sell.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JMF
                                                                                                                                                                        mamachef Jun 14, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Those sound amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                          JMF Jun 15, 2012 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          They are wild, Italian, Amarena cherries, slow cooked in a copper pot.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. mamachef Jun 14, 2012 11:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        We saute sliced almonds in butter, and then add a pinch of salt and about 1/2 c. good honey; stir till hot, and serve over ice cream Yum. Crazy-good.

                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                          biondanonima Jun 14, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I need to go to the store for almonds and honey RIGHT NOW. :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                            mamachef Jun 14, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            bd, this is really something over excellent vanilla or chocolate. And believe it or not it also works with peach and it's not too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                            Caroline1 Jun 16, 2012 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Okay for you! I'm gonna charge MY Weight Watchers membership to YOUR credit card! Gotta go... Almost time to add the salt and honey! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                              mamachef Jun 16, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Enjoy now, pay later. Ahhhhhhh life.
                                                                                                                                                                              Make it a good-sized pinch, too. Oh, and if you really cook it down, it will harden into a crackly glaze when it hits the nice cold icy ice cream - but honestly I like it more thick and syrupy, with the crunchy almonds. Still, the above is a nice party trick. Hippie Jubilee.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                Caroline1 Jun 16, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                It's "What's for breakfast?" I'm eating it as I write! And forced my housekeeper-for-the-elderly to have some with me. She just lost 25 pounds and may be cursing us both by morning! I did make it so it gets hard and crackly as it cools on the ice cream Delicious! Thank you and curse you all at the same time. And damn me for totally lacking will power! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef Jun 16, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Gawd, you are wonderful. Please to post this on WFB immediately!! Did she like it? And it totally counts for a breakfast item, too, since it hits ever so many food groups: you got your dairy, your protein, your...um, okay, well, sugar. Anyway. With a nice rare steak and veg for dinner, you've done what MFK Fisher The Food Goddess recommends: balance the day, not the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. h
                                                                                                                                                                            helmut fig newton Aug 21, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I made photographs of 14 of these Ideas here: http://www.chow.com/galleries/330/cho...

                                                                                                                                                                            All of these were great additions to vanilla ice cream! The Habanero Pineapple, Smoky Coffee Sundae,and Brown Sugar-Balsamic Plum were a favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                            Enjoy! Chris of Chow -helmut fig newton

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: helmut fig newton
                                                                                                                                                                              Fydeaux Aug 22, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Excellent photographs! Just beautiful!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fydeaux
                                                                                                                                                                                helmut fig newton Aug 23, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Fydeaux, Thank you, I appreciate it!


                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: helmut fig newton
                                                                                                                                                                                  smaki Aug 27, 2012 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Chris, Love it. You rock. Great picture and thoughts about a personal favorite. Some things sound weird but work together if try.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. meatn3 Aug 23, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I make green figs in vanilla syrup - cooks very slow in a crock pot for about 18 hours. Dark, sweet melt in your mouth goodness. Wonderful with vanilla or coffee ice cream!

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