While our agenda here at FFTC has typically been — and will continue to be — lending inspiration for family outings around the Twin Cities, we also recognize the value in simply spending quality time at home together. “Family fun” doesn’t always have to mean “on the run”, right? This is the goal behind our new special Wednesday series. And in keeping with the original mission of FFTC to promote local, we’re partnering with businesses and personalities to provide ideas on how you can spend this time at home.First up, we’d like to introduce Alice Seuffert, a St. Paul mom, Twin Cities Live Kitchen Star and food blogger on the wonderful site Dining With Alice. Her website is packed with tempting recipes, the kind that make a time-crunched mom such as myself resolve (yet again) to break out of my dozen-meals-on-repeat cooking rut. She’s also got some ideas that are just plain fun — such as her recipe for Double Chocolate Cherry Cranberry Ice Cream Sandwiches — and sure to be a hit with kids. We’re sharing her recipe below plus more than 20 ideas to get a local scoop when you’re ready to go out and about:
- 2 sticks Butter (unsalted)
- ¾ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup White Sugar
- ½ cup Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 ½ cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 5 ounce bag dried Cranberries (Cherry flavor)
- 10 ounce bag Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- Breyers Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream butter, brown sugar, white sugar and ground chocolate. Add eggs one at a time.
- Blend flour, baking soda and salt. Add to mixture and stir to combine. Once mixed, add cranberries and chocolate chips.
- Place spoonfuls on greased cookie sheets and flatten. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Makes 60 cookies.
- Once cookies have cooled, place 2 spoonfuls of ice cream between cookies and gently press so ice cream is visible on sides. Roll sides of ice cream in mini chocolate chips.
- Store ice cream cookie sandwiches in freezer or serve immediately.
- Makes 30 ice cream sandwiches (2 cookies needed for each sandwich).
And when you’re in the mood to explore some ice cream shops around town, here are 5 of my local picks from St. Paul:
Nelson’s Ice Cream – 454 Snelling Ave. S, St. Paul, 55105
The scoop: Look forward to an incredible amount of ice cream for your money. I only had enough cash on me for a kid’s scoop (no credit cards accepted when we visited) and as the girl kept piling the scoops on, I thought she had misheard me and was about to hand over a triple. Four kids and one hungry mom were completely satisfied with that sole kiddie scoop for $3.50. Tip: ask for two flavors in a single order; so many great ones to choose from!
Cold Front – 490 Hamline Ave. S, St. Paul, 55116
The scoop: Visit Cold Front not for a bargain, but for delicious, inventive flavors (“This $&@! Just Got Serious”, for instance, is a divine salted caramel flavor with sea salt fudge and cashews) and the old-fashioned soda fountain feel. The kids and I recently treated ourselves to two of their “Snowball Flights” – each one includes four mini-cones ($4.75).
St. Paul Corner Drug – 240 Snelling Ave. S, St. Paul, 55105
The scoop: The drugstore opened in 1922 and still retains an old-timey charm much due to the soda fountain at the front. It’s a family tradition to bring the kids each summer for a scoop in a tulip dish (prices evoke a different era, as well). Grab a nickel cup of coffee as well.
Conny’s Creamy Cone – 1197 N Dale St., St. Paul, 55117
The scoop: Conny’s claim to fame is her 27 flavors of soft-serve ice cream offered at great prices ($1.09 for a kid’s scoop, only $2.69 for a waffle). The sweet corner shop with the walk-up windows also serves burgers, hot dogs and appetizers.
University of Minnesota Dairy Salesroom – 1334 Eckles Ave., St. Paul, 55108
The scoop: This little hidden gem of an ice cream shop is tucked away in Room 166 of the Andrew Boss Lab of Meat Science on the U of M St. Paul campus. It’s only open on Wednesdays from 3-5pm but a trip over is worth it for the bevy of flavors made onsite by students. We like to split a pint; a great deal at $3.50.
Don’t live near my neck of the woods? Gianna has compiled a list of 18 more ice cream shops you can hunt down across the Twin Cities Metro. You can find the list here.