Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Party Hat Sundaes

This fun birthday treat will have you actually encouraging your children to make faces.

We spent last Friday evening at Joe's parents' house and needed something special to celebrate birthdays for three of the seven grandchildren. I thought party hat sundaes would be a fun dessert, and 7-year-old Christian suggested that we let the children create their own faces. The children counted down the hours to sharing this special treat and had a great time making and eating this happy-birthday snack.

As an alternative to birthday cake, consider making party hat sundaes. To get started, place easy-melting milk chocolate, white chocolate or colored candy melts in the top pan of a double boiler. I used 4 squares of baker's white chocolate for 12 sugar cones. Melt the candy according to package directions, stirring constantly.

Spread aluminum foil on the counter beside the stove to create a work space for assembling the cones. Place sugar cones on the aluminum foil, and top each one with a marshmallow. Dip the marshmallow end of a cone into the melted candy, careful not to get candy on the cone. Allow excess candy to drip from the marshmallow before turning it over. Hold the party hat right-side up and sprinkle colored sugar and sprinkles onto the marshmallow.

Next, dip the bottom edge of the party hat into the melted candy. Use a spoon if needed to spread candy and create a brim for the hat. Let excess candy drip from the cone, then place it over the aluminum foil to add sprinkles. Place the completed party hat on an aluminum-foil covered plate, and place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to let the candy harden. Store party hats in an airtight container until you are ready to make the sundaes.

To assemble the sundaes, spread two cupcake liners on each dessert plate to make a party collar. Place a scoop of ice cream on each liner, and top with a party hat. To expedite the process of serving party hat sundaes to a group, pre-scoop the ice cream before the party and store the scoops in the freezer in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

Place little dishes of candy on the table, and let the children make faces on their sundaes. We used M&Ms and Sour Patch Straws to make eyes, mouths, eyebrows and moustaches. From oldest to youngest child, all the sundaes turned out so cute. And who knew that encouraging children to make faces during dinner would result in happy smiles all around the table?

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