My Memorial Day dessert ideas: ice cream, ice cream, lots of ice cream!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s just the perfect treat for your Memorial Day weekend: ice cream! With the soaring temperatures Chicagoland has seen these past few days, many of us will likely stay under the shade and look for ways to remain cool and refreshed. Ice cream is the perfect decadent treat to enjoy from time to time, especially when you need a respite from the heat. I may have gone overboard when it comes to the size of my Memorial Day Dessert, but that’s OK: I will use the age-old excuse that I’m eating for two – just this once 😉

The dessert above is a combination of a homemade cake I wrote about awhile ago, some crispy thin cocoa cookies I had in my cupboard, and lots of delicious Hudsonville ice cream. The Hudsonville reps contacted me recently and offered to send me some ice cream to indulge in and to read about just in time for Memorial Day. The researcher and foodie in me thought this was an offer I couldn’t refuse 🙂

Hudsonville started off in 1895, as a co-operative established by local farmers who were looking for better ways to sell their dairy products. The creamery began producing ice cream in 1926 and was making six flavors by 1940. Nowadays, it produces over 50 flavors which are sold across Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The company is in the process of expanding their flavor offerings on the Windy City market, and recently they conducted a survey among Chicagoans to better understand our overall perception of ice cream, awareness of historical facts, as well as specific generational flavor preferences. The survey was conducted in April 2018 on a sample of 504 adults, ages 18 and older, and has a statistical accuracy of ± 5%.

Here are the most important findings in this survey:

  • Almost all (98%) Chicago residents surveyed eat ice cream, with chocolate (26%) and chocolate chip cookie dough (23%) being the top overall favorite flavors, followed by mint chocolate chip (18%) and vanilla (17%)
  • Chicago seems to be the city of ice cream cones. Almost three-quarters of survey respondents considered Chicago a “cone” city instead of a “cup” city, and said they preferred savoring a scoop on a cone vs. in a cup!

  • Half of Chicagoans think Chicago-style hot dogs are the perfect partner for ice cream, while 39% believe this spot should be held by deep dish pizza
  • Chicago residents also know their history. Almost 80% correctly guessed that the cost of a scoop of ice cream at Wrigley Field in 1945 was 10 cents

Interestingly enough, Chicago-based Millennials and Baby Boomers have very different perspectives on ice cream:

  • Millennials favor chocolate chip cookie dough, while Baby Boomers prefer chocolate
  • Millennials think deep dish pizza pairs best with ice cream, while Baby Boomers think Chicago dogs are the best accompaniment
Chicago-based Millennials believe deep dish pizza goes really well with ice cream!
  • Baby Boomers are solid in their opinion that Chicago is a “cone city.” Millennials are more split between cone and cup
  • With age comes wisdom – Baby Boomers were less likely to be fooled into thinking that ice cream cows must be kept cold, and they were most likely to know how much ice cream cost back in 1945

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely fond of eating ice cream from a cup/bowl, and I’m more into chocolate than vanilla flavor.

From a bowl and heavy-handed on chocolate rather than vanilla – this is how I usually eat ice cream

I also love to eat ice cream over cookies or cakes, and that’s exactly what I did with the ice cream I received from Hudsonville. They sent me three of their most popular flavors: Creamery Blend Vanilla, Traverse City Cherry Fudge and Mackinac Island Fudge.

I generously placed several scoops of all three flavors over the moist cake pieces and the crispy cookies, and then sprinkled Madagascar Bourbon vanilla sugar on top for a texturally enticing gourmet finishing touch.

You can use any kind of cookies you like/have available as long as they are crispy to ensure a textural contrast between them and the cake. You can also add fresh seasonal fruit to counterbalance the overall sweetness of the dessert with some natural sugars. Lastly, don’t be shy to use various toppings to make your treat more decadent. I’m not into sprinkles, but maybe you are 🙂

Look at all that delicious melted goodness!

So, are you into cones or cups? Chocolate or vanilla? Chicago-style hot dogs or deep dish pizza to go with ice cream? Let me know – and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Stay cool, and eat lots of ice cold treats 😉

*Disclaimer: While I received complimentary products to facilitate this blog post, all opinions expressed here are my own.


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