It's been awhile since we've personally felt the thrill of hearing news of a school cancellation. But there are still some aspects of snow days that can be savored by the whole family. Like our annual tradition of enjoying a bowl of snow ice cream (a.k.a. Snice Cream) following the first blizzard of the year, or cooling a batch of maple taffy in snow. Here are three simple winter treats you can make with ingredients you probably already have on hand in your fridge and pantry. All that's missing is a heavy blanket of fresh, fluffy snow.
It's always best to gather snow the same day it falls, untouched, and ideally collected from areas with light traffic. Snow may not be the healthiest of things to consume, all the more reason to make it a once-a-year novelty.
Fresh Snow Ice Cream
Serves a family of 5
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup of confectioners' sugar
Roughly 8 cups of clean, fresh snow
Before you get started, chill a large mixing bowl and individual serving bowls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Combine the cream, vanilla and confectioners' sugar together in the mixing bowl until the mixture is slightly thickened. Procure the snow, toss it into the bowl, and quickly fold the mixture together. Don't over mix or you'll end up of with a bowl of slush. Serve immediately in chilled bowls.
Fresh Snow Cones
Form small, loosely packed snow balls that will fit in a serving glass and pour an infused simple syrup on top. Here's a simple syrup you can make ahead with frozen berries.
Simple Berry Syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
8 oz. bag of frozen berries
Combine water and sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and then add frozen berries. Crush berries with the back of a wooden spoon. Then turn down heat to low and let mixture steep for 20 minutes. Next, press your concoction through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp and seeds, and allow syrup to cool in the fridge.
Maple Syrup Taffy
A seasonal winter treat familiar to those living in the Northeast, or fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. Boil maple syrup, then drizzle over packed snow to cool into a chewy taffy. Get the full tutorial walk-through at The Kitchn.
(Image by Flickr member katiekills licensed under Creative Commons)