When you're hanging by the pool with no ice cream truck in sight, cool off with our homemade, customizable version of a classic: an ice cream cone with a crunchy chocolate shell (and cone inner coating) studded with toppings. Coconut oil helps the shell harden quickly, but you can use shortening if coconut isn't your thing. Our favorite combos to try: strawberry ice cream with pistachios, coconut ice cream with toasted coconut and salted caramel gelato with a sprinkle of sea salt. For a nice serving presentation, cover your cone holder in decorative wrapping paper (click the Photos tab for our step-by-step guide).
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable shortening
8 small sugar cones
2 pints of your favorite ice cream
1/4 cup chopped nuts or toasted coconut or other topping
Make a cone holder: Find a small, sturdy, clean box that will fit in your freezer. Turn it over, and cut eight X's about 2 inches apart with a sharp knife. Open up each X with your fingers so it will securely hold an ice cream cone upright.
Cook the chocolate, coconut oil and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until melted, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate into a sugar cone, and swirl to completely coat the inside. Pour any excess chocolate back into the bowl. Place the cone in the cone holder. Repeat with the 7 remaining cones. Freeze the cones to set the chocolate, about 10 minutes.
Fill each cone to the top with ice cream, and top with an additional 1/3-cup scoop. Return the cones to the cone holder, and freeze to harden the ice cream, about 30 minutes.
Dip the cones: Put your desired topping in a small bowl. If the remaining chocolate starts to solidify, heat it in the microwave in 10-second increments, stirring in between, until it is fluid again. Dip each top scoop of ice cream in the chocolate to mostly cover it, leaving a little bit exposed. Let any excess chocolate drip off, then immediately dip the top scoop in the topping. Work quickly, as the chocolate shell sets in seconds.
Serve the cones immediately, or put them in the freezer until ready to serve. To freeze individually (for up to 2 weeks), roll the cone up in a large triangle of wax paper and tape closed.
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