One of my favorite things to do is find inexpensive products we all know and love and find new uses for them. Lately, ice cream cones have been on sale for less than $1.50. It got me thinking, what else can we do with these inexpensive, whimsical holders of happiness?
Turns out, lots of things! Here are some fun ideas to get your wheels turning.
Make a breakfast cone — Alternate layers of fruit, granola and yogurt, like a parfait, into the cone and serve for a fun breakfast treat.
Bake ice cream cone cupcakes — Place flat-bottomed cones in each well of a mini-muffin tin. Prepare a boxed cake mix and pour batter 3/4 of the way up the cone. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Decorate as desired.
Make individual treats for kids — It’s perfect because every child gets their own portion, they eat the bowl so there’s no clean up, and it keeps their grubby little hands out of the communal candy dish. Great for trail mix, popcorn, pretzels, candies and rice crispy treats.
Mix savory with sweet — Surprise your next lunch guests with waffle cones filled with curried chicken salad with fruit.
Make waffle cone cannoli — Who loves cannoli? Everyone! Who likes to make cannoli? People with extra time on their hands! This Italian classic literally means “little tube,” named for the deep-fried tube of pastry filled with sweetened and flavored ricotta cheese. The filling is easy to make. The fried pastry tubes, not so much. So, let’s take a shortcut by substituting waffle cones for the pastry.
ICE CREAM CONE CANNOLI
1 (32 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange
1 (10 ounce) bag mini semisweet chocolate chips; divided
8 to 10 waffle cones
1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate baking wafers (optional)
- For best results, drain the ricotta overnight. Place ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter, placed over a mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put a plate on top, weighted with a small can (like a tuna can) to press out the liquid.
- Make the filling: Mix together ricotta, sugar, vanilla, salt and zest. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips — but before you do, if you’re going to use a piping bag with a star tip to finish the cones (as pictured), remove about 3/4 cup of the filling and set aside. The chips always get stuck in the tip and make us cranky. Place the filling in a zippered plastic bag and refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, dip the cones in chocolate. It’s optional, but why wouldn’t you? Melt the chocolate wafers in a bowl just large enough to accommodate the top of the waffle cone. Dip the top of the cones and let the excess drip off. Let the chocolate begin to firm then roll the chocolate into some mini chocolate chips. If you have extra chocolate, drizzle some in the bottom of each cone.
- To assemble: Cut the corner off the zippered bag and squeeze the filling, dividing between the cones. If finishing with a piping bag, place the reserved filling without chips in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Swirl the top of each cone. Sprinkle with mini chips. Serve immediately. If you still have cones left after all this, buy some ice cream!
TIP: Have stale cones in your cupboard? Feed the birds by spreading cones with peanut butter and rolling in birdseed.
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at email@example.com
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