There are few treats as delicious and fun to eat as an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Even our founding fathers loved it—a New York merchant’s records show that George Washington spent $200 dollars on ice cream in a single summer, and President Madison’s wife, Dolley, served strawberry ice cream at her husband’s inaugural banquet in the White house.
Ice cream has only gotten more popular since then—according to the International Dairy Foods Association, the U.S. ate over 1.5 billion gallons of ice cream in 2007!
The most popular flavors sold were vanilla (30%),
chocolate (10%), butter pecan (4%),
strawberry (3.7%), and
chocolate chip mint (3.2%).
Cup or cone?
Ice cream cones have been around just over a hundred years. In the early 1900s as ice cream became cheaper and easier to keep cold, vendors sold “penny licks” (glasses of ice cream you could buy for a penny) on the streets. However, the glasses were hard to keep clean, and even harder to hang on to, since customers would often walk off with them or accidentally break them. Vendors solved this problem by creating an edible dish, made out of a cookie-like shell.
At the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, an American ice cream vendor ran out of the paper dishes he was using. A Syrian immigrant running a pastry cart offered the ice cream vendor his zalabia, a waffle like pastry, to use as a dish. They rolled it up and the ice cream cone was born!*
Want to make your own ice cream cones? Try this easy recipe!
You will need:
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted, cooled butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
A cone shaped mold (a bakery should have these)
Set the oven to 300 degrees.
While it is heating, beat together the egg and sugar. Then add in the butter, vanilla, and milk, beating until it is well-mixed. Add the flour a little bit at a time, and make sure you mix it well to avoid clumps.
Grease a non-stick cookie sheet, and use a spatula to spread about two spoonfuls of batter into a 6-inch circle. Bake until golden (about 15 minutes). Remove the circle from the sheet and wrap it around a cone shaped mold, but work quickly since it will harden once it cools. Try to seal the end, but don’t worry if it is not perfect- you can always plug the hole with a marshmallow. If you don’t have a mold, a champagne glass is also the perfect shape. Just roll the cooked batter into a cone and set it gently into the glass to cool.
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