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Cool treats for warm days

PAM ANDERSON | 9/17/2009, 11:20 a.m.

USA WEEKEND Food

We used to rely on the supermarket ice cream case to introduce us to new flavors. Then specialty ice cream shops, like Ben & Jerry's, started serving up wacky confections such as Chunky Monkey. Now we're all used to the creative freedom of such design-your-own shops as Cold Stone Creamery and MaggieMoo's, where you can pick mix-ins to your heart's delight, and the scoopers will paddle it all into your own personal treat.

I figured I could do this at home. Here are three of my own creations:

Fried wontons dredged in a mix of ground ginger and sugar become a rich, crisp base for light, fruity sorbets. Top the scoops with some fresh berries and chopped pistachios for a simple, delightful end to any summer meal.

Fold store-bought glazed pecans into premium vanilla ice cream, then use it to top sliced peaches. Garnish with a sugar cookie, if you'd like.

Fold a coarsely crumbled graham cracker "crust" into premium vanilla ice cream. To serve, top with sweetened cream cheese and blueberry sauce.INGREDIENTS:

2 cups canola or vegetable oil, for frying

16 wonton wrappers

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tb. ground ginger

3 pints different sorbets (your choice, but try coconut, mango and raspberry)

1 pint fresh raspberries

1/2 cup roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large pot until a small cube of bread sizzles when dropped into the hot oil. While oil heats, mix sugar and ginger. For easy cleanup, set a wire rack over newspaper.

Working four at a time, drop wonton wrappers into hot oil. Fry until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, turning once. Set on rack and let cool. Dip them into sugar mixture to generously coat both sides. Return to wire rack.

Using a 1 Tb. spring-action ice cream scoop, form 8 generous sorbet balls from each flavor and put on a rimmed pan. Return to freezer to keep firm.

To serve, place 2 wontons on each plate; top with sorbet, berries and nuts.

Serves: 8 Per serving: 337 calories, 4g protein, 63g carbohydrates, 9g fat (0.8g saturated), 1mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 23mg sodiumSugared Peaches With Glazed Pecan Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced, about 4 cups

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1 quart premium vanilla ice cream

1 5-ounce package glazed pecans

Cookie pennants, optional*

DIRECTIONS:

Toss peaches with sugar and almond extract; let stand 30 minutes. Soften ice cream on high power in microwave for 15 seconds, then fold in 1 cup of the pecans and return to freezer.

When ready to serve, spoon a portion of peaches into each of 8 goblets. Top each with some ice cream. Garnish with remaining pecans and optional cookie.

*Note: To make cookie pennants, roll 1/2 of a 16.5-ounce log of sugar cookie dough into a 9-inch disc on a parchment-lined, lightly floured, unrimmed cookie sheet. Using a pizza wheel, cut dough into 12 triangles and separate on sheet. Bake according to package directions.

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