Quick giveaway reminder before I forget. Go here for a chance to win an Energizer Smart Charger.
It's Tuesday again, and we're working on summer in Chicago. It isn't here yet - although we at least saw the sun. I'm not desperate enough to call high 50s summer. (Although, give me a couple more weeks and maybe I will!) Tonight we had a special dessert: snow cones.
Yep, good old fashioned snow cones. In fact, I actually have one of the Snoopy Snow Cone machines that I picked up at our church's rummage sale a couple years ago for $0.50.
Yep, that really is the original one with the snowman syrup squirter and shovel to get the snow out and everything. Ahhh, memories!
The big problem comes in the flavoring though. Getting shaved ice? Not too hard (although hand cranking four bowls? No need to get to the gym! My Vitamix could probably do a decent job now that I think about it. Eh.
Back to the flavoring. There are tons of syrups out there, but surprise, surprise - they're full of high fructose corn syrup, which means they're out of bounds for us. In searching online, I found recipes to make my own snow cone syrup, but it always called for Kool-Aid, which sorta seemed like it was defeating the purpose of making my own.
After a couple of hours noodling on this, I finally came up with a (brilliant?) idea. Thinking back to the cupcakes I made for Little Miss's half birthday, I decided to essentially make a simple syrup using fruit.
And the results? I got rave reviews from my crew, so the leftover syrup is going in the fridge (or perhaps I need to move it to the freezer) to await a suitably hot day to make some more snow cones!
Homemade Snow Cone Syrup
1 1/2 c strawberries (I used fresh since they're in season)
1 1/2 c frozen cherries (I had the sweet dark cherries, but again I'd like to try this with the tart ones - my sweet tooth isn't so strong)
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
zest of half a lemon
It doesn't get easier than this. Add the ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for two to three minutes.
Place the mixture in a blender and zap it until it's as smooth as your blender will make it (gotta love the Vitamix for this one). Strain, and chill.
Spoon just a small amount over shaved ice. Thin with a bit of water if you like, but I liked it nice and thick (still very pourable just not as viscous as the traditional neon colored syrups). This would also be pretty darn good over ice cream, a theory my husband promises to test out later tonight.