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Shake up blended treats with creative ingredients

Jill L. Reed • Jun 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Shake up blended treats with creative ingredients

By Jill L. Reed

The Orange County Register


Great burgers and great fries. Why stop there? Treating yourself to a great milkshake at home is a simple pleasure.

I remember going to Bob’s Big Boy as a kid, and my dad liked to get the chocolate shake for dessert.

“Thick thick, please,” he would say when ordering. He wanted it so thick a spoon was needed for it.

For the classic vanilla shake, you really need nothing more than a great vanilla ice cream, a little milk and a blender. Want chocolate? Start with chocolate ice cream or just add chocolate syrup to your vanilla concoction.

For strawberry, I still like to start with vanilla ice cream (my favorite is the French vanilla version from Trader Joe’s). Then I blend in fresh berries. The juice from the berries can thin the shake out enough without having to add much extra milk.

For more fun, get creative with the add-ons and whip up something spectacular.

I like to throw things in the blender that will add a little texture, such as cookies or graham crackers. Since a real milkshake like this is a rare treat, I go all out and top it with whipped cream and fun garnishes to make it more restaurant style.

When it comes to shakes, it’s fun to follow your taste buds. But if a little inspiration is needed, try one of these recipes to get started.


Yield: 2 shakes

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce (Trader Joe’s)

8 Speculoos Cookies (Trader Joe’s) or cinnamon-flavored cookies

½ cup milk

Whipped cream


1. In a blender, pulse together ice cream, caramel sauce, 6 cookies and milk until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and more caramel sauce.

2. Break one cookie in half and put a half in the whipped cream of each shake. Crumble the remaining cookie and sprinkle crumbs over the top of each shake.

Source: Adapted from a TraderJoes.com recipe


Yield: 2 shakes

Special equipment: 4 bamboo skewers

4 large marshmallows

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

2 graham crackers

1/3 cup cocoa-almond or cocoa-hazelnut spread

½ cup milk

Whipped cream

Optional: chocolate sprinkles


1. Place marshmallows on skewers. Using a kitchen torch or flames from a gas burner, toast to desired doneness. Set aside.

2. In a blender, pulse together ice cream, graham crackers, cocoa spread and milk. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, if using. Garnish with toasted marshmallows right on the whipped cream or still on the skewers.


Yield: 2 shakes

6 tablespoons white sugar

2/3 cup water

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

10 blackberries

8 large strawberries, stems removed

Whipped cream

Optional: extra berries and the small basil leaves for garnish


1. Make the basil simple syrup: Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the 1 cup basil leaves, stirring to immerse. Let steep for 1 hour then strain the leaves from the liquid, pressing to get all the liquid. (Can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days)

2. In a blender pulse together 2/3 cup basil simple syrup, 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, ice cream, blackberries and strawberries. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream. Garnish with berries and basil leaves.

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