(Family Features) - While it's no surprise that Americans consume the most ice cream during summer months, the national obsession with this creamy dessert doesn't end when cold weather begins.
"Americans enjoy ice cream year round," says Ray Karam, Cold Stone Creamery(r), senior tastemaster. "In fact, research shows that nearly as much ice cream is consumed in the winter months as in summer."
However, Karam points out that ice cream aficionados may satisfy their cravings differently during the winter. Hot apple pie a la mode, brownie sundaes topped with hot chocolate and other treats that marry hot with cold become increasingly popular as temperatures drop.
With a bit of ingenuity, anyone can turn up the heat on their ice cream creations. Two inspired recipes put a twist on traditional winter favorites. The first tops velvety hot chocolate with dark chocolate peppermint ice cream, whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, while the second uses frozen ice cream balls for an innovative take on fondue.
These recipes work especially well for kids and adults alike, because guests can personalize their own hot chocolate or fondue with a variety of fun toppings. They're also great for holiday parties prep is kept to a minimum, and quantities can be adapted to serve crowds large or small.
Visit www.coldstonecreamery.com for more recipe ideas.