Growing up in Minnesota, we had a secret dessert that everyone who knew about it would go out of their way to get. There was a frozen custard shop about twenty minutes away, and it was amazing. I have no other words. On those special days when we could head there for a special treat, our behavior was beyond exemplary. My personal favorite was the concoction they called the DrumStix, which was a creamy vanilla frozen custard topped with a chocolate shell and not just one but two cherries, all served in a waffle cone.
Even though frozen custard isn’t quite so much of a novelty, it’s still a special childhood memory I have and one I want to pass along to my own children. Me being me, I have to do it my way, which means a waffle cup instead of a cone so that it doesn’t drip out the bottom. And of course I’m making homemade magic shell.
Why bring this up now? Wellllll, when I headed to Walmart last week, I got trapped by some very good marketing. My Walmart has a frozen foods endcap that is the first thing you see after the produce area when you walk in. Slapped with all sorts of bright yellow NEW stickers, of course I had to peek in. And that’s when I saw the brand new EDY’s® Frozen Custard (same thing as DREYER’S out west). Of course they had old fashioned vanilla, which immediately went into my cart, but unfortunately for me, there were a plethora of other flavors, too.
As I stood there with my old fashioned vanilla frozen custard slowly starting to think about melting, I debated amongst chocolate malt, mint cookies ‘n cream, strawberry shortcake, and peanut butter pie, I knew something else was coming home with me. And it did. I won’t tell you which one I chose, but suffice it to say, I did a little quality control before I put it in the freezer when I got home. Good news? It’s still ice cream’s creamier cousin, and the EDY’s® version is made with fresh milk and has no artificial colors or flavors. This is the extra thick and creamy dessert I remember from childhood.
And so I proceeded to make homemade magic shell to completely bring back those memories and create some new ones for the wee ones. Interestingly, when I told my husband I was planning to make homemade magic shell, he just looked at my blankly. I’m not sure how he’s survived almost half a century having never eaten magic shell, but… I’ve rectified that error.
Magic shell is one of those way cool foods because it’s liquid at room temperature (or at least in the summer in my house – I keep it too cool in the winter and it solidifies but a 10 second zap in the microwave fixes everything) and then turns into a solid chocolate shell as it hits that creamy frozen custard.
Making Homemade Magic Shell
I love that when you make homemade magic shell, it is just three easy ingredients. Not only are they all ones I have in my pantry anyway, but they’re also all ones I can pronounce – unlike many commercial versions. All you need is coconut oil, dark chocolate, and honey (or corn syrup, but we use honey in ours).
All you need to do is melt them together over low heat, stirring until they come together. It doesn’t take much, as the honey is already liquid, coconut oil melts at 76 degrees and dark chocolate melts at just over 90 degrees, which is part of the explanation of why homemade magic shell is a liquid at room temperature and then solidifies as it sits on frozen custard.
The coconut oil and honey give the homemade magic shell a delicious fudgy taste and a softer break than the brittle one you’ll get with straight chocolate. It’s the perfect balance of great flavor and the texture I remember from the DrumStix frozen custard concoction I salivated over as a child.
One your homemade magic shell is melted and stirred together, simply add it to a glass jar and store it on your shelf. It will last for months with no issues, and you should not refrigerate it. If it does solidify, simply zap it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, depending on how much remains in your jar. Don’t have it all melt. Simply swirl the jar to help melt more of the magic shell rather than making it hotter. This will ensure it still solidifies quickly when you pour it over your frozen custard and that you don’t scorch the chocolate. It doesn’t all need to melt, either.
But come summer, which is really when I’m eating the most frozen custard anyway, it will stay liquid without any interference from you at all. Were I making this in the summer, I might put it in a plastic bottle with a tip for dispensing it more cleanly, but I don’t like to microwave plastic, so most of the year in Chicago, my homemade magic shell will live in a glass jar that I can safely microwave.
Creating a DrumStix Frozen Custard Creation
Once you have your homemade magic shell created, you’re ready to go. All you need to recreate my childhood favorite is a waffle cup, Maraschino cherries, EDY’s® Frozen Custard in old fashioned vanilla, and that homemade magic shell. If you want to be extra fancy, you can crumble up some extra waffle cone pieces to sprinkle on your custard, not that I would ever do such a thing!
Simply scoop out two small or one big scoop of that EDY’s® Frozen Custard and carefully place it into your waffle cup. On top of that, add the waffle cone pieces, if you’re using them. Drizzle the homemade magic shell and watch it do its magic! Add your cherries. And yes, this version requires both cherries. Don’t skimp and only add one.
Serve that frozen custard creation immediately, and watch the smiles break out.
If you’re lucky, you raise children who are extremely generous with giving hearts who have to share whenever they discover something they love. Me? I’m completely lucky. Mister Man was over the moon about this Drumstix creation and couldn’t wait to have me taste it. Silly child thought this was the first time I’d sampled it. Shhh! I won’t tell him if you won’t!
I unfortunately had the tough job of testing this out before I served it to my family since they were regrettably otherwise occupied away from the house. As I sat there with my DrumStix frozen custard creation and spoon, I could almost feel the warm Minnesota sunshine heating up my back as I sat outside on the picnic benches in that faraway frozen custard shop. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt ten years old, but if this is all it takes, expect to see me enjoying frozen custard more often!
Have you never had frozen custard? You’re missing out, but Walmart is conducting demos across the country of EDY’s® Frozen Custard (in the east) and DREYER’S Frozen Custard (the brand name out west) March 26-29. Want to try some for yourself? You can check out the frozen custard demo list of stores to see if there’s one in your area. Me? I’ll be hanging out in my Walmart on the 27th for my samples!
Whether using homemade magic shell or another topping, what frozen custard creation would you make?
A homemade version of a childhood favorite made with ingredients you know and can pronounce. Made in less than five minutes, this will bring back childhood.
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 c coconut oil
- 1/3 c honey (generous 1/3 c)
- In a heavy saucepan, add the chocolate, coconut oil, and honey. On medium low heat, stir constantly until the mixture is melted.
- Remove from the heat as soon as it is all melted, and continue to stir until it has all come together.
- Once it is homogeneous, pour it into a glass jar and store sealed on a shelf.
- This will last for months without refrigeration. If it solidifies, zap it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until it starts to melt a little. Swirl the jar to continue to melting rather than continue heating the magic shell.
Alternatively, you can use corn syrup in place of the honey, but for a truly allergen free version, we like to use honey in ours.