This is not a recipe so much as it is permission to have a little fun. Draw outside the lines. Embrace the element of surprise at the end of the day — which is always necessary when you have preschoolers in the house.
The surprise in this case is that I not only said “yes” to the donut sundae, but suggested it to our girls as they were pondering dessert during one of our remaining vacation evenings.
The donut sundae is a glorious thing and begins, really, following a morning walk on the boardwalk to Brown’s Restaurant. You may have your own Brown’s, wherever you vacation or maybe even in your city or town. And, if it’s just a Dunkin’ Donuts…well, that’s OK too.
People begin lining up for donuts at Brown’s starting at 6:00 am. If you get there after 8:00 am, as we did, expect to wait in a line to choose from their six different donut flavors. But it’s an enjoyable wait, with kids scampering around and trading notes on their favorite donuts (and how many they are going to eat), the surf crashing on the beach, and on windy days, a couple of kites flying in the morning breeze.
Buy a dozen. Maybe even a dozen and a half. Sneak at least one for the walk home (be careful, they are hot but SOOOOO good). And enjoy another one or two with coffee on the deck (and maybe one of those peaches from the farmer’s market) before heading out to the beach.
At the very end of the day you may find one or two donuts left, the collateral damage of the proverbial “eyes bigger than my stomach” syndrome. Or maybe you decided to order a couple of every flavor, just to try, and have one or two left over. Time for the donut sundae! In truth, it was my first bite of a plain donut, walking back down the boardwalk in the morning, that led me to imagine the divine pairing of cold, milky ice cream with a crisp, hot bite of fried dough. Yum.
All things in moderation. You only need a small wedge of donut and a scoop of ice cream for this kid-pleasing end to the day. After all, I don’t want my sprouts to be any stouter than they need to be! Our dessert included:
Donut quarters – plain works quite well
A scoop or two of your favorite ice cream(s)
One of the tricks to the donut sundae is to find a cute bowl or glass in which to serve it — something “fancy.” There were a couple of fluted shot glasses in our beach house that were perfect, able to hold only a quarter of a donut and some ice cream. Easy to finish that way and it keeps the calories in check.
You don’t need whipped cream for these, but even that would be nice. Or a cherry. Or a layer of diced peaches macerated in a little sugar (oh, I so have to try that next summer!).
Have fun with these, and with your kids too. Summer will be over before we know it!
Serves: as many kiddies — and grown ups — as you have donuts and ice cream to feed.
Kid rating: five stars. Donuts AND ice cream — you can’t go wrong.
Parent rating: five stars for the fun factor alone, plus these are tasty as long as your donuts aren’t too stale! If you’re making a grown up version, try adding a splash of liquor (triple sec is a perennial beach favorite) over the donut before piling on the ice cream. Actually, this version would also be great with the afore-mentioned sugar-macerated diced peaches and some premium vanilla ice cream. YUM.