Two memories collided and the result is this party-worthy ice cream ball. When I was in high school, my best friend's brother had a signature dessert that he would make for the family. He would roll large scoops of vanilla ice cream in chopped peanuts and then freeze them. When it was time for dessert, he'd serve each ice cream ball in a sundae dish doused with chocolate sauce. I remember that the adults had the option of a splash of Creme de Menthe liquor before the chocolate drizzle, but it never tempted me. I just wanted as much chocolate syrup as he would allow. It was delicious - cold and nutty and creamy. Whenever the stars and moons aligned and I was "staying for dinner" the same night he happened to be making ice cream balls, I rejoiced.
Years later as an adult, I visited The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. This historic hotel, built in 1887, was the location for one of my favorite movies, Somewhere In Time. Have you see it? It's pure magic.
One of the Grand Hotel's signature desserts is the "Grand Pecan Ball." Vanilla ice cream rolled in chopped pecans and topped with chocolate sauce. I must say, the pecans elevate the dish. It was served after dinner in the formal dining room on a china plate with a tiny pitcher of chocolate sauce.
So I have merged these two memories (the chopped peanuts from my friend's bother and the formal serving of the Grand Hotel) and am urging you to give it a try. The nuts create a crust around the ice cream and it is delicious!
Are you thinking about Thanksgiving? So many of us have multiple holiday meals that week with different family and friends. I'd like to suggest caramel or pumpkin ice cream (buy a carton at the store) rolled in pecans. It could hit the spot and be nice for a "we had pie last night" meal.