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22 Delicious Ways to Use Vanilla Ice Cream

We're big fans of ice cream in all forms and flavors, but sometimes we crave something a little more special than plain ol' vanilla. That's where these delicious treat ideas come in. We'll help you transform vanilla ice cream into a dazzling dessert.

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Cherry and Chocolate Ice Cream Pie

Cherry and chocolate is a classic combination. Give this Black Forest pairing a new life by blending it with tasty vanilla ice cream and popping it in a pie crust. Not sure which brand of ice cream to buy? Check out the brands our editors and the Taste of Home Test Kitchen recommend.
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Ice Cream Kolachkes

These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled "kolaches." They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it's simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
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Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

I created this giant peanut butter cookie cake for my husband, adding light and low-fat products to the cookie dough. It was so fantastic that I fixed it with conventional ingredients for guests. Since it can be made ahead of time and frozen, it cuts stress for busy hostesses. And really, who doesn't love peanut butter ice cream? —Joann Belack, Bradenton, Florida
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Almost It's-It Ice Cream Sandwiches

You'll discover why the treat is so popular in San Francisco. It's snack heaven...ice cream, delicious oatmeal cookies and a touch of chocolate. Swap out the vanilla for your favorite flavor, such as chocolate, caramel or cherry. — Jacyn Siebert, San Francisco, California
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Banana Split Supreme

This lovely and delightful dessert has the classic flavor of a banana split. It's a cool, creamy treat with no last-minute fuss since you just pull it from the freezer. It always solicits praise from our big family. -Marye Franzen, Gothenburg, Nebraska
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S'mores Milk Shake

When cabin fever hits, we whip up a beverage that tastes like s’mores. Oven-toasted marshmallows and a blender make it happen. —Sarah McKenna, Centennial, Colorado
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Grilled Peach Sundaes

These peaches with a hint of grill flavor are sweet and juicy. We serve them in a waffle bowl with ice cream. That’s jackpot at our house. —Nancy Dentler, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Limoncello Cream Pie

Limoncello Cream Pie

After a big Christmas dinner, we love the cool refreshment of a frozen lemon pie. Limoncello brings a little sophistication to each smooth, creamy slice. —Jessie Grearson-Sapat, Falmouth, Maine
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Spumoni Baked Alaska

For a refreshing end to a rich meal, try this freezer finale. Its intriguing interior and pretty color scheme are bound to garner oohs and aahs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lemon Meringue Floats

I actually dreamed of this float idea one night, and woke up knowing I needed to make it. Thank you, Mr. Sandman! —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry Ice Cream Delight

This gorgeous make-ahead dessert is a light, refreshing ending to a summer meal. I first made it for my aunt's 85th birthday dinner and everyone loved it! —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York
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Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich Minis

My husband absolutely loves ice cream sandwiches and snickerdoodles, so I combined them into one fun treat. Here’s how we build this cool dessert. —Heather Pilon, Winslow, Maine
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Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie

My family and I always try new desserts during the holidays. This one was a clear winner, so we now make it for all occasions! —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
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Thin Mint Milk Shake

Save a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies for this creamy milkshake that's fun for kids and adults, too. —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
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Italian Horn Cookies

My family has been making these delicate fruit-filled cookies for generations. They’re light and flaky, with the look of an elegant old-world pastry. —Gloria Siddiqui, Houston, Texas
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Frozen Grasshopper Torte

I first made this minty cool torte for a ladies' meeting at our church. I’m still making it, and the compliments keep coming. —Elma Penner, Oak Bluff, Manitoba
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Thick Strawberry Shakes

Cool off with a thick and rich treat that will remind you of a malt shoppe! Nothing can beat this strawberry shake recipe. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Summer Celebration Ice Cream Cake

I wanted to make my youngest son an ice cream cake one year for his summer birthday, as he prefers ice cream to the traditional cake. He picked the flavors and I decided to try my favorite brownie recipe as a crust. It worked! —Krista Frank, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Strawberry Cream Floats

When it starts warming up in Colorado, my kids ask for ice-cold treats. This rosy pink cream float is one of our household favorites. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Crunchy Ice Cream Delight

Four generations of home cooks have shared our crunchy ice cream bars. If you love almonds like my family does, double the butter and almonds and save half to sprinkle on top. —Angie Ricklefs, Sioux City, Iowa
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Red, White and Blueberry Ice Cream Pie with Granola Crust

One of my favorite pies is creamy, crunchy and patriotic. Make squiggles with the sauces, or use them for a fun design. —Marina Delio, Santa Barbara, California
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Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Shakes

The winter holidays are my favorite time of year, and this spiced pumpkin drink is one reason I love the season so much. If you don't have a coffee maker, it's OK to use instant coffee—just make it stronger. —Kathie Perez, East Peoria, Illinois

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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