All the mouthwatering recipes in our series “The Main Ingredient” have one thing in common: They all contain cookies. 

In 1984, ice cream finally got its due respect: That year, July was declared “National Ice Cream Month.” While we certainly don’t just eat ice cream one month out of the year, we are not averse to piling on a few extra scoops during that hottest of summer months.

While there’s certainly no shame in grabbing your favorite flavor or ice cream creation at the store, why not get creative to honor the occasion? Here are four delicious ice cream recipes to liven up July’s best moments.

Classic ice cream sandwiches

Who doesn’t love creamy, cool ice cream sandwiches on a hot summer day? These are made all the better when you take your favorite vanilla ice cream, let it slightly melt, and then add in some raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Wash and dry the berries (you can use all the berries or just one red berry and one blue berry), and mix them in with the semi-melted ice cream. Refreeze the delicious concoction and scoop it onto Cheryl’s Happy Face Cut Out Cookies — which are sure to match your smile when you dig right in!

Picnic ice cream cups

Nothing says summertime like a cooler filled with cheery frozen treats, such as these DIY toppings cups. Stock up on plastic mason jars — broken glass will put a damper on the occasion — and fill each one with a scoop of ice cream. Dress each one up with some favorite toppings, such as sprinkles, shredded coconut, crushed macadamia nuts, dark chocolate chips, or small pieces of tropical fruit (such as mango or pineapple). Stash them in the freezer until you’re ready to go, and then surround them with ice packs to preserve them at the picnic.

Al fresco brownie bowls

If you’re taking it up a notch and serving a nice, outdoor dinner, you can give your dessert a special treatment, too, with a brownie a la mode. Skip the oven for this show-stopping dish, and order up an assortment of caramel fudge, frosted chocolate, blondie, and more in Cheryl’s Create Your Own Brownie Box. Top with a scoop of decadent dark chocolate ice cream to take the dessert to the next level. If you’re feeling adventurous (for adults only), add a drizzle of liqueur or a grappa-macerated cherry.

Backyard barbecue ice cream crumble

A summertime barbecue isn’t complete without pie, right? Shake things up by crumbling a quarter of your favorite berry pie into a quart of slightly melted raspberry, cherry, or vanilla ice cream. Stir the concoction to combine, refreeze, and scoop into ice cream sundae glasses. To give your dessert an even more summery look, top it with a pretty Buttercream Frosted Flower Cut-Out Cookie.cco_FDY17_163391x

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