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July 31, 2013

A frosty blast from the past

Just like skipping through the sprinkler on a hot day, enjoying homemade shaved ice offers sweet relief from the high temperatures, while bringing up pleasant memories from the past.

Plus, making snowcones is a fun family activity.

“The secret is in using flavorful syrups,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens, which produces extracts that are great for making snowcones. “These treats come together in just a few minutes with less than five ingredients, including fruit extracts and food colors.”

Raspberry, orange or strawberry extract can be added to a simple syrup, along with a few drops of vibrant food color.

Here are a few tips for making a family activity out of dessert making:

* Make it snow at home: If you don’t have a shaved ice maker, crush ice to a snowy texture in your blender or by wrapping a plastic bag of ice in a kitchen towel and smashing it with a rolling pin or mallet. This can be a fun project for kids so long as they have adult supervision.

* Mix and match: Store syrups in small squeeze bottles and mix and match flavors in each shaved ice. Create layers of color and flavor in the ice, and then gobble them up before the creation melts. You’ll have a different summer treat every time.

Easy Fruity Shaved Ice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

Blue Raspberry Syrup:

2 teaspoons raspberry extract

10 drops blue food coloring

Strawberry Cotton Candy Syrup:

2 teaspoons strawberry extract

10 drops red food coloring

Crushed Orange Syrup:

1 teaspoon orange extract

8 drops yellow food coloring

2 drops red food coloring

Lemon Blast Syrup:

1 teaspoon lemon extract

10 drops yellow food coloring

Bring sugar and water to boil in small saucepan on medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. For desired flavor syrup, stir in extract and food color.

Cool to room temperature. Pour into squeeze bottle for easier serving. Pour syrup over shaved ice.

Makes 2 cups syrup.

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