If you think that the ubiquitous ice cream scoop is just for, well, your favorite cold dessert, you will be amazed at just how versatile this particular kitchen utensil can be. However, let us be clear that what we are referring to as the versatile ice cream scoop is the disher type that has a mechanical scraper built-in into the hemispherical scoop. While the one-piece ice cream scoop that resembles a deep and oversized spoon can be versatile as well, it pales in comparison to the number of practical applications of the traditional ice cream scoop or disher scoop.
Dishers come in different sizes often with reference to the quart. So a Size 4 means you have ¼ of a quart or 4 level scoops into a quart. A Size 16 disher therefore is 1/16th of a quart or roughly equivalent to about 60 mL or about 2 ounces. Technically, this is where the versatility comes in. A traditional ice cream scoop or disher can make for an excellent measuring tool for all of your cooking needs. And, because of its hemispherical shape, it can create beautiful balls about almost anything.
Here is a list of what you can do with the traditional ice cream scoop.
1. Fabulous looking side dish: Think mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, or even brown rice perfectly molded to complement your main dish
2. Pancakes: The trick to creating beautiful, rounded, and equal-sized pancakes is to make sure you put equal batter on the pan each time. Stack them up before drizzling with your favorite pancake syrup
3. Muffins: Your need muffins that will bake all at the same time. You want them golden brown. You dont want some to be burned to crisp while others are still pale yellow. Portioning your muffin batter allows for beautiful muffins.
4. Cookies: The key again is in accurate portion sizes. Because you will be using exactly the same measurements, you are guaranteed to make beautiful and crunchy cookies every time with a cookie dough scoop.
5. Cupcakes: Like your muffins, all you have to do is to scoop a level portion of your cupcake mixture and pour it into your ramekins or cupcake wrappers and you are good to go.
6. Meatballs: We couldnt even begin to tell you how wonderful meatballs look on your classic meatball spaghettis. Need bigger meatballs? Use a Size 4 ice cream scooper.
7. Fruit balls: Melons, watermelons, papayas, and even pears and apples. Carve out beautiful fruit balls and use them in your fruit punch. Or put them on a skewer for an instant fruit-cue.
8. Hamburger patties: You need big, juicy hamburger patties? Get a Size 4 or a Size 6 ice scooper. That should give you equally-portioned meat patties.
9. Ice cream pops: Stick a popsicle stick onto your portioned ice cream balls, put them back in the freezer and let them set before taking them out.
10. Sandwiches: If you made a tuna or chicken sandwich spread, the disher is the right tool for the job especially if you will be serving a lot of people.
The list goes on. Technically, you will only be limited by your creativity when it comes to using the traditional ice cream scoop, whether you use plastics scoops or metal scoops, or even the high quality commercial ice cream scoops.