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The first winter storm of the season rolled through Boise last Friday, to the tune of 10″ of fluffy, powdery snow blanketing my neighborhood.  Now, despite snow — and snowstorms — being a common occurrence in this neck of the woods, Boise finds a way to shut down at the first sight of flakes, not unlike the frenzy that is snow in the Carolinas.  So this snowstorm meant that the S.O. and I were holed in at home… all weekend.

So to brighten our days, the S.O. pulled a childhood favorite (he grew up in snowy Michigan) out of his recipe arsenal:  snow cream.

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Snow cream is a delightful little treat that will lighten one’s heart on a cold winter day.

Curious how well-known snow cream may be, I turned to Google before writing this post.  It seems that a lot of folks consider snow cream to be an attempt at “making ice cream with snow”.  The nerve!  Snow cream is its own entity, and ought to be appreciated as such!  Snow cream is light and fluffy, closer to the texture of a perfect shave ice (I’m looking at you, Waiola) — nothing like the heaviness of ice cream.  Combined with a creamy pour of half & half and sweet maple syrup, I want to describe the flavor and texture of snow cream as “adorable”.

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We’ve always made this recipe to taste, but I jotted some approximate measures below for folks who like to have a benchmark.  For my friends in warm-weather climates, if you have a shave ice maker, you can grind some ice into powder suitable for this recipe.  Powdery snow works best.

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Snow Cream

Serves 2 | Prep Time 5 mins | Cook Time 0 mins

  • between 1/3 C and 1/2 C half & half
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) snow

In a small bowl, combine half & half, syrup, and vanilla, and mix.  Collect snow in a separate large mixing bowl.  Pour half & half mixture over snow, and stir to incorporate well.  Gently pack snow into serving bowl.  Can serve with seasonal fruit or drizzled with additional maple syrup.

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