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Beyond plain or sugar
Creative cones can jazz up your ice cream

07/27/17
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com



 Plain wafer and sugar cones are the go-tos for anyone who wants to enjoy their ice cream without a spoon, but for a special treat, waffle cones — especially homemade — can’t be beat.

 
Made by hand
Hayward’s Ice Cream in Nashua makes its own waffle cones by hand right in the shop.
They’re bigger than regular cones, of course, but Hayward’s Manager John Bourgeois said they also smell better and have a better crunchy consistency.
Regular cones are made like wafers, fluffy and soft, while sugar cones are thin but hard and darker in color. Waffle cones, when made right, tend to straddle the line between too hard and too soft, and Bourgeois said their fresh-cooked aroma is a strong draw for customers.
They make about 400 to 500 waffle cones each day at Hayward’s, Bourgeois estimates, and they make about 30 to 40 waffle bowls as well.
Jordan’s Ice Creamery in Belmont and Laconia also makes its own waffle cones, and has started offering a new option as well: doughnut cones.
“It’s a cinnamon and sugar doughnut that is crafted as a cone,” Jordan’s Manager Alyssa Best said. “I think the doughnut cone is really kind of outside-the-box.”
She said both locations receive a fresh delivery of doughnut cones that are sold only on Sundays.
They’re made by Goody Good Donuts in Laconia.
Craig Parent, the owner of Goody Goods, said he and Jordan’s owner Craig Jordan teamed up to create the cones after hearing that people had seen the doughnut cones online. Jordan approached Parent and asked him if it was possible, and, after about a month and a half of experimenting — what Parent terms research and development — he figured out a way to do it.
He started making them a little over a year ago and makes about 50 to 60 cones, exclusively for Jordan’s for now, for each weekend delivery.
 
The art of the cone
Making waffle cones and doughnut cones is a delicate process, and getting it just right can prove difficult.
Bourgeois said waffle cones, like waffles, start with the batter.
“We make our batter and we have four waffle cone machines that we crank up every day, every morning,” Bourgeois said. “It will come out as a flat sheet with the waffle imprint in it.”
They roll these sheets up on waffle cone rollers while they’re still hot and pliable and place them on a cooling rack. 
To get it right, one has to strike the right balance with the batter, the temperature on the waffle iron and the timing for shaping them.
Firstly, Bourgeois said, it’s important not to put too much water or too little in the batter mix (which includes sugar, wheat, cake flour, dried egg and soybean). Otherwise, the color and consistency won’t be right.
If it comes out too light it will be too chewy, and if it comes out too dark it will likely be too brittle.
“You don’t want it looking burnt and you don’t want an albino cone,” Bourgeois said. “We try to go right in between that, where it’s a nice crunch.”
They cook it at just the right temperature for about a minute and pull the sheets off to be rolled into cones.
As for how doughnut cones are made, Parent keeps many of the details close to the chest.
“I just don’t want to give it out too much, myself, because as far as I know I’m the only one who makes them [in New Hampshire],” Parent said.
The basic process involves baking yeast dough wrapped around a cylinder with sugar and cinnamon poured on the outside.
The end result is a sort of spiral of dough roughly in the shape of a cone. Parent said it takes about two to two and a half hours to make a batch of cones.
“They’re kind of crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside,” Parent said. “They hold the ice cream well.”
 
Getting fancy
While many local ice cream shops don’t make their own waffle cones, they often order plain waffle cones in bulk and fancy them up with their own ingredients. Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord and Manchester, for example, adds a twist to cones by dipping the tops in melted chocolate and adding sprinkles, walnuts or other things like their own toffee, roasted nuts or toasted coconut. 
Manager Tal Smith at Granite State Candy said they call it “fancy dipping.”
“We only do it with the waffle cones just because they interact with the chocolate a little bit better,” Smith said. “We have a chocolate-dipped M&M cone that’s really fun.” 





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