Magical Unicorn Food
I've fully embraced the unicorn trend; it's the perfect excuse to try some perfectly delightful treats.
Lately, I keep thinking about “personal color palettes” and how they can change over time, or how they can reflect different aspects of your personality. In high school, I was into natural tones: earthy greens like sage or olive, and browns. This was an extension of my view of myself as a poet, of learning from an amazing English teacher who taught us about ascetics, “desert fathers” and Buddhism, of the fact that Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy came out during that time, of learning to read great literature for the first time (not that Nancy Drew isn’t great, too…), and a bit of melancholy. The Shire, journaling, Zen rock gardens, Emily Bronte, love and a little heartbreak are all things I associate with my proclivity toward natural colors during high school.
In college, I got into the brown-paired-with-pink, -paired-with-light-green, -paired-with-turquoise looks, and enjoyed layering bright colors, the brighter the better. There were aspects about myself in high school that I’d come to distrust–particularly, a kind of snobbery that had arisen along with my view of myself as a poet and “interesting person,” which was undermined when I finally went to public school for the first time and was forced to realize that interesting, smart people were everywhere. I think turning toward these brighter colors was not just about embracing a color trend, but was a rejection of seeing myself as something special. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, particularly as I just got more exclusive and snobbish in college in other ways, and was definitely not at peace with my place in society.
Years passed, and today my personal color palette is “Hand-me-downs.” But recently, I have found myself embracing yet another trend, somewhat to my surprise: Unicorns! While unicorns themselves aren’t a color, they are associated with light pinks and purples, cheerful yellows and greens and turquoises, and SPARKLES and FUN!
How did I become a “unicorn girl”? It started with finding irresistible cards at Target and Trader Joe’s. Then, a coworker bought my some awesome window clings for my office, and from there, I just decided to embrace it. I’m probably not going to change my wardrobe over it (although I do own a rainbow tulle skirt now), but it’s still a color scheme/theme that embraces fun, whimsy and happiness. And while life isn’t perfect, it’s pretty great right now.
Yes, I bought myself a Valentine’s Card! So what?
In honor of my new-found unicorn love, I wanted to write a post about unicorn foods! So, without further ado:
Unicorn Ice Cream
This is a fantastic recipe to make with kids! Super simple, and of course they will enjoy mixing in the food coloring and adding sprinkles! Recipe adapted from the one found here.
We were forced to eat Unicorn Ice Cream for breakfast, just so I could get to work on this blog post! See? Life IS magical!
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened-condensed milk
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract (Or, just do 1 tsp. vanilla and skip the almond)
- McCormick Neon Assorted Food Color
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in sweetened-condensed milk and extracts.
Divide ice cream into four bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl, one color per bowl. Gently mix in food coloring until evenly distributed. Add more if desired.
My favorite helper
In a loaf pan, layer ice cream by color (If I make this again, I’m going to try to do spoonfuls of each color in each layer, rather than a solid layer of each color. I think this might make it easier to mix?). Once you have your four layers, run a knife through, swirling the colors to create that magical unicorn look. Don’t swirl too much, or the colors will blend together.
The layered look
We had to do another round of sprinkles after this
Top with sprinkles, the more the better! Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours.
Unicorn Hot Chocolate
I first got this idea from Ida Red downtown and, after finally going to try their version of Unicorn Hot Chocolate, I have to admit that theirs is better. It was still a fun thing to try at home, though, so I recommend putting your own spin on this–just be careful because it’s easy to get way too sweet when using white chocolate. There are about a million Unicorn Hot Chocolate recipes out there, but I used this one as my starting point.
- 2-3 Tbsp. White Chocolate Chips (I used 1/4 cup, which was too much)
- 2 c. whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. Raspberry syrup, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pink and purple food coloring
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- star sprinkles
- any other sprinkles you have handy (some recipes use Lucky Charms)
In a small saucepan, stir white chocolate, milk, raspberry syrup and vanilla over medium heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Add pink food coloring until the mixture reaches the desired color.
Pour the heavy whipping cream into an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment and add sugar and almond extract. Whisk on high speed until it begins to stiffen form. Add purple food coloring until desired color is achieved. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
Pour white chocolate mixture into glasses. Top with whipped cream, then generously add the sprinkles!!!
For comparison’s sake (even though I come off looking worse), here is a photo of Ida Red’s Unicorn Hot Chocolate.
And some of their adorable unicorn merch.
Okay, so I tried this recipe twice, and it was fairly disappointing both times. I’m doing something wrong, and the original recipe is so vague I can’t figure it out (Do you cook the noodles with the cabbage? What does it mean to cook the cabbage for five minutes before adding noodles?? Or maybe I’m thinking about it too hard???). The idea behind unicorn noodles is that if you cook clear rice noodles in water with purple cabbage, it turns them a vibrant purple. Then, if you remove them and add lime or lemon juice, they turn a brilliant pink! Mine, however, went from a pale purple to a sickly, intestine-y pink…which was still interesting to watch, but frustrating. So I’ll just leave you with the link to the original recipe and see if you can do better than I did 😉
This may look cute, but it’s basically a bowl of raw veggies and cabbage-water noodles. It needs help.