Homemade Fiddlestix (and Magic Shell!)

Fiddlestix 1

I thought I was prepared for summer, the end of school and the start of Stampede this year. I was not. I’m not even used to it being June yet, and it’s well into July. (I see a recurring theme here…)

Fiddlestix 8

But. Priorities: I have figured out how to make those iconic midway treats I always picked as a kid, when my sisters would opt for cotton candy (mostly air) and candy apples (just a whole fruit, disguised with sticky red stuff – suckers!). The teenage summer staff would make Fiddlestix onsite in their box-sized concessions, opening up a box of vanilla ice cream, slicing it into bars, then dipping each piece into chocolate and rolling it in peanuts before handing it through the window in exchange for $2. I’m sure there’s a more mechanized, streamlined version out there now – but I still hold on to a scrap of nostalgia for ice cream that was sliced instead of scooped.

Fiddlestix 10

I came across a recipe for homemade Magic Shell – something I remember, but my mom never bought – and it occurred to me that such a thing could be used to dip bars of ice cream. Unlike plain melted chocolate, which is warm in its liquid state and will start to melt your ice cream on impact, magic shell is made with coconut oil, which keeps chocolate liquid even at room temperature and hardens almost instantly on contact with cold. It’s a very cool, delicious science experiment.

Fiddlestix 9

And it gives me an excuse to buy ice cream in a box. I opened mine up, sliced it into bars with a sharp knife, stuck in popsicle sticks and returned the open box to the freezer, top flap torn off, to firm up and wait until I was ready to dole out ice cream bars to a back yard full of friends.

Fiddlestix 7

The basic principle is that the saturated fat in coconut oil (which conveniently has a flavour that enhances chocolate – it won’t make it taste coconutty) will turn hard and snappy upon impact with something cold. Most recipes call for dark chocolate and coconut oil in various ratios: Food 52 does two parts coconut oil to three parts chocolate. Instructables does one part oil to one and a half parts chocolate, by weight. Serious Eats adds a dose of corn syrup to replace some of the sweetness that gets lost when you dilute chocolate with coconut oil, and to create a slightly fudgy texture. Their formula is 250 g (1/2 pound) chocolate, 200 g (about one cup) coconut oil, and 125 g (a little more than half a cup) corn syrup.

Fiddlestix Collage 2

I read this wrong and did a pound of chocolate (in the form of chips – only because the store was out of big bars of dark chocolate) to 1 cup of coconut oil and a squirt (maybe 1/4 cup) of Roger’s Golden Syrup, which I use instead of corn syrup. Melted together in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring every minute until melted and smooth. It worked beautifully as both magic shell on a scoop of ice cream and as a chocolate dip. So you can see that this is a very forgiving formula.

Fiddlestix Collage

Let it cool to room temperature and it can sit on your countertop until you need it; once it hits ice cream, it takes about 20 seconds to harden into a substantial, solid shell. You’ll be able to tell when it goes from glossy to matte; if you’re dipping, let the excess drip off before sprinkling with or rolling in a shallow dish of finely chopped, salted peanuts. I imagine sprinkles would be a hit too – or nothing at all. You could set out dishes of small sweet or crunchy things – gummy bears, crushed Oreos and the like – and do ice cream bars made to order. I saw an older couple in line at the store the other day buying a box of cherry ice cream, which made me wonder why I stuck with plain old vanilla. (Although – there are few better combos than vanilla ice cream, thick slabs of chocolate and salty peanuts.)

Fiddlestix 2

Whatever combination you choose (with a bowl of chocolate shell at the ready, it could be a new one every week – or every day), these will undoubtedly contribute to the thorough enjoyment of summer.


About Julie

23 comments on “Homemade Fiddlestix (and Magic Shell!)

  1. tara
    July 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Slicing the ice cream is BRILLIANT! Also, if ever you don’t have coconut oil, clarified butter will work in a pinch. I often have a pot of ghee kicking around, so that discovery was life-changing.

  2. Jan @ Family Bites
    July 6, 2014 at 10:55 am

    This is brilliant! Love the idea of slicing the ice cream and putting sticks into the pieces. This has just moved high up on my list of foods to make this summer.

  3. jane
    July 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Amazing idea!!
    I always find something from you that fits the bill.
    Hubby at the lake and me home working!Hubby’s birthday next week and me going to lake to surprise him. What to do to celebrate??? Julie to the rescue. (He likes mint chocolate chip ice cream)

  4. Janice
    July 6, 2014 at 11:15 am

    This is a revelation!! I cannot wait to do this.

  5. Jules @ WolfItDown
    July 6, 2014 at 11:53 am

    That is such a clever way of rattling up a delicious treat! And it looks gorgeous with the chopped peanuts, yum! x

  6. Jackie H
    July 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    This. is. Awesome!

  7. Annick
    July 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Last week I was wondering why you didn’t see ice cream in a box anymore, if you (or anybody) could tell me the brand that still exist (or is it just around here that it disappear) cause I remember it to be better and I would love to do this treat next time it’s hot!

    • Bernadette
      June 6, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      I love this idea! But i might makes sure the chocolate is also by where the stick goes in to help stop the stick from falling out.

      • Julie
        June 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        GOOD IDEA! 🙂

  8. Aga
    July 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Annick, where do you live? Julie’s looks like the house brand from Superstore, but Chapman’s also sells ice cream in a carton, and I’m sure Safeway does too.

    Julie, this is brilliant. I’m always inspired to do this after a trip to the Stampede (or Purdy’s!).

  9. Julie R
    July 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    I must try this! Thanks for the delicious idea!

  10. Annick
    July 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    I live in the the National Capital Region (was living in Montreal before) and the Chapman was in the plastic box, but I will continue to search to do this recipe it looks fantastic!

  11. Barb
    July 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    This does look good!

  12. Heather @ Sarap Life
    July 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Wow, what a throwback dessert! This screams summer. I had never known how magic shell was made. Knowing that it can be homemade is awesome! I’ll have to try it the next time ice cream is in my freezer (aka this week).

  13. Liz
    July 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Awesome recipe! I can’t wait it try this!

  14. Kathy
    July 7, 2014 at 1:48 am

    Those look better than and Fiddlestix I ever saw at the Stampede and the peanuts won’t be stale, LOL.

  15. Julie
    July 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’m so glad you guys like it! WOW, mint chocolate chip?? are you kidding me?? brilliant! and yes, this was from Superstore – it’s actually pretty great ice cream, and $3 per box! And you’re right Kathy, the peanuts won’t be stale! 🙂

  16. Asiya @ Chocolate & Chillies
    July 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    This is pure genius!!!!!

  17. Brenda from Carstairs
    July 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    The only thing that could make these better is to somehow add caramel. Any ideas on how we could do that?
    The obvious would be to use caramel swirl ice cream but I was thinking of something like Buster Bars with a lot of caramel.

  18. Lana
    July 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Wow, so fun! We can’t eat chocolate, so made it with white chocolate for one batch, and peanut butter chips for the other. Chopped nuts, rice krispies and skor bit finished them off. Huge hit!!

  19. Julie
    July 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Oooh – great idea Lana!!!
    Brenda – hmm.. you could probably do a caramel layer on the ice cream, then freeze it…

  20. Brenda
    July 28, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I made them yesterday and they were a hit! Our small local grocery store didn’t have ice-cream in a box so I had to buy a tub. It was really tricky to get it cut into nice even bars so I would definitely use a boxed ice-cream next time. I used Skor bits and chopped peanuts for coating. Also I had about 1 1/2 cups of magic shell left over so you know what that means…I’ll have to make another batch!

  21. KathyG
    July 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Am I the only one who wants to do this with slightly frozen bananas instead of ice cream?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.