Homemade snow cones are a winter treat that I loved as a child. I vividly remember scooping the snow into a big mixing bowl and lugging it indoors to make cones. A heavier snow makes the best cones. By heavy, I mean snowman building snow. However, even the fluffiest of powder makes a great cone once it melts a bit.
Homemade snow cones are a winter treat my children now enjoy.
My grandmother used to use a watery concoction made from flavored gelatin powder to make homemade snow cone syrup. My grandmother’s syrup was sweet and delicious. However, her syrup required “heating”. As a result the syrup was easy to overheat, or accidentally water down.
I’ve tried several syrup recipes over the years. Most recipes require a lot of granulated sugar. They also needed to be prepared on the stove. While this was okay, I started to think about alternatives that would be both easier and healthier. I liked the idea of being more spontaneous, and not having to prepare a syrup. Failed attempts at making Sugar on Snow (another fabulous snow activity) often resulted in a maple snow come. However, enjoying a maple snow cone isn’t the same as devouring a fruity cone!
I needed a tasty, fruity alternative for topping my homemade snow cones. I wanted it to be colorful, too. Above all else, I didn’t want to turn the stove on!
Eureka! The answer to my homemade snow cone woes? Concentrated juice.
The frozen section of any grocery store, has a great selection of juice concentrate. Not only is this easy, but I typically have juice concentrate on hand.
Making homemade snow cones really only requires two ingredients.
Snow is the first ingredient.
Next, you need the fruity topping. I used two flavors of juice concentrate. Glass dispensing bottles are a great way to showcase toppings. However, a rinsed out mustard bottle, or applying the concentrate with a turkey baster or teaspoon works well too.
I selected a deep red colored concentrate, and another that I knew would be yellow. The color of the label is not always representative of the juice color it contains. I suggest using two “opposite” flavors to offer visual color variety. It’s also helpful to buy flavors your children have previously approved.
My kiddos like to scoop up their flavored snow on a spoon. It’s a refreshing treat they really enjoy. Children as young as toddlers love to select and scoop fresh white snow. And let’s face it, finding activities for our kids can be tough in the New England winter, especially this year. Looking for clean fresh snow encourages outdoor play, and offers a fun project for when they’re back indoors. How are you and your kids embracing the winter? Please share your ideas in the comments.