Not only is it possible to make a clone of Nestle's world-famous Drumstick in your home kitchen, it's also a heck of a lot of fun.
To completely commit to Drumstick lore, you must believe the unlikely story of its creation.
According to Nestle, one of the women making chocolates in I.C. Parker’s Ft. Worth, Texas candy factory in 1928 accidentally dropped an ice cream cone into a vat of melted chocolate. She pulled it out of the chocolate and dropped it onto a counter covered in peanuts just as Parker showed up and saw the mess. He tasted the sloppy creation and like it so much that he decided to make it his new top-selling product: the Drumstick.
I still have no idea if Parker replaced that worker with someone who wasn’t clumsy and didn’t leave peanuts all over the place. But I do know that it was his wife Jewel who came up with the odd name for the new ice cream creation when she joked that it resembled a chicken leg.
Parker’s new product was a great success for many years, and the company was growing when Nestle came knocking and bought The Drumstick Company in 1991. Today the Drumstick is iconic, with 34 different variations of the famous frozen confection.
In this post I’ll show you how to clone the most popular version of The Drumstick: the one made with vanilla ice cream and nuts on top. The top-seller. The big kahuna. The cone of most desire.
To re-create the famous chocolate-dipped treat we’ll use the chocolate sauce from my hack recipe for Magic Shell. This blend of chocolate and coconut oil hardens to the perfect consistency inside the cones and on the ice cream. And that’s exactly what we need.
In addition to the chocolate sauce, you need Styrofoam cups and sugar cones. We’ll use the cups to make some helpful “cone holders” to hold each of the cones upright in the freezer.
You also need chopped peanuts.
It’s a general rule that even bad ice cream is pretty good, but if you’re taking the time to make these cool cones you should probably pick a decent ice cream.
For a hack that’s comparable to the original, Breyer’s is a really good choice. This brand of vanilla ice cream is light and airy, just like the ice cream in the original Drumstick, and the flavor is similar.
If you want better-tasting, higher-quality ice cream, I recommend the best mass-produced vanilla ice cream on the market: Haagen Dazs. It’s made with real ingredients and it’s rich and creamy. But it’s also very dense and heavy, so just know that you will end up with a more substantial cone than the original.
Either way is good, but for this blog post, I’m going with Breyer’s.
You need cone holders to prop up your faux Drumsticks while they freeze, and these cups will do the trick splendidly.
Use a sharp knife to cut an “X” into 8 Styrofoam cups. Thick paper cups work too, but Styrofoam is best.
Don’t make the “X” too big. Twist the cones gently as you put them in so that the hole gets bigger. When they’re inserted properly the cones will be snug and sit straight up, like this…
Now the cones get a little freezer time. This chill on the cones will help accelerate the hardening of the chocolate when you coat the insides.
Look at them. Don’t they look happy? It’s as if they know something exciting is about to happen.
Well, this is exciting. It’s time to coat the cones with chocolate so that the ice cream won’t make the inside of the cones soggy. First, make the chocolate sauce. The pics for making the chocolate are here in the Magic Shell hack recipe if you want to check them out.
Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate into each one, then turn the cone on its side and rotate it so that the inside gets completely coated with chocolate, up the edge of the cone. When the inside of the cone is completely coated, invert it over the bowl so the extra chocolate dribbles out, then get it back into the freezer.
If you goof up and chocolate gets on the outside of your cone, no big deal. Just wipe it off.
I said WIPE it off, not LICK it off.
I know what you were about to do.
Now these dudes get another chill in the freeze box.
They are getting happier by the minute. Anything is better than a dark, cramped box on a grocery store shelf.
After this half-hour chill, you get to fulfill your cones’ ultimate destinies with ice cream. Use a small spoon and press the ice cream down all the way to the bottom. Make the ice cream flat on top.
It’s best to take one cone at a time out of the freezer for filling. When you put it back in the freezer take another one out and don’t leave the freezer door open too long. You want it to stay as cold as possible in there.
Now your cones need a longer chill so the ice cream can firm up. But not completely.
It’s best if the tops are still a little soft so that the ice cream in the cone bonds with the ice cream we add on top in the next step.
Your cone gets a hat. Grab a scooper and put a nice round scoop right up there on top of that cone.
Press down when you add the ice cream scoop so that it sticks.
Back in they go.
This time make sure the ice cream is firm, even if that means going longer than an hour. If the ice cream isn’t cold enough the top scoop will fall off into the chocolate, and that kinda sucks.
Yes, it happened to me.
Let’s move on.
Now for the best part.
Make sure your chocolate is in a small, deep bowl so that the cone can get a nice dunking. Twirl the cone in the chocolate and make sure you cover all the ice cream. Let a little drip off, but don’t wait too long…
The chocolate will harden quickly once it gets cold and the nuts won’t stick, so you need to work fast.
Do this over a plate to catch the non-sticking goobers and drippy chocolate.
And that’s it.
When your Drumstick clones have hardened for at least another hour in the freezer, you can pass ’em out.
After several hours, you can store each cone in a sealed sandwich-size zip-top bag, and they will keep for several weeks.
Yeah, like that’ll happen.
— Todd Wilbur, The Food Hacker
Nestle Drumstick Hack
- 8 sugar ice cream cones
- 4.5 ounces (3/4 cup) milk chocolate chips
- 3 ounces (1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
You will also need
- 8 Styrofoam or paper cups
- Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, slice a small "x" into the center of the bottom of each cup. Turn each cup over onto a flat surface and press a cone into the "x" of each cup so that the cones are all standing straight up out of the bottom of the inverted cups. Place them all in your freezer for 30 minutes.
- Combine the chocolate chips, coconut oil and agar syrup in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high for 30 seconds. If the chocolate has not melted completely after stirring for 30 seconds, microwave it again for 15 seconds, and stir. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the vanilla.
- When the cones are real cold, take one at a time out of the freezer, remove it from the cup, and spoon 1 tablespoon of chocolate into the cone. Spin the cone so that the chocolate coats the entire inside of the cone. Invert the cone so that the any excess chocolate drips out, then put the cone back into the cup and back into the freezer. Repeat with the remaining cones and let them sit in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to fill your cones, set the ice cream out for 5 minutes so that it softens. Spoon the softened ice cream into the cones with a small spoon and press it all the way to the bottom oaf each cone. Make the top flat. After filling each cone place it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. And be sure to put the ice cream back into the freezer, too.
- When the ice cream has firmed up a bit, use an ice cream scoop to put a nice round scoop of ice cream on top of each cone and place them all back in the freezer for another hour.
- When you are ready to dip the cones in the chocolate, microwave the chocolate again for 15 seconds to soften it up. This will ensure that the coating of chocolate on top is not too thick.
- Remove one come from the freezer at a time. Invert the cone and dip it into the chocolate and spin it until the ice cream is completely coated with chocolate. Let a little excess chocolate drip off, but don't wait too long before you sprinkle on the peanuts or they might not stick. Before the chocolate firms up, hold the cone over a plate and sprinkle peanuts on the chocolate. Put all the cones back into the freezer for at least 1 hour, then remove them from the cups and store each one in a small zip top bag.