If you’re like me, there’s only one thing worth ordering from the ice cream truck: soft serve dipped in that magical chocolate coating that instantly hardens as it hits the ice cold confection. Yea, I know, it doesn’t quite fit my whole organic, scratch cooking MO but, you know, everything in moderation. Unless, of course, you can make it homemade with better ingredients in just minutes.

And guess what? You can.

-Giveaway is closed. –

If you’ve been following along this week, by now you know that I was determined to pack my new cookbook, Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them, with simple, modern, quick recipes that work for busy parents who like and appreciate food, but maybe don’t quite have the time (or desire?) to cook elaborate scratch meals. So when it came to desserts, I wanted to be sure to include a few treats that can be made lightening quick. Because we’re not baking pies on the regular.


Making homemade chocolate shell (DIY Magic Shell!) is so much easier than we ever imagined with this recipe from Make It Easy, our new favorite family cookbook | Cool Mom Eats

It occurred to me that the magic chocolate coating I love so much from the ice cream truck would be an incredibly fun homemade way to dress up store-bought ice cream. But what is the likelihood that you can make it without tons of chemicals to help make the magic happen? I was sure low but, hey, even I’m not always right about food. (Ha!) It turns out that turning regular chocolate into chocolate that hardens when melted and poured over something cold requires one simple, easy-to-find, even healthy ingredient.

Coconut oil.

Yup, that’s the secret. And when you make it yourself, you can use higher quality chocolate, which gives you even better taste. You can even add flavor using pure, all-natural flavor extracts, which is fun, too. White chocolate with pure strawberry extract is delicious and around the holidays, I add a few drops of all-natural peppermint extract to this recipe to make peppermint chocolate shell for candy cane sundaes.

Oh, and if you’re dairy-free, you can use dairy-free chocolate. I’ve tried it and it works!

Whip some up this weekend and set it out for an ice cream sundae bar. I can think of no better way to ring in the unofficial start of summer.

Homemade Chocolate Shell

From Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch With Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them by Stacie Billis. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2016. All photos from Make It Easy by Naomi McColloch
Makes about 1 cup

1 cup of your favorite semisweet chocolate chips or chopped pieces of your favorite chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil (both refined and unrefined work, though the latter may give your sauce a slight coconut flavor)

1. To make in the microwave: Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and melt on high power in 15- to 20-second intervals, mixing between each interval, until the chocolate is 85 percent melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and use a fork or whisk to stir—this will complete the melting process.

To make on the stovetop: Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the mixture is 85 percent melted, whisking every 30 seconds or so. Remove the pot from the heat and continue to stir until completely melted.

2. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before using. To store: Pour the sauce into a glass jar or storage
container, seal, and keep at room temperature. If the sauce hardens and your container is microwave safe, place it in the microwave and heat for a few seconds at a time until it loosens. Alternatively, place the container in a warm water bath until it liquefies. This will keep for up to 2 weeks.


Extra-cool: Win it!

We’re so happy to be giving away a $250 Target gift card plus your own copy of Make It Easy in celebration of the book launch!


A huge giveaway on Cool Mom Eats to celebrate the release of Make It Easy, a new cookbook for family cooks that we're loving! | Cool Mom Eats


1. Subscribe to Cool Mom Eats. Easy, right? If you’re already a subscriber, leave us a comment telling us that you’re a subscriber AND why you’re excited to try today’s featured recipe. (Be sure to use the same email that you subscribed with so we can double-check. Don’t worry, no one can see it but us.)

For up to 3 additional entries each day through Friday:

2. Follow @CoolMomEats on Twitter + tweet the link to this post on Twitter, something like: I’m so trying this recipe from #MakeitEasyBook + you should too! https://bit.ly/1Z400Mt

3. Like @CoolMomPicks on Facebook + share the link to this post on your feed. Leave the link to your update in the comments here, below this post.

4. Follow @CoolMomEats on Instagram + share a photo from this post on Instagram with the hashtag #MakeitEasyBook. Hint: You can also easily regram the photo from today’s recipe on the @CoolMomEats IG feed.

Contest ends TODAY, Friday, May 27th at 11:59 p.m. ET. One entry per person per social media account and email. Must be 18 or older to enter. U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited. Read our full contest rules before entering.


Visit the other sneak peek recipes from Make It Easy by Stacie Billis
* Hummingbird Muffins: An easy make-ahead snack that turns a classic cake into something you can eat everyday.
* Steak with Sweet and Sour Peppers: The ultimate simple, decadent dinner perfect for the long weekend, Father’s Day—or whenever you and the family need a treat.
* Cold Soba Noodle SaladAn awesome, family-friendly meatless meal that’s entirely make-ahead. Major score.
* Slow Cooker Carnitas: The recipe that proves your slow cooker is your best friend all year around. Plus, easy taco night!