At a wedding that I attended in New York recently, this spectacular dessert was served as a finale to a grand dinner. It was perfect: fun, light, boasting lots of different flavours and very prettily presented on rectangular plates. The recipe adapts to all sorts of home occasions, including overnighters (whether the kids involved are big or small) and Thanksgiving dinner (it's a great dessert alternative to pumpkin pie). For the adults, add a slug of a favourite cream liqueur or, my choice, a shot of bourbon.
You can make cookies if you are in a baking mood, but I confess that I just buy a few different kinds, such as macarons, shortbread and fancy petits fours. The better the quality, the better the dessert. Often, I include a chocolate truffle for that intense chocolate hit. On occasion, I use a malted-milk candy as a topper for the milkshake.
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/4 malted-milk powder or more to taste
18 cookies of your choice
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
Place vanilla ice cream and malted-milk powder in a blender and whiz until combined. Pour into small glasses. Pop in a straw.
Melt the chocolate, stirring, in a small pot over low heat, then spoon a dollop on each plate. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate over the plate in a streak. Place the cookies and/or truffles on top.