Mary of alpineberry and I conjured up this month’s You Want Pies With That? challenge: a pie that tastes like summer. I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty of envy-inducing peach, berry and key lime pies, but for me, it isn’t summer without a Nutty Buddy®.

During the school year, Mama would make us settle for fat-free Fudgesicles.

Which I would smear with peanut butter.

But when summer finally came around, Daddy would pick up a box of Nutty Buddys and show us how to remove the cone and snap the empty bag into shape, so we could shake the remaining crumbs into our mouths without making an unholy mess. Then, once we’d finished our cones with half the chocolate on our faces, he’d pass the paper towels and tell us we looked like we’d been “sucking a sow.”

Feel free to use that with your own children.

These Nutty Buddy® Mini-Pies mimic the original sundae cone – with a sugar-cone crust brushed with melted chocolate, a few scoops of Purity Premium All-Natural Vanilla Bean ice cream and a final sprinkling of chopped nuts – but there’s a major difference in the chocolate coating. Instead of a syrup, I made the Hot Fudge Sauce in Scharffenberger and Steinberg’s “Essence of Chocolate”and chilled it before drizzling it over the ice cream. The richness of the sauce helps to cut the sweetness of the sugar-cone crust, and it gives the pies a slightly more sophisticated flavor than the cones. So, these pies not only make a great dessert, they could come in handy if you needed to gently encourage someone to do your bidding.

You can’t get that kind of power from a popsicle.

Nutty Buddy® Mini-Pies

Rebecca Crump (

Makes three 4 1/2-inch pies

  • Sugar Cone Crust (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Hot Fudge Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Chopped roasted peanuts
  1. Prepare the sugar cone crusts, but when you remove them from the oven, divide the chocolate chips evenly among the crusts, and return them to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool for about 2 minutes, then gently spread the softened chocolate in the bottom of the crust. Let them cool, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Before you plan to assemble the pie, soften the ice cream by placing it in the refrigerator until it’s spreadable. Spoon it into the shells, press it in with the back of a spoon, and smooth the top. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. If your Hot Fudge Sauce is firm-cold, warm it in the microwave to loosen it up, about 30 seconds. Stir and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Take the pies out of the freezer, and spoon cooled Hot Fudge Sauce over the ice cream. Sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts. Place the mini pies in a plastic container with a lid or loosely tent them with aluminum foil, and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.

Sugar Cone Crust

  • 1 cup sugar cone crumbs (about 8 cones)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease miniature pie pans (or oversized muffin tin) with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar cone crumbs, brown sugar and salt. Add butter, and mix with a fork and/or your fingers.
  3. Divide the crumbs evenly among mini-pans, and press them into the bottoms and up the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Adapted from John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg’s “Essence of Chocolate”

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in the microwave on high for about 1 minute. Stir. If the chocolate is melted, set the mixture aside. If not, continue to microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  3. Pour the half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as steam begins to rise from the half-and-half, whisk in the cocoa mixture and continue cooking, whisking, until the sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Stir in the chocolate-butter mixure, and whisk the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour into a container and let cool.