I don’t own an ice cream maker, so when I want to make an ice cream treat at home, I will often blend up a milkshake! It gives me that homemade taste and can be made instantly. (I am never without Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla.)

Plus, I am a pro at milkshakes. My first job was at McDonald’s, and my job was making milkshakes! (Yes, seriously.) Back in the day even McDonald’s milkshakes were made on a milkshake machine when you ordered them, using syrup, milk and ice cream.

So I have always known – to my horror – that sticky flavored bottled syrups make the best milkshakes! Pureed or liquefied ingredients in their natural state just don’t deliver the same intense yummy flavor. You end up with more of a smoothie, which is fine in its own right, but not when what you are craving is a milkshake concoction!

So what to do? Chocolate is a no-brainer. This is my favorite easy chocolate sauce! The cherry part took a little thinking… Chunks of fresh cherry will not pass through a straw… No such thing as cherry extract…

My decision was to take fresh cherries and give them the Rose Beranbaum treatment from The Cake Bible. With one modification — I pureed the cherries to within an inch of their lives before I dumped them in the saucepan with the other goodies. The result was a pretty amazing cherry syrup/sauce that I immediately blended into a milkshake with some chocolate and some ice cream. After a couple tries (no complaining over here!), the proportions are fabulous!

Gather Up:
3 cups pitted cherries
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoon corn starch
Pinch salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract 

And once you’ve made the cherry sauce…
One batch Homemade Chocolate Sauce
Vanilla ice cream
Splash of milk

Wash and pit the cherries. You will be much happier if you use a cherry pitter. This is an inexpensive one and is worth every penny!

Put them in the pulverizing machine of your choice and be merciless!

Pour the puree into a saucepan and add the sugar, corn starch and salt.

Cook until thick and bubbly over medium heat, watching closely and stirring often. Simmer for about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Cool and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan make the chocolate sauce.

In a blender, add 4 generous scoops of ice cream, ¼ cup of cherry sauce and 2 ½ tablespoons of chocolate.

Do an initial blend, then scrape down sides and add a splash of milk for a smooth consistency. (The jimmies are up to you, but we HIGHLY recommend them…)

To avoid the dreaded ice cream milkshake headache, sip slowly…