Limoncello And Biscotti Are Ina Garten's Go To Toppings To Elevate Vanilla Ice Cream

Ina Garten with dessert ingredients
Ina Garten with dessert ingredients - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

One of the reasons Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, is so beloved is her fuss-free approach to delicious food and memorable dining and hosting experiences. Rather than filling her cookbooks with elaborate recipes, Garten takes a realistic approach so that truly anyone can savor the simple things and high-quality meals and actually enjoy hosting a dinner party rather than stressing over the details. One of her cookbooks, "Go-To Dinners," focuses on low-prep meals, and another, "Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof," combines approachable but impressive recipes with entertaining advice.

Recently, Garten is at it again, sharing ways anyone can show off some hosting skills without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen. Promoting her new show on the subject, "Be My Guest," she went on "The Today Show" to share an irresistibly easy way to serve your guests a dessert that would fit in at a chic trattoria or a casual but elegant Italian soiree. All of the ingredients can be store-bought, the whole dish goes together in a snap, and you'll never need to turn on your oven. Simply buy vanilla ice cream, portion out two scoops into a bowl, drizzle it with limoncello, and add biscotti. A sweetened lemon liqueur, limoncello brings bright tartness to the vanilla's sweetness, as well as a cheerful pop of color. The biscotti comes in with satisfying crunch. You can even mix up your biscotti to add different elements, like nuttiness from almonds or complementary sweetness from white chocolate.

Read more: Ina Garten's 12 Best Cleaning Tips For A Mess-Free Kitchen

Use High-Quality Ingredients To Make This Dessert Shine

Vanilla ice cream texture close-up
Vanilla ice cream texture close-up - MaraZe/Shutterstock

To get the most from this easy dessert, use the best ingredients possible. Some vanilla ice creams don't actually contain real vanilla or real milk or cream. It's good to get familiar with the best brands of vanilla ice cream, or specifically consider the Barefoot Contessa's own favorites: Ben & Jerry's, Ciao Bella, and Häagen Dazs.

You can also make an informed selection based on the best limoncello brands. Limoncello is specifically made with lemons from Sorrento and should feature the slightly puckering tartness but with a sweeter, more rounded finish than we typically associate with lemons. While it shouldn't be thick or creamy -- crema di limoncello is actually its own separate drink -- it should have a velvety consistency that will drizzle nicely onto the ice cream like a syrup.

For the biscotti, there are plenty of options, which all depend on the market or bakery where you buy yours. While the beauty of this dessert is in its total ease, you could also get inspired by the combo and really play with flavors. You can make ice cream with limoncello mixed right in, and you can even create your own limoncello. Bake classic Italian biscotti with or without chocolate chips, honey biscotti with halva, or throw in a little bourbon. The straightforward foundation of vanilla, lemon, and sweet cookie crunch is perfect as is and just as great for adding other flavors.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.