I still enjoy several childhood pleasures: twisting apart an Oreo, pumping my legs to go higher on the swing, receiving an honest-to-goodness piece of snail mail. But none satisfies me as much as the glorious thwack of a spoon cracking open Magic Shell, the liquid ice cream topping that hardens as it chills. As a grown-up, I’ve only bought a bottle of the stuff a handful of times—and not at all since I discovered how easy it is to make at home.
It turns out, Magic Shell has a secret ingredient: coconut oil. If you’ve ever bought a jar, you know that when warm, it’s as pourable as any oil, but in cooler temperatures it solidifies. Add that quality to chocolate, and you’ve got yourself some magic, indeed.
Because this homemade version only calls for chocolate and coconut oil, use the best-quality chocolate you can afford. It’ll have a deeper chocolate flavor. And speaking of flavor, if you want, say, mint-chocolate Magic Shell, just add a quarter-teaspoon of mint extract to the mixture.
Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on HIGH in 20-second increments, stirring thoroughly after each, until completely smooth. (No microwave? Set over a double-boiler and heat gently, stirring regularly, until completely smooth.)
Cool to room temperature before drizzling over ice cream, and allow it to set before cracking with a spoon.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year. If it solidifies, reheat briefly until liquid.
Debbie Koenig is the author of the cookbook "Parents Need to Eat Too." She lives with her family in Brooklyn.