Summer treats: Snowball makers are stepping up their game

They rest in Styrofoam cups like artistic monuments to nearly every sweet tooth in St. Charles Parish.

With heat quickly rising in typical Louisiana scorching temperatures, the snowball is the perfect cooling treat topped in everything from a silky chocolate syrup to creams to even gummy creatures like worms and sharks. They’re also filled with cool surprises like ice cream and even a homemade cheesecake filling.

And let us not forget the classics like strawberry and the rainbow snowball that made us walk to neighborhood stands since childhood.

They all leave our taste buds begging for more.

At Icehouse Snoballs in Luling, owner Julie Stepany said she makes a gourmet snowball topped with a homemade chocolate syrup that’s become a family recipe and they keep it secret.

It’s one of their creamy specialties, which are very popular at their stand, Stepany said.

“It’s very rich,” she said of the recipe. “When I was growing we had a snowball stand. Every Sunday we walked there and that’s where I had my first chocolate snowball.”

If this isn’t decadent enough, Stepany said they can stuff the snowball with ice cream and also top it with condensed milk.

The most popular snowball they make is wedding cake, which is a popular flavor with customers because the syrup is clear and leaves no mouths dirty or stained or stain clothing. Other syrups now come clear so add spearmint, strawberry and bubble gum to the list.

The most unusual snowball she made was for a teenager who asked her to pour pickle juice over the ice.

Some 85 percent of her customers are repeat business and many of them also come for her homemade chili.

“The main thing is you’ve got to have fluffy, fluffy ice.” – Julie Stepany

Stepany is also on the go with her snowballs in a old FedEx truck converted into a mobile unit that she takes to parties or to cater events.

“The main thing is you’ve got to have fluffy, fluffy ice,” she said. “I use a Snow Wizard with the blade sharp and the ice hard to make it fluffy.”

Also in Luling, Jeanne Dazet, co-owner with Paula Pizzolato, have Oak Lane Snoballs and been fluffing their own ice for nearly eight years.

Although they’re sticking to the classical snowballs, their hottest selling snowball is wedding cake, rainbows and chocolates. The most unusual snowball they’ve made is bubble gum with a sour spray as a topping.

But Dazet said their fluffy ice, as well as personal attention and good service keep customers coming back.

Brit’s Sno on the Go in St. Rose has also specialized in classic snowballs for nearly nine years.

Their most popular snowball is definitely strawberry, said Melanie Aubert. Next in the lineup is wedding cake and then ice cream.

Aubert said their business grew from a little Snoopy snowball maker that got them interested in making the frozen treat.

For Dee’s Snowballs in Destrehan, the sky is the limit in snowball making.

A nurse by trade, owner Denise Brewer is a nurse by trade but also a snowball maker, a business she’s grooming for her retirement.

Top sellers include any flavor that ends in “cake” which includes red velvet, king cake, and strawberry cheese cake.

Brewer, like Stepany, is steeping up the snowball game by stuffing them with a homemade cheese stuffing that tastes like cheesecake, king cake that tastes like a donut and cookie dough stuffing. These are her original recipes.

In this category, she said customers are asking for strawberry cheesecake with the cream cheese stuffing. A friend of her in Lafayette devised the recipe and shared it with Brewer.

Brewer also makes a creative snowball for children called the “Shark Attack” with blueberry syrup (water), tiger’s blood on top and a big gummy shark that sits on top with sour patch kids as the victim. She created it for boys in mind, but girls ask for it, too.

The “Princess Snowball” with pink bubble gum topped with big gummy butterflies is a girl’s specialty.

Brewer’s biggest marketing seller is the color changing straw.

“I try to be different for the kids, including gummy works for the boys and gummy butterflies for the girls,” she said.

“I want to be different,” she said. “I want to stand out.”

But asked why she makes these frozen treats, Brewer replied, “Snowballs make me happy.”

 

About Anna Thibodeaux 2071 Articles
Managing Editor

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