Ice Cream Scoop
Utensil used to remove ice cream from a carton or other container while shaping it into a ball. Scoops come in many sizes, from tiny to large (about 1 inch to almost 3 inches in diameter). Scoops are usually numbered (the number equals the number of level scoops from 1 quart of ice cream), and different sizes work well for specific foods.
How to Use
Besides scooping ice cream, you can also use them for scooping batter into muffin and cupcake pans (#20 or #24) and dropping cookie dough onto cookie sheets (#70 = 1 level tablespoon; #16 = 1/4 cup). A scoop can also be used for quickly shaping meatballs.
How to Buy
Choose a sturdy scoop that will work well in solidly frozen ice cream. There are several styles available: spring-handled scoops have flat tops and use a thumb lever to release food; scoops with antifreeze in the handle easily release ice cream or other frozen desserts but generally don't have a flat top for leveling; plain scoops without either feature are less expensive.
When scooping, keep the air in the ice cream and "scrape down" the sides of the ice cream container at the same time! Just scoop about 1/2 inch deep across the ice cream or around the edge of the container, working toward the center, so the ice cream rolls into a ball. Work your way to the bottom so there are no globs left on the container sides.