Beyond fun, these meringue-topped ice-cream treats are pure magic - they stay frozen even while baking in a hot oven.
Break each cookie or slice of cake into several small pieces and divide them evenly among six 3-inch ramekins, pressing them into the bottom of each. Fill each ramekin with ice cream, using the back of a spoon to smooth it level at the top. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet in the freezer while you prepare the snow (meringue).
Heat the oven to 500º. Place the egg whites in a medium-size bowl and whip them with an electric beater set at medium-high speed until they resemble soap bubbles. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form (now it will look like shaving cream). While you continue beating, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and then the vanilla extract. Continue beating until shiny, stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Now you have your snow!
Remove the ramekins from the freezer and spread the snow meringue over the top of each with a spatula, taking care to completely cover the ice cream. This "blanket of snow" is what insulates the ice cream, keeping it cold in the hot oven. Bake the snowballs on the cookie sheet until the tops are golden brown, about 1 to 3 minutes. Watch them carefully; they brown quickly. Garnish the snowballs with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherries, and serve. Makes 6.