Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Peppermint cookies and cream ice cream

A super rich and creamy peppermint cookies and cream ice cream. There's nothing quite like eating ice cream right in the middle of winter!
After 70-degree days in December, the daffodils in our front yard started sprouting. Truth.
January and February have been much chillier, and can you guess what my family members do once the temperatures drop? We eat ice cream. We pretty much eat it year-round since ice cream is always good, no matter the temperature.

While I love David Lebovitz's ice cream base recipe, I like Jeni's (of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams) slightly better because it doesn't use egg yolks. I despise having leftover egg whites and can never think of new ways to use them up. Jeni's ice cream base uses cream cheese instead, and I found that this method makes for a softer, more scoopable ice cream.

I took Jeni's ice cream base and added some chopped mint sandwich cookies. I was tempted to add some peppermint extract to the ice cream but wanted the vanilla flavor to stand on its own. The resulting ice cream was super smooth, creamy, and a perfect way to fight away those winter blues.

I hope you'll enjoy this ice cream year-round like my family did!

Peppermint cookies and cream ice cream
  • 2 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ ounces (3 Tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 15 mint sandwich cookies (I used Trader Joe's Mint Joe-Joes), chopped
Directions
In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set this aside. Reserve the remaining milk and keep it separate.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese with the sea salt until well combined. Set a fine mesh sieve above it and set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the cream, remaining milk, sugar and corn syrup on medium to medium-high heat until boiling. Allow the mixture to boil for 4 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the stove and very carefully add the cornstarch/milk slurry. Mix until everything is well incorporated and put the pan back on the stove. Allow the mixture to come back to a boil and until the liquid becomes slightly thicker, about 1 minute.

Turn off the stove and pour the liquid through the sieve into the large bowl with the cream cheese/salt. Add the vanilla and mix well until everything is fully incorporated.

At this point, you have two options. You can either set the ice cream over an ice bath (pour the contents into a large zip-top bag, seal it shut and place it over a large bowl with ice cubes), or put it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is completely cool, churn it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Fold in the chopped mint sandwich cookies by hand.

Pour the ice cream into a container and set it in the freezer until it has hardened (at least 4 hours).

Yield: About 1 quart

Source: Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

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