I know we’re all supposed to be starting the New Year off right with a renewed sense of mindful eating and physical fitness, and here I am showing up with an ice cream post. In January no less.
But I have a pulse and feel it’s more important to not deprive oneself of the little joys in life.
So when someone in my household, who shall remain nameless, leaves the cookie jar open and turns the last remaining box of my beloved Trader Joe’s Peppermint Jo-Jo’s (a slightly better – and by that I mean I can pronounce the ingredients on the label – holiday version of and Oreo) into a slightly stale and less-than-appealing snack for a mint-chocolate lover such as myself, I am left with no other choice than take matters into my own hands.
Since I couldn’t let the last of these seasonal triumphs go to waste, I did what needed to be done without any regard for those who may actually follow the New Year’s rule: I made ice cream. Glorious, homemade creamy peppermint cookies and cream ice cream. Studded with crushed candy canes. Candy canes, I might add, that I may have borrowed without asking from a certain nameless member of my household.
So turn away if you must; I’ll completely understand. But moderation is definitely where it’s at.
Vanilla ice cream is the perfect vehicle for all sorts of flavor variations. In this case, I used leftover holiday chocolate and peppermint studded sandwich cookies and crushed candy canes. But really, the sky is the limit, and you can add whatever you'd like to create your own flavor combinations.
- 3 cups half and half
- 6 extra-large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups crushed cookies (I used Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo-Jo's)
- 1 candy cane, crushed
- In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the half and half just until bubbles begin to appear around the edge and steam begins to rise.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar and salt until mixed.
- Slowly add the hot half and half until combined.
- Wipe out the pan and pour the combined mixture back into the clean pan.
- Cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve and into a medium sized bowl.
- Add the vanilla and mix.
- Cover the cream mixture with plastic wrap until completely chilled or overnight.
- Pour the vanilla cream into the frozen bowl of an electric ice cream machine and allow it to churn according to manufactures guidelines.
- As the vanilla cream begins to freeze, add the crushed cookies.
- Candy cane bits can be added to the mixture to increase the peppermint flavor or they can be used as a garnish.
This is a adaptation of an Ina Garten recipe I've used in the past.
The times given above do not include chilling and freezing time.