While we make all kinds of sundaes with our homemade vanilla and cinnamon ice creams, we have yet to try making more elaborate ice cream flavors. I was looking to branch out into new ice cream territory (at least for us) this week. Rich and Calvin both voted for mint, though I have to say that isn’t my favorite ice cream flavor. But the cook can’t always cook just to please herself.
Calvin and I came up with the embellishments to this one. I had to rein him in a little bit, since he wanted to make the ice cream chocolate, and add chocolate chips and crushed peppermints. I wanted to get the mint flavor first before we started adding chocolate ice cream into the mix too.
We had leftover crushed mints from making Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels at Christmas. I thought we could just pull those out of the cabinet and pour them into the ice cream, but when I opened the container I found them solidified into a clump the shape of the container. We had to use the food processor to break up the big chunk of candy bits, so we ended up with pink minty dust.
We were going to mix the crushed candies into the ice cream as it churned, but then I realized that would make the ice cream pink, which wasn’t really what we were going for. So we layered them in after the ice cream was done churning, which made for pockets of pink mintiness in the already minty ice cream. We were also going to use a lot more chopped chocolate, but when we started adding it, we realized less was going to be more. Now we have lots of chopped chocolate for sprinkling on top.
Rich and Calvin both decided this experiment is a keeper. Let me know what you think. And share any new ice cream flavor ideas, or your tried-and-true favorites.
Chocolate Chip Double Mint Ice Cream
from The Cook’s Life
Makes about 1½ quarts
Use the larger amount of peppermint extract for a stronger mint flavor. The optional vodka will help keep the ice cream a little softer and easier to scoop after the first day or two in the freezer. Feel free to skip it if you prefer.
2 cups half and half*
1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ to ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
½ cup chopped chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet chips)
¼ cup crushed peppermint candy
Mix half and half, sugar, salt and extracts together in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions – ours takes about 25 minutes. Add vodka, if using, during last 5 minutes of freezing.
Add the chopped chocolate right before the ice cream finishes churning, just to mix it in. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container, alternating big spoons of ice cream with heavy sprinkles of the crushed peppermint candy. When you scoop the ice cream there will be pockets of the pink candy in each scoop. Transfer to the freezer for several hours before serving.
* You can use all cream, which will make a richer ice cream. Half and half makes a creamy ice cream, with a little less fat and without the greasy mouth feel you can sometimes get with all cream.