Last week I was rummaging through the pantry and discovered part of a chocolate Easter bunny in the pantry. We restrained ourselves a bit with Easter chocolate this year, so Mr. Bunny, from Kakao Chocolate, was our one indulgence. We didn’t restrain ourselves with other goodies (like lamb cake), so the bunny had only lost his head and ears before we moved on to other treats. I decided he would make a nice addition to mint ice cream, as soon as we changed his form a bit.
Calvin got his first taste of chopping chocolate and he was hooked. He definitely thought it was more fun to perfect his knife skills on chocolate than vegetables. I had to stop him before he chopped the bunny to shavings, which probably wouldn’t have been all bad, in retrospect.
Rich and Calvin like mint ice cream a lot. It might be one of Rich’s favorite flavors, especially if you add chocolate to it. I can take it or leave it – mostly leave it. But you can’t always cook for yourself. And we had plenty of chocolate amaretto ice cream in the freezer to keep me happy. We topped our ice cream with our favorite hot fudge sauce and we were happy campers.
You really need to like mint ice cream to like this – the mint flavor is strong, though not overpowering. If you aren’t a fan of mint, substitute vanilla or your favorite extract. The chocolate chips and shavings add a nice chocolate hit to every bite. You will want to use chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips in this. Regular size chocolate chips will get too hard in the freezer.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
From The Cook’s Life
Makes about 1½ quarts
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*
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
1 cup chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
Mix half and half, sugar, salt and mint extract 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. 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.