Brownie Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

This time last summer we were living in China. If you would have told me then that a year later we would be living in Chicago, I might have laughed at you. Then again, you could almost say that about everywhere we have been/have lived for the past 4 summers. To say that life has been unpredictable is a bit of an understatement.

So here I sit. 37 weeks pregnant, living in Chicago, and rejoicing that I have once again been reunited with my ice cream maker  (just like I did when I made this and this).

This ice cream came about because of 2 almost unbelievable words. Leftover. Brownies. What kind of a person has leftover brownies?! As crazy as it sounds, I did indeed have a few brownies left over in a pan that were just a day or so away from becoming stale. Not wanting to be wasteful, I decided I must use them to make ice cream. The fudge ripple just seemed like a natural addition to round out the entire ice cream experience.

For the ice cream base I went with a Philadelphia style vanilla. Philadelphia style ice cream does not have a custard (egg) base. The milk and cream are simply heated together with the sugar and then chilled until churning. It’s slightly easier than custard style ice cream. Some people think you lose some of the rich, creaminess that the custard provides while others swear they can taste the egg in custard ice cream and therefor prefer Philadelphia style. Me, I can go either way. I like custard. I like Philadelphia style. Custard is probably a touch richer, but Philadelphia style is still creamy and delicious. Can you really go wrong with homemade ice cream? I don’t think so.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

So many things are just so much better when you make them yourself at home. Ice cream is no exception. Every single time I make a batch I am reminded of just how much better it is. The flavor is richer, the ice cream is creamier. And you can control the amount and size of add-ins.

If there is one thing I hate it’s digging into big bowl of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream and finding just one or two chocolate cookies. I want a cookie in every bite. And I don’t want cookie crumbs either. I want big hunks of cookies. Making this ice cream at home means I get everything I want.


More Oreo goodness –

DIY Oreos
Cookies and Cream Cake
Frozen Raspberry Mousse Pie with Oreo Crumb Crust



Strawberry Sorbet

As much as I love rich and decadent chocolate desserts, I think it’s also important to balance your menu. So if you have really heavy dinner, you’re probably better off going with a lighter, more refreshing, dessert. Today I’m taking that  lighter approach to Valentine’s day.

Sorbet is cold and refreshing and a nice lower-fat alternative to ice cream. But don’t confuse this sorbet with that neon rainbowy stuff from your childhood. This sorbet is PACKED with a sweet powerful strawberry punch and naturally has the most beautiful reddish-magenta color. It would really be the perfect finish to a heavy Valentine’s dinner.


Double Dose of Cookie Dough

If you love cookie dough and kind of like cookie dough ice cream but usually find yourself just picking out all of the chunks of cookie dough and ending up with a bowl of melted ice cream (oh, that’s just me?), then this ice cream will knock your socks off. I knew pretty much the moment I saw this recipe that I would like it, but it some how managed to exceed my expectations. The double dose of brown sugar goodness is what I think really pushes it over the edge for me. I ate every last bite, not just the cookie dough, and I even had it for lunch, twice.

I’ve been inspired and now I want to play around with this a little bit and see if I can come up with a peanut butter cookie dough ice cream. Now that is something that I KNOW Jesse would enjoy (hurry home honey so I can feed you delicious things!!).

Double Dose Cookie Dough Ice Cream
(Adapted from Pink Parsley with props to Annie, David and Joy)

For the cookie dough:

5 Tbs salted butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (mini chips would really be best but the Target I was at didn’t have them)

For the ice cream:

3 Tbs unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups half and half (I just couldn’t bring myself to use heavy cream when I knew I would eat a ton of this ice cream)
4 large egg yolks
pinch of kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips – I used regular chips and a lot less(as you can tell from the pics) but next time I will definitely use more

In a medium bowl, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the flour and vanilla then fold in the chocolate chips. Wrap the mixture in plastic wrap, form into a disk, and refrigerate until firm.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, being careful not to burn it. Pour in the half and half whisking constantly until well blended with the sugar. Heat until simmering.

While the cream mixture is coming to a simmer, whisk egg yolks until light and fluffy in a medium bowl. Then, using a soup laddle, add a small amount of the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Whisk in the rest of the cream mixture one laddle full at a time. Once all of the cream has been added, return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it has thickened slightly and can coat the back of a spoon (170-175 degrees).

Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, that is sitting in an *ice bath. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and milk. Let sit in the ice bath until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, then cover with plastic wrap and chill until very cold.

Freeze in an ice cream maker, according the manufacturers directions. During the last minute of freezing add the chocolate chips to the ice cream. Then while transferring to a storage container add chunks of chilled cookie dough through out.

Always store homemade ice cream in an container with a well fitting lid (I like the Ziploc brand quart containters with screw top lids) and a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the top of the ice cream.

*Whenever I make ice cream I always fill my sink with 3 inches of cold water, 2 cups of ice and teaspoon of kosher salt. Then I place a large glass bowl in the water so when I am ready to pour the custard into the bowl it is cold and the ice bath is ready to go.