Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cookies & Cream Ice Cream

When I asked my husband for an ice cream maker for Christmas last year, I expected to be making homemade ice cream all the time. I dreamed of opening up my own ice cream store and selling my mouth watering concoctions, of people swooning in the streets over my flavors, and Ben & Jerry knocking on my door and offering me ten million just to walk away. Well, seven months later I've made exactly three ice cream recipes. But that's all gonna change. I mean, it's summer. It's blazingly hot. I've got a plethora of recipes bookmarked. The only way to eventually become Ben & Jerry's arch nemesis is to get started. And what better place to start than with a classic: Cookies & Cream. 

I found this recipe on Pennies on a Platter and even though the thought of doing the whole egg yolk, milk mixing but not curdling thing was a little intimidating, I gave it a try. And you guys, it was not that hard! There was no curdling. It never even thought about curdling. I think the trick is to have a loving (hungry) husband who will help pour the hot milk while you keep beating the eggs. And the result is a creamy ice cream with perfect bites of soft Oreo cookies. It's not too sweet, with just the right ratio of cookies to ice cream.

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12-15 Oreo cookies

This recipe makes about a quart of ice cream which to me is the perfect amount. And don't worry, if the thought of whole milk and heavy cream scares you, remember you can always use 2%. It just won't be as rich and creamy.

Start by heating the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat. You want to bring it to just under a boil, which is kind of a hard mark to hit. When you see tiny bubbles coming up along the edges or in the middle, remove from the heat. In the meantime, separate your eggs (save those whites for another recipe) and beat them with the sugar.

Now, the recipe says to beat "until yellow ribbons form." Let's chat a minute about these yellow ribbons, mmkay? I find this instruction on a lot of ice cream recipes and I just want to say one thing to those recipe writers: "Stop it." Stop using that description. Yellow ribbons? That's so subjective. I have no idea what it means, or what it's supposed to look like. I need something a little more definitive, please. So... I beat them for about 3 minutes. They looked nice and pale yellow and a little fluffed up. I don't know if there were ribbons or not, but I think it turned out all right. 

Here's where a helping hand comes in handy. You need to slowly add the milk and cream to the eggs while beating it. Do it in small amounts, especially at first. The danger here is that the hot milk could cook the eggs. So take your time. Once all the milk is incorporated, pour it back into the saucepan and cook about 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat until it thickens up a little. 

Then pour it through a sieve into a bowl. Add the vanilla and cool it in the fridge. When it's completely cool pour it into your ice cream machine and follow instructions. Before putting the whole thing in the freezer, while it's still kind of like soft serve, roughly chop up your Oreos and stir them in. You may be tempted to use more Oreos but try to resist. This is really the best ratio. Freeze it up, and there you have it! You're on your way to ice cream fame. Or at least a nice, creamy bowl of sweetness.

(Click here for printable recipe)

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