Recipe: Peach Ice Cream

I know that summer is officially over, but I needed to make one more recipe with the summer ingredient I have on hand: peaches. What you'll read below is my second attempt at making peach ice cream. The first attempt ended up way too vanilla, not enough peach, and definitely over churned. But this second try, it's damn good. 

French-style ice cream can seem mildly intimidating. Your trying not to burn cream, get a perfect custard consistency, and it takes a lot of cooling. But I promise, this ice cream is the creamiest I've ever made at home. Definitely worth the extra work and not as intimidating as you would think!

Let's hold on to summer for just a few more hours and make this peach ice cream, okay? Do yourself a favor. 

French-Style Peach Ice Cream

Yields 6-8 servings

1 cup 1% or 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
3 peaches, peeled and roughly chopped
1 peach, peels and chopped small
2 tablespoons sugar

The technique for making this French-style base is from the Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones cookbook. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in making ice cream. The techniques mapped out in this box are incredibly detailed and helpful (pictures!).

Make your ice cream base: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk egg yolks and half of the sugar until just combined. Set aside. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Also set aside.

In a medium saucepan, stir together milk, heavy cream, and the remaining sugar. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Bring the mixture to the brink of a simmer with small bubbles beginning to form along the edge of the pan. Turn the heat to medium and ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs and keep them from scrambling. Repeat with another 1/2 cup ladle of hot cream.

Using a rubber spatula, stir the saucepan while you pour the egg mixture in. With the heat on medium, continue to cook on medium while stirring constantly until the mixture changes to a slightly thicker consistency. Once you feel a little more resistance as you stir, test the readiness by removing your spoon/spatula from the saucepan and running your finger across it. If the path created by your finger holds for a second or two, it's ready.

Remove from heat and pour into a plastic container or measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer. Place into the ice bath, stirring often with a clean spoon, until cool. Remove from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap pressed against the custard, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. 

Make peach puree: In a blender, blend together the 3 roughly chopped peaches and sugar until smooth. 

Make your ice cream: Pour peach puree into the custard and mix together. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's instructions. Once ice cream has mixed, quickly mix in chopped peach pieces with a spatula. Pour ice cream into a loaf pan. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pan, pressing it lightly into the pan so it touches the top of the ice cream. Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours (or overnight). Once frozen, scoop into a bowl or ice cream cone.

Recipe: Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream

As excited as I am for warmer weather and sunnier days, I know that means that summer must be close behind. And I don't know if you've ever tried to make ice cream or ice cream treats in an un-air conditioned house and then attempted to style them in the middle of your living room for a photo session, but I can tell you that at the end, everything is sticky. And as much as I love styling food, ice cream on a hot day can be quite the challenging diva.

The other day I was lamenting about these same ice cream troubles when G, the practical human that he is, told me I should be making ice cream now while it's chilly out and save those post until summer. And though I think that's a wonderful idea, I just can't stand to sit on a post for that long! I want to share these recipes with you when there's still a little bit still left in the freezer, a donut or two still left on the counter. 

So I'm sharing ice cream with you today in hopes that it will hype you up for the summer ahead. Plus, it's just plain delicious (because how could frosted cookies thrown into homemade ice cream not be??)

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream

Yields 6-8 servings

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pink food coloring (optional)
2 cups frosted animal crackers, chopped into small pieces with a few larger pieces

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Whisk is sugar until combined. Add in milk and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in heavy cream. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's instructions.

I have the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid, which doesn't like chunky add-ins, so I added my chopped animal crackers 2 minutes before it was finished in the ice cream maker.

If you want a pink swirl in your ice cream, once ice cream is finished, spoon out about a cup of ice cream, add a small amount of red/pink food coloring, and combine until ice cream is pink. Pour ice cream into a loaf pan, randomly adding spoonfuls of pink throughout. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pan, pressing it lightly into the pan so it touches the top of the ice cream. Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours (or overnight). Once frozen, scoop into a bowl or ice cream cone and top with additional frosted animal crackers. 

Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Today I've brought you something that's been floating around in my brain for MONTHS now. For Christmas, G gave me the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid (!!!!) and after looking through a bunch of new ice cream cookbooks and the book that came with the attachment, I decided I wanted my first endeavor to be strawberry ice cream.

This is kind of a strange choice for me. I like strawberry ice cream, but I definitely wouldn't say it's my favorite or even go-to ice cream (for those wondering at home, my go-to ice cream is peanut butter swirl). But strawberry seemed easy enough, better than just plain vanilla, and a flavor that would lend itself to being homemade. Strawberry ice cream from a carton is good, but homemade strawberry ice cream, where you chopped the strawberries and made it that day, would be next level.

But it wasn't until I made these Raspberry-Dusted Lemon Donuts that I discovered the amazingness of freeze-dried fruits (I get mine at Whole Foods). I can't get enough! And, added bonus, they kind of mimic the crunchy bits on a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar! The Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich was born.

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

For Sugar Cookies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups flour

Strawberry Ice Cream
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 oz freeze-dried strawberry slices, crushed into small pieces but not dust (optional)

Make your ice cream: In a bowl, mix chopped strawberries with 1/2 cup of sugar and lime juice. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Whisk in sugar until combined. Add in milk and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Switch to a rubber spatula and add in strawberries and all the juice. Finally, stir in heavy whipping cream. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer's instructions. Once ice cream is done, pour into a 9x11 inch baking sheet and spread evenly. Place in the freezer for 2 hours (overnight is even better).

Make your cookies: Cream butter and shortening with an electric mixer. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk flour, salt, and baking powder to combine. With your mixer on low, add dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixer.

Drop rounded balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. I made mine about a tablespoon and a half large. Bake 8-10 minutes or until bottoms just begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 5 minutes, and then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make your sandwiches: Once cookies are completely cool, match cookies of the same size. Spread your crushed freeze-dried strawberries onto a plate. Because I wanted to ice cream centers to be uniform, I used a circle cookie cutter to cut out pucks of ice cream all the same size. I placed each puck onto a cookie and topped with another cookie, pressing them together slightly. If you want to make your sandwiches the easy way, scoop a large ice cream scoopful of ice cream and place it on one cookie. Using the other cookie, press the sandwich together. Either way, they'll be beautiful and delicious.

Over the plate, spoon the crushed strawberries onto the sides of one half of the ice cream center, pressing lightly with the back of the spoon until they stick. Place back in the freeze to harder completely. Once completely frozen, store in an air tight container in the freezer. Enjoy!

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

It's October, friends! One of my favorite months of the year!

October in Philadelphia is when Fall finally kicks in in full force. Leaves are changing, the weather is crisp but still warm during the afternoon, and pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. And in my opinion, fall is the best season for baking and desserts. Pie is by far my favorite dessert in the world, with pumpkin pie and apple pie being my absolute favs. It's a challenge for me to walk passed a pumpkin pie in the supermarket without buying it. And pie for breakfast? YES PLEASE.

I was recently gifted a blender and knew immediately that I wanted to make some kind of a milkshake for you. Milkshakes are a treat that I don't indulge in too frequently, so I wanted something that felt extra special and very Fall. And this Pumpkin Pie Milkshake hits the spot.

I know there's a handful of ways to make a pumpkin milkshake, but I wanted something that really taste like pumpkin pie. We could use pumpkin pie ice cream or pumpkin pie spice or canned pumpkin, but I felt the only way to get a true crust taste was by adding the whole pie. It's a great way to use up extra pie after Thanksgiving or make sure a store-bought pie doesn't go to waste. 

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Makes one shake

1 piece of pumpkin pie, about 3" in circumference or a 1/4 of a 12" pie
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream or 4 large scoops
1/4 cup milk
Whipped cream (optional)
Pumpkin pie spice (optional)

In a blender, add a piece of pie, ice cream, and a splash of milk. How much milk you add really depends on how thick of a milkshake you prefer. Blend until everything is combined and no giant lumps of pie crust or ice cream remain. If you are having trouble getting things blended, add more milk, turn the blender off, and stir with a large spoon. Then pulse again.

Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with a tiny bit of pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon). Enjoy immediately. 

Recipe: Orange Creamsicle Funfetti Cookie Dough Bars

A few weeks ago, I made a bunch of these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Bites and the reaction was "please make more of these and delivery them to my house pronto" from many people in my life. And though I explained that it wasn't practical to bring a bunch of ice cream into work, or delivery them on my scooter to my friends' doors, no one cared and I was given a hard time by family, friends, and coworkers alike. And because G doesn't like chocolate, and has been eating them out of my freezer by picking the chocolate chips out (true story), I wanted to make something that 1. didn't require so much cutting of frozen ice cream before it melts in my 100 degree house, 2. could be individually wrapped for easy sharing, and 3. hit some different flavor combos besides vanilla and chocolate. So these little beauties are the end result.

Funfetti cookie dough + orange swirl ice cream + cool whip = sticky fingers and happy tastebuds. It's just basic math, folks.

Orange Creamsicle Funfetti Cookie Dough Bars

Yields 16 bars

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
1/2 carton of Orange Swirl Ice Cream** (I used Friendly's Fruit Swirls)
1 8-oz container of whipped topping

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip butter with sugar until light and fluffly, about 3-5 minutes. Mix in sour cream. Add flour in increments and mix until just combined. Add milk and vanilla. Combine. Using a spatula, mix in rainbow sprinkle until equally distributed throughout the dough.

Lightly spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size, but longer so two sides generously hang over the edges and press the parchment paper to the baking pan. Add the cookie dough to the parchment-lined pan and even out using a spatula. You'll want to evenly cover the entire bottom of the pan to create the "crust." Add half a carton of ice cream and even out with a spatula. Do the same thing with the whipped topping.  Top with sprinkles. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Using the parchment paper that's hanging over, remove the bars from the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the bars like you would brownies. Cut into 4 strips, and then cut each strip into 4 bars. This part is a bit tricky, but take your time, wipe the knife off when it gets too coated in ice cream, and run under hot water for an easier cut. Place each bar on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap completely. Store in freezer immediately after cutting. 

**You could switch out any ice cream that you want! Don't let me stop you from your dreams.