vanilla toffee swirl and peanut butter cookie ice cream

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Crack alert. Miss Fats does not like to brag about recipes.  She’s all about praising and reviewing other’s work, but she hopes description does more of the work than pure judgement.  But this ice cream demands a string of subjective adjectives that culminate in a child-like pool of giddy word nonsense: it’s-like-a-spontaneous-party-in-my-mouth-that-all-my-favorite-people-came-to-and-then-a-magician-showed-up-and-performed-tricks.  See: what does that even mean when you’re talking about ice cream?   Miss Fats is not even sure she’s talking about ice cream anymore: more like dream cream. And that’s what this treat is: the salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy stuff of dreams manifest in a frozen bite.

Following some semi-disappointing work with egg whites (more on that later), Miss Fats found herself with twelve egg yolks that demanded a custard of some sort.  Chicago has been disgusting the last couple of days (nothing in her life is dry any more) and some sweet cold ice cream seemed like the perfect remedy.  Since she’s moving in a month, Miss Fats has been determined to work through some of her freezer treasures.  So the first thing she did was unearth the unopened box of Girl Scout Do-si-Dos: how and why this managed to survive the last months is beyond Miss Fats.  She fears she may have actually had stroke at some point that caused her to forget she had cookie crack in her freezer that prevented consumption.  Anyway, lucky stroke cookies were all set for some ice cream lovin’.  She figured there should be some swirly, salty action, so she opted for a caramel-y toffee sauce that could stand up to the peanut butter goodness of the cookies and cut through the sweet creamy vanilla.

IMG_3822Now Miss Fats is no expert on ice cream making.  She was given her ice cream maker a couple of years ago but it unfortunately hasn’t gotten much use .  There’s all that freezing/sugar/temperature science-y business that’s just bamboozling.  Why can’t ice cream just be perfectly creamy and light every time you throw it in the magical spinning machine?  Anyway, in the last month or so, her attempts at ice cream have shown a lot more success.  Riding that (irrational) high, she decided she was capable of just throwing together her own ice cream recipe.  For some reason it worked, but she’s sure this is a total fluke.  You’re likely reading Miss Fats first and last original ice cream recipe.

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The recipe itself is fairly simple.  It starts with a basic vanilla custard base.  Following a good churn in your ice cream maker, you throw down that sauce and a heaping pile of crumbled cookies.  The hardest part is waiting.  Stupid ice cream and it’s freezing process.

Vanilla Toffee Swirl and Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream:
makes 1 quart

vanilla base:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp good vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks

toffee sauce:
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies (do-si-dos or Nutter Butters)

1. Make the vanilla base: heat the heavy cream, milk, about half of the sugar, vanilla and salt in a sauce pan.  Bring just to a boil and remove from heat.  In a small separate bowl, whisk the remaining sugar and egg yolks.  Carefully whisk in about 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly (don’t go cookin’ those yolks).  Pour the remaining cream into the yolk/milk mixture and stir to combine.  Return the base to the sauce pan.  Over medium-low heat, cook the custard base until it’s thick.  Stir constantly heat until it coats the back of a spoon.  (Do not let it boil.)  Strain the custard and store in the fridge until it’s fully chilled (about 4 hours in the fridge or less in the freezer if you’re real lazy and impatient like Miss Fats.)

3. Skim any skin that may have formed on your custard and churn the ice cream according to your machine’s instructions.

4. While the ice cream is churning, make the toffee sauce: In a sauce pan, stir together the butter, brown sugar and half of the heavy cream.  Stir and cook over medium high heat until it caramelizes and bubbles.  Continue stirring and cooking for an additional 3 minutes as your sauce darkens.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining cream and salt until smooth.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

5. Working quickly, dump your churned ice cream base into your tupperware container.  Dump the cookies and sauce over top and use a knife to quickly stir in all that goodness.  Don’t over stir: you want to ensure a nice, fat ribbon of that sauce running though it.  Store in freezer and try to be patient for at least 4 hours while it freezes through.

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Four painful hours later you have a quart of the most addicting ice cream ever.  Dig that spoon into a whole mess of salty-sweet swirl and go to town.  Miss Fats is pretty sure this would reach critical flavor overload level if you crumbled some chocolate covered pretzels on top.  She’s almost too afraid to do it: not sure what would happen to her brain/taste buds at that point.  All impulse control would easily be lost and she’d probably just die.  So on that note: she hopes you all go out there and test death with this one: it’s worth it.

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