My favorite ice cream as an adult is pistachio, especially if it’s gelato, and even more especially if it’s gelato from Chelsea Market. Or gelato in Europe. My favorites as a kid were cookies and cream, and mint chocolate chip. My sister’s childhood favorite was chocolate chip cookie dough. And she was actually the only person in my family who cared for it. I was very neutral towards it; if it was the only flavor around, I would eat it, but I certainly never sought it out. Which is odd, now that I think about it. I mean, I loved eating raw cookie dough, and I loved ice cream. So why wouldn’t I love the combination? Anyway, I digress. My parents couldn’t fathom the appeal of this ice cream flavor, so it was usually something Megan had to order by the scoop at an ice cream shop. They weren’t terribly eager to permit a whole carton of it to go in the freezer. I decided to make her some when she and her hubby came to visit us a couple weeks ago.
Ben & Jerry corrected my thinking on this flavor back when Matt and I were dating. I wasn’t much of a cook back then, and making ice cream wasn’t even remotely on my radar. So we always purchased a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when a craving hit, and one time he came back with their chocolate chip cookie dough. Sold! Loved it!
I started making ice cream at home about 4 or so years ago, when I purchased a basic ice cream maker with some birthday money. It took me a few tries to get the hang of making the custard, but I must admit, it’s a pretty fun endeavor. It’s a bit of a production, as there are many steps to take, but I find the whole thing somewhat therapeutic. And homemade always tastes better than store-bought, even if you buy a premium brand.
I had been jonesing to make cookie dough ice cream for a while now, and I’m glad I took the plunge. It’s delicious, and going homemade means you can control the size of the cookie dough chunks. I make mine on the larger side to get that satisfying cold crunch of seamless cookie dough flavor. Maybe I’ll make this for Mom next time she visits. Maybe this will change her mind. Then again, maybe not. We’ll see. Wink.
Note: I apologize for not getting a picture of the ice cream in a bowl for serving. When I’m serving to guests, I usually forget to take a picture. Hopefully you get the idea though. 🙂
VANILLA ICE CREAM
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a wire mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour 1 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper them. Then scrape the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spatula. I do this for at least 15 minutes, sometimes 20. I’ve found that produces the creamiest end product.
Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool. You can do this over an ice bath if you’re in a hurry. Just make sure you stir very often or it will develop a skin on top.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, and then freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. In the last five minutes of churning, add in the chocolate chip cookie dough.
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
5 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips.
Form the dough into a disk about 1/2 inch thick, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm. Once chilled, unwrap the disk and chop the dough into bite-sized pieces. Store the pieces in the freezer until ready to mix in.