Santa left a very special present under the tree for me this year: an ice cream maker! I don't really eat a lot of ice cream myself, but I kept seeing all these yummy recipes for homemade ice cream, and I'd have to go sulk in the corner because I didn't have a way to make them. No more!
Since the holidays, I've been stashing away recipes to try...here's the tale of my first adventure.
Everyone has those leftover candycanes lying around after Christmas that go stale, but are so enticing that you don't dare throw away the pretty red and white striped jewels (especially since it will be an entire year before you can get more). My answer: crush them up for peppermint ice cream. Who wouldn't love that?
Fortunately, there was a recipe in my Cuisinart ice cream recipe book for just that. And I made it. And I ate it. And I loved it!
Ladies and gents, this is about the easiest thing to make since boxed cake mix was invented (well, I'm imagining so at least). The machine does ALL the work for you. Seriously.
I started by mixing whole milk and sugar together in a mixer. Then you add heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint extract. You put that into the ice cream maker and turn it on.
Let it go for about 25 minutes.
While it's churning away, crush up the candycanes with a meat mallet or rolling pin in a Ziploc bag. Tip: use the flat edge of the meat mallet or you'll have poked holes all through the bag and will end up with crumbs everywhere. (Yes, I speak from experience. Unfortunately. Embarrassingly.)
When the ice cream has been churning for about 25 minutes, add the crushed candycanes and let it churn for about 5 more minutes or until it is set. (The ice cream turns this lovely shade of pink!)
Pour the ice cream into containers, and put them in the freezer to harden.
A few hours later, enjoy!
When they've stopped carrying peppermint ice cream in the grocery stores, you'll have your own personal stash (that coincidentally tastes much better, and you can prounounce all the ingredients).
Peppermint Ice Cream
(from Cuisinart's ice cream maker recipe book)
1 Cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 Cup sugar
2 Cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 Cup crushed peppermint candies or candycanes
In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved; about 1-2 minutes on low speed. (I used my KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment, and it worked perfectly.)
Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla and peppermint extract.
Turn the ice cream machine on, and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl through the ingredient spout and let mix until thickened; about 25-30 minutes.
Add the crushed candy during the last 5 minutes of mixing.