Hint of Thin Mint Ice Cream

thin mint ice cream close

Top of the mornin’ to you. Hope you all have big plans for a great St. Patrick’s Day! I am not the least bit Irish, but I wanted to join in the fun with some St. Patrick’s themed recipes today. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure to don some green hued clothing today to make sure that I don’t get pinched =)

The idea for this ice cream actually came about from a botched box of Thin Mints. A couple weeks ago my husband and I fell subject to the Girl Scouts sitting outside the grocery store (how can you say no?!?). We actually did okay. Just one box each of Thin Mints and Samoas, but when we opened the thin mints they had melted just enough to stick together like crazy. I suppose that’s a casualty of living in Phoenix? Thinking I shouldn’t eat a sleeve of Thin Mints at a time, ice cream came up as a recipe that would benefit from the addition of crushed Thin Mints. Perfect. I have had an ice cream freezer attachment for my Kitchen Aid for several months, but it hasn’t gotten much use because I hadn’t been home.

thin mint ice cream churning

Now, which ice cream? I debated between vanilla and mint ice creams for a couple of days, but finally decided on mint since it is one of my favorite flavors. I ended using this recipe from My Kitchen Addiction. It’s one that I have had saved in my bookmarks since before I owned the ice cream attachment, and I am glad that I can finally make it. I am sure we’ll be making it again. The ice cream turned out wonderful. It was creamy, minty, and green, and I think I like the addition of the Thin Mints better than the original chocolate chips. I am thinking we may have to make this a yearly St. Patrick’s Day tradition! Enjoy!

thin mint ice cream serving

(Printable Recipe)

Hint of Thin Mint Ice Cream
Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

Ingredients:
2 c. heavy cream, divided
1-1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp. mint extract
3 drops green food coloring
1 sleeve of Thin Mints, roughly crushed

Warm 1 cup of the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back 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 spatula (if using a candy thermometer, it should reach 170 degrees F). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and mint extracts and the food coloring, and stir until cool over an ice bath.ย 

Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator overnight. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions, adding the crushed Thin Mints in the last 2-3 minutes of churning.

Yield: about 1 quartย 
ย ย 

 

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I’m hoping it isn’t too strange to post an ice cream recipe just as fall is about to officially start. However, I promise that I have some good reasons, and I’ll go through them with you if you like.
1) Who doesn’t love ice cream even if it’s getting a little colder?
2) We need something to serve with the wonderful pies everyone seems to be baking.
3) Ice cream is perfect sandwiched between two fresh cookies.
4) This KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment was one of my birthday presents from my husband this year, and we needed to make sure it worked =)
5) This last one requires a bit of a story. The weather here last Saturday was crappy in my opinion. It was one of those cloudy, gloomy days where it doesn’t really rain but just mists all day long. I think the high might have been 61 degrees. Not exactly “ice cream” weather. I worked that day and didn’t end up talking to my husband until later in the evening when he called exclaiming, “Sorry I called so late. We were outside swimming. It was 107 here today.”  Guess maybe it is still “ice cream season” in some parts of the country =)
This recipe was my first experience making homemade ice cream. When we were growing up, mom would make it on occasion, but I don’t think I ever did too much to help. After getting each piece of the equipment and/or recipe chilled for the correct amount of time, it really went together pretty smoothly. I love, love that I can keep the bowl in the freezer. That just means that I’m that much closer to ice cream if we get a craving. As far as assembling the ice cream base, I kind of guessed when the custard part was done cooking. It looked like it was steamy, but I’m wondering if anyone knows a temperature that you are suppose to reach? It seems like that would be more of an exact way to do it.


The verdict: We loved the “homemade ice cream” taste! We added chopped strawberries as one of the suggestions in the booklet, but I wasn’t a big fan of them in the ice cream after it had set up in the freezer. The strawberries froze harder than the rest of the ice cream and ended up as little ice chunks. Next time I will definitely look for a recipe that calls to puree them if we are going after strawberry ice cream. Nevertheless, the base of the ice cream was very good. I’m not sure if we’ll make this exact recipe again soon, but that’s more a factor of the number of ice cream recipes I have saved than anything specific about this recipe =) Enjoy!

KitchenAid Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
From KitchenAid Ice Cream Booklet

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups half and half

8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups whipping cream
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat half and half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat, set aside.
Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds, or until well blended and slightly thickened. Continuing on speed 2, very gradually add half and half; mix until blended. Return half and half mixture to medium saucepan;cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Transfer half and half mixture into large bowl; stir in whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours.
Assemble and engage freeze bowl. Do not pour in the ice cream base before you turn on the crank. Turn to stir (speed 1). Using a container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue on stir (speed 1) for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. Immediately transfer ice cream into serving dishes, or freeze in an airtight container. Ice cream will set up to hard-serve stage after 2-4 hours in the freezer.


Strawberries with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup

I love the flavor of balsamic vinegar, and I’ve been making quite the string of balsamic recipes lately. However, when I saw this recipe on Eats Well with Others, I wasn’t quite so sure. Balsamic vinegar, with strawberries? I had some strawberries hanging in my fridge since they have been on sale, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.  

Note: I didn’t make the shortcakes in Joanne’s blog and the ice cream in the picture is from the store as well. In fact, it didn’t matter. I could have eaten the strawberry-balsamic syrup plain. That said, this syrup would probably be that much better served over homemade ice cream! If you used white balsamic vinegar, you could even claim it as a patriotic dessert for this weekend. Simple. Delicious. Four ingredients. What’s not to love?

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend! I was actually get away between rotations to visit my husband for the weekend, so I’m excited!

(Printable Recipe)

Strawberries with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup
Adapted from Eats Well with Others and Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh strawberries
2-1/2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1-1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 small pinch freshly ground black pepper

Mix the strawberries, 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper. Let macerate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Serve over ice cream, shortcakes, or just eat alone ๐Ÿ™‚

SMS: Butterscotch Pralines

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of baking along with several members of a baking group called Sweet Melissa Sundays. Each week one of the members chooses a recipe from the The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, and the plan is to keep going until we’ve baked all the way though the book.  The recipes thus far have been great, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know several bloggers in the group a little bit better.

This week is was my week to pick a recipe out of the book. Since I’ve only been a member since March, I was both excited and a little nervous to pick a recipe knowing that 48 other bloggers would be scheduled to bake my pick. Out of the beautiful layers cakes and delicious sounding pies, I ended up choosing butterscotch pralines for 3 reasons:

1) It sounded like a pretty quick, simple recipe, and I knew that we’d be packing to move to Arizona over Memorial Day weekend.

2) I love butterscotch anything

3) Melissa describes that they are great crumbled over ice cream. 

SOLD! Both the hubby and I are suckers for anything that goes with ice cream ๐Ÿ™‚ Having never actually eaten pralines before, I did a quick google search to check out the history of pralines. It sounds like the idea originated in France and was first made with almonds, but despite the French origins, the candies now consist of pecans and are most associated with New Orleans. I did wonder a little bit because it seems like most other recipes for pralines call for either butter, cream, or both, but I proceeded with Melissa’s recipe as written.

The recipe basically consists of cooking a sugar mixture to a soft ball temperature and then stirring in the butterscotch chips and the pecans. As I thought, it went pretty quickly.  I only made a half batch at first, but I was done with the first recipe start to clean up in about 30 minutes (my husband begged me to make more a couple days later). I’ll give you a short pictorial presentation below :


Don’t the butterscotch chips look yummy! I love butterscotch!

 
Cooking the sugar mixture and making sure I cooked it exactly to soft ball stage. See the word soft just above the metal piece of the thermometer below  ๐Ÿ™‚

The praline mixture in the bowl. Sorry, this one isn’t the greatest picture, but I was trying to work quick. They set up fast!

The verdict: we really enjoyed them! They are pretty sweet on their own, but as promised, are GREAT served over vanilla ice cream. I don’t have an ice cream freezer to make my own ice cream, but I can only imagine that it’d be that much better over homemade ice cream. I hope everyone enjoyed them as much as we did! Be sure to stop by the SMS page and check out everyone’s treats!

Butterscotch Pralines
From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Ingredients:
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. butterscotch morsels
1-1/4 c. pecan pieces

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, without further stirring, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

Immediately transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in the butterscotch morsels on medium speed until the morsels are melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the pecans.

Immediately drop by tablespoonfuls (or a 1-ounce (#40) cookie scoop) onto parchment paper or aluminum foil. (If the mixture gets to firm, you can put it back in the saucepan and melt it carefully while stirring over low heat.) Let the pralines stand at room temperature to set, 5-10 minutes. 

Pralines keep in an airtight container at room temperature, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 dozen.

Bananas Foster

YUM! This is one of those recipes that I’ve been meaning to try forever. I first had bananas foster two years ago in Belize and loved it. Ever since then, I’ve been meaning to try it at home and just never got around to it. I definitely should not have waited this long!

There are several different variations of this online. The recipe that I used can be found here at allrecipes.com. The recipe is pretty simple and comes together pretty quickly. The sauce was a little bit thin. I did let the mixture boil for about a minute or so before I added the bananas in hopes that it would thicken a little bit more. In the future, I may cook it just a little longer to get more of a caramel texture to the sauce. I would also recommend to let it cool for a few minutes (I know this is hard!) so that you have an actual ice cream topping and not ice cream soup ๐Ÿ™‚ This should also help with the thickness of the sauce. Enjoy! I know we did!!

Bananas Foster
1/4 c. butter
2/3 c. brown sugar
3-1/2 Tbsp. rum (we used coconut rum)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise and crosswise
1/4 c. chopped walnuts (left out)
vanilla ice cream

In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon. When mixture begins to bubble, stir in bananas and walnuts. Cook until bananas are hot, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately over vanilla ice cream.