Sometimes, a seed of inspiration takes years to grow into a final recipe. Other times, the stars align and that initial spark coincides with a tour of a local cookie factory, and the result is truly incredible.
There’s really no gray area when it comes to the ubiquitous cookies-n-cream, it’s always been purely black and white. It seems obvious to me now, but why I never went so far as to try it with something other than an Oreo before now, I’ll never know.
Luckily, someone did, and after one bite of this Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream ice cream last month, I knew I was dealing with the work of a genius.
As fate would have it, a week after we returned from our trip (with, apparently, ice cream on the brain in addition to the tacos), we were invited to tour the Christie Cookie factory. I honestly never knew there was a full-blown cookie factory (literally) within walking distance of my house. This is a dangerous development, indeed, although it’s not really a new development (they’ve been in Nashville for 30 years).
They sent us home with an armload of cookies, bless their hearts, and although we did our darnedest to eat them all within a few days, a few were inevitably left behind.
And that’s why this recipe is so great, as it allows you to rescue those slightly dried-out cookies otherwise headed to the rubbish bin. It’s a sad, sad day when you have to throw out (what were) perfectly good cookies, but nevermore, as those cookies are absolutely perfect for this ice cream.
I used classic chocolate chip, but you could do this with any cookie you happen to have on hand. Peanut butter, oatmeal, white chocolate macadamia nut… just crumble them up and toss them into a rich vanilla ice cream base.
Saving the world, one cookie at a time.
(Stay tuned, as I’ve got a cookie giveaway coming your way tomorrow that you won’t want to miss!)
Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (about 5 large) chocolate chip cookies, crumbled
- To make the ice cream, pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into a heat-proof bowl and nest inside a larger bowl filled with ice water. Place a fine mesh sieve over the top of both bowls.
- In a saucepan, combine remaining cream, milk, sugar, and salt. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring regularly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly whisk in some of the warm cream mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, until about half of the cream mixture has been incorporated and yolk mixture is warm to the touch. You want to do this gradually; doing so will temper the egg yolks rather than cook them.
- Pour yolk mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spatula, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches approximately 165 to 170ºF. Do not allow it to boil. Pour mixture through sieve into cold cream, discarding any solids. Add vanilla extract and stir until cool. Cover mixture with plastic wrap, carefully pressing wrap down onto the surface of the cream mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 3 hours or overnight if possible.
- Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, stir in the cookie chunks, then transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze overnight until firm.