Mmmmmm. Don’t you love homemade ice cream? I certainly do, especially when I want something out of the ordinary. Once you get the basic technique down, its easy to experiment with flavors and add-ins to make something unique.
This particular ice cream was created at the request of my daughter Kate who won a family contest to find our missing TIVO remote (misplaced for 3 WEEKS arghhhh!). The remote was found under the couch…where I swear I had looked before…and her choice was chocolate ice cream with cookie dough. Well gee, I guess if I HAVE too.
For the base, I started with my recipe for chocolate gelato and then made it even creamier. For the cookie dough, I turned to Annie’s Eats and found her adaptation of a recipe by David Leibovitz. I, in turn, changed the recipe a bit as such is the way of the blogger. Everyone’s taste is a little different. The resulting eggless ice cream is rich, very chocolaty and contains a respectable amount of super yummy cookie dough.
Before I go any further, I want to give you my two cents on egg yolks vs. cornstarch in ice cream. First off, I very much enjoy ice cream made with egg yolks. One of my favorites being Mint Chocolate Chip. However, I also love the technique used here which employs cornstarch as a thickener. The cornstarch method is less tempermental and therefore less intimidating for the ice cream novice. If you’ve been reluctant to make ice cream because of the use of eggs, definitely give this recipe a try.
One more reason to love this ice cream. In addition to getting creative with the flavors and mix-ins, you can get creative with the core ingredients as well. I made this ice cream extra rich by using all half-and-half, but you could lighten it up by substituting whole milk for all or part of the half-and-half. You make the call.
For the Cookie Dough:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
For the Ice Cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon freeze dried (aka instant) coffee or espresso crystals (optional)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 4 cups half-and-half (you could use whole milk for part or all…or not)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-70%), finely chopped (or chips)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the cookie dough, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. The dough will be very wet and won’t look like a traditional cookie dough, but have no fear. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, even better over night. When it is completely firm, cut into chunks and freeze the chunks.
To make the ice cream, pour the sugar, cornstarch, pinch of salt and coffee (if using) into a medium size saucepan. I encourage you to include the coffee because it enhances the flavor, but is almost impossible to discern in the final ice cream. Add 1/3 cup of half-and-half and whisk the ingredients together until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Whisk in the remaining 3 2/3 cups of half-and-half. Then continue whisking over medium high heat until it comes to a boil, 5-6 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook while whisking for an additional minute.
Turn off the heat and add the chocolate. Let the half-and-half and chocolate sit for a minute before whisking it all together until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and transfer to a different bowl or your trusty pyrex measuring cup.
Cool all this down by placing the container with the chocolaty cream into a bowl of ice and water for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture to prevent a “skin” from forming on the top. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make the ice cream, turn your on ice cream maker and freeze the chocolate mixture according to your machine’s instructions. It will never harden all the way. After about 25 minutes in my ice cream maker, it looked like this.
At this point, add the chunks of frozen cookie dough and let it churn for another 30 seconds or so until the cookie dough is well distributed. My ice cream maker found all this a little too much to deal with, so I ended up stirring in the last of the cookie dough by hand.
Transfer to a chilled container, cover tightly and place in the freezer for 3 hours before serving.
TASTING NOTES: OMG…so good. I will now put in my plug for slightly melted ice cream. If you can stand to wait, ice cream that sits at room temperature for 5-10 minutes benefits from improved mouthfeel and taste. If you can’t wait, 10 seconds on the lowest power in the microwave works well too. 😉