Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ben & Jerry's Mint Oreo and French Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I thought it would be nice to make a green treat for the kiddies.  Since it falls in the middle of Spring Break, they wouldn't have the chance to enjoy St. Patrick's Day goodies at school.

I wanted to make something green, fun and tasty:  Mint Oreo ice cream!

Can I introduce you to my lovely ice cream maker?  It is a Cuisinart ICE-30 stainless steel model that I got from Costco in Richmond about 5 years ago for $59!   It was an easy decision as the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer was $120 at the time.  

It's very easy to use.  Pre-freeze the canister overnight (I keep it always frozen in the freezer).  Place the frozen canister back into the machine and pour the ice cream base into it.  Turn it on and leave it running for 20-25 minutes.  At the end of that time, the ice cream will have the consistency of soft-serve.  I transfer it to some plastic containers and freeze for a few hours or overnight for hard ice-cream.

Over the years, I have been searching for a good vanilla ice cream base:  one that will be really good with different combinations of yummy additions, like pieces of kit-kats, coffee crisp, oreo cookies... well, you can see the possibilities are endless!  I have tried many versions of custard (cook) and non-custard (no-cook) ice cream bases, but I found Ben & Jerry's version the easiest and simplest.  The list of ingredients is very basic and yet it produces an amazing product.  Yes, it calls for raw eggs, but I get around this by using pasteurized liquid eggs.

I prefer the use of eggs in ice cream for that smooth velvety texture and mouthfeel.  There is so much chemistry and factors involved in making ice cream but I think Ben & Jerry have a pretty good idea about what they are doing!  Knowing what I put in the ice cream makes it all worthwhile.  Yes, I do buy ice cream on sale, but it's fun to also make your own.

Ben & Jerry's brand is associated with expensive, premium ice cream.  $7 for a pint (2 cups) of ice cream is pretty expensive, so I don't bother buying it.  When I discovered the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream cookbook on with glowing reviews, I knew that I had to have it.  It's not a very detailed book, but rather, it's a fun and simple cookbook with cute, cartoony pictures. 

By my rough calculations, a pint of my own homemade Ben & Jerry's ice cream costs under $2.50!

Ben & Jerry's Mint Oreo Ice Cream 

2/3 cup coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
1/2 cup pasteurized liquid egg (or 2 large eggs)
3/4 cup sugar [Edited to add sugar]
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk (I use organic whole milk)
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
few drops green food colouring (optional) 

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more.

Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.  Add the peppermint extract and few drops of green colouring and blend again. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream stiffens, about 2 minutes before it is done, add the chopped cookies, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes about 4 cups.  

French Vanilla version:  Instead of peppermint extract, use 2 tsp. vanilla extract. 

I also made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Instead of peppermint extract, I used 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp.vanilla powder (ground vanilla beans).

I couldn't help myself.  Green sugar cookies needed to go with the ice cream.  I made froggies and trees instead of shamrocks!  Aren't they cute?   

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  1. This is awesome, but your ingredient list doesn't list sugar and your how to list does. How much sugar?

  2. Oops! Forgot to include sugar! 3/4 cup white sugar is needed. Thanks for pointing it out. Sugar is critical as it helps keep the ice cream from getting super icy rock hard. The kids are having some right now. :)

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