Oh, you like Mint Chip Ice Cream?
We do too. I like the rough edge of the chips against my tongue as I lick the creamy custard. You’d think I’d be satisfied. But, right in the middle of enjoying classic mint chip, I start to miss the toothy sticky crunch of Cookies and Cream. Which is better? Hard to say. So, let me introduce: Whomping Good Mint Chip. We double up on the mint chips, and throw in a box of Thin Mints. When you come to our home and hear, “Mommy, I used to have Caramel Kisses, but I have Mint Chip Hugs instead!” you’ll know why…
It begins with a pack of Mint-Fudge cookies, aka Grasshoppers, aka Girl Scout Thin Mints. We also like a bar of dark chocolate laced with mint. With visions of impossibly good Mint Chip Ice Cream, I’ve stocked both. Beluga and Mingus greedily eye the treats as they load them into Ziploc bags.
Whomp! Whomp! Whack! Beluga slams his toy hammer down onto the bag, breaking the cookies into bite sized bits. Mingus joins the party, thwacking his bag of treats with a wooden spoon he’s found in our tool drawer. Ben & Jerry argue the best way to crush cookies and chocolate bars is to drop them from a tall ladder. I haven’t tried it. Small children and ladders make me nervous.
Our kitchen sounds like a construction site. Two high energy tykes thrust into the task of breaking up cookies. Hindered by nothing but….
“I want that piece!” directs Beluga, spotting an especially large crumble he wants to eat. Everything stops, as they await my answer.
The boys gleefully chomp their tidbits, as they “jackhammer”, “bash” and “demolition” the chocolate and cookies.
It takes a certain amount of fortitude to shift gears. We take a deep breath and get out a pot. Step 2. Into the pot goes the cream, the milk, the sugar, and a pinch of salt.
I tend to think the base doesn’t really matter in an ice cream chock-a-block full of goodies. We’ve made plenty of ice cream following the no-cook method. But, with the August issue of Bon Appetit in hand, we’re going for a classic custard base. I turn on the stove and begin to heat our mixture, while Mingus and Beluga get ready for Step 3 – eggs. They root through our cabinets for a bowl and beater, debating who gets the first turn with them.
They love to crack egg shells. Separating the yolk from the white, however, is something new. Mingus starts. He’s surprisingly adept at it. Still, there are mishaps, which go in a bowl with the egg whites, to become an omelet tomorrow.
The cream base quickly simmers in the background and I turn it off, letting it sit while Beluga gets his turn. We’re using fabulously fresh eggs, so Bon Appetit’s instruction to beat the yolks “until pale” is hopeless.
We temper the yolks – I pour in a cup of the warm cream and the boys take turns beating the mixture. Then I lift the bowl up and add it to the custard pot, stirring it all together. As Mingus and Beluga scrub their yolk-covered hands, I stir the heating custard for a few minutes, until it thickens.
“Could you get the big tray of ice cubes out of the freezer and dump them into the sink?” I ask the boys.
I don’t understand their fascination with ice cubes exactly, but they’re delighted enough to work as a team. We turn on the faucet to make an ice bath and I lower the pot down into it. Beluga reaches up to start transferring ice cubes into our custard pot.
He looks at me quizzically.
“That’s going to be the ice cream – we want to keep it pure.”
Beluga looks horrified that he might have ruined our ice cream. In our family, he’s the passionate ice cream-ophile.
Once the custard cools, we pour it into the ice cream maker.
As the blade scrapes the sides of the freezing bowl, Mingus is thinking about adding his mint chip crunchies.
Why not… I let him toss a few in while the ice cream mixes. They jar the motion of the mixer and, seeing it grind, Mingus waits to add the rest until after the custard has frozen.
The ice cream is thick and everyone grabs a spoon to scoop it into our Tupperware bowls. Mingus dumps the crunchies on top and folds them into the frozen custard, making sure they spread evenly throughout. We all sneak a few bites, but most of the ice cream makes it into the freezer.
A few hours later, it has set…
is ready to eat…
and not one finds it a challenge to eat before it melts. It’s a party. Beluga is two and a half years old. As the ice cream oozes over his fingers, he licks every last drop.
We’re not the only ones who celebrate half-birthdays, are we?
- 1½ Cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- A Pinch of Salt
- 5 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Box Fudge Mint Cookies
- 1 Mint Dark Chocolate Bar
- Load the cookies and chocolate bar into a Ziploc bag and smash them to pieces.
- Then combine the heavy cream, milk, and salt in a pot. Bring the pot to a simmer turn off the heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to cool.
- Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks for a couple minutes until frothy. Gradually whisk in about ½ cup of the warm cream. Add the mixture back into the pot and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. The custard should thicken some, so that it coats a wooden spoon.
- Place the pot in an ice bath, stirring occasionally.
- Process the custard in an ice cream maker.
- Transfer the custard into an airtight container, pour the mint chips and cookie bits overtop and fold into the custard. Cover and freeze until firm.