For the second part of my holiday baking spree for the company holiday potluck, I focused on another favorite spiced holiday flavor: gingerbread.
When it comes to the cookie form, I’ve never been as big a fan of the crunchy gingerbread cookies. But give me a good chewy version with a glass of milk and I’m a goner. Plus, I absolutely love that gingerbread smell. There’s just something so comforting about the warm spiciness of it that says “home for the holidays.”
As kids, we once made gingerbread Christmas ornaments. We used cookie cutters to create reindeer, candy canes and other festive shapes, and baked them to a crisp. We preserved them, strung their tops with ribbons and hung them on the tree every year since. I still think about the wonderful gingerbread smell that practically smacked us in the face when we first opened the ornament box whenever I catch a whiff in a bakery or Starbucks.
In the spirit of creating something new from an old favorite, I started toying with the idea of gingerbread ice cream. I found a great recipe to try that integrated that great spicy flavor both into the ice cream base as well as pieces of the traditional cookie. What a perfect chance to create two treats in one!
Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream
- 1 C whole milk
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1/4 C molasses
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 C gingerbread cookie, chopped into about 1/4 pieces (see recipe for homemade Softbaked Gingerbread Cookies, or use store bought)
- Add 1 cup heavy cream to a large bowl with a mesh strainer set on top. Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, molasses, salt, vanilla and spices. Stir until the sugars have dissolved and spices are well combined. Continue cooking and stirring until steaming.
- Slowly drizzle about half of the hot milk mixture into yolks, whisking vigorously. Add the yolk-milk mixture back into saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Pour through mesh strainer into the reserved heavy cream. Stir to mix. Place bowl over another bowl filled with ice and stir to cool over the ice bath. Cover and chill overnight.
- When mixture is thoroughly chilled, churn in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add cookie pieces during last 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a freezer safe container. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.
Take out of the freezer 5-10 minutes in advance of when you’re ready to serve to allow to thaw a bit before scooping. For a little extra gingerbread spice, top with a dollop of Gingerbread Spice Whipped Cream
Yields: 1 pint
Recipe Adapted From: Baked by Rachel