Don`t worry, I’m not going to spew about the weather again, except to say ... it’s so hot, the chickens are laying hard boiled eggs. Thanks, I’m here all night! Of course it’s hot — it’s July. And what treat is front and center in this patriotic month? Ice cream, of course!
It’s always fun to go out and grab a delicious cone or cup, but making it at home can be just as much fun. Maybe go out to your favorite scoop shop, then try and duplicate the flavor at home. Once you get the basics down, adding new flavors and ideas is a breeze.
I’m making one of my favorites this week — Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Nothing fancy, just straight-up good. I’m using 2-percent milk along with the heavy cream to lighten it up a bit, but feel free to go balls to the wall and use full-on whole milk. I’m not the boss of you! I use pure mint extract. If you can’t find that — shouldn’t be a problem — use peppermint extract. It is refreshing and also pairs with the chocolate chunks famously. I like my chocolate in chunks and not chips, FYI. Thought that was very important to point out.
Obviously people around here are looking for the lower-fat frozen version. I mean seriously. How many frozen yogurt shops does one little town need? Apparently, one on every corner. I do have my favorite, but I will keep that to myself.
Anyhoo, back to the point of this little column. ICE CREAM. For this particular recipe, an ice cream machine is necessary. I will break out a few recipes over the summer where you don’t need one, but I feel my Boulder readers are so on the ball, you probably all have ice cream makers along with any and all cooking/baking gadgets available. Unless of course you are one of those that just eats grass and lives off the land, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this anyway, although twigs and berries would make for good ice cream ingredients. I must find a Grizzly Adams and experiment with some wilderness dessert-making. As long as I don’t have to sleep in a tent, I’m gold!
I think making your own ice cream is another one of those tradition-building activities. Everyone can participate, and there is something fun and rewarding about creating something together and waiting it out until the final frozen moment. Kitchen memories are fun. That’s where so many people catch that creative bug of becoming a chef, owning their own restaurant, or just mak- ing every meal for their family an experience. What in the world am I drinking? Something, that’s for sure. I am so kumbaya this week. The heat will do that to a girl.
Alright, all you sweaty Bettys and Bobs, go get your ice cream on, and cool the French off. Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
2 cups half and half
2 cups 2-percent milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1 tsp. pure mint extract
8 ounces chopped chocolate bar (I used semi-sweet chocolate)
In large bowl, stir together all ingredients except for chocolate. (You can use a bit of green food coloring if desired.)
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers’ instructions. Add chocolate about 15 minutes in. ENJOY!
Note: you can use chocolate chips, I just prefer chopped chocolate in this. Anything from a Hershey bar to Chocolove, etc., works great.