cookie dough ice cream

As you may have noticed I’ve been making a lot of ice cream lately, though surprisingly I hadn’t previously attempted making my favorite kind of ice cream so I decided it was high time I changed that.

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I started by making a vanilla custard base by slicing open a vanilla bean and scraping the seeds into sugar and then rubbing them together to infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar.

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Then I stirred egg yolks into the vanilla-infused sugar while heating up whole milk and heavy cream over the stove to the point of steaming but not boiling.

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Then I whisked the milk mixture with the egg mixture and returned them both to the stove and threw in the empty vanilla bean pod (why not!) to continue heating until it thickened.

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Once the mixture thickened I strained it into a bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water to help cool the custard down.

In the meantime I prepared the cookie dough for the most important part of the ice cream.

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I had a little help.  My friend’s daughter Zakiya makes an excellent kitchen assistant.  (Don’t worry, I made her wash her hands like twenty times before rolling the dough balls.  [Or maybe I’m the only person whose first thought upon seeing a child holding food I may later consume is “I hope they washed their hands…])

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She was so helpful and eager to learn that I for sure will be using her assistance again in the future.  And her cookie dough balls were perfectly round!  Mine were lumpy.  No comparison.

Allow me to digress for a minute here upon this amazing little creature of a person.  Below is baby Z, around a week old.  She was born right before I moved to New York.

baby z

Here she is not quite a year later, entertaining as always.

z toddler

Two and a half-ish.  She loved that whistle.  The girl knows her accessories…

toddler z 2

Four.  She was pretending to be a bee at Eastern Market.  Her idea, not mine.  I just asked her to stand in front of the pretty flowers and smile.

z as bee

She’ll be eight in a few weeks and I’m not sure where the time has gone.  Surely I haven’t aged any!  Okay, back to the ice cream…

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After the custard has completely cooled and churned in an ice cream maker and after the cookie dough has chilled properly in the freezer you stir the two together.  The custard should be about the consistency of soft serve.  After they’ve been stirred together they need to be moved to a freezer-safe container and chilled for several hours more in the freezer before serving.

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In a word, divine.  I wolfed it down in a couple of days which means I will never again make it unless I have guests to share it with.

Thanks to Z for her help and her mom Tracey for snapping some of the photos!

Cookie Dough Ice Cream (custard from “Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book” by Jake Goodby, Sean Vahey, and Paolo Lucchesi; cookie dough recipe from www.joythebaker.com)

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine. Beat in yogurt along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.

Using hands, roll bite-sized balls and then place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen, at least three hours.

Custard:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fill a large bowl or pan with ice and water.  Place a large, clean bowl in the ice bath and fit the bowl with a fine-mesh strainer.

In a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling.

Meanwhile, split the vanilla bean lengthwise.  Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, scrape out the insides into a medium bowl.  Add the sugar and rub it all together with your fingers to incorporate and evenly distribute the vanilla seeds.  Get all the last bits from the bean (save the pod.)  Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat.  Slowly pour about half of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.  Transfer the yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture and return it to medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula and being sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan so it doesn’t scorch, until the liquid begins to steam and you can feel the spatula scrape against the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the custard from the heat and immediately pour it through the strainer into the clean bowl you set up in the ice bath.  Tuck the vanilla bean pod back into the custard.  Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.

When the custard has totally cooled, cover the bowl and let steep and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  When you are ready to freeze the custard, remove the vanilla bean, transfer the custard to an ice cream maker, and spin according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When custard looks to the texture of soft serve, remove from freezer bowl and stir in cookie dough balls.  Eat immediately, or transfer to an airtight container, cover, and freeze for up to 1 week.

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