Ice Cream
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S’mores Ice Cream–Day 1: Ice Cream Marathon

As a kid, my favorite time to have s’mores was in the winter.

Spoken like a true blizzard-hardened, Midwestern kid, right?  Sure, I had them in the summer time but I swear they taste better in the winter.  Here’s how I know.

My extended family owns a cabin in northern Wisconsin.  It goes by many names: the lodge, Rustic Haven, heaven on earth, or even “da yodge” (somewhere along the way, one of my younger cousins called it that and it stuck).

Back in the day when my cousins and I were all just a bunch of lil’ smacks, the whole fam-damily would go up after Christmas day and stay through New Years.  It was a wonderful time filled with many memories.

It’s also how I learned to excel in the Olympic sport of dodging the flu in any shape or form.  You can’t stick 30-40 people (did I tell you I come from a large extended family?) under one roof, in the middle of flu season, and not expect germs to have a field day.  It’s been years since I’ve gotten sick at “da yodge”.  Maybe it was the best training I could’ve gotten for my immune system.

Anyways, back to s’mores.

During those trips over New Years, the whole family would go on a sleigh ride through the woods.  We’d load up on a large sleigh pulled by draft horses (those poor things!) and disrupt the solitude of the snow covered forest with the von Snyder family of “off-key” singers.

When we reached the half way part of the ride, we’d off load next to a campfire where the proprietors had s’more supplies all ready to go.

Here’s an example of when to keep blending the hot milk and cream cheese–still too lumpy!

That’s when the race started.

Much better!

Imagine a bunch of kids running around to find the perfect stick in the snow…then back to the adults for a marshmallow…then over to the fire to get a prime roasting spot.

Then you played “dodge the sharp sticks with flaming sugar” as you weaved your way to an adult with a waiting graham cracker and chocolate square.

*Kid tip:  always, ALWAYS find a dad, uncle, or grandpa.  They gave you half a chocolate bar (which covers a graham cracker much better by the way!).  Moms, aunts, and grandmas only gave you a 1/4 of a bar.  Maybe they were more wary of what happens to a gaggle of kids hopped up on Hershey’s.  If you went to a mom, aunt, or grandma,  you’d made a rookie mistake that you didn’t repeat on the next s’more.*

If you got thirsty after all the gooey sugar and chocolate, you ate some snow.

If the remnants of three s’mores were stuck to your face, you used your mitten–which was always secured with strings through your coat.  We don’t play.  No losing “napkins” on the sleigh ride.  If you did, you were screwed for sledding trips later.

We haven’t done a sleigh ride in years but looking back on those memories makes me smile in a lot of ways.

Needless to say s’mores in winter hold a special place in my heart.

What’s so fabulous about my tribute to the s’more is the texture and taste of the ice cream.  Notice in the ingredients there are no marshmallows…

That’s because when I was playing around with variations of ice cream recipes, I tried out the combination below and it tasted straight up like a marshmallow to me.

Don’t be fooled, it looks like a regular vanilla but the taste and creaminess are spot on to a jet-puffed marshmallow.

So here’s my go at a frozen version of a s’more…almost as good as one right off the sleigh in wintertime.

S’mores Ice Cream

Makes 1 Quart

This ice cream sets hard so if you're like me and prefer it a bit softer, let it sit on the counter for 5-6 minutes to soften before serving.

Base adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Ingredients

  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. half & half
  • 1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. corn syrup
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 c. broken graham crackers

Instructions

  1. Combine 1/4 c. milk and all of the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan or pot whisk together the remaining milk, half & half, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Don't let it reach a full rolling boil. Stir for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  4. Remove 1/2 c. of the hot milk mixture and pour over the cream cheese. Whisk until the cream cheese has melted and thickened the milk.
  5. Add the cream cheese mixture back to the heated milk and whisk to combine.
  6. Take a gallon size ziploc bag and line a bowl or food storage container with it. This will help keep structure to the bag. Pour the hot liquid into the bag and seal; trying to eliminate as much air from the bag as you can.
  7. Remove the bag from the container and set in an ice bath for 20-30 minutes to chill the mixture.
  8. Once cooled, pour the ice cream base into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  9. In the last 5 minutes of processing, add in the chocolate chips and graham crackers.
  10. Chill the ice cream in the freezer until fully set.
http://www.pbpickles.com/2012/06/smores-ice-cream-day-1-ice-cream-marathon/

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Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

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