This is my old friend Dani’s all time favorite.  We were lucky growing up – in that both of our families went to Vermont during the winter weekends.  Dani from NJ, me originally from MA, these were very special times.  But oh, it wasn’t just me and “Eight is Enough” that made her smile – it was the holiday season – and Friendly’s featured Peppermint Stick ice cream – her absolute fave!  She requested it a few years ago – maybe for the birth of a baby or a different event (my memory is really fading, sadly) but needless to say she was thrilled.  I think I dipped Oreos in chocolate and then crunched them into the peppermint stick.  Wow.  A friend just mentioned that Trader Joes sells a peppermint version of an Oreo that sounds perfect.  Anyway, this ice cream is really very good.  I made half just peppermint and the other half with ground bittersweet chocolate.  I love that one.  Greg loves the pure peppermint and he’s lucky because no one else in our family will eat it, and Dani is still over that bridge!  Enjoy this – it is nice for the holidays and although rich, it is quite refreshing.

peppermint stick ice cream
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks (room temp)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 peppermint candies (I used peppermint candies in this recipe because I thought they would be easier for the home cook to buy.  You can also use peppermint oil, or extract to taste if you prefer.  Just add 2 extra tablespoons of sugar if so.)

mix in
1/4 cup ground peppermint candies (ground coarsely or to your liking)
ground bittersweet chocolate (amount to taste – and optional)
crushed Oreos (also, to taste and optional)

Prepare an ice bath – a big bowl with ice and water.  In it, place another container or bowl with a strainer.  This is where the custard ice cream base will land once cooked.

In a medium heavy weight saucepan mix the cream, milk and half of the sugar.  Bring until almost a simmer…but do not boil.

In medium sized bowl, place the egg yolks, the other half of sugar, and salt and whisk well.

Slowly slowly ladle the hot liquid into the eggs and whisk well after each addition.  Keep adding the hot liquid until you’ve added it all to the eggs (again slowly so as not to cook the eggs).

Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook, over medium low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens (reaches 175 degrees) and lightly coats the back of the spoon.

Strain the mixture into the prepared bowl and immediately add the two candies.  Mix until dissolved.  Let mixture cool in ice bath until it reaches room temp, then place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, churn the ice cream and when hard, add the ground peppermint candies (with or with out the chocolate or Oreos).

Place the ice cream in the freezer and oh, although soft, this is delicious the same day.  (If hard the following day, let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to soften before you serve.)


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