Coffee Ice Cream. And, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Too.

It’s hot. Really hot.

We’ve been trapped under an enormous “heat dome” (where do they come up with these ridiculous terms? Sounds like the plot of a disaster movie.). The city feels dirtier than usual. People are cranky and annoying. My hair looks terrible, and my brain is fried (hence the lame title for this post. I spent awhile trying to think of a catchy one. Just can’t do it). 

It’s time for ice cream.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I’ve bookmarked to bake, but I don’t really feel like turning on the oven. Ice cream has been the way to go over the last couple of weeks, and I added a couple new flavors to my repertoire.

First up was coffee ice cream. Chester’s been requesting it for awhile, but it seems like all of the recipes that I was finding called for using instant coffee or steeping whole coffee beans in the custard mixture. Instant coffee doesn’t really seem like it belongs in homemade ice cream, and I didn’t want to buy whole beans just for this recipe.  Then, I came across this version from “Not Eating Out In New York,” which called for “the strongest [fresh] coffee that you’ve ever made in your life.”

We make a pot of coffee every morning, so I just reserved some of that. It isn’t strong, so I added more than what the recipe calls for (probably about 1 ½ cups total) until the base didn’t taste like straight up half-and-half anymore. It did turn out a tad on the icy side, though—I’m not sure if the extra coffee threw of the ratios in the recipe or maybe the mixture was still a bit warm when I put in the ice cream maker. Next time, I might try to adjust the measurements for the cream and milk accordingly, and hopefully that will help it retain some of it’s custardiness (not a word, I know). Although I’m not a big fan of coffee ice cream, I enjoyed this one as it was reminiscent of the Starbucks Java Chip flavor (minus the chips), which used to love. Chester likes his ice cream plain, but next time, I’m making a batch for me that has the dark chocolate chips, and then it will be just like it!

Fresh Coffee Ice Cream

From Not Eating Out in New York

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup of the strongest coffee you’ve ever made in your life
  • Dark chocolate chunks (optional)

What to do

  1. Blend yolks, whole eggs and sugar in a bowl with a whisk.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and coffee in a saucepan until it’s near boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. Slowly, pour a cup of the hot milk/cream mixture into the egg mixture and beat rapidly with a whisk (this helps keep the eggs from completely scrambling when you pour them into the mix in the next step).
  4. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan with the milk/cream mixture. Heat at medium low, and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick enough to coast the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour mixture into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (place the wrap right on the surface of the ice cream to keep the mixture from getting a skin on it). Chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least a few hours, until completely cool).
  6. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze for 30 minutes (or whatever your ice cream maker instructions tell you to do). If using the dark chocolate chunks, add to mixture about five minutes before it’s done freezing.
  7. Transfer to a container (you’ll get about a quart out of this) and put in freezer. Let freeze a few hours before serving.

Next time around, I made my favorite—chocolate peanut butter. This is the second David Lebovitz recipe that I tried (I also made his vanilla ice cream to go with these cookies). I have decided that he’s an ice cream genius. This was the best chocolate peanut butter ice cream I’ve had ever. Period. End of story.

It’s not a custard-based recipe—no eggs—but the peanut butter more than makes up for that. Although some of the recipes that I read said not to use natural peanut butter, I did without any problems. I used my favorite brand of course—Jif—and that doesn’t have as much oil in it as some of the other natural varieties do, so the mix still held together well.

About five minutes before the ice cream was done mixing, I added the peanut butter patties to the mix. You can never have too much PB, and the ice cold chunks of it are my favorite part of this ice cream flavor. I can’t even describe how rich this is. You should make it ASAP.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

From the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter

Peanut Butter Patties

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

What to do: Ice Cream

  1. Whisk half-and-half, cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Heat the mixture, stirring often, to a full boil.
  2. Remove from heat, whisk in peanut butter until well blended.
  3. Chill mixture in the refrigerator overnight (or at least until fully cool) and freeze in ice cream maker. If you are using the peanut butter patties (or any mix-ins for that matter), add them to the mixture about five minutes before it’s done churning.
  4. Transfer to container (makes about a quart) and put in freezer.

What to do: Peanut Butter Patties

  1. Mix peanut butter and sugar together in a small bowl.
  2. Line a plate with plastic wrap. Drop ½ tablespoons of peanut butter on to the plastic.
  3. Freeze the patties.

It looks like we’re going to be trapped “under the dome” (Okay, now I remember that there there was definitely a Steven King book with that title not to long ago. It’s being made into a movie. Plot idea taken) through this weekend at least. What to make next? Suggestions?

Stay cool, friends. Make yourself some ice cream. Or, invite yourself to your neighbor’s pool. Or, just stay home with your head in the freezer. Whatever floats your boat. Oh, and remember, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity (Side note: I have never understood this expression. That, and “at least it’s a dry heat.” But, people seem to say them frequently when it’s hot. Some kind of weird coping mechanism, I guess).

My Drug of Choice

Hi. My name is Lauren and I’m addicted to Peanut Butter.

They say admitting it is the first step to recovery, or something like that. But, I like being a PB Addict. Also, it’s not my fault. It’s genetic. My mom says she ate a lot of it when she was pregnant with me. She also claims this is the reason that I have really thick hair. Who knows if this is the reason, but the fact is that I was exposed to it before birth and now here we are. It could have been something worse, right?

When I was little, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was my lunch of choice.  The peanut butter had to be Jif, the jelly had to be grape, and the bread had to be white and slightly mushy. Randomly, I just remembered the following commercial that Skippy (terrible stuff) used to air in the 80s. As soon as I saw it, I started making my grandmom or whoever was making my lunch draw a heart on my peanut butter sandwich before closing it.

Ahh. 80s commercials were amazing.

Anyway. Today, I usually just go for the butter by itself. On a spoon. Or, the tip of a knife. Or, on some other food item, like an apple or pretzel stick, Or, in desperate situations, my finger (again, don’t judge. You’ve done it too). Jif remains the only variety of PB for me. The plain old creamy variety is the best, but in my advanced age, I’ve started to opt either for Simply Jif (less sugar and sodium) or Jif Natural (less fat and sodium). It’s either that or the Smart Balance variety that my mom eats now. I’ve never had it, but I’m pretty sure that it’s disgusting.

So, when Chester and I went to NY a few weeks ago, I had to make a pilgrimage to Peanut Butter and Company in Soho (as if I hadn’t had enough junk food after the ice cream). The restaurant features a variety of classic PB and J sandwiches, like PB and Marshmallow Fluff, PB and bananas and honey (The Elvis) as well as gourmet varieties like Dark Chocolate Dreams (described on the menu as PB and J meets Black Forest Cake) and The Heat is On (spicy peanut butter and grilled chicken with pineapple jam. Ew.) This is my dream restaurant and I’m sorry that someone beat me to the concept!

Chester opted for The Cookie Dough Surprise, a combination of PB, vanilla cream cheese and chocolate chips. It tasted just like Cookie Dough! I went for the Jerry Seinfeld Comedy Special, a toasted bagel with PB, drizzled with honey and cinnamon. It’s my new favorite combination. I have always enjoyed the way a toasted bagel makes the PB melty, extra smooth, and drippy. But the honey and cinnamon paired with the natural PB that the company makes gave it an extra bit of sweetness. Paired with chocolate milk and potato chips, it brought me right back to being a little kid (no, I did not embarrass myself by asking them to draw a heart in the PB. But, I did use the chips to scoop up some PB).

So, this past weekend, we decided to try it at home. We ended up mixing the honey in with the peanut butter, instead of drizzling over it. And, we had a shortage of regular cinnamon, so we used cinnamon sugar, which made it slightly sweeter. It was still yummy.

The Jerry Seinfeld Comedy Special at Home

So, again, my name is Lauren, and I’m a PB addict. And, I don’t want to recover.