I have fond memories of making and eating homemade ice cream with my family when I was a little girl. I remember going to my grandparent’s house, collecting snow from the yard, packing it in the old ice cream maker along with some salt, and waiting for what seemed like forever until that creamy sweetness was ready to eat.
That was the beginning of my love affair with homemade ice cream.
Shortly after Greg and I got married, we purchased our first ice cream maker. Although it seemed like quite a bit of work to make ice cream with bags of ice and rock salt, we did it a few times a year, and loved every last bite.
Then we discovered this beauty:
Seriously…making ice cream is SO easy with this machine. Just store the mixing bowl in your freezer and pull it out when you are ready to use it. No ice, no salt, and very little mess. (Buy your own here. I don’t even get paid anything for telling you that. I just love mine SO much that I think everybody should own one.)
Our fridge is almost always stocked with milk and cream, and we make ice cream almost weekly now. It, along with brownies or chocolate chip cookies, is usually our dessert of choice. (Can you say chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches? Heavenly!) It reminds me of my grandparents, and I hope it will leave my kids with lasting memories of Sunday dinners and Monday night treats.
The best part is that it is the epitome of simplicity: Five ingredients, no fillers or preservatives, and it tastes infinitely better than the stuff you buy in the store.
Want to give it a try? You are in luck, because I am about to share my mint chocolate chip recipe with you. It is our family’s favorite kind, but can easily be modified to other flavors. (More info on that below.)
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract or 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil
1 to 1½ cups mini chocolate chips, depending on how chocolaty you want it. I go for the higher amount, or course.
Pour milk into a medium-sized bowl. I like to use whole milk because it results in a creamier texture, but any kind of milk will do. (But, seriously…try the whole milk.) Add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
Add cream to milk and sugar and mix well. Add 1 tsp. peppermint extract or 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil and stir to disperse. Both work equally well. Peppermint oil is strong, though, so use sparingly.
Pour mixture into 1 ½ quart ice cream maker. (It works best if the ice cream maker is already turned on and spinning when you pour the mixture into it.)
Sit back, relax, and let the machine work its magic.
After 15-20 minutes, when the mixture is mostly frozen, add the chocolate chips. You want it to be thick enough that the chocolate doesn’t sink straight to the bottom…about like this:
Just dump those beauties right on top and let the mixer work them in.
Allow the mixture to mix for another 10 minutes or so. It will look about like this when it is ready:
It will be about the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, and you will be able to easily scoop it out with a spoon or spatula.
And, of course, licking the mixer blade is one of the perks. I try to keep that for myself, but today I had a little helper. 🙂
We like it soft, so we usually eat it as soon as it is done mixing. However, if you like a firmer consistency, just pop that bowl in the freezer for an hour or so, and Walla…
Creamy, delicious, heaven on earth!
If you are not a mint lover, you can make a cherry chocolate chip flavor by using almond extract in place of peppermint. You can even get really fancy and add pieces of maraschino cherries as well.
Or, make vanilla ice cream by omitting the peppermint and chocolate chips and adding 1-2 tsp. of vanilla instead.
You can also play around with other flavors. We sometimes make vanilla and add crushed Oreo cookies right at the end of the mixing process, thus making cookies and cream.
Or, try adding a cup or so of crushed raspberries or strawberries instead of vanilla. (Add them when the mixture is almost frozen, at the same point as you would add chocolate chips.)
Get creative! We have yet to make a flavor that doesn’t taste good, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Just know that you may never be satisfied with store-bought ice cream again.
Consider yourself warned.
This post is part of a 31-day series about small and simple things. You can read the rest of the series here.