You know what is the opposite of the lovey-dovey feeling Valentine’s brings to some of us? Fighting with your ice cream maker for a week. I originally wanted to make a glorious, luxurious red velvet ice cream for these sandwiches (that would have been awesome, right)? Well, batch #1 didn’t freeze at all. It churned and churned, but not even the tiniest ice crystal formed. I wasn’t all that surprised – making ice cream is sort of a science, and if the pH of the mixture is off by a little bit, it won’t set. The red velvet ice cream mixture had buttermilk in it, so I chalked it up to the buttermilk making the mix too acidic and figured I would try again the following day.
Batches #2 and #3 (each time with less buttermilk) churned and churned, and still, not an ice crystal in sight. At this point, I decided to give up on the red velvet dream (and sadly, call off the guest post I had planned to do with this recipe). The ingredients were getting too expensive to risk another failed batch of ice cream, so I turned to the most trusty source possible for a “this will work” ice cream recipe – the booklet that came with the ice cream maker. I settled on a nice raspberry ice cream, and churned….
And churned. Nothing. I stuck a probe thermometer into the depths of the milky-raspberry liquid and discovered the problem – the mixture was rolling at 44 degrees. At that temperature, it would NEVER freeze. Why was this happening? Oh, turns out that the garage freezer where I keep the ice cream maker’s canister was cold enough to freeze water and lunchbox ice packets, but NOT cold enough to freeze this canister. Are you kidding me?!? An overnight trip into the real freezer inside fixed this little problem, and I was able to re-churn my batch of raspberry ice cream with success. But man, I probably should have just given up and served Light Valentine’s Day Dessert Shooters a long time ago.
Words do not describe how frustrating it was to find out that I had wasted two batches of ice cream mix because I thought there was something wrong with the recipe. Luckily, a little bit of ice cream and/or a cookie can alleviate almost any frustration. And what about a big scoop of ice cream sandwiched between TWO cookies? Well, that’s even better.
Valentine’s M & M Cookies
Yield: About 30 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12 ounce package) Valentine-colored M & M’s
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in M & M’s. Drop by 2-tablespoon-fuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Adapted from Nestle Tollhouse
Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream
Yield: About 4 cups
- 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In small bowl, stir together raspberries, lemon juice and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand at room temperature 2 hours. Transfer to blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pass mixture through fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds.
- Place milk and remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl; mix on medium-low speed 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add cream, vanilla and strained raspberry juice; mix on low 1 minute or until well combined.
- Pour mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to instructions for your machine (mine took about 25 minutes). Transfer ice cream to freezer to harden completely (at least 4 hours).
Adapted from Cuisinart
Valentine’s Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 15 cookie sandwiches
- 30 Valentine’s M & M Cookies
- 3-3/4 cups Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream
- Turn cookies over so that flat sides face up. Place 1/4 cup scoop of ice cream onto half of cookies. Press remaining cookies onto ice cream to form sandwiches (if cookies crack when pressing, let ice cream soften for a few minutes before pressing top cookies on).