With the official start of summer being today, I thought it would be very appropriate to share my first ice cream recipe of the season. I’m certainly in the mood for ice cream since Connecticut is currently going through a crazy heat wave with highs of 95 the next few days! We celebrated Father’s Day with my Dad a bit belatedly this year, so to make up for it I put together a ridiculously delicious meal of homemade lasagna and his favorite ice cream. We probably consumed a week’s worth of fat and cholesterol, but this was celebratory, and I have the best Dad ever! And anyway, the family’s wedding diet totally hasn’t started yet so we’ll enjoy this custard-style ice cream while we still can :)
Butter pecan has always been one of my Dad’s favorite ice cream flavors, but I never really gravitated towards it. Maybe because I was under the impression it was just vanilla ice cream with some pecans thrown in – borrrringgggg. Well, after making this recipe I now understand that the base of butter pecan ice cream is a lot more than boring vanilla – it’s infused with a buttery caramel sauce that is truly unbelievable. And of course I couldn’t just serve plain ice cream, no matter how delicious it was, so I make some chocolate chip heath bar cookie cups to serve the scoops in. I cheated and used a box mix with a 1/2 cup of heath pieces mixed in since I was juggling preparing the lasagna and ice cream at the same time and needed a shortcut. The combination was, in my Dad’s words, “phenomenal”. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
This is a great ice cream recipe and I thought it was really interesting that the heavy cream is whipped before being added to the ice cream base. I think this method helped the ice cream stay pleasantly light and airy, even after a few days in the freezer. I could see this base being really successful with a variety of mix-ins other than toasted pecans. Heath bar with a caramel swirl perhaps? You better call me over for a taste if you give it a try!
Butter Pecan Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
ice cream recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 1 quart ice cream + 12 cookie cups
for the butter pecan ice cream:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
for the chocolate chip cookie cups:
1 recipe of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough (or use store bought)
Any mix-ins you want, I used 1/2 cup of heath pieces
for the butter pecan ice cream:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture reaches a boil, let it boil for 2 minutes.
- In another medium bowl, beat the eggs together and slowly add the heated syrup, mixing constantly.
- Transfer the mixture to a double boiler and continue to stir the mixture until the mixture reaches 175 degrees. Do not allow the mixture to reach a boil.
- Mix in the unsalted butter until melted. Strain into a medium bowl and refrigerate until cold.
- Once chilled, mix in the whole milk and vanilla extract.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fit with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold it into the cooled egg mixture.
- Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream is done, fold the toasted pecans in with a rubber spatula. .
for the chocolate chip cookie cups
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare cookie dough according to your recipe.
- Grease the wells of 12 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place a ball of dough in each muffin well and use your fingers to spread the dough up the sides of the well.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. I took the cookie cups out half way through and used a spoon to push down the centers of the cookies a bit and did this again when the cookies were done.
- Remove the cookies from the pan using the edge of a butter knife.
- Serve when warm topped with a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce.