Butter Pecan Ice Cream

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!

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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.


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10 Responses to “Butter Pecan Ice Cream”

  1. #
    Ellen — June 20, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    These look soooo gooooood, Erica! Love your recipes and great ideas!! Thanks for continuing to inspire us!!

  2. #
    Val @ Mental Chew — June 20, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    What an incredible idea!!! I am going to knock my family’s socks off with this one. Very very fun!! They are going to think I am a genius…thank you. :)

  3. #
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — June 20, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    Okay, butter pecan is my absolute favorite flavor, and the cookie cups? Awesome! Pinned!

  4. #
    MyFudo™ — June 21, 2012 @ 8:49 am

    The ice cream by itself is delicious, and you had to put it on a delectable choco cookie cups, you are awesome! Is there anyway I can be a housemate of some sort. This is magical!

  5. #
    Melanie S. — June 22, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! My sis loves butter pecan ice cream so I’ll have to try this this weekend for her :D I have tried so many of your recipes and have yet to be disappointed…especially loved the butterbeer cupcakes. Congratulations on your engagement! I work as a bridal consultant in St. Louis and since it would be really impractical for you to come all the way here to buy a dress you should check out Maggie Sotterro wedding gowns. They are STUNNING!

  6. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — June 25, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

    I’ve had an ice cream maker for the past 2 years that I have yet to break in. I think it’s time, don’t you? This recipe looks like a good place to start…and I LOVE the cookie cups – you’re so creative Erica!

  7. #
    Anonymous — August 12, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    I would really like to make the cookie cups, they look delicious. I have a question though, how big of a ball do you need to roll it in to, to creat this look? Like say, walnut size?? Thanks!

    • Erica — August 13th, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

      Yes, walnut size is a good estimate :) Just enough to cover the edges of the muffin tin. Good luck, they are delicious!

  8. #
    Nicole @InfiniteLittlePleasures — May 23, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

    Wow this looks luscious! I featured it in my blogpost here: http://infinitelittlepleasures.blogspot.com/2013/05/i-scream-you-scream-we-all-scream-for.html :)


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