Ice cream is a popular dessert option at our house year round, but the frequency with which it's eaten ramps up in summer. In fact, one of our favorite things about summer is visiting our local ice cream shops and we have a few favorites that we've discovered in the years since we moved to our town. This year things got even better when another shop opened up within walking distance of our house. I've already convinced myself that the 10 minute walk each way is sufficient to negate any and all calories consumed at the shop. So, I guess maybe the ice cream shop within walking distance is actually not such a good thing (especially if I'm hoping to still fit into my clothes this fall)...ask me again at the end of the summer!
We don't always head out when we're craving ice cream. Since buying my ice cream maker a few years ago, I've made a lot of ice cream at home. It's much cheaper and I love being able to customize flavors to suit our preferences and cravings! This brown sugar vanilla ice cream ranks among my all-time favorites while Shane is a big fan of the french vanilla cookie dough (the photos aren't the best, but both flavors are really fabulous!). I've found David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop an invaluable resource for tips on homemade ice cream and lots of great recipes so I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a place to start.
I actually shared this chocolate-peanut butter ice cream on my blog almost 2 years ago, back when the only readers I had were Shane and my mom :) It's a good one though and since summer is just about here I figured I'd update the picture and write a new post. This is a great recipe if you're new to making ice cream at home as it doesn't require you to whip up a custard - you simply throw everything except the peanut butter in a pan, bring the mixture to a boil, whisk in the peanut butter, chill then churn. Easy! The resulting ice cream is thick and creamy and the chocolate and peanut butter pair beautifully, with neither being too dominant. The chocolate/peanut butter combo is a favorite and this is just another fabulous way to enjoy it!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup (25 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (130 g) peanut butter
In a large pan, whisk to combine the half and half, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil. You'll know you're there when the mixture starts to foam up. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, whisking to blend thoroughly.
Refrigerate the mixture to chill thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Yields about 1 quart