Thursday, March 5, 2009

Peanut Buttter Cup Fudge Swirl Ice Cream

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!"

If someone came up to me and asked me what my favorite dessert is, I wouldn't even need a second to tell them of my love for ice cream. Now I'm not talking about the nasty grocery store kind of ice cream...I'm talking about frozen custard or the other really fattening kinds of ice cream. Sorry, but unless I'm having a health-conscious day, I'm not going to go get frozen yogurt--it's a waste of time. 

But back to the ice cream! I've never made any before because I'm very intimidated of the ice cream maker. All the spinning, churning, ice, rock salt, etc...I had no idea how to make it. So I finally buckled down and got my dad to show me how to use our ice cream maker; it was so much easier than I thought. What does this mean? Well from now on I'm pretty much going to go a little crazy over making ice cream. Once summer hits, I'm just going to warn you that it's going to probably be a new flavor a week. This recipe is from I added my favorite candy, Reese Cups, to the mixture because everyone knows that I like to have multiple textures in my food. 

Is this ice cream good? Oh my goodness...look at the picture? Do I really need to tell you how great it is? The ice cream is essentially more like a creamy vanilla custard, and then peanut butter swirled in just about makes me want to eat the whole container. But sadly enough I won't eat it all, well today at least. :)

Ice cream
2 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 bag of Reese Cups, chopped

Fudge Swirl
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
pinch of salt

To make ice cream:
Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Put yolks, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Beat on high speed with an electric mixer until yolk mixture has tripled in volume and can hold a ribbon on surface for 2 seconds, about 3 min. 
Reduce speed to medium and add cream and milk; beat to combine. Transfer mixture to saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it's thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. It should read 180 degrees F., about 5-7 min.
Pour custard through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl set in ice-water. Add vanilla extract. Let cool completely, stirring often.
Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight plastic container until ready to serve. If frozen for mroe than 4 hours, let ice cream stand at room temperature 15-20 min. before serving.

To make fudge swirl:
Combine cream and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, peanut butter, and salt. Let cool.

To assemble:
Pour ice cream from machine into a freezer-safe container (it will be the consistency of soft serve). Allow to harden slightly in freezer, about 1 hour. Remove from freezer and pout fudge sauce in a zig-zag over top. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the fudge into the ice cream. Return to freezer and allow to harden another hour or more, until scoop-able.

Poor Man's Toffee

Imagine this to be some late night informercial that you're watching because there's nothing worth watching at 2 am. The lady comes on saying "Are you bakers tired of baking? Well put away your mixers and mixing bowls and try this recipe out!"

Ok yes overly cheesy (no pun'll get it in a second), but I'm in the midst of "studying" for my African American Lit. midterm tomorrow...and by studying I mean NOT studying. But there are just times when you don't feel like melting or softening butter or measuring out a ton of ingredients. If you feel that way, then this candy recipe is a quick and different twist on a normal toffee or brittle recipe. 

Normally when I make this I use saltines for the base, but on I found a different version of brittle, a personal favorite candy recipe, using Cheez-It's. When I saw this my immediate reaction was 'oh sick.' I bookmarked it in case I changed my mind...and I felt adventurous tonight so I tried it. You actually don't taste the cheesy-ness of the crackers once it's finished. It really does all blend in together--the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I made my parents try it out and asked if they liked the saltines or Cheez-It's better. My dad was in favor of the Cheez-It's and my mom liked both equally. They do have a distinctly different taste. The saltines are more mild whereas the Cheez-It's give have a little kick...a little 'BAM!' as Emeril would say. :)

Usually people use toasted almonds to top their brittle, but not me. For some reason I felt inclined to use crushed Butterfinger on top...honestly I think it's b/c the Cheez-It's are orange and so is Butterfinger. Maybe I really do have the mind of a three year old and made color associations. For whatever reason, Butterfinger is way better than nuts on top of this. 

P.S. On a side note, keep checking the blog b/c very soon (as in tonight or tomorrow), there will be something I've never made appearing for the first time on my blog. I even will have to make a new label for it, so get excited and keep checking! Post a comment if you think you know what it is, and if you guess right...I'll send you some! Ok well not really, but you'll get gold star in my book. 

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine (you can cut some out to save some calories, but the toffee won't taste as good)
1 cup, packed light brown sugar
1 package of milk chocolate chips (about 2-3 cups)
3/4 box of the Big-size-Cheez'It's (the bigger ones cover more room)
2 Butterfinger bars, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil. Spread out the Cheez-It's until there are no holes (lay some on top of the others--don't just use one single layer). 
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Once brought to a boil, simmer for 3-4 min. Pour mixture on top of Cheez-It's. Do not mix or stir them up! Bake for 6-8 min., until it bubbles. Let stand for 1-2 min. and spread chocolate chips across the surface. Let set for 1-2 min., or until the chocolate chips have melted. Spread the mixture until evenly coated. Spread the crushed Butterfingers on top. 
Set in the freezer or refrigerator until set. Break into bars.