Summer Holidays Week 3: No-Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream
It’s a universally accepted fact that children are programmed to love ice cream. Now that summer appears to have returned, this might be just the thing to keep the wee ones busy for a few hours. Prior to this, I last attempted to make ice cream when I was a teenager, and the result was like compacted snow – crunchy and icy and not at all like the Häagen Dazs I was (possibly with unrealistic expectations) trying to imitate. I didn’t bother having another go, and I never wanted an ice cream maker as I was afraid of eating frozen treats all day, a situation that couldn’t possibly end well, and I couldn’t bear another gadget cluttering my kitchen.
Here’s the thing about home-made ice cream without an ice cream maker – it’s hard work. To ensure an edible result, you have to stir it every thirty seconds for three days (ok I’m exaggerating that bit) unless you use a magic ingredient: condensed milk. It keeps the ice cream creamy with no effort. I haven’t looked up the science behind this but I’m fairly certain it’s because condensed milk just doesn’t freeze rock-hard, so it stops the overall ice cream from crystallising. You mix a tin of it with roughly an equal amount of custard, yogurt or cream – whatever works best for the kind of flavour you’re going for, add flavours and bits and pieces (I’ve made cookie dough chunks here) and chuck it in the freezer. No eggs are involved either, making this a completely safe finger lickin’ project for kids. You’ll need to give it a lazy stir after a couple of hours, just to stop all the chunky bits sinking to the bottom, but that’s as complicated as it gets.
This is dangerous information really; I should have put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post. Don’t blame me when you turn in to a crazed ice cream fiend and start experimenting with all kinds of strangely delicious combinations. I’ve posted cookie dough ice cream because it’s definitely one of my favourites – but there are a few different suggestions below, too. I’ve actually just made the coconut and lime and it is unbelievably good!
Makes about 1 litre. Save an old plastic ice-cream tub or dig out some Tupperware – or make lollipops if you like!
For the cookie dough chunks:
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g soft light brown sugar
25g caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
75g plain flour
40g chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
Basic No-Churn Egg Free Ice Cream Base:
400g (approx) of condensed milk – light or regular (1 x tin)
400g (approx) of custard, yogurt, creme fraiche or single cream (I used a 385g tin of custard.)
Some alternative flavour suggestions:
Coconut & Lime: Use condensed milk and coconut yogurt in your ice cream base combined with 2 tbsp desiccated coconut and the zest of one lime. Stir in chocolate chips if you like, Bounty style!
Salted Caramel: Use a tin of caramelised condensed milk (dulce de leche) in your base and sprinkle in sea salt to taste. A couple of thinly chopped Fudge bars would do well here.
Lemon & white chocolate: Use a base of condensed milk with creme fraiche, plain yogurt or single cream; stir in dollops of lemon curd and white chocolate chips. Serve with smashed meringue pieces for a Lemon Meringue Pie effect!
Fruit: Use a base of condensed milk with creme fraiche, plain yogurt or single cream; stir in roughly 200g chopped fruit or dollops of conserve.
First you’ll need to make the cookie dough. Just place the softened butter, sugars and vanilla in a bowl and cream together for a few minutes with a spatula. To be fair, my daughter did have a fair bash at this. Then add the flour and combine.
You’ll probably end up with a crumble-like, rubbly looking mixture. Sprinkle on a tablespoon of milk and bring it together to make a dough. Add the chocolate and lightly knead it in .
All you need to do now is roll out little balls (no bigger than marbles) and place on a baking tray, plate, or something flat you can put in the fridge. Chill for about 15 minutes until they’ve firmed up a bit.
While you’re waiting, empty the condensed milk and custard (or whatever it is you’re using, see alternative suggestions above) into a freezer-safe container. Mix thoroughly until pale and creamy. Drop in the cookie balls and mix. Pop the lid on and place in the freezer. Stir after about an hour just to make sure the balls don’t all sink to the bottom. Return to the freezer and try to remember to stir it again after about another hour or so. It’s not really essential so don’t worry unduly.
Like most ice creams, you’ll need to remove it from the freezer for ten minutes or so before attempting to scoop it. Serve as you please; I like the flat-bottomed Askey’s ‘cup’ ice cream cones as they are easier for my daughter to put down between bites. Then sit back and enjoy! Will keep happily in the freezer for about a month.