Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ice Cream -- YES, ICE CREAM

There are a lot of things I can do that at first seem nearly impossible. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I still know all of the words to "Baby Got Back." My high kick is off the charts. (These are all essentially party tricks and please note that math or science is not mentioned here.)

I never thought I would be able to easily make ice cream, without an ice cream maker, without any effort.

I almost wish I didn't know, because while the options are now endless in the kitchen, they will be even more limited in the Old Navy dressing room. I'm playing with fire. Er, ice. I ONLY EAT ICE CREAM NOW. 

Ice cream has always been an influential part of my life. A constant friend and reliable companion. A lot has changed, but ice cream is always there. I'm fully comfortable anthropomorphizing dessert in this way, but thank you for checking in.

I inherited this love from my dad, Larry, who is a big time ice cream aficionado. One of his superpowers is knowing the location of every small-town Dairy Queen in Minnesota -- and whether or not it's a brazier. This was especially useful for traveling basketball tournaments and road trips to the cabin. A cookie dough blizzard was always within reach. Ice cream was not a rare treat in my household, it was a daily staple. This could be good, this could ultimately be bad -- cool it with the judgement, okay? Every night before my bed, my sister and I would get a "bedtime treat," which was almost always a bowl of Schwan's ice cream. When we were old enough to "dish ourselves up," we did, with the portion control of children. My sister and I grew up eating a shit-ton of ice cream every night before immediately going to bed. Every single night. I'd like to think this prepared my stomach for a life of nighttime eating and thus, sugar-before-bed has no effect on me -- except weight gain, but basically, I sleep soundly regardless of what I'm eating or drinking. Like a fat, happy, lil baby.

People who think ice cream should only be enjoyed in the summertime are living in their own personal dark age.

I don't even have a story about ice cream because ice cream is part of every story.

It has been heating up in LA -- specifically in my house, and it's not just because my roommates are both in love. It's physically stifling in our house after 1pm every single day, and even when it cools down outside, our house traps all of the heat in the world inside it and none of us stop sweating, ever. At this point, ice cream is not a treat but a necessity. And so when I woke up the other morning and was met by dreaded sunshine streaming through my window, I was determined to find relief. And when I found an incredibly easy, three ingredient ice cream recipe that only required an electric mixer, I had a purpose. And, guys -- I really went to town.

I decided to make chocolate, strawberry, chocolate-almond, and cookies & cream. I forced myself to stop there. In the future, I plan on trying mint chocolate chip, classic vanilla, MAYBE EVEN COOKIE DOUGH GOOD LORD THERE'S NO STOPPING ME. I don't like how much this process makes me feel like Joffrey from Game of Thrones. If I am poisoned, it better be with ice cream. Oops, spoiler.

Ice Cream!

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

For chocolate, add 3/4 cup chocolate syrup
For strawberry, add 2 cups frozen strawberries
For cookies & cream, crush and add about 8 Oreo cookies 
For chocolate-almond, add 3/4 cup chocolate syrup and 1 tablespoon almond extract. I added 2 tablespoons and... whoops, too much!

You're going to need a standing mixer or a handheld electric mixer for this. I don't care how strong you are you. I don't care what your arms look like. This is bigger than you.
Pour the heavy whipping cream and condensed milk in a large bowl/standing mixer bowl and start mixing on low. 
If you're adding chocolate or frozen strawberries or something that can be pulverized, add it as well. 
(DON'T ADD COOKIES NOW. You won't like what happens by the end, trust me. Add cookies when you're met with soft peaks.)
Once the mixture starts to thicken and you aren't at risk for spraying dairy all over the place, turn it up.
Continue mixing for about 8 minutes, with the speed #turntup.
When you have stiff peaks, you're good to go. At this point, it's whipped cream, so go ahead and eat some.

Stiff peaks are also what I look for in men

Freeze in a freezer-safe container for 4-6 hours. At 4 hours, you'll have soft serve. 

I don't know, guys. This is my favorite thing I've made. If I there was a world where I could make ice cream for my friends every day, and do exclusively that, I think I would. Oh, and also nap and watch OG Teen Mom while it's in the freezer. What a life. 

Happy baking!

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