Peanut butter. Bacon. Ice cream. Chocolate. All four are incredibly tasty treats on their own. And for some people? The Four Food Groups. I mean-seriously, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to eat any of those.
My friend Nick, author of the awesome all peanut butter--all the time blog, Peanut Butter Boy, is currently having The Great Peanut Butter Exhibition #8-Delectable Duo. The idea behind delectable duos is to pair any ingredient of your choice with--you guessed it--peanut butter! He’s got a very cool prize package to award to the winner, courtesy of Peanut Butter & Co. Go check it out! You’ve got until noon (EST) on Monday, April 12th if you want to submit an entry.
I thought for a while about what I’d like to pair with peanut butter…the usual things kept coming to mind--like chocolate, chocolate, and um…chocolate. I know! What can I say? That’s a perfect pairing! Then peanut butter and bacon entered my train of thought, and that lead to candied bacon, which I’ve been hearing a lot about, but never tried.
--Look at that gorgeous piece of candied bacon there!
So that was the basis for this ice cream. I love using my ice cream maker and just don’t get to as much as I’d like to. Which, as it turns out after making this ice cream, is probably a good thing. Why? Because it’s just so good! It’s super creamy peanut butter ice cream, which has been graced with the addition of sweet/salty/crunchy/chewy candied bacon and chopped peanuts.
--And more candied bacon. It’s a candied bacon explosion!
The sauce on the ice cream? Was supposed to be salted caramel. That just didn’t work out. I made two batches and burned them both. I was totally off my game when making that, I guess. Or just really suck at making caramel sauce! My friend Heather came to my rescue, though, and suggested I make Dulce de Leche and just get it over with. I was a little nervous, because, you know--exploding cans and all that. Guess what? No explosions--it was easy as can be! Like, “the easiest recipe you’ll ever make” easy. Can you believe I’ve never had Dulce de Leche? It’s true! Now I know what I’ve been missing. Heather has created a monster. I wasn’t satisfied with just the caramely sweet goodness. I split the batch in half, and made Salted Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chocolate Dulce de Leche. Someone please send help. I may eat all of it. In one sitting. Then make more. And dip stuff in it. Like cookies and fruit. And cookies. And my face.
--Various stages of Dulce de Leche…just after opening, adding the chocolate, salt and butter, the PB version, and last-the velvety salted chocolate version.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Candied Bacon
adapted from a Ben & Jerry's recipe
makes a little more than 1 quart
Make the candied bacon and set it aside to cool. Click here for the recipe.
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half and half or milk
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used a natural organic pb)
1/2 cup roughly chopped peanuts
1/2 cup crumbled candied bacon
For the Dulce de Leche:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 TBSP butter
generous pinch of salt
2 generous spoonfuls of peanut butter (super creamy if you want smooth sauce. I used an organic pb with teeny little peanut pieces in it)
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes.
Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking after each addition, then continue to whisk for about a minute more.
Pour in the cream and half & half or milk, whisk to blend.
Pour 1 cup of the cream mixture into a separate bowl and add the peanut butter. Carefully whisk until it's all incorporated, then add this back to the rest and mix to combine.
Keep this mixture cold until you're ready to use it.
When you're ready to make the ice cream, and really, why wait? Set up your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions. Add the peanuts and bacon in the last 5 minutes or so of the churning process. Continue churning until the ice cream is ready.
Transfer to a container and store in the freezer.
For the Dulce de Leche, here are Heather's instructions that I collected from her tweets:
"Can of condensed milk. Stock pot of water. Put can in pot, covered by at least a inch of water and bring to a boil.
Boil for 90 minutes for a nice loose caramel. I let it go as long as 3 hours for a firm caramel you can slice.The can is sealed. If you let the can be exposed to the air it can blow. Never had this happen however.
When I do it I do it at a pretty good boil. Not a turmoil boil that will knock over the can but not a wimpy one either..."
It’s that easy! I let mine go for 2 hours--it was perfect. OH! Very important! Let the can cool for at least an hour or so. I don't want to know what a boiling hot sweetened condensed milk burn looks like.
After it's cooled, open the can and pour out the sauce. Well, you can't really pour it, because it's so thick and rich. So get your rubber spatula and transfer the sauce to 2 separate bowls. Or use it as-is (velvety caramely goodness!) and leave it one bowl.
To make Salted Chocolate: Add the 3 oz chocolate, butter and salt, and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time--until it's all velvety chocolate goodness. I'll look away while you eat it with your hands.
For the Peanut Butter version: Add the peanut butter and follow the same microwave instructions.
That’s it! Amaze your bacon/peanut butter/ice cream loving friends with this, and they’ll be your slaves forever. You could rule the world with this ice cream!! It’s true.