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Entries in scoopapalooza (8)


Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt (Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World)

“To. Die. For.”

“I love this ice cream. I hope you never make it again. I want to eat the whole thing. Incredible!”

“Mmmmm. Mmmmmm!”

“Don’t bother dropping some off for me the next time you make this. I’ll just be waiting outside until you do.”

These are some of the comments I’ve gotten on this ice cream. The best part? It’s super simple to make and you can all make it right in your own homes, with no special ingredients. It’s also egg free.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt (Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World)

It’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and I’m in love with it. You can take her base recipe and go wild from there--you’re only limited by your imagination. I’ll be buying the book, as well. I already know I’ll be reading it cover to cover.

What’s different about these ice creams from Jeni Britton Bauer is that they’re thickened with corn starch. I know, right? Corn starch, a bit of cream cheese, and the usual cream, milk and sugar, and you have this magical concoction that, when churned in your ice cream maker, turn into the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream in the world. The corns starch helps to absorb and hold water, resulting in an ice cream that isn’t icy or gritty. It’s just perfect.

I had this ice cream, “The Darkest Ice Cream in the World,” bookmarked since last summer. I was browsing my bookmarks and decided it was finally time to give this a try--and I’m so happy that I did! My add-ins were chopped, smoked almonds and coarse sea salt. What a wonderful combination! The salt perfectly compliments the sweetness of the ice cream (which isn’t any sweeter than any other ice cream), and the almonds add nice crunch, chew and that element of “Hey, what’s that I’m tasting?”

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt (Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World)

So to make this cream, follow this recipe. Jeni likes to chill the heated ingredients in a large Ziploc bag, submerged in an ice bath. I opted to pour mine into a 2 quart container and chill it overnight because I couldn’t get to it right away. I also doubled the recipe to make 2 quarts because I have a larger ice cream maker.

While your ice cream is churning according to manufacturer's directions, measure out about 1-1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt, and chop about 3/4 cup of smoked almonds. When it’s finished churning, scoop some of the ice cream into a freezer safe container. Layer in some of the coarse salt and some of the chopped smoked almonds, than add another layer of ice cream, and keep going until you’ve added all of the salt, nuts and ice cream. Take a rubber spatula or large spoon and just kind of poke it around in the ice cream so the layers get all messed up and the stuff gets distributed. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight so it cures.

A note about the coarse sea salt. Don’t worry about where to find some. You can find it in nearly any grocery store right next to the other salts. I got this one for less than $2. The Smoked Almonds are from Blue Diamond.

I find that you don’t even need to let this sit out on the counter before scooping. It’s rich and scoopable, and ready to go. Stay tuned for more ice cream recipes based on this idea!

Oh, and this ice cream is fabulous on top of one of these Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies. Trust me. Heaven in a bowl.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt (Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World)


Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Ice Cream

Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Ice Cream

The idea for this ice cream just popped into my head one day. Once it was there, it was hard to stop thinking about it. I even pushed back a chocolate ice cream to make this one, so that’s saying something! I wanted the flavors of my favorite sugar cookie recipe, given to be by my friend Shaye. Butter, vanilla and almond. The vanilla and almond flavors were easy, but I was worried about incorporating butter. I didn’t want it to be greasy or lumpy. Who wants to eat a chunk of butter in their ice cream? Well, some of you do love butter.

This ice cream is definitely Scoopapalooza-worthy!

I know there are butter flavorings out there, and I did look at some. But Lori at The Burp! Blog chimed in on my Facebook discussion (thank goodness!) and told me not to worry. She and Eric had just done a Browned Butter Cinnamon Ice Cream. She said the texture was perfect and still had all of that buttery good flavor in it. Even better, because it was browned butter, and if you’ve never tried it that way, you’re missing out! So this recipe base is based on the method in their recipe. Thanks, Lori!

Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Ice Cream

You don’t have to add sprinkles to this if you don’t want to. I wanted to pretty it up a bit and have it look a little like the famous Lofthouse sugar cookies. There were no multi-color sprinkles at the store, so I went with pretty in pink ones.

Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Ice Cream

Makes about 2 quarts

12 tbsp butter (Yes, twelve.)
1 - 1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (That’s what gives it tiny brown flecks. Optional-you can use extract instead.)
2 cups half and half (You'll add more later for a total of 3 1/2 cups.)
Approximately 1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
a couple pinches fine sea salt
1/2 cup sprinkles

In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Keep an eye on it, and let it go until it starts to brown and smell nutty. Don't let it go too far and burn! When it's smelling good and nutty, add the sugar and salt. (*Start with 1 cup of sugar, you can always add a bit more later if it needs it.) Mix the salt and sugar in well, then carefully add 2 cups of half and half, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve.

Pour the hot liquid into a heat safe container and chill completely.

When you remove the chilled liquid from the fridge, carefully lift off the solids that have collected on the top. Don't discard this buttery goodness--it tastes incredible! Use it on muffins or scones or pancakes or something. So you've removed the solids, add enough half and half to bring it to 3 1/2 cups total--test it now to see if you need more sugar. If you think you do, add up to 1/4 cup more and stir until it's dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream, almond extract and sea salt. 

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. In the last few seconds of churning, add the sprinkles and let them get completely stirred through. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze from a few hours to overnight so it can set up.

  • This ice cream is scoopable right out of the freezer--no waiting or popping it in the microwave to soften it a bit.
  • It’s buttery, slightly nutty, sprinkly, creamy and a tiny bit salty. Kids love it. Adults love it. It’s a win-win. It also makes pretty ice cream sandwiches, as you can see in the photos. I used some Duchy Originals Oaten Biscuits which aren’t sweet all, so they were a nice contrast to the ice cream.

Browned Butter Sugar Cookie Ice Cream


Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream and Cuisinart Giveaway

Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream

“What the what?” (I can hear you saying…) Let me explain. Peanut brittle, with added chunks of sugar cone. So Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle. But I don’t want any of you to break a tooth on frozen brittle (I don’t want  your dental bills, ha!), so we’re going to take that brittle and process the heck out of it so it becomes a velvety “butter.” Like nut butter, only better. Way better! It’s a burnt sugar bonanza in your mouth. Good on a spoon, or dip a pretzel in it, or heck, dip your face in it. But save some for the ice cream!

The contest is closed, but the recipe still rocks, so check it out below! The randomly chosen winner is Renee - Kudos Kitchen. Congratulations, Renee and thank you to all of you for playing along!

We’re not only going to mix some of that brittle butter into the ice cream base, but we’re going to swirl some in at the end for added burnt sugar goodness on your taste buds. With some chopped peanuts and chocolate flakes for good measure.

This is my latest entry for Scoopapalooza. And oh hell, it’s a decadent one if I do say so. You can read all about Scoopapalooza on our Flickr Group page, and also Like us on our Facebook page. This way, you’ll never be at a loss for ice cream ideas! And as always, please join us if you like! Making ice cream just makes you happy. Bad day? Ice Cream! Annoying boss? Ice cream! Kids going nuts? ICE CREAM!


And in addition to all of this ice creamy goodness going on, Heather from He Cooks She Cooks and I have a fabulous giveaway to kick off Summer and a Summer of Scoops! We’re each giving away a Cuisinart 2 Qt. Ice Cream Maker ($145.00 Suggested Retail Value).

Yes, that’s right. We each have one to give away, so you have double the chances of winning one. Cuisinart has generously provided each of us with an ice cream maker to use and review, and two more to get a couple of lucky readers a jump on a summer of ice cream! (A huge thank you to Rachel!) Read on to find out how to enter.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker ICE-30BCCuisinart Ice Cream Maker ICE-30BC

Using the Cuisinart ICE-30BC is so much fun! It works great, and looks good on the counter, as well. From the website:

  • What's better than a quart of luscious homemade ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt? Two quarts! The fully automatic Cuisinart® Pure Indulgence™ makes 2 quarts of your favorite frozen desserts or drinks in as little as 25 minutes. It's easy -- an integrated motor, double-insulated freezer bowl and automatic mixing paddle do all the work. Results are consistently smooth, cleanup is easy, and the brushed metal styling is simply sensational.
  • Double insulated freezer bowl holds up to 2 quarts of frozen dessert
    Brushed metal housing with embossed logo
    Fully automatic
    Heavy-duty motor makes frozen desserts or drinks in as little as 25 minutes
    Large ingredient spout for adding mix-ins
    Instruction/Recipe book
    Limited 3-year warranty
    BPA Free

You’ll love using this ice cream maker, and with a trusted name like Cuisinart, you don’t need to worry about it breaking down. The large ingredient spout is worth the price of admission alone! My last ice cream maker had a small one--and size does matter in this case. And just think about how much fun you’ll have making ice cream this summer!

Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream

Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream

Makes 2 quarts

3 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (totally optional)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of the sugar cone peanut brittle butter (recipe below)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled, broken into "flakes" (instructions below)
Remaining sugar cone peanut brittle butter to swirl in

In a medium bowl, whisk the half and half with the sugar and salt until their dissolved completely. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla powder (if using) and extract. Now whisk in 1/2 cup of the brittle butter. You'll have to work it in, and there may be some small lumps left, but don't worry, it's all good in the end.

Make sure the mixture is nice and chilled. Chill in the fridge if need be. I whisk mine up in a medium bowl set in a large bowl with ice to keep it cold while I work.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. This should take about 25 minutes.

While that's working, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring at each interval. When completely melted, spread very thin on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the fridge or freezer to chill. When it's completely chilled, remove it and using the paper, break the chocolate into "flakes." I used a dough scraper (straight edge) to help it along.

When the ice cream is done freezing in the machine, add the chopped nuts and chocolate flakes and let the machine stir them in. This should only take about a minute or less.

Turn the ice cream out into an airtight container, and working quickly, plop the remaining sugar cone brittle butter into the ice cream--in smaller clumps, not one large one, and swirl it in with a knife or rubber spatula. Freeze for a few hours or overnight and then pig out!


Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Butter

Makes a little more than one cup

1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
6 sugar cones, broken up into small bits (about 1 cup total)
1 tbsp coconut oil (if you don't have coconut oil, use canola or some other neutral oil)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly butter the parchment.
Pour the sugar in a heavy 10-12 inch skillet, and heat it over low heat for about 20 minutes.
The sugar should start melting around this time. If you're impatient like me, you can turn the heat up a little, but watch it carefully. Swirl the pan around if the sugar seems to be getting too dark. If the sugar isn't melting in the center, stir it just a bit with a wooden spoon--not plastic!

When the sugar is all melted and caramel colored, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, nuts, and sugar cone pieces--again--using a wooden spoon.
Return the pan to low heat and stir to coat the nuts and cone pieces.
Heat until the caramel starts to bubble.

PLEASE remember that this is extremely hot, so be careful.
Pour it out on to the parchment, and separate the big clumps. Let it cool completely. When it's cooled, break the brittle into pieces and set aside 1/2 cup for eating or garnish. Add the rest to your food processor. 

Pulse the brittle until it's a fine powder. Continue processing until the powder starts to come together in a smooth paste. This will take a few minutes--maybe 7-10? Mine needed a little help at this point, so I added the 1 tbsp of coconut oil and it turned into a paste immediately. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.


  • This ice cream is creamy and rich--and not too sweet with the added nuts. The chocolate chips I use are Ghirardelli Bittersweet, so they cut the sweetness factor, too. It scoops well and satisfies your cravings for sweet, salty, crunchy and smooth, all in one. 


Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream

The rules are simple.

Leave us a comment here telling us if you could make any ice cream flavor at all - what would it be. No answer is too weird. You know you want that taco ice cream.

For additional, completely optional entries:

1. Tweet about this contest: "Win a Cuisinart 2qt ice cream maker from @MyCuisinart & / @elleskitchen  #giveaway." Then come back and leave an additional comment telling us you tweeted.

2. Share this giveaway on Facebook. Come back and leave an additional comment.

3. Stumble this page with a thumbs up and you’ll get one more comment. Be sure to let me know that you did!

4. Like Cuisinart on Facebook, and leave yet another comment here.

SO that would give you a total of FIVE entries to win this AHMAZING ice cream maker. Head on over to Heather’s blog to check out her ice cream and get more entries! And laugh your butt off--man, she cracks me up!

A random winner will be chosen on Friday, June 22nd. You must leave a valid email address so you can be contacted. You’ll have two days to respond or another winner will be chosen. Open to US residents only.


Disclaimer: We were given the Ice Cream Makers to review at no charge.

Sugar Cone Peanut Brittle Ice Cream


Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream

Scoopapalooza! It’s all about ice cream. Made with local ingredients, if we can swing it!

This one has local rhubarb and strawberries. Let’s face it, they’re the first dessert-type local ingredients we get here in NH every Spring. It’s still chilly here, folks--not too many choices yet. I made a Strawberry Rhubarb ice cream a couple years back, but I wanted to make another. That one was based on a simmered fruit sauce.

Something different. What to do?

“Elle, you could roast the rhubarb and berries first.” My brain seemed to say.

Oh yes! I’ve seen this before. So I roasted them with orange zest and juice, vanilla, and brown sugar. It makes the kitchen smell so pretty when they’re roasting, too! So that was the fruit component in this ice cream.

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream

A good start, but I needed more. Cheesecake? Oh, cheesecake, I love you! Base ice cream: cheesecake.

Add ins? You guys know I love that good Ben & Jerry’s style of stuff-in-every-bite-of ice cream. Cheesecake has a crust, so that was a natural choice. Graham cracker crust, check. I love almond extract in all sorts of desserts and it just goes so well with strawberry and rhubarb, but I wanted chunks. I decided to go with my guilty pleasure, almond paste. Honestly. I can eat it right out of the tube. It’s too good! I have half a tube in the fridge right now. I could be eating it. I’ll refrain, otherwise I’ll get sidetracked.

This ice cream has everything I’d want in a cheesecake ice cream. It’s creamy, fruity, not too sweet--and it’s got chunks. Even the kids like it. Hey, it’s ice cream! They’re not crazy.

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream

Makes 2 quarts.
Adapted from this recipe.

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
generous pound of strawberries, tops cut off and halved or quartered if large
zest of one orange
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tsp vanilla extract (almond would be good here, too!)
3 tbsp brown sugar

16 oz cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 - 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet your fruit is
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups of the roasted fruit, mashed up
2 cups half and half
3/4 cups graham cracker crust crumbs, either a homemade crust or store bought (see note below)
3/4 cups almond paste, cut into a small dice

Start by roasting the fruit. Heat the oven to 350. On a large baking sheet with sides, mix the rhubarb, berries, zest and juice, vanilla and brown sugar. Toss it all together with your hands, and place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool, and then put it in a container in the fridge to chill completely.

To make the ice cream: Set the graham cracker crust crumbs and the almond paste cubes in the freezer to chill.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, blend the cream cheese, sugar (start with the 3/4 cup and add more if it needs it), lemon juice, almond extract, chilled, mashed pureed fruit and the half and half.  Get it as smooth as you can, but don't worry if there are some small chunks of cream cheese left.

This makes a bit more than will fit into my ice cream maker, but I managed to squeeze in 3 1/2 cups of the mixture. There was a little left over that you can do what you want with. Like slurp it up with a spoon.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions. In the last few minutes of freezing time, add the graham cracker crust crumbs and almond paste cubes. Finish the freezing process and place it in the freezer to harden up.

  • This is a creamy ice cream, but like so many homemade (and premium) ice creams, it'll benefit from a few minutes on the counter before you scoop it. Or a few seconds in the microwave, like in my photos. I gave the container about 40-50 seconds in the microwave and it was perfect for scooping.
  • The leftover roasted fruit makes a great ice cream topping, by the way. How about over your morning oatmeal? With yogurt! It’s also good eaten straight from the container.
  • I made the crust on the side of the graham cracker crumbs box. Use your fave.

Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Ice Cream


Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

A real mouthful, for sure! Not only to say, but to eat. Just the way I like my ice cream. I went with the Ben & Jerry’s let’s pack a lot of stuff in there so you get chunks in every bite method. I think that’s what I love the most about Ben and Jerry’s. They’re geniuses. This ice cream is a flavor packed mocha with extra dark cocoa and deep, rich coffee. I then added in brownie chunks and large pieces of English toffee that’s enrobed with milk chocolate and chopped pecans. Oh, yes, please!

Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

So--what brought this ice cream on was that I was talking to Heather about Scoopapalooza. That’s our ice cream project that we dreamed up two summers ago. Summers full of scoops! This ice cream doesn’t quite follow the “local ingredient” guideline, but it’s still a fabulous scoop, so I’m going to have to add it. If any of you are interested in joining us for this summer’s Scoopapalooza, please, feel free! We’re super laid back about rules and stuff, so don’t worry--we won’t be breathing down your neck or looking over your shoulder. We’re too lazy (busy) for that!

We were talking about making ice cream and I was saying most of my ice cream ideas just didn’t gel last summer…and Heather reminded me that I had just baked fabulous brownies. This ice cream was the result of that conversation.

The brownies are my new favorite recipe. I don’t  have any left to photograph, but I’ll be making them again soon so I can post them here. I guarantee you’re going to want to try these right away. They’re made in a way I’ve never made brownies before, but will now always want to. The English toffee is from Trader Joe’s, but you can use any kind you like. Heath bars would be fine here!

Coffee! Let’s talk a bit about the coffee. I don’t drink instant coffee, but I do keep it on hand for baking. I usually keep espresso powder on hand, but someone finished that up, so while at Trader Joe’s, I grabbed their instant. One day when I had a headache and needed caffeine, Billy grabbed it and made me an iced coffee with it. Holy coffee, it’s fabulous! Like fresh brewed coffee! If you’ve been on the fence about picking some up, you shouldn't be! Even if you just keep it on hand for enhancing chocolate baked goods, you won’t be sorry. But just once, try drinking it. Seriously.


Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Makes roughly one quart
Adapted from Ben and Jerry's

2 cups heavy cream (or whipping cream)
1 cup milk
3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cocoa powder (Hershey's Special Dark was used here)
3 tbsp very good quality instant coffee, DIVIDED (mine is from Trader Joe's)
2 eggs (See note below)
1 1/4 cups brownie chunks (about 1/2 - 1 inch cubes)
1 1/4 cups toffee chunks (don't break them up too small!)

Start by cutting the brownies into chunks. Set aside, and then put the toffee in a quart sized Ziploc bag. Smash it up, but don't make the chunks too small. You want to have nice large pieces to make this a truly chunky ice cream. Place the toffee and brownie chunks in the freezer to chill while you work on the ice cream. (I won't hold it against you if you swipe a few of the chunks for yourself. Because you *know* I did.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, milk, sugar, cocoa and 2 tbsp of the coffee. Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved before you proceed. Whisk the eggs in a smaller bowl until light yellow in color. Pour the eggs into the cream mixture and blend well.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions for freezing. Just as the ice cream is finishing up it's freezing thing, add the remaining 1 tbsp of coffee, and the brownie and toffee chunks. Let those mix in, and then transfer the ice cream to a container to finish freezing. In the freezer, of course. After you've had a few bites. Because it's the law--you have to.

  • NOTE: I recently had a comment calling me out for using raw eggs in ice cream. I have been using the same method that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream book does, and that’s to use raw eggs. I use fresh eggs and don’t worry about it. Salmonella is found on the outside of the eggs, so wash them gently first if you like. I wouldn’t serve it to someone who was pregnant or had a compromised immune system. My kids eat these ice creams--and we’ve had no issues. If you’re worried about it, use an Egg Beater type product or pasteurized eggs. Or use a cooked base that you feel comfortable with.
  • This ice cream is everything you want in a chunky ice cream. It’s creamy and velvety, and absolutely loaded with chunks of brownies and toffee. For those times when you want serious chunks in every single bite.

Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream