When I was a growing up, one of my favorite summer coolers was the Fudgsicle. Popsicles were fine but nothing tasted quite as delicious as a Fudgsicle.
I found a recipe for Cocoa Ice Pops in Essence of Chocolate by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger. They are fantastically chocolaty and rich-tasting and reminiscent of Fudgsicles but so much better - I highly recommend this recipe!
I found these adorable star popsicle molds online. You will find the recipe for the ice pops below.
The next recipe I made for the ice cream social was one I hadn't bothered to try in my ice cream maker until now. Basic vanilla! After researching many, fine recipes, I found this one on the Williams Sonoma website with a video tutorial. I loved the idea of using fresh vanilla beans rather than vanilla extract. I was torn between making vanilla and butter pecan ice cream but decided that I could just add salted, toasted pecans to the vanilla and get a pretty good butter pecan replica...it was!
You can see the flecks of pure vanilla bean below. Another great recipe! Just be aware, this is not cholesterol friendly!
For my last recipe, I wanted to try another classic - mint chocolate chip ice cream made into sandwich cookies. Since I have two varieties of mint growing in pots on my patio this summer, I decided to use my Chocolate Mint for this one (yes, there really is such a variety and you can smell the scent of chocolate in the leaves!). Regular mint on the left, chocolate mint on the right:
First, fresh mint leaves are steeped in hot cream and the cream is infused with the minty flavor. I've never been a fan of artificially-flavored and colored mint ice cream made with chalky and flavorless chocolate bits. This, herbal-infused ice cream with good bittersweet chocolate is so different from any other mint chip ice cream I've ever had. I guess fresh would be a very good adjective!
The fudge cookies alone are reason enough to try this recipe...soft, brownie-like and delicious!
When paired with a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream - pure ice cream and chocolate indulgence!
I found the recipe for the ice cream and fudge cookies in A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti. It's the recipe right off of the front cover! What a fantastic book and full of cool, delicious, summery treats!
I hope you enjoyed coming to the Ice Cream Social at Kitchen Bouquet. Please visit over the weekend to see more refreshing and delicious ice cream treats or join in with your own creations! Thank you, Suzy, for hosting a great party!
Cocoa Ice Pops
Adapted from Essence of Chocolate by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (the best you can find)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/3 cups whole milk
1-1/3 cups water
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar and 1/2 cup of the milk until you have a smooth paste. Whisk in the rest of the milk and water, 1/2 cup at a time.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir in a wooden spoon or silicone spatula just until the cocoa powder and sugar have dissolved just until you start to see steam rise. Do not allow to boil or be on the heat too long as flavor could be lost.
Pour the mixture into a heat-proof container, preferably with a spout, and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.
Stir to recombine the settled cocoa and pour into molds, allowing some room for expansion when the mixture freezes. Add sticks and cover according to the directions provided with the molds. Freeze for a least a few hours.
If you are serving to a group, chill a bowl in the freezer or serve over crushed ice.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Recipes
I think using whole vanilla beans, rather than vanilla extract, is key to making this classic ice cream.
3 cups half-and-half
2 vanilla beans
3/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
Pour the half-and-half into a heavy saucepan. Place the vanilla bean on a work surface. Using a small, sharp knife, cut the bean in half lengthwise. Using the knife tip, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, then add the seeds and bean halves to the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Return the saucepan to the stovetop over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Gradually pour the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the same saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.
Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 5 cups; serves 8.
Mint Chip and Fudge Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti
Mint Chip Ice Cream
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the cream, milk, mint, and 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat, cover pan, and steep the mint in the cream for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Slowly add the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly so as not to make scrambled eggs. When done, return the pan to the stove and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula, until it reaches 175F and lightly coats the back of the spoon. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Chop the chocolate into very small pieces. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the freezer. Place the cooled ice cream base in an ice cream machine and mix according to machine directions until it resembles soft serve ice cream. Place the ice cream in a freezable container and add the chocolate pieces and fold together. Freeze for about 4 hours or longer.
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler over hot water. Stirring occasionally until melted. Let cool to room temperature.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and add the salt. In a medium bowl, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until thickened with an electric mixer set on high speed. Stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture a little at a time until combined. Stir in the flour mixture and let the batter rest for 5 minutes. Drop large, heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spreading them to about 3" and leaving 2" between each cookie. There should enough batter for about 20 cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the tops crack and are no longer shiny on top. Allow to cool and then remove from the pans with a spatula.
To assemble the sandwiches, top a cookie with a scoop of ice cream and top with a second cookie and gently press down to adhere. This is easier if the ice cream isn't frozen solid. Serve immediately or freeze until ready to serve.