I will eat pretty much any ice cream, but one of my all-time favourites is Cookies and Mint. When I set about making this batch of ice cream, it was because I had a bunch of fresh mint leftover from using some to garnish delicious bowls of pho.
Since I don’t like to waste ingredients, but didn’t quite feel like a mojito, ice cream it was! Isn’t that how everyone decides what to make?
I boosted the fresh mint with a hint of pure peppermint extract, but I left out the green food colouring in this batch. The fresh mint gives this ice cream an earthy and herbaceous mint flavour, while the added extract gives it some freshness without being too overpowering.
- ¾ cup sugar + 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp milk powder
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole (homogenized) milk
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, packed
- ½ to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
Freeze your ice cream maker bowl according to manufacturer directions.
For the ice cream base:
- In a sauce pan, combine the ¾ cup portion of sugar, the milk powder and the xanthan gum and whisk together.
- Add the cream, milk and light corn syrup, whisking the mixture together until smooth.
- Place over medium heat and stir often to prevent the mixture from coming to a simmer or boil. Heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, then take the pan off the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar together.
- Slowly drizzle the hot liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until fully combined.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot, and place over medium high heat.
- Using a heat proof spatula, stir constantly, until the custard thickens. It should have the consistency of heavy cream and coat the back of a spoon, but I recommend using an instant thermometer (it should read at 170°F).
- Pour the mixture into a heatproof container and stir in the mint leaves.
- Cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. If leaving overnight, check the flavour of the mint infusion after 8 hours.
- Once throughly chilled, strain out the mint leaves and squeeze to extract any remaining flavour. The resulting flavour should be round, earthy and herbaceous.
- Whisk in the ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Optional: You can add pure peppermint extract, a half teaspoon at a time, if you want to boost the flavour. I don't recommend more than one teaspoon total. You can also add a few drops of green food colouring, only if you really want it to be green.
- Churn the custard following the manufacturer's directions for your ice cream maker. Typically this will be about 20 minutes churn time.
- Use a sieve to sift out any small crumbs from the crushed chocolate cookies. This will help make sure you don't have gritty pieces throughout the ice cream, but be sure to save these for later.
- Add half the chocolate sandwich cookies to the ice cream in the last 5 minutes of churning.
- Once fully churned, transfer the ice cream to a freezer proof and airtight container. Layer the ice cream with the remaining crushed chocolate cookies and the crumbs you saved earlier.
- Press some parchment or plastic wrap on the surface before placing the lid on the container.
- Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving for a firm scoop.
Remember to factor in the waiting time for the ice cream maker bowl to chill throughly. Mine takes 15 hours, so I will typically put it in the back of the freezer a full day ahead of when I know I will be churning the custard.
Why a cold infusion for the mint?
While it may seem out of the ordinary that I went with a cold infusion for the mint, this is how I’ve always infused whipped cream with amazing results. In general, heat will destroy the flavour of any fresh herb, so it makes good sense to skip the usual step of heating it up with the cream. Allow it to infuse as the ice cream base cools, then squeeze lightly to release some more oils when you strain it out before churning. There’s also no need to chop or tear the leaves before adding them either — that will only bruise the leaves and add unwanted bitter flavours.
Peppermint extract is optional?
You bet! I love the cool and refreshing flavour the slightest bit of extract lends to this recipe, but that’s personal preference. Mint ice cream made with fresh mint has a very different flavour from commercial ice cream. If you only want the earthy and herbaceous flavour of the fresh mint, just don’t add any extract!
Sift out the cookie crumbs?
Don’t skip this step! This seems unnecessary, but it keeps the fine crumbs from turning the rest of the ice cream grey and gritty. Plus you can sprinkle these over the ice cream as you layer it for freezing, so you’ll get little swirls of extra cookie crumbs in each scoop. Yum!
What about using food colouring to make it green?
I left it out for the batch where I took pictures, but I would eat it either way. My spouse had a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that it wasn’t green, so it’s all personal preference. If you want to add the colour I say to go for it! A few drops should do.