“Thin Mint” Ice Cream (A Girl Needs Calcium)

If you’re following along at home, you’ve just made so much almond cake that you’ve become quite well acquainted with your neighbors and you’re now on the Christmas card list of every friendly person you passed for a week. You also, sadly, have what feels like a million egg yolks.

I can fix that problem– and any other besides lactose intolerance– with ice cream.

The first time I had thin mint ice cream, it was the Edy’s/ Dryer’s variety, and it was so good that I nearly made myself sick– I would have been very sick indeed, if I didn’t store my desserts in a second stomach, a location commonly known as Jupiter. It was that good. Luckily, I’ve had an ice cream maker and David Lebovitz’s brilliant book “The Perfect Scoop” for a few years now, and I can make an even better version, upgraded with local/ organic/ fair trade/ happy/ fuzzy ingredients as my heart desires, in about an hour.

A note about the thin mints: as a former Girl Scouts employee, I’m a little bit worried that they’ll take back my paycheck for saying this… but I like Back to Nature’s Fudge Mint cookies even better. Keebler’s Grasshopper cookies are a distant but more easily accessible 3rd in my book, still beating out just about any other commercially available cookie.

Thin Mint Ice Cream
Inspired by David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Ice Cream in “The Perfect Scoop”

2 C heavy cream (I like Ronnybrook)
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process preferred
5 oz GOOD bittersweet chocolate, chopped into easily meltable bits (semi-sweet is too sweet for me, but might not be for you)
1 C milk (whole preferred, but I’ve never failed w/ skim)
3/4 c sugar
pinch salt
5 large egg yolks (fresher is better)
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/8 t mint extract (optional)
2 c crushed cookies

Warm one cup of cream with the cocoa powder in a medium pot, whisking thoroughly. Bring it to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 30 seconds. DO NOT STOP WHISKING. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted. Add the other C of cream. Pour into a large bowl; if you’re not as lazy and dish-averse as I am, you can strain it as you transfer.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the original pot. In a separate container, mix the egg yolks together, and add a little bit of warm milk into them, stirring constantly. This will temper the eggs, aka keep them from turning hard boiled when you add them to the warm milk mixture. Add the egg-milk mixture into the pot and stir on medium heat with a whisk or spatula, scraping as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. I like it to get to a warm custard texture before I stop, but that’s really up to you; you’ll get slight texture variation in the finished product depending on how long you let it go.  Pour the custard mixture into the chocolate mixture, straining if you’re a strainer kinda person, and stir in the extracts.

Stir until cool– over an ice bath or in a sink of cold water or every few minutes in the fridge for a little while.  Chill in your fridge for as long as you have patience or overnight, then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last few minutes of freezing, toss in the cookies.

Eat. Omnomnom. And invite me, please.

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