Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

8 May

“A Mother Is The Truest Friend We Have.” ~ Washington Irving

Today's special treat

Today is mother’s day – and for all you mothers out there – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

A quick shout out to my mom:

My sisters and I are really fortunate to have the best mom in the whole world. Sure, I may be biased, but honestly any mother than can raise three daughters deserves a medal. I assure you that we were not all the easiest teenage girls in the world, and yet our mother continuously instilled in us the value of family, friendship, education and respect. We wouldn’t be here today without her (literally!) so thank you mom. We love you.

The peppermint candies awaiting their fate...

As soon as The Husband and I found out that we would be spending mother’s day with my family, it became extremely clear that I would be making peppermint stick ice cream. Or should I call it peppermint stick (minus the stick) ice cream. Are you confused? I am.

Here’s the back story. Our mom is extremely particular – in a good way – she knows exactly what she wants! Mom likes very few sweet things – and believe it or not, hold on to your hats, she does not like chocolate. Insanity I know. You may wonder where on earth I get such a love for sweets – and that’s very obviously from my dad. But, the one ice cream that mom really loves is peppermint stick. She loves that the ice cream is so refreshing, a perfect finish to any meal. Yet, the one thing mom despises more than anything is peppermint stick ice cream with actual peppermint candy pieces. In other words, heaven help us all if the peppermint stick ice cream has bits of peppermint stick in it, because mom will turn her nose up and decide instantaneously that it’s awful.

When I emailed my sisters and dad to tell them that I’d be making peppermint stick ice cream for mother’s day, they warned me loud and clear: “Word to the wise – she does not like the actual PEPPERMINTS.” and “Be sure that the peppermint sticks are really small NO CHUNKS!”

Ok, ok, I get it.

For the record, these peppermint candy pieces are way too big...this is mid-crush...

I was also reminded that my mother loves the peppermint stick ice cream from a small family owned ice cream shop in Massachusetts. In hopes of doing a little reconnaissance about their recipe, I decided to try and call the shop owner. Much to my chagrin, no one answered the phone. Finally, after a week of trying a lovely gentleman answered and I began pestering him, talking so fast that I’m not even sure if I made any sense. I told him something about how I grew up near his shop, currently write an ice cream blog, and am hoping to try and recreate his peppermint stick recipe. Let me tell you, he could not have cared less. Talk about being non plussed. Yeesh. He did, however, have one little secret to let me in on: they do, in fact, crush up real peppermint candies into the ice cream, but the pieces are so small they are more like little flakes. Ah hah! The truth comes out…

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream (sans the peppermint stick chunks!)
Recipe created by moi! 

2 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 cup peppermint candies (such as starlight mints) crushed into the tiniest of pieces
Thoroughly mix the milk, half-and-half, sugar and peppermint extract with an electric mixer. Put this ice cream base to the side and reserve for later.

Sifting the peppermint candies (saving the larger pieces to re-crush until they are small enough!)

Next, crush up the peppermint candies. This is a rather tedious process and requires smashing, hitting, sifting and mixing.
First, fill a ziploc bag with peppermint candies. Next put that bag inside another ziploc because after about 30 seconds of crushing the candies you will tear through the first bag. Begin crushing the candies by smashing the bag with a rolling pin. Do this for approximately a minute until you start to see the candies break into smaller chunks and until you see that a peppermint candy “powder” starts to appear. This powder is essentially very finely crushed pieces of candy. Savor this, it comes in handy later on.
Every minute, remove the newly crushed pieces from the ziploc bags, and using a colander, sift the crushed candies into the milk mixture and stir gently. Put the candies back into the bags, and repeat this process until you have crushed most of the candies. Be sure to reserve a little bit of peppermint candy “dust” to stir into the ice cream once its churned.
Pour this mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker. Once poured in, you will notice that all the tiny shards of peppermint candies are stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Turn on the ice cream maker and start churning, and slowly pour the tiny shards of candy into the bowl of the ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (approximately 20 minutes).

The ice cream mixture dotted with tiny pieces of peppermint candies

Remove the ice cream from the machine, and spoon approximately a cup of ice cream into a container. Sprinkle a little peppermint dust on top. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the ice cream and peppermint dust/chunks.
If you want the ice cream to firm up a bit, freeze for 2 hours before serving (I recommend this!).
The Verdict: Refreshing, creamy, delicious and chunk free! I think it made the cut but let’s hear from the true critic:
“This is delicious” – The Mom (with eyes bugging out of her head!!).

The finished product!

Ladies and gentlemen, I did it. Phew. That was a close one.
Happy licking to you all!

2 Responses to “Peppermint Stick Ice Cream”

  1. Uncle Paul May 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I don’t bake or cook or make ice cream, but it was fun reading your recent blogs. You are doing a fabulous job with this blog! Great writing, great entertainment, and apparently great tasting ice cream!
    Because of my lactose intolerance, I am curious about the full story about frozen yogurt and whether the cultures are effective enough to break down the lactase. Seems to me that most frozen yogurts bother my GI tract, but that maybe Ben and Jerry’s is easier on my stomach because it is made with higher quality yogurt. Please research this for me.
    Uncle Paul

  2. Shira Farber May 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Peppermint Stick milkshakes…two straws please! Hehe. Brings back memories. Loved this post.

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