July 5, 2008

Mint Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream

What a week. I worked way too hard. I ate way too much grilled meat. And I hung out with my mom at the American Library Association conference in Anaheim. While we unfortunately missed the Book Cart Drill Team World Championship, I did get the unique (and somewhat terrifying) experience of having to fight several thousand librarians for free food and alcohol at Disneyland.

After all that, I think I deserve some ice cream. There may be no better dessert to make on this long and hot 4th of July weekend than cold, refreshing mint ice cream with chunks of mint flavored chocolate sandwich cookies.

Mint TKOs (Chocolate Sandwich Cookies)
Adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller, in The Essence of Chocolate, by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger

I just put peppermint extract into the white chocolate filling, but if you want to up the mintiness you could put some into the cookie dough as well.

makes about 3 dozen cookies (or 18 sandwiches)


1/2 cup cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
Peppermint extract, to taste


3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
7 1/2 ounces butter (1 stick + 7 tbsp), room temperature, cut into small cubes

1. Make the filling: Place the white chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk together to melt the chocolate (it'll be lumpy at first, but then come together). Add peppermint extract to taste. Let cool until it has thickened enough to spread - it may take a few hours at room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare two baking sheets by greasing thoroughly or lining them with parchment paper.

3. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in an electric mixer.

4. I recommend covering the mixer with a towel for this next step, unless you want cocoa powder all over your kitchen: With the mixer still running on low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Let the dough continue mixing until it comes together - it should go from looking kinda like cornmeal to a cohesive mass. But do not overmix.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured working surface and work into a solid block. Divide the block into two pieces.

6. Working with one piece at a time, roll out between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/8" thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.

7. Bake the cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks and let finish cooling.

To assemble the cookies:

8. Cool cookies completely. Place half of the cookies upside down on a work surface. Using a small spoon, scoop a small amount of filling onto the center of each cookie. Top with another cookie right side up. Press the cookies together until the filling spreads out to the edges.


Peppermint Ice Cream
Adapted from this recipe.

1 cup milk
2 cup heavy cream, divided
pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
1-2 tsp peppermint extract

1. Make an ice bath: Put a bunch of ice cubes and some cold water into a large bowl. Place 1 cup of the cream into a medium bowl and set in the ice bath. Have a strainer handy near the ice bath.

2. Heat the milk, remaining 1 cup of cream, salt, and sugar in a saucepan, until sugar is dissolved.

3. Stir together the egg yolks in a medium bowl and very gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour (a ladle is a good tool to use for this). Pour the warmed yolks into the saucepan, again stirring constantly.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula. Stirring and scraping is very important- you don't want the custard to cook too quickly and lump onto the bottom of the pan. Cook until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream, then stir in peppermint extract (I used 1 tsp, but it could have used a little more - add to taste, and remember that the flavor will be a little less intense once the ice cream is frozen).

6. Chill thoroughly (at least 8 hours is ideal), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


To make mint chocolate cookie ice cream:
-Break cookies into bite size pieces, then freeze for about 1/2 hour.
-When ice cream is done churning, transfer to large storage container, then fold the cookie chunks into the ice cream. Freeze. Eat.