Candy Cane Bark Ice Cream

We trimmed a Christmas tree (courtesy of our charming landlords).  We checked out the tree at Rockefeller Center with out of town visitors.  We finished our present shopping (well mostly).  We baked speculos cookies, world peace cookies, and blondies.  It was time that we focused our attention on some holiday themed ice cream, and Kira set her sights on a common decoration hanging from most Christmas trees: the candy cane.

candy cane bark suppliesCandy Cane Bark Supplies.

It is common to find pepper mint flavored ice creams, but it’s much more difficult to harness that combination of sugar and mint that makes up the red and white stripped canes. What happens if you infuse candy canes in milk and cream? How does that affect the sugar content of the ice cream?  What do candy cane scrambled eggs taste like if you accidentally over cook the custard? These were all things we found out in our festive holiday experiment!

Candy Cane Bark Ice Cream

(yields a generous pint- double if you want a quart)

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

5 candy canes

3 egg yolks

4 1/2 tablespoon sugar

a handful of dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips

optional 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

special equipment: candy thermometer

1.  Pour milk and cream into a resealable jar with three candy canes. Let soak overnight. The candy canes will melt overnight.

infused candy cane dairy

Candy Cane infused Milk. 

2. Crush the remaining two candy canes, chocolate and white chocolate chips.

crushing candy canes

Crushing Candy Canes. 

3. Heat the dairy in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.  Stir to make sure it doesn’t scorch.

4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl until they are smoothly mixed.

5. While whisking, pour a third of the hot milk into the eggs to temper the eggs.  Continue whisking and pour the rest of the hot milk into the eggs.  Keep whisking, pour mixture back into the saucepan and put over medium heat.

tempering egg yolks

Tempering Egg Yolks.

6. Heat until the mixture reaches at least 170 degrees but no more than 180 degrees.  This happens very quickly, almost instantaneously, with the pint size recipe.  Do not overcook- otherwise you’ll end up with peppermint scrambled eggs!

7. Strain mixture into a plastic ziplock and cool in an icebath. Or, strain into a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for a couple hours.  Once the mixture is cool, pour into the ice cream maker and freeze to manufacturers instructions.  If you want to add peppermint extract, this is where to do it.  I didn’t do any extract, and it came out plenty pepperminty.

8. When the ice cream starts forming and is fluffy, add the crushed candy and churn for just a couple additional minutes so it is fully mixed.

9. Pour into a container, press a piece of parchment paper into the top to prevent freezer burn, and freeze in coldest part of your freezer for a couple hours before enjoying.

side profile

Side Profile of the Candy Cane Bark Ice Cream.

This festive flavor is the perfect thing to pair with anything chocolate. We highly recommend pairing it with some of Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies (which is published on Smitten Kitchen’s website), brownies, or devouring it on its own.

candy cane bark ice cream

Scopes of Candy Cane Bark Ice Cream. 

We are getting this up today so that if you want to try this delicious Ice Cream Eaters Original for Christmas you have a day or two to run out and get ingredients (but most likely you have a lot of this in your house right now from baking cookies!).

But also remember…this makes a great New Years recipe too!  You might very well have a whole bunch of candy canes hanging on your tree, and this is the perfect way to get rid of them!  No one wants to be eating year old candy canes next Christmas.

Happy Holidays from The Ice Cream Eaters.  See you in 2013!

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