Last month, we stopped at the Cassis bakery to get dessert after my birthday dinner. Truthfully, I wanted at least eighteen things I saw in their bakery cases, but ice cream won out in the end. I had one scoop of blueberry ice cream and one scoop of lemon sorbet. I’m a sucker for anything lemon, and the sorbet mixed with the rich blueberry was creamy and refreshing. Scott had cookies and cream, and it was so good that he’s been thinking about it ever since.
I mashed up a bunch of recipe ideas to create this version of cookies and cream. I used a basic method for a vanilla ice cream base, but I jazzed it up with a method I saw Claire Robinson use to flavor milk for an almond mocha drink. Between the almond-flavored base, the almond extract, and the roasted almonds mixed in, this recipe is super almond-y (?). Even so, it doesn’t lose sight of the cookies.
Speaking of those cookies, I sort of went a little over the top on that part. Have you ever tried Martha’s recipe for homemade Oreos? They’re completely delicious and really taste like the real thing. I made them last Christmas with red and green filling, and they were adorable. I had some of the cookies (minus the cream filling) in the freezer from the last time I made them, so I used them in this ice cream. DO NOT feel like you need to make cookies for this. It’s perfectly delicious with Oreos that aren’t
insanely made from scratch. Substitute away.
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 4 cups half and half
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 15 Oreo cookies, homemade or store-bought, broken into pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread sliced almonds out into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the roasted almonds.
- In a large saucepan, heat the half and half, brown sugar, salt, and remaining ¾ cup roasted almonds over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is scalded (there will be small bubbles around the outside of the saucepan). Do not boil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 cup of the warm half and half until totally incorporated into the egg yolk mixture.
- Pour egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half and half. Stirring constantly, cook mixture over medium heat for about ten minutes until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of the spoon.
- Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing wrap directly onto the surface of the custard so a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least four hours or overnight.
- Pour chilled mixture into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is at soft serve stage, pour the reserved roasted almonds and cookie pieces into the machine and let mix until combined. Transfer to freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.
Adapted from Cuisinart and inspired by Claire Robinson.