The hubs wanted a vanilla bean ice cream, not just vanilla. He wanted to see those little specks!
Vanilla is definitely my favorite. Given the choice between chocolate or vanilla, I'd probably always choose vanilla (or if caramel were an option, it would be that). But baking with vanilla can get expensive. Right now one vanilla bean is almost $5, so you can see how it adds up quickly!
But I like to please my hubs in the kitchen. Does anyone watch "Duck Dynasty"? I just love, love, love how Phil is always eager to eat Miss Kay's cooking, and she knows it makes him happy. Food is definitely the way to a man's heart! Just ask Phil and Miss Kay ;)
So I set out on a mission to try a new vanilla bean ice cream recipe. I really enjoy French-style homemade ice creams (with the egg custard added) but this is a Philadelphia-style recipe (no eggs added), and it came out super duper creamy! There isn't much to this recipe ingredient-wise, it just takes some time for prepping the cream and vanilla.
The end result was okay. Not my favorite ice cream to enjoy just by the spoonful (like I said, I'm more a French-style ice cream gal myself). But it was super creamy, and had a good vanilla flavor, and immediately the hubs and I both agreed it tasted like the ice cream in the m&m ice cream sandwiches you can buy in the store. And what were we happening to be baking? Sure, they were peanut butter cookies...but in the end, it didn't matter. We had some scrumptious ice cream cookie sandwiches on our hands!
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
(from the book The Perfect Scoop)
3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, cut in half length-wise
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream in a saucepan.
Add the sugar, salt, the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and the bean pod itself.
Warm over a medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream and the vanilla extract.
Cover the mixture and chill in the refrigerator until cooled completely.
Stir the cream mixture thoroughly, removing the vanilla bean pod (rinse off and let dry and reserve for another use, such as making vanilla extract)
Prepare your ice cream maker per manufacturer's instructions, and add the cream.
Let the ice cream maker work its magic!
To make into cookie sandwiches:
Cut saran wrap into squares (enough for however many you are going to make)
Place 2 cookies upside down on each square of plastic wrap.
Place one ice cream scoopful of firmed ice cream onto one cookie, placing the other on top.
Push together lightly to smoosh the ice cream in between the cookies.
Wrap well in plastic wrap.
Place in the freezer until ready to eat.