making the best of summer’s heat: mint chocolate chip ice cream

Well, hello heat.

Every June, when the temperature climbs here in northern Florida, I’m always surprised. I should not be surprised – I’ve lived here long enough to know that this is Florida’s way. But, it always seems that we should have more of the spring season than we end up having. Instead, spring is over in a flash and we’re on to sweltering summer, which fills up the majority of our year. The heat would be more tolerable if it were less humid out. Leaving work at the end of the day earlier this week, the thermometer in my minivan read 101°F. With somewhere between 70 and 80% humidity, it felt as if a sauna door had been left open.

Make that 100 sauna doors.

One bonus of the heat – and summer in general – is that the ice cream maker gets unearthed from the depths of our pantry. Earlier this summer, I made olive oil ice cream, something that I fully intend to make repeatedly in the years to come. Last weekend, I tackled an old favorite of mine – mint chocolate chip ice cream. Since my husband and daughter prefer strawberry ice cream, and my son seems to prefer chocolate, this batch was made with me, and only me, in mind.

Although I did share.

The methodology is very simple. The milks and creams that form the custard base are infused with fresh mint, and then chocolate chips are added to the ice cream near the end of the freezing process. I used five big sprigs of fresh mint and let the warmed milk mixture infuse with flavor for about an hour. The mint ice cream – good enough to enjoy on its own, without any chocolate – was bright and vibrant and heavenly. The addition of semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips added a fantastic chocolate crunch with each spoonful of  creamy goodness.

mint chocolate chip ice cream | the merry gourmet

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Filled with fresh mint flavor and sweet chocolate chips, this is a refreshing summer ice cream that can be made up to one week in advance.

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
5 large sprigs of fresh mint
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
8 ounces miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large heavy saucepan on medium heat, warm the cream, half-and-half, milk, mint sprigs, and sugar. Bring just to simmering, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Strain out the mint leaves.

Return saucepan to burner over medium heat and heat cream until almost simmering, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add hot cream mixture to the eggs in a thin slow stream, whisking continuously. Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over low heat until the the custard coats the back of a spoon (or 170 degrees on a thermometer). Pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl set in an ice bath to cool. Cover the surface of the custard with wax paper and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Following the instructions on an ice-cream maker, freeze custard, in 2 batches if necessary. When there is about 5-10 minutes left in the freezing process, pour in chocolate chips. Transfer ice cream to an air-tight container and place in freezer to harden.

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14 Responses to “chocolate chip cookies”

  1. C and C Dish — April 11, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    Yum…I love a good chocolate chip cookie!

  2. alexandria — April 11, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

    Oh my God… I could seriously go for one or two of those right now. Looks delicious! What kind of camera are you using?

  3. alexandria — April 11, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

    Ah, nevermind. I read your photog section.

  4. Lazaro — April 11, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

    Saw your profile on food buzz. Glad I check out your wonderful blog. Look forward to following you here. Your cookies look great. Cheers!

  5. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — April 11, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

    C&C and Alexandria – Chocolate chip cookies are the best, aren’t they? Glad you found my site!

    Alexandria – I think you found the answer, but let me know if I can answer any other questions.

    Lazaro – Glad you’re here! Welcome!

  6. Macaroni Mama — April 11, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    Yes! Homemade chocolate chip cookies-the way to the heart!

  7. Bob Hollander — April 12, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

    Michael Pollan (“In Defense of Food”, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) posits that junk food is okay if you make it yourself, from scratch.

    This article from the NYT is about chocolate chip cookies and the original Toll House cookie recipe:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E0DE1431F93AA35754C0A96E9C8B63&sec=&spon=&emc=eta1

    I usually use the recipe on a Ghirardelli wrapper I saved, adding macadamia nuts.

    I’ve bought chocolate discs, in bulk from:
    http://www.bulkfoods.com/products.asp
    (follow the link under “Chocolates” to “Baking Drops/Coatings”

    Great post.

  8. Jamie @ My Baking Addiction — April 12, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    These look great! I am always searching for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. In fact, I may make these tonight!

  9. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — April 12, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Bob – Thanks for the tip on where to find the chocolate discs.

    Jamie – Oh, you really should. They’re delicious.

  10. SweetFoodie — April 13, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    oh my goodness, i couldn’t be happier to have found your blog! Thanks go out to @jenniferperillo for her RT on your wonderful blog. Your photography is just beautiful, and I can’t wait to bake these perfect-looking chocolate chip cookies. Thanks!

  11. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — April 13, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

    SweetFoodie – I’m so glad you found me, too! I love having new readers. 🙂

  12. Melissa Brown — March 12, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    Do you know why I can’t pin your chocolate chip cookie recipe? I can pin your other recipes.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — March 13th, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

      I’m not sure, really. When I try, it works for me.

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