I’m pretty sure I’ve previously mentioned Thomas Sweet, the ice cream shop where I grew up. However, I may not have mentioned that my absolute favorite ice cream flavor of theirs is Cinnamon Cookies and Cream. I know, right? Amazing. I’m kind of a cinnamon aficionado to begin with, so combining the wonderfulness of cinnamon with cookies and cream ice cream is downright genius, in my book.
As amazing as this flavor is, you’d think it would be in the normal rotation. Alas, no. It is a rare and elusive creature, acquired only through luck and good timing. Whenever I’m home, I swing by T. Sweets to see if I happen to catch one of those glorious days when Cinnamon Cookies and Cream Ice Cream just happens to be in rotation. If, by some twist of fate, it’s there, I immediately buy a lot of it, drive home like a bat out of hell to keep the ice cream from melting and stash it in my mom’s freezer. Then I pull my best gollum imitation over the next few days while I savor the ice cream and glare at anyone who comes too near. Beware ye who seek to steal my ice cream. There be dragons here.
I don’t make it home as often these days, which even further reduces the chances of getting my beloved cinnamon cookies and cream ice cream, so I decided to try to recreate the magic at home. I adapted a recipe from the ice cream guru himself, David Lebovitz, and ended up with a rich, smooth, creamy tub of ice cream goodness. I used Ceylon cinnamon rather than the cassia cinnamon from the grocery store, which gave the ice cream this nice, almost floral note to it.
I also discovered that photographing ice cream in a house in Atlanta in May is no easy prospect, particularly when you have limited quantities to work with. Thus, melty ice cream. Meltiness aside, the ice cream actually has quite a refined air about it. Maybe it’s something about the custard base, but the ice cream tasted almost fluffy. It’s delicious, but different from the ice cream from Thomas Sweet, which continues to elude me. I’ll just have to keep trying different ways to make cinnamon cookies and cream ice cream. I know, it’s going to be tough, but someone’s gotta do it…
- 2 C Cream
- 1 C Whole Milk
- ¾ C Sugar
- 5 Cinnamon Sticks, crushed
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 5 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 12 to 15 Creme Filled Chocolate Cookies ("Oreo" style), roughly chopped
- Prepare your ice cream maker pursuant to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Combine 1 cup of the cream, the milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks and salt in a pot. Scald the mixture and then cover and turn off the heat. Let the cinnamon sticks steep in the hot milk for 1 hour.
- Add the remaining cup of cream to a medium bowl and set the bowl in an ice bath. Set a strainer over the bowl.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks from the mixture in the pot and reheat the mixture.
- Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding some of the hot milk/cream mixture to the yolks, whisking all the while. Once the yolks have been tempered, pour them into the pot with the rest of the hot milk/cream mixture. Again, make sure to keep whisking to avoid scrambling the eggs.
- Whisking constantly, heat the egg yolks and milk/cream until the mixture thickens into a custard. It should thickly coat the back of a spoon when finished.
- Remove the custard from the heat and strain it into the bowl set over the ice bath. Stir to mix the custard and the cream in the bowl and then cover and let the mixture cool.
- Once the ice cream base has cooled, cover by pressing plastic wrap up against the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming, and then chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Once the base is thoroughly chilled, stir in the ground cinnamon and use your ice cream maker as instructed by the manufacturer. Once the ice cream is ready, spread a small layer of it over the bottom of whatever container you are using. Sprinkle a layer of chopped cookies over the ice cream and then add another layer of ice cream. Repeat this process until all the ice cream and cookies have been used, making sure to end with a layer of ice cream. Then cover and store the ice cream in the freezer until ready to serve.
If you like this recipe, you may want to check out these as well:
Cinnamon Ice Cream by David Lebowitz. I based my Cinnamon Cookies and Cream Ice Cream off of this recipe.
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream by Brown Eyes Baker
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake by She Wears Many Hats