Friday, December 25, 2015

Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

Merry Christmas from Annapolis, Maryland, where the weather is 60 degrees and rainy! It really is strange having spring (almost summer) like weather during the holidays. A couple months ago I heard that the Maryland area was going to have a very snowy winter, but I am not so sure if I can believe it. If the cold does hit, it will be quite a shock to the system. Enough about the weather...let me tell you about this ice cream! I have been obsessed with Peppermint Bark the past few weeks. Amazon had a 21 ounce bag of both milk chocolate and dark chocolate Ghiradelli peppermint bark squares for 14 dollars, which is a great deal that I could not pass up. I have been snacking on the candies, giving some out in baggies with Christmas gifts, and using it for this peppermint bark ice cream. I love it. You can grind up the peppermint bark as finely as you want, or you can make it more chunky, all depending on how much crunchy texture you like in your ice cream. If you don't like chunky, I suggest you chop it up very finely and omit the mini chocolate chips from the recipe. I had been thinking of making pie for dessert after our Christmas dinner, but because the weather is so warm, I decided to go with this festive ice cream instead. Hope you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2016! Enjoy.

Recipe for Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of whole milk
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract
1 - 2 drops of pure peppermint extract (peppermint is VERY overpowering, so seriously just do a drop or two unless you want a strong peppermint flavor)
2 ounces - about 5 candies - of Ghirardelli peppermint bark squares (or your favorite brand)
1 - 2 Tbsp. of semisweet mini chocolate chips (optional - don't use if you don't like chunky texture in ice cream)

In a metal bowl, mix together the heavy whipping cream, whole milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until smooth. Cover with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together, stirring occasionally. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 3 - 9 hours (I let it sit overnight and then made the ice cream the next morning).

Right before making the ice cream, place the peppermint bark candies into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the candies are chopped to desired consistency.

Make the ice cream. Give the mixture a stir and then pour into the bowl of an automatic ice cream maker. When it resembles the consistency of a thick whipped cream, pour in the peppermint candies and chocolate chips. Continue to mix until ice cream is finished. Put into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for several hours. Serve each bowl with an extra peppermint bark candy.

Recipe Inspired by: Williams Sonoma Ice Cream - Crushed Peppermint Ice Cream
Recipe makes approximately 3 - 4 servings.