Monday, January 4, 2010

Use Your Noggin

I'm the odd man out in my family when it comes to egg nog. My family jubilantly celebrates the return of egg nog to the dairy case at the store as if it were the swallows at Capistrano. Me? Not so much. But because I love my family, I will do a lot to make them happy. Like making egg nog ice cream.

There are two schools of thought about egg nog. One school is that it comes from a carton at the grocery store and is a rich, nutmeg and egg flavored beverage. The other school says it's all about the booze. I should have guessed, when I chose to try the egg nog ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop, in which school David Lebovitz is enrolled. While my kids attend school #1, Mr. Lebovitz is the principal at school #2.

I had made gingerbread cookies and I loved the idea of pairing the gingerbread with eggnog. Ice cream sandwich cookies, of course! There were a few glitches with the pairing, though. Because of the alcohol in the ice cream, it was very soft. I wanted to spread a thin layer on waxed paper, freeze it, then use the cookie cutter to get the precise cookie shape to layer with the cookies. Excellent thought, but the ice cream wouldn't cooperate. It kept getting softer and meltier until I ended up just spreading it on the cookie and quickly tossing it into the freezer to firm up enough to have its picture taken.

The flavor combination was good, but I'll give you the recipe as I'll make it next Christmas, with less booze and more nutmeg. Why don't I just wait and post it next Christmas, you ask? Well, because I'm unlikely to remember it that long. So I'll give you the recipe and the onus will be on you to pull it out of bookmark purgatory to serve up at your 2010 Christmas party.

Gingerbread and Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Your favorite gingerbread cookie recipe, cookies cut out in mirror-image shapes (stars, trees, snowmen), baked and cooled
Eggnog Ice Cream (recipe, the way I'll make it next time, follows)

You can either spread the cookies with freshly churned, but still soft, ice cream, or for more Martha-like cookies, spread the ice cream on waxed paper on a cookie sheet in a thing layer. Pop the sheet into the freezer to firm up. When it's firm, use the same cookie cutter to cut out ice cream shapes and a spatula to move the ice cream shape to top the wrong side of a cookie shape. Put another cookie, right side up, on top of it. Wrap quickly in plastic wrap and pop into the freezer.

Eggnog Ice Cream
- adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp brandy
1 Tbsp dark rum
2 tsp vanilla extract

1- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and salt. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

2- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucpan and set it over medium high heat.

3- With a heatproof spatula, stir the mixture until it thickens and coats the spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir.

4- Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Stir. Mix in the nutmeg, brandy, run, and vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.

5- Pour the custard into a container with a lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

6- Once the mixture is cold, taste it and add more nutmeg if you wish. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Note - Because I know you'll ask, the lovely dish is from World Market.


Debbie said...

I love eggnog, but I'm with school #1.
Cookies look so good!!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I'm not crazy about eggnog. Here the labels say "lait de poule", chicken milk. Something gets lost in the transation. Love the ice cream sammies though!

Aimée said...

You're a total genius!

We still have a liter of eggnog leftover form holiday parties. tempting. very tempting.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love the pretty star cookies!

Katie said...

They look so pretty and I love the spicy yet creamy appeal of them

Maria said...

The filling is the star of the show:)

Grace said...

well...i don't like gingerbread or eggnog, but i love your idea of making little sammiches and i love that they're star-shaped! how selfless of you, lynn. :)

Melinda said...

I love both schools of eggnog thinking. But, and I know you will groin when you read this yet again...we don't have eggnog here. At least, the easy, buy from the store kind of eggnog. Very sad as I do love it, but wouldn't go to the trouble to make it from scratch. I am from the lazy school of eggnog!
Your gingerbread eggnog ice cream stars sound a grand pairing.

Melinda said...

Did I write groin? Oh no, funny typo!
I meant groan...really. But if it made you laugh, it was worth the embarrassment! x

Shoshana said...

What a great idea to make an eggnog and gingerbread ice cream sandwich! I certainly hope I remember where to find the recipe for next year.

Abby said...

So cute! My husband loves egg nog and he ADORES ice cream so this would be a hit in our house.

natalia said...

Fantastic sandwiches ! I haven't had eggnog in 25 years but I could make it for your icecream !!

Gigi said...

ooo, i love eggnog ...mmm wait i love eggnog a la mr. lebovitz style! the ice cream cookie sandwiches are soooo super cute!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I tried so many different eggnog flavored recipes but ice cream should be the best, I know, Lynn!
These are so wonderful, yum!

Tia said...

so cute!

We Are Not Martha said...

I'm in school #2 as well. I'm not crazy about eggnog but if you bring me to a holiday party and throw some booze in it, it will help me get into the holiday spirit! Otherwise, not worth the calories :) Those ice cream cookies look amazing though!!


Katrina said...

I'm on your side, don't like the stuff. My husband likes about one glass of it a year (no booze), then he's good until the next year!
Your star cookies look tasty though!
Having a giveaway on my blog.

Deborah said...

I don't really love eggnog, but I think I'd love it in these ice cream sandwiches!

dining room table said...

I love eggnog. It has been my childhood breakfast! My mom usually makes every morning! I miss it!

Anonymous said...
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Bellini Valli said...

I am a fan..I love the thought of eggnog icecream.

Barbara said...

Love this idea! I made some gingersnaps for the holidays and used butter pecan ice cream as the filling. I definitely prefer egg nog ice cream! Next time, I'm using your recipe. And while the stars are adorable, I think I'll stick with round and then won't have the melting ice cream problem.

++MIRA++ said...

this is so festive! but i have a confession- i have never ever tasteed that bad?

Debbie said...

I do like using eggnog in recipes but just around the holidays. I think the ice cream sounds delicious!

Kelly-Jane said...

Egg nog ice cream sounds delicious. I must have missed that one on The Perfect Scoop.

Marysol said...

I love eggnog, I love ice cream and I love GB cookies.

I know I'm going to love this ice cream because, again, I love eggnog. And well, I also love David Lebovitz [G]

eatme_delicious said...

Ice cream sandwiches don't usually appeal to me but the combination of gingerbread cookie with eggnog ice cream is too good to resist!! Yum.