If there was ever a day that you felt like making out with your computer screen… today should be it.
Do you know what a buttermint is? Besides a, ummm… mint made with butter?
These cute little things.
OMG… these mints. Please tell me you’ve had them before. They were like, totally THEE restaurant favor of the 90s. Speaking of, now that I’m old and cynical it’s dawning on me how disgusting that bowl would have to be… with everyone’s hands reaching in there for mints… ugh. Okay. Stopping now. Not ruining my nostalgia.
But I was intensely in love with these meltaway squares as a child. We didn’t go out to eat that often, but when we did and I spied these little mints, I begged everyone to sneak me extra handfuls. I loved them so, so much. They were like… gold.
Surprisingly, when I found a box and ripped into them a few days ago? They didn’t taste nearly as fabulous as they did when I was nine. Whomp whomp. Just another reason that growing up staaaaanks.
But! A few months ago, I had some of this buttermint ice cream at Jeni’s with Ashley. No… it’s not normally any sort of flavor that I’d usually get. It doesn’t have chocolate or caramel or bacon or sprinkles or peanut butter chunks. It doesn’t have ribbons of fudge or cubes of cake. But it just so happened to be one of the 14 flavors that I sampled before making my decision (typical)… and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
This ice cream… I mean, it’s turning me into an ice cream person. It’s 40 thousand times better than those mints. And it’s not super minty – it has just a slight hint of mint and is so buttery and creamy – it literally melts in your mouth. No, really… SO BUTTERY AND CREAMY. Oh, and the fact that there are white chocolate flecks speckled through the ice cream? Yeah. I dieeeee.
White Chocolate Buttermint Ice Cream
Yield: about 1 quart
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: about 10 minutes to cook the mixture
Total Time: 4 hours at least (includes freeze time)
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
3/4 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together softened cream cheese with salt and turmeric until smooth. It will turn yellow. Pretty!
In a large saucepan (Jeni recommends a 4-quart), add milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup, whisking together. Bring to a rolling boil - for me, this was over medium heat. Keep a close eye on the mixture because if it gets too hot, it will boil up and over very quickly. You want it to the point when the milk is bubbling and rolling but now boiling over. Once it comes to that point, boil for 4 minutes. I stirred occasionally here. After 4 minutes, remove from heat and very slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. I did it in 3 parts - adding 1/3 of it and whisking at a time. Bring back over heat and bring to a rolling boil again, this time stirring with a spatula while the mixture just thickens slightly - about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and very slowly pour a small amount into the large bowl that has the cream cheese in it, whisking constantly until smooth. Gradually pour the rest of the mixture into the bowl while whisking to combine - again, it will be yellow! Grab another very large bowl and fill it halfway full with cold water, adding a bunch of ice cubes as well. Pour the milk mixture into a one gallon freezer ziplock bag, pushing the air out and sealing it. Place it in the ice bath for 30-45 minutes until cold, adding more ice if needed.
Right before the ice cream is ready to be churned, melt the white chocolate. Set aside, allowing it to cool slightly. Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the directions. I used the attachment on my Kitchenaid mixer and churned for exactly 25 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, add in the vanilla, butter and peppermint extract while the cream is churning. Then gently stream in the melted white chocolate, which will create flakes throughout the remaining churn time.
Once churned to your desired consistency, place in a freezer-safe container, cover with a lid or layer of plastic wrap pressed on the ice cream, and freezer 2-6 hours. I froze mine for 2 hours because if you've ever been to a Jeni's store, their ice cream is very soft, almost gelato-like. I wanted the same feel, so we ate the ice cream a bit softer the first go 'round.
[barely adapted from jeni's buttermint ice cream]
I don’t even know what to do with myself. But I think it’s going to involve more ice cream.