Y’all. How is it possible that you can’t get peanut butter cookies and cream ice cream at the store?! I’ve never actually seen it in stores or ice cream shops, so I didn’t even know it was possible – and my life has been the poorer for that ignorance. This is definitively in my list of top five ice cream flavors of all time. And it’s pretty easy to make at home! How glorious.
This is just what it sounds like – peanut butter ice cream with Oreos crumbled in it. Straightforward, simple, delicious. So I don’t feel like I really need to do a lot of waxing poetical about this one. The recipe comes from a tip found in the Ample Hills Creamery cookbook (which is fabulous), though they don’t lay out the recipe anywhere in the book. Just suggest it as a variation, which I am SO glad I tried.
The interesting trick I picked up from them was to blitz a few frozen Oreos to mix into the base while churning. It adds a little je ne sais quoi to the flavor. Totally optional, though, if you don’t want to bother with getting your food processor dirty. The ice cream is still fabulous if you skip this step.
Ingredients are listed in the order they appear in the recipe and anything that requires prep is in bold. Ingredients are bolded in the directions when you first encounter them and the quantity required is included. I also include notes about any special equipment you’ll need.
Hassle Level One (1/4): equipment and time. You need an ice cream maker to make ice cream, y’all. Sorry. And you’ll have to chill the base before you can churn it. So this will take a while, but is otherwise pretty straightforward and simple.
Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
(adapted from Ample Hills Creamery)
Required equipment: ice cream maker, saucepan, candy or instant read thermometer, freezer-appropriate container for finished ice cream.
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (60g) skim milk powder
- 1 2/3 cups whole milk
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (125g) natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates out)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 12oz package Oreo cookies (or about 25 cookies)
Prep work: Prepare an ice bath in your sink or a large heatproof bowl. Separate out your three egg yolks and set aside in a small bowl. Optional: Set six cookies in the freezer to chill. Then, when you’re ready to churn the ice cream, you can blitz those to add to the base.
In a medium saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup skim milk powder, and 1 2/3 cup milk. Whisk until smooth (making sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain – sugar will dissolve with heat). Stir in the cream.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110° (45° C). (This will take about 5 to 10 minutes). Take the pan off the heat.
If you haven’t already done so, whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl. You’ll need to temper them before adding them to the cream base. To do this, slowly pour 1/2 cup or so (you don’t actually have to measure) of the hot milk mixture into the bowl of yolks while whisking continually. Whisk until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and whisk together.
Return the pan to the heat and continue cooking, stirring often and scraping the bottom, until it reaches 165° (75° C) (another 5-10 mins). Once it reaches this temperature, take it off the heat. Add the 1/2 cup peanut butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla to the saucepan and stir to thoroughly combine.
Transfer the pan (or pour the custard into a heatproof bowl) to the ice bath and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Honestly, I often skip this and just leave it on the counter for a while to cool. But if I’m teaching you right, you should do an ice bath. I just don’t have an ice maker and can’t be bothered.]
Pour the ice cream base through a wire mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cooled. (Can be stored for up to three days before churning).
To make the ice cream: (if you want to) crush 6 Oreos into a powder, either using a food processor or smashing them in a ziplock bag. Add the powder to the ice cream base, and transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
While it’s churning, break the rest of the Oreos into pieces and set aside until the ice cream has reached a consistency just a bit more firm than soft serve. Once it’s ready, stop the ice cream maker. Scatter/sprinkle/mix in the crushed Oreos by hand as you transfer the ice cream to a freezable container. Freeze for a couple of hours before serving.