I love ice cream! LOVE. If you even just casually read blogs or food magazines, you can’t help but be bombarded with delicious photos of every conceivable type of ice cream. It was torture; so several weeks ago I finally caved and bought an ice cream maker!
My brother’s visit seemed to be the perfect time to break it in! I texted him asking his current favorite type of ice cream but he responded, “I don’t know.”
Ummm I don’t know how to make that type of ice cream so I suggested that strawberry used to be his favorite (how he could pick that over chocolate, I could never understand!). But why make plain strawberry when you can make Strawberry Caramel Swirl Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream instead?!
You will love this twist on strawberry ice cream because what could be better than swirls of caramel surrounding sweet, silky strawberry ice cream dotted with chocolate cookies. This is how I do fresh fruit dessert: with chocolate and caramel tipping it way over the edge of “healthy.”
I made the caramel with a higher ratio of sugar to cream and cut out the butter entirely so that it would stay semi-fluid in the freezer. Nobody wants to chip a tooth on their ice cream.
You know what I learned? Ice cream is easy. Too easy.
You will love this twist on strawberry ice cream because swirls of caramel surround sweet, silky strawberry ice cream dotted with chocolate cookies.
For the Ice Cream:
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
¾ cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup crushed chocolate cookies (I use Moravian cookies because I’m hoity-toity, but oreos will work!)
For the Caramel:
1 cup sugar
¾ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pre-freeze your freezer bowl at least 24 hours in advance!
Place the strawberries in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until the berries are your desired consistency. I really didn’t want too many large chunks so mine was fairly smooth.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, salt and milk together with a whisk or a hand mixer on low speed until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla, mix until combined. Add the strawberry puree and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. Overnight is better.
Several hours in advance, or the night before, prepare your caramel. Heat sugar in heavy-gauge saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar has melted and turned an amber color. Remove from the heat and pour in the cream while stirring the caramel. An oven mitt is super helpful here because the steam can burn and the caramel will sputter. If small clumps form, you can return the caramel to the heat and stir until it melts. Just know that the longer you cook it, the harder it will be in the freezer. You don’t need all the caramel so you could just remove the lumps. Stir in vanilla. Allow to cool completely before using.
Place the container that you are going to use to store the ice cream in the freezer.
Turn on the ice cream maker and pour the chilled mixture in the feed tube with the maker running. Let churn 15 minutes and then add the crushed cookies. Churn an additional 5 minutes or until the ice cream has thickened considerably. It should be slightly thicker than soft serve.
Spread 1/3 of the ice cream in the storage container. Drizzle some caramel over the surface; repeat with the remaining 2/3’s. You can further swirl the caramel with a knife if you desire, but it isn’t really necessary.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap that touches the surface of the ice cream and doesn’t leave any space for air. Cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band or you can use a lid if your container has one. Freeze for at least 2 hours prior to serving. It will harden substantially more after 4 hours or over night.
Strawberry Ice Cream recipe adapted from the Cuisinart Instruction Manual.