The inside of my oven has seen a few too many batches of cupcakes this month, so I decided to let it rest this weekend. But this being the season of sweets and all, I couldn’t let the weekend pass without a homemade confection to share with my little family.
So I turned to the one thing in my kitchen that is the antithesis of an oven. My ice cream maker. Yes, it is the middle of winter, but I would be lying if I told you chilly weather dulled my enthusiasm for ice cream. Especially when it’s presented as little hearts enveloped in dark chocolate shells. Especially especially when mint and crushed Oreo cookies figure prominently.
These mint-Oreo ice cream hearts are the perfect foodie project for a lazy weekend. They do need a lot of time to complete their transformation from an unassuming jumble of ingredients into little packages of frozen love. But your ice cream maker and freezer do most of the work, leaving you the idle time to catch up with favorite shows on Netflix.
Or, if you live in a household similar to mine, all that ice cream maker and freezer time means an opportunity to catch up on laundry while intermittently popping into the living room to bop along with your kid, who is dancing to “Electric Car” for the fortieth time that day, and bathe the dog who has been allowed to go for too long between trips to the tub.
Despite how you choose to fill the hours (days, even!) between making the ice cream and pouring warmed chocolate over their heart-shaped forms, you’ll end your weekend with a darling treat to share with your sweethearts.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cups of granulated sugar
- 25 fresh mint leaves
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 Oreo cookies
- 16 oz. good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Pour milk and cream into medium-sized pot, reserving 1 Tbsp. of the cream
- Place mint leaves in a mortar and add the remaining Tbsp. of cream. Use your pestle to muddle the mixture until the mint it ground into small flecks and the cream takes on a greenish hue.
- Pour the mint mixture into the pot and just bring to a simmer over medium heat
- While the cream is heating up, combine sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until pale
- Once the cream has started to simmer, remove it from the heat, and slowly pour it into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking as you pour. When well combined, pour everything back into the pot and return to heat and once again just bring it to a simmer. This is the ice cream’s custard base
- When it begins to simmer, remove the custard from the heat and pour it into a clean lidded container, stir in the vanilla extract, and refrigerate until chilled.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make the ice cream in your ice cream maker. While the ice cream is churning, place the Oreos in a food processor and pulse a couple of times — just enough to create small cookie chunks. Add the Oreo chunks to the ice cream maker when the custard has thickened and frozen
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish with plastic wrap and pour in the finished ice cream. Use a spatula to spread it in an even layer. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and freeze until firm. I waited 3 hours for my custard to firm up, but you can let it firm up overnight if you’d like
- Once the custard is firm, line the bottom of a second 9×13 casserole dish with parchment paper. Remove the ice cream pan from the freezer, and working quickly, press a heart-shaped cookie cutter into the ice cream. Place the heart in the parchment-lined pan and repeat until you can cut no more hearts.
- Cover the ice cream hearts with a sheet of plastic wrap and return to freezer. At this point, you’ll have some ice cream scraps. This is a good time to dump them into a big bowl and head to the couch for some quality Netflix time. Or you can save the scraps for later; just place them in a covered container and freeze until you’re ready to enjoy
- Let the ice cream hearts firm up for at least 30 minutes. While they’re hanging out in the freezer, you can go ahead and make the shell mixture. Just melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler and stir until you get nice, glossy melted chocolate. Pour it into a small bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature. As tempted as you may be to expedite the cooling process, DO NOT put the chocolate in the fridge. It will harden and you will have to melt it in the double boiler all over again
- When the ice cream is firm and the chocolate room temperature, it’s time to add the chocolate shell. Using a couple of forks, quickly dunk each heart in the chocolate and place back into the parchment-lined pan. Pop everything back into the freezer for at least another 30 minutes.
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