Have you ever made ice cream at home? It is seriously amazing. Its one of those things that I rarely do, but am always so glad I did. Homemade ice cream is a game changer. Its so rich and fresh, you just need to stick your face in the bowl and lick up every last drop! (Or is that just me?..) Making homemade ice cream does require an ice cream maker, and in this case, a thermometer. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you might be able to find some decent end of season sales now! I have a Cuisinart like this model and it works very well.
This recipe requires some pre-planning and several steps, so make sure you read all the way through the recipe before you make it. I made mine the night before so the custard could set up and the cookie dough had time to freeze. I hope that doesn’t deter you from making it though – it really is simple and so worth the steps! You will want to make your ice cream base and cookie dough the night before (or at least several hours) before you plan to serve it so the base has time to set up, the cookie dough balls have time to freeze, and the finished product has time to finish freezing.
I got the idea for Cookie Monster ice cream from a local ice cream shop. Their Cookie Monster is bright blue, just like the Sesame Street character, and would be adorable at a kid’s birthday party. It is a combination of some all-time favorite cookie ice cream flavors: Butter Pecan + Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cookies ‘n Cream. I decided to make mine to be as similar as possible to theirs, so I cannot take creative credit for the recipe!
I adapted this Butter Pecan recipe from Taste of Home. It is simple and so delicious. I decided to add a step of browning butter and adding a little bit of brown sugar to the butter to give the ice cream base a depth of flavor. It was a really good idea, the richness of the butter and brown sugar really came through in the end product. Next time, I will probably increase the amount of butter I use just because I think it could of improved the flavor even more. If you feel like experimenting at home, I would suggest you and a total of 3-4 tablespoons of browned butter to the recipe instead of the 1 tablespoon that is published here. I used this exact recipe for egg-free cookie dough from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
I really hope you guys like the recipe, it was so fun to make AND eat. Its seriously amazing. You would think all of these various ingredients would lead to an ice cream that is cloyingly sweet or too rich, but it really isn’t! Let me know what you think!
Cookie Monster Ice Cream
For Butter Pecan Base:
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Cookie Dough:
¼ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk or cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Plus: 10 Oreos crushed into medium and small sized pieces
For Butter Pecan Base:
In a small skillet, heat pecans over low heat until aromatic, 5-6 minutes. Set aside until final steps.
In a small, heavy saucepan heat butter until melted, then continue to heat until browned. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to browned butter. Stir quickly to liquefy. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan heat heavy cream over low heat until it reaches 175°. Stir in brown sugar/butter mixture until dissolved. Whisk a small amount of hot cream mixture into eggs, incorporating fully. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches at least 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water and stirring for two minutes. Stir in whole milk and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of custard and refrigerate overnight.
For Cookie Dough (Recipe taken exactly from sallysbakingaddiction.com):
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Turn the mixer off and add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed at first, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until combined. The dough will be thick and crumbly, just keep mixing until it comes together. Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roll the cookie dough into tiny balls, about 1/2 – 3/4 inch in diameter. Place on the cookie sheet and freeze overnight.
To make ice cream:
Using prepared ice cream maker, transfer custard (butter pecan base) into the ice cream maker. Turn ice cream maker on and let it churn until base is ready to freeze. This took about 45 minutes for mine. To the ice cream, add toasted pecans, cookie dough, and Oreos. Transfer to a container, and freeze for 2-4 hours. Store covered in freezer.