Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Pizookie

The first bite of this ice cream made me say “Hot dang!” Actually that’s the edited version. This ice cream is rich, and is the reason “melts in your mouth” is a good thing. 

This weekend one of my high school friends came down to visit from NYC. Kim is as enthusiastic as the day is long, and she speaks movie. No joke. I don’t think there is a quote she doesn’t know. It adds a perfect amount of situational humor.  This weekend the big quote, surprisingly was not from a movie.  I don’t think we hardly went five minutes without quoting Achmed the dead terrorist, a character in Jeff Dunham comedy.  For some reason it was way too much fun to say “I keel yoo! I keel you till your ded!” as we baked cookies and watch Melvin, our transient “pet” robin, attempt to build a nest, for the third spring in a row, above my front door. 

We were completely lazy this weekend. Hardly left the house, except for our fabulous brunch at The Original Pancake House.  We loved the relaxed and family friendly atmosphere, the nearly thirty types of pancakes, and the incredible house specialty that Kim ordered the Apple Pancakes. An apple pancake it is not. It resembles more of a tarte tatin in structure and taste, with a deep caramelized flavor but with a pancake batter pored over to bake instead or a typical crust.

I ordered the croissant French toast. It was beautiful, delicate with the perfect accent of slivered almonds.  Added to the pure maple syrup and I was in heaven.  And it’s a simple concept easily replicated at home.

After brunch I spent a bit too much money on kitchen wares for our next baking project. I want some adorable oven proof bowls that could bake out dark chocolate cookie base for our trial run of salted caramel ice cream. 

We loved it! And hope you do too!

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
adapted from Epicurious

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs

Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring to heat sugar evenly until it starts to melt. Do not stir after this point, only swirl the skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved, and the mixture is thoroughly combines. Pass mixture through a fine sieve. Transfer to a bowl and stir in salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile scald milk and remaining cream.

Lightly whisk eggs in a stand mixer, and then add the scalded mixture in a slow stream running down the side of the bowl on a low speed. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, and then stir in cooled caramel.

Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, about 1 hour in the freezer. Freeze custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, then transfer to a suitable freezing container and put in freezer to firm up. This ice cream will remain very soft even after freezing. Lower the temperature of your freezer if necessary to fully harden.

When the ice cream is near set begin to make the cookies. 

adapted from Epicurious

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix just until combined.

Bake cookies in oven save bowls until they reach your desire level of gooey. I baked mine in 3x3x1 inch dishes and baked for 8 minutes. 

Top with ice cream and serve immediately.