While I outwardly champion strawberry ice cream, my secret favorite ice cream flavor would probably have to be cookies and cream. It’s almost always in our house because my brother can’t live without it, and maybe the same also goes for me. I can’t tell you how many times I have crept over to the freezer, with a spoon in hand, and stolen a little bite. I just love that luscious sweet cream base, redolent with hints of vanilla, but the chunks of Oreo cookies would have to be the best. As they have been set in the ice cream, they are softened to the perfect degree that treads the fine line between crunchy and mushy. This summer, I have rediscovered my love for Oreo cookies, and I really do believe that they carry a more intense flavor, setting them apart from the generic chocolate sandwich cookies used in most commercial ice creams. As I return to college in a couple of days, those Oreo cookies will be missed dearly. Temptation on a late night, combined with a stash of high calorie, sugar laden treats is something I could never allow.
The ice cream base is a breeze to whip together, and it’s perfect for someone who is trying this out for the first time. No eggs, stoves, or tempering is required, and due to the high fat content (relax, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while), the ice cream will not become rock-hard in the freezer. However, I don’t like to risk anything, so I add a little dabble of coffee-flavored liqueur as an additional safeguard. It doesn’t really add any of its own flavor, but it does bring out the chocolate elements in the Oreo cookies. Use it if you desire, but whatever you choose, I can assure that after you have made cookies and cream ice cream at home for the first time, there’s no turning back.
Ice Cream Base Adapted from Cuisinart
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
- 15 Oreo cookies, roughly crushed
In a large bowl, beat together the whole milk and the sugar until the sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and coffee-flavored liqueur, and mix all the ingredients together until they are combined. Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions, about 20-25 minutes. When you have about 5 minutes remaining, add the crushed Oreo cookies to the ice cream base and allow the ice maker to mix them in. After churning, the ice cream will have the consistency of a soft-serve. If a firmer consistency is desired, allow the ice cream to sit in the freezer for about 6 hours or overnight in an airtight container.