As a kid, my family and I did our fair share of frequenting the custard stand in our neighborhood. It was the place to be after little league games and just about any other hot summer night. I actually don’t remember eating too much traditional ice cream as a kid, aside from the requisite cartons that would accompany a birthday cake. As I got older, though, I started to dabble in ice cream and couldn’t get enough of any variety that had big chunks of “stuff” in it. This is where my love of cookies and cream came from, and then eventually, chocolate chip cookie dough. When I was a teenager and way into my 20’s, one of my favorite parts of going to the beach was devouring as many waffle cones with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream as possible. In fact, I just enjoyed a cone of it a few weeks ago on one of our incredibly disgusting near-100-degree days. After having that cone last month, I couldn’t stop thinking about how good it was and how much I missed that flavor. It then dawned on me that chocolate chip cookie dough is one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors, and somehow I had never made it at home! Talk about a tragedy! Let me tell you, it didn’t take me long to remedy the situation.
Now, of course the most traditional chocolate chip cookie dough ice creams start with a base of vanilla ice cream. When I mentioned that I was going to whip up one of my favorite ice creams of all time, my Chief Culinary Consultant suggested that I use chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. Um, whaaaaaaaat? I’m not going to lie. I totally gave him the suspicious side-eye for a good, long while… and then finally decided that maybe trying something different wouldn’t kill me. Alright, that is a lie. I thought it just might. You know me and change (see: my life inside a bubble). For as much as I love chocolate under pretty much every conceivable circumstance, for some reason, I have always preferred vanilla ice cream to chocolate. Some sort of faulty foodie wiring, I presume.
As it turns out, the idea wasn’t crazy at all… it was delicious. Big-time kudos to my Chief Culinary Consultant! Creamy chocolate ice cream loaded (and I mean, loaded) with chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough. If you are a chocoholic and/or of the notion that there can absolutely, positively never be too many chocolate chips in a chocolate chip cookie, then this ice cream was made for you! I may have resisted the idea initially, but there’s no way I’m forking over my spoon!
Prepare the Ice Cream Custard: Combine the chocolate and cream in a large, heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted, then remove the bowl from the saucepan. Set it aside with a mesh strainer over the top.
Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula (it should reach 170-175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate mixture and stir in the vanilla extract. Place the bowl in an ice bath and stir occasionally until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Combine the butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream, vanilla and salt, and mix for another minute or so, until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.
Churn the Ice Cream: Just before churning the ice cream, scoop the cookie dough into ½-teaspoon to 1 teaspoon-sized balls and place on a plate or parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions. When finished churning, fold in the chunks of cookie dough and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Note: If you prefer a vanilla ice cream base for your chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, just use the same method as outlined above, substituting my favorite vanilla ice cream for the chocolate.Nutritional values are based on the whole recipe