Ice Cream Makes Everything Better

Linking a food to happiness may sound like an odd title from a woman whose family has been striving for healthier eating.  Especially a typically non-healthy treat like ice cream.  However, thanks to a suggestion from friends, we are now the proud owners of a Cuisinart© Ice Cream maker and can control our ingredients!  Before I lose half of you, only once have we made a vegan, dairy free ice cream...the other two times were full fat, heavy cream, decadent yumminess.  Mind you, the vegan one was pretty darn tasty too.  Either way, I knew exactly what went into the mixture and it was as much organic and fair trade as I could pull off.  I also learned quickly to automatically lower the amount of sugar they suggest in recipes by almost half.  Every recipe was TOO TOO sweet.  At least for us.

Most of the time, stress is handled very well around here.  We talk things through as a family, we run, we pray, and we play.  Sometimes though, you just need a little pick me up...something fun and different.  Again, not advocating for stress eating, but darn it, sometimes a big bowl of sweet creamy ice cream does the trick.  One recent evening, Daddy was out for the night, Mama had had a long couple of days at work, and a thunderstorm moved in.  Both Mama and Evie were a little unhappy.  What to do?  Grab trusty Lamby and make some peanut butter ice cream!



I adapted the peanut butter cup ice cream recipe that came with the ice cream maker.  First, I did not have peanut butter cups to chop up to add in, so we put in chocolate chips.  Second, as mentioned above, they call for too much sugar (in my opinion), so I cut all but 1/4 cup out.  Other than that, I stayed pretty close...and let me tell you, it is now my absolute favorite ice cream.  Ever.  Add to that, the second night we had it, Mark topped it with his homemade granola...sheer heaven.  Smiles all around.  It was delicious.



Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

1 cup peanut butter (we used Jiff Natural)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (they called for 2/3 cup)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa chips

Mix peanut butter and sugar until smooth, I used my stand mixer.  Add milk, scrape around bowl to get the peanut butter and sugar mixture off the bottom of the bowl, and mix until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in heavy cream and vanilla.   Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Turn on ice cream maker, pour mixture into bowl, and mix until thickened, about 15 minutes.  When is starts to look like it is close the consistency you like, add in your chopped cocoa chips or peanut butter cups...or, nothing (my choice for the next time).



We enjoyed it right away and again the next night.  Just place in an airtight container in the freezer.




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