I go to a small school. But what we lack in size, we make up for in quality. Of academics, of campus culture, campus aesthetics, extracurricular programs, etc...sure, of course. But also: food. Our cafeteria boasts being ranked as one of the best college cafeterias in the country. And I can tell you from experience - both in our cafeteria and in the cafeterias of other schools I've visited - that it deserves it.
My school is great for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest ones for me is the cookie dough ice cream served in our campus coffee shop cum cafe. (I'm only exaggerating a little.) Seriously, I have never tasted better. Not even Ben and Jerry's. I easily polish off one of their over-the-top (literally, towering over the top of the cup), pint-size servings on a regular basis during the school year, usually either leering over my laptop in the library or lounging in front of a romcom with my friends for a well-deserved mental break/studying reward.
Suffice to say, I have a weakness for cookie dough ice cream. And what was once merely a physical weakness has now been compounded by becoming sentimental as well. (I can just see my friends and I at our 10-year reunion, reminiscing not over professors or freshman corridors, but that dang cookie dough ice cream.) So when I first saw a recipe for strawberry cookie dough ice cream, I knew I had to try it. It's taken me over a year to actually get around to it, but hey, better late than never, right?
Given my previously-standing friend-crush on Emma and Joy's dual long-standing status as my ultimate role model/fantasy BFF, I think the only conclusion to be drawn here is that the three of us need to have a baking slumber party a-s-a-p. Brownies at night, pancakes in the morning, and a lot of goofiness and girl talk in between. Perfection.
(A girl can dream.)
But that wouldn't be all bad, because it's not as if this ice cream isn't center-of-attention worthy all by itself, and that way we could turn the leftovers into a Round Two dessert all of its own. (Hey, if the hobbits can have first and second breakfast, we can certainly have first and second dessert.)
The vanilla ice cream alone would be worthy of our undivided attention. It's creamy, flavorful, smooth, and rich. It might not be the very best vanilla ice cream you've ever had, but as far as bases for mix-ins go, it's certainly got your average supermarket variety beat. Adding cookie dough...you can never go wrong. Obviously. Cookie dough is the all-time ice cream classic (studies say) for a reason. And the strawberries top it all off with an unexpected fruity sweetness, literally and figuratively the cherry on top.
It doesn't really even need to be said, but: Joy is a genius.
I have to admit that as much as fun as it would be, my baking slumber party fantasy is probably not going to become reality any time soon. Until then, you can find me in my jammies, consoling myself with bowl after bowl of ice cream.
Strawberry Cookie Dough Ice Cream
From the Joy The Baker Cookbook
1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen strawberries, partially thawed
To make the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Blend in the vanilla and milk. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture. Blend until mixture almost comes together but flour is still visible. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the stand. Add chocolate chips and finish blending the mixture with a spatula.
Spoon the dough onto a sheet of a plastic wrap. Wrap into a log and refrigerate while you prepare the ice cream.
To make the ice cream: Whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until thick and pale. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm milk and honey until almost boiling. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream. Be sure to whisk constantly so the egg yolks don't get cooked. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with a spatula. Cook until the mixture is thickened and the custard holds a line across the back of the spatula. This usually takes about 8 minutes. You'll be able to smell the eggs coking just as the custard is finished cooking.
Pour mixture over a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. This will ensure that no cooked egg bits get into the custard. Stir in the vanilla, and cream. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the custard and place in the fridge to chill before churning.
While the custard cools, roll chilled cookie dough into 50 small marble-sized balls. Place on a small cookie sheet and store in the freezer until ready to incorporate into ice cream. Coarsely chop the strawberries, place in a bowl, and store in the refrigerator.
When ice cream custard is cool (this takes several hours), churn according to ice cream maker instructions. Once the ice cream is almost completely churned, add the strawberries to the ice cream. Churn until well incorporated and pale pink. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-friendly container, fold in the dough balls, and freeze until more solid before serving.
Ice cream will last for up to 5 days in the freezer.