I love ice creams with fun names, but there’s never enough good stuff in commercial brands. I want just enough ice cream to bind all the chunks. Plus, I like creating my own flavors. Here’s the result of one of my trips to the grocery store. Follow what I’ve done or use them as a model to create your own.
Three bits of advice: (Watch our video, below, for a complete demonstration.)
1. Don’t soften the ice cream too much—you want it firm, but pliable.
2. Quickly cut the carton away from the ice cream and then cut the ice cream into chunks on a work surface to facilitate folding.
3. Return the ice cream to the freezer to firm up and for flavors to blend—30 minutes to 2 hours. After that, the ice cream is still flavorful but the crunchy ingredients start to soften.
Vanilla Ice Cream Creations: 1 pint (8-ounces, 2 cups) premium vanilla ice cream
Banana Pudding—Fold 1 coarsely mashed large banana along with 1 cup each: crumbled vanilla wafers and crumbled meringue cookies into ice cream
Rum Raisin with Toasted Walnuts—plump 1/2 cup raisins in 3 tablespoons rum over low heat; let cool. Fold into ice cream along with 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts.
Lemon Meringue—Fold 1/4 cup prepared lemon curd along with 1 cup each: crumbled meringue cookies and crumbled graham crackers into ice cream.
Salted Caramel: Fold 1/4 cup caramel sauce and 1 cup coarsely crumbled pretzel nuggets (peanut butter-filled, if you like) into ice cream.
Strawberry Shortcake—Mix 1 cup sliced strawberries mixed with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam. Fold into ice cream along with 2 slices pound cake (about 1 1/2 cups crumbled) and 1 cup crumbled meringue cookies.
Ginger-Peach Cobber—plump 1/2 cup finely diced dried peaches in 3 tablespoons peach Schnapps over low heat. Fold into ice cream along with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecan pralines or candied pecans and 1 cup coarsely crumbled ginger snaps.
Chocolate Ice Cream Creation 1 pint (8 ounces, 2 cups) premium chocolate ice cream
S’more: Broil 1 cup miniature marshmallows in a cooking spray-coated baking pan until deflated and dark brown. Scrape mixture onto a cutting board and let stand until cool and crisp; chop into small pieces. Fold into ice cream along with 1/2 cup room temperature hot fudge sauce, 1 cup crumbled graham crackers, and 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows.
Black Forest—stir 2 tablespoons of brandy into 1/2 cup cherry preserves. Fold into ice cream along with 1 cup crumbled Famous Chocolate Wafers.
Turtle—stir 1/4 cup caramel sauce along with 1/2 cup each chopped pecan pralines or candied pecans and chopped semi- or bittersweet chocolate into ice cream
Chocolate-Hazelnut—stir 1/4 cup Nutella, 1 cup crumbled Famous Chocolate Wafers, and 1/2 cup roasted chopped hazelnuts into ice cream.
Coffee Ice Cream Creations: 1 pint (8-ounces, 2 cups) premium coffee ice cream
Cookies and Coffee— Stir 1 cup crumbled refrigerated chocolate-chip cookie dough and 1 cup crumbled chocolate chip cookies into the slightly softened ice cream.
Mocha Latte—Sir 1/2 cup crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks, and 1 cup crumbled Famous Chocolate Wafers into the slightly softened ice cream.