Last year during the holidays, I tried to make some homemade ice cream for gifts for family, but the attempt failed miserably (here's the post).
But since then, a few important things happened: we plugged in our big freezer in the basement, the one that had just been sitting around taking up space. Part of the problem was that our little freezer in our kitchen just couldn't handle it. The second important even was my discovery of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. This book has the best ice cream recipes I had ever tried, and once I started making some of the recipes, I was hooked.
What a year 2012 has been for ice cream! Here are a few of my favorites:
Most surprising: strawberry
(Here's the link to the post). This ice cream continues to surprise me. Not only did I have no idea how much I would love it, but also when I made it for my MIL's 80th birthday party in the Fall, I was surprised to see almost everyone at the party choose strawberry over vanilla. Who knew? If you make it (and you should), I recommend pureeing the strawberry chunks before they go in. It makes the ice cream a lot smoother. This ice cream is perfection!
Biggest crowd-pleaser: cookies & cream and coffee (tie)
(Here's the link to the cookies & cream post). If I were planning a party & trying to decide what ice cream to make, this would be it. I can't imagine anyone passing on homemade cookies & cream ice cream!
I can't link to the coffee ice cream, because apparently, I haven't featured it yet! But it's coming! The Bachs love coffee ice cream and if I were to ask my Bachsters what kind of homemade ice cream they would like me to make for them, I'm fairly certain each one would say coffee (even the 5-year-old)! The recipe is from The Perfect Scoop and I promise I'll sing its praises in an upcoming post.
Most assembly required: phish food
(Here's the link to the phish food post). This ice cream will take you forever to make (chocolate ice cream, marshmallow sauce, caramel and ribbons of chocolate). But it will only take you seconds to eat it. It's sooooo yummy!
Most photogenic: malted vanilla with peanut brittle and milk chocolate pieces
(Here's the link to the malted vanilla). This is such a great ice cream, and we had so much fun doing our photoshoot for it in the backyard. I'll forever associate this ice cream with warm summer days.
Best of 2012: caramel
(Here is the link to the caramel ice cream post). I debated making this one a tie: caramel ice cream with caramel. I love caramel sauce & sometimes if I have a bunch of heavy cream in the fridge, I'll make a batch just for the purpose of eating & enjoying it by itself. The recipe I always use is the caramel sauce in The Perfect Scoop. But, in all fairness, this is all about ice cream, so if you love caramel sauce, you must try caramel ice cream. It's got all the flavor, all the richness, just in a slightly different form. Have I thought about topping my caramel ice cream with caramel sauce? Oh, that's very tempting, but one thing these treats have in common is that, in my opinion, they are best enjoyed on their own, so that nothing can compete with it.
What's your favorite ice cream? Please share!