Here's the thing about cookies and cream. Everyone likes it, but no one really loves it. I mean, no one says that their last bite of ice cream on earth would be cookies and cream. No one gets into the deconstructive analytics of what makes amazing cookies and cream ice cream. Because there's a simple problem: Oreos, the most common cookie element of cookies and cream, already have a cream component. Sticking them in ice cream just feels a little redundant. Rule One of ice cream making: a flavor should be intensified, not diluted, by churning it into ice cream.*
* And Rule Zero: stop asking if you can make a low-fat version.
We've addressed this problem on Scooped before with a coffee-spiked cookies and cream that was honestly pretty aces. But it's warmer now and I'm looking for something more refreshing. So: enter mint Oreo ice cream.
Sure, you've seen mint and chocolate combined before. But the meeting of slightly bitter cocoa cookie and leafy, grassy cream steeped with a generous bundle of real mint leaves is pretty special. Fresh from the churn, this stuff is dangerous: so cool and ethereal and fresh that you could down most of the quart right there. But be patient, stir in your cookies, and give the freezer a few hours to work its magic. The mint and cocoa benefit enormously from their alone time, and the Oreos soften to an almost fudge-like consistency.
Oreo Week: you came and went so fast we hardly knew you. But as far as I'm concerned you'll live on through this ice cream.
- Yield:makes 1 quart
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:3 hours, plus an overnight chill
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups mint leaves, well packed and washed (wash after measuring)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Oreos (about 15)
In a heavy saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in mint leaves. Cover and let steep for 2 hours.
Remove mint from cream with a fine mesh strainer, and press lightly on leaves with the back of a spoon to extract more mint flavor. Whisk in sugar, salt, and egg yolks until well combined.
Place saucepan on medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until a custard forms and a swiped finger on the back of a spoon leaves a clean line. Remove from heat and strain into an airtight container. Refrigerate custard overnight.
The next day, churn ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove from churn into a container and quickly stir in chopped Oreos. Chill in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.