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Aug 14, 2014

Jeni's Honeyed Peanut Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Freckles (a.k.a The Buckeye State Ice Cream)

I have a confession to make: I'm not above sucking up to my boss on occasion. I recently attended a work potluck, and knowing that my boss is from Ohio, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make this ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Not only is Ohio nicknamed The Buckeye State, the Buckeyes are also the team of The Ohio State University, which happens to be my boss's alma matter. Most importantly, a buckeye is a confection made of peanut butter coated in chocolate, the same magical flavor combination employed in this ice cream. But is it good enough to inspire a promotion? You'll have to try it for yourself to find out.

The Buckeye State Ice Cream
(modified from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home)
Makes a generous 2 quarts

4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1 cup natural peanut butter, salted
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 tablespoons honey
8 ounces chocolate (55% to 70% cocoa), chopped

Mix about 4 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and peanut butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a large saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath, or set the bowl containing the ice cream mixture inside of the bowl with the ice water and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 45 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream machine and begin to spin the ice cream. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Remove from the heat and let cool until tepid but still fluid. When the ice cream is thick and creamy and almost finished, drizzle the melted chocolate slowly through the opening in the top of the ice cream machine and allow it to solidify and break up in the ice cream for about 2 minutes.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

I modified the original recipe by doubling everything to make two quarts of ice cream instead of one. Also, the peanut butter I had on hand was salted, so I omitted the salt called for in the original recipe. If you use unsalted peanut butter, just ad 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt.

This is the second recipe I've tried from Jeni's cookbook, and it turned out just as fantastic as the first. All of my coworkers, my boss included, seemed to enjoy it, which makes it a winner in my book.

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