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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

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When my parents and youngest sister Renatta visited over Father’s Day weekend, I was excited to introduce them to my newest love: homemade ice cream. I had three different kinds in the freezer awaiting their arrival: butter pecan, cake batter, and rocky road. Although I figured they’d enjoy it—we are an ice cream loving family after all—I did not anticipate the insane enthusiasm I witnessed. One of the best parts of cooking and baking is sharing with people I love (and hoping they enjoy it as much as I do!)….so needless to say, their unbridled excitement over the ice cream made my day. I got a major kick out of watching everyone dig in until not a drip was left. Don’t tell him I said so, but I’m pretty sure my dad would have licked the container if I’d let him!

When my dad said “you have to bring some home for the 4th of July!,” I didn’t think twice about it. It wasn’t until I had started brainstorming the flavors I wanted to prepare for Gorski Ice Cream Domination Round 2 that I started to consider the logistics of it all. You know, that whole 4 ½ hour drive that separates St. Louis from Chicago. Still, I was not to be deterred.

With a cooler and a few bags of ice, I managed to successfully arrive at my home on July 1st with 4 quarts of Sweets Life ice cream. Soft ice cream, but ice cream nonetheless, and nothing a little bit of time in the freezer couldn’t fix!

This was one of the batches of ice cream that made the voyage from St. Louis to Chicago. My family doesn’t just love ice cream; they also love peanut butter, which is why I knew this would be perfect for them. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter-flavored ice cream chock full of chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups! I’ve made peanut butter ice cream in the past, but this recipe uses whole milk and heavy cream (2 ingredients I have a LOT of on hand lately) instead of half-and-half, plus includes the candy addition! Both are great—it just depends on what you have in your fridge!

Have you ever attempted anything crazy while traveling with food? Let’s hear it in the comments! (and please scroll down past the recipe for an important announcement!)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
from RecipeGirl

-1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 1/4 cups whole milk
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 package snack-size Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add milk and mix on low speed until sugar is dissolved (~2 minutes). Mix in heavy cream and vanilla, beating until well combined.
2. Chill mixture at least 4 hours, or overnight. Freeze according to ice cream manufacturer instructions. Once fully churned, stir in chopped Reese's. Serve immediately (for soft-serve texture), or freeze in an airtight container.

So. I'm about a month away from my 25th birthday. At 25 I have a lot of things on my mind--career goals, house projects, throwing fabulous dinner parties...you get the picture. One thing I'm not thinking about?! Cancer. And no 25 year old should have to be (or anyone for that matter). Needless to say, I was a bit shaken when Susan from The Great Balancing Act was recently diagnosed with cancer.

I briefly met her at the Foodbuzz Festival back in November but other than that I don't necessarily "know" her. Even so, I feel for her. I worry about her. I am praying for her. I'm not the only one. A large portion of the healthy living/food blog community has rallied around Susan in this time of need and is working to raise money to help pay for her medical bills. How? There is a GIANT auction taking place tomorrow. To see what's all being auctioned off, beginning tomorrow (8AM EST to 11PM EST), click here. All bids start at $10 and all proceeds go towards Susan.(FYI, I'm auctioning off a batch of mocha coconut granola bars and 2 dozen cookies of your choice from my cookie index!...if you want to bid on my items--they're found here)

I know you may not know Susan, but I do know that you likely know someone struggling with cancer. This is one small way to help fight against this awful disease! Please take some time tomorrow to go bid, or feel free to make a direct donation!