#header-inner {background-position: center !important; width: 100% !important;}

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Salted Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream

Pin It
Oh my gosh. This ice cream. Oooooh this ice cream. Add it to the list of brilliant ideas I've had because salted caramel pretzel ice cream has moved straight to the top of my favorites list! In March, we spent a weekend in Branson, MO and paid a visit to Andy's Frozen Custard (thanks for the recommendation Kristen!!). Andy's is the true inspiration behind this ice cream because it was there that I discovered a concrete that included caramel and pretzels, which I thought were an ingenious topping idea. After devouring my concrete, I vowed to recreate a similar flavor when I returned home.
...and here I am, a few months later, doing just that! This turned out even better than expected. I contemplated starting with a salted caramel base, but ultimately decided to make a vanilla base and incorporate a caramel swirl and chopped pretzels, similar to the concrete I'd had. This ice cream is the perfect balance of sweet and salty, the perfect balance of creamy texture and crunch from the pretzels, basically the perfect ice cream. I'm obsessed, and rightly so! Do yourself a favor and give this ice cream a try!

*Note--I made this ice cream a second time (because I ate it so quickly the first time!) and didn't have enough half & half and heavy cream...I subbed in 2% milk and while it was still good (albeit, icier in texture) I highly recommend following the below recipe. You can't beat the creaminess!

One Year Ago: Asian Noodle Salad (perfect Potluck dish!!)
Two Years Ago: Blue Cheese Coleslaw

Salted Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream
caramel adapted from Food Network
-2 cups half and half
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
-2 cups coarsely chopped pretzels

for the salted caramel sauce
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup half and half
-4 tbsp butter
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp sea salt

1. To make the ice cream base, combine half and half, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight or until completely chilled.
2. The next day, prepare your caramel sauce. Mix the brown sugar, half and half, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking gently, for 5-7 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add the vanilla and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl to cool to room temperature.
3. Place the ice cream base mixture into the ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Once ice cream is thick and nearly finished, add pretzels (you may need to add some of them after you finish churning to evenly distribute).
4. Layer the ice cream and the caramel in your ice cream storage container, beginning and ending with the ice cream. Freeze at least four hours, until firm.