Confession #1: I had ice cream for breakfast. Confession #2: It woke me up more effectively than my coffee did. I’m not sure if this speaks to my coffee-making skills, or to this cloudy Seattle morning, or to the minty blast of the ice cream itself, but I’m awfully tempted to credit this last thing. Toothpaste comes in mint flavor for a reason, I suppose.
Do you know Molly Moon’s? It’s an ice cream shop in Seattle. Only, it’s not just an ice cream shop. It’s sort of an institution here. It’s where we took Graham for his first ice cream cone. It’s run by the effervescent miss Molly Moon Neitzel (yes, that’s her real name), who, it so happens, graduated from Boise High School, just like me. (When I sat down to interview her once for a Seattle Weekly story, right when the shop opened, I was shocked to realize I knew her.)
It’s been my go-to spot for excellent ice cream for years. But until her cookbook came out, I didn’t realize Molly Moon’s makes Philadelphia-style ice cream, which means it’s made without eggs (not with steak and cheese, although I’m sure someone with freshly pulled wisdom teeth and a craving has looked into that). I’ve been avoiding eggs, so homemade ice creams had sort of fallen off my radar. But this. This is a book I could freeze my way through, one recipe after the next. This weekend, I made this minty number, a take on her “Scout” mint ice cream (made with Girl Scout thin mints), plus her cappuccino ice cream, which tasted like a frosty version of the Vietnamese coffee I order at my local pho spot.
So what’s the upside, besides ice cream for breakfast? Short of pouring cream directly into your ice cream maker, Molly Moon’s ice cream doesn’t get any easier to make. Which could be a problem, if you’re feeling pessimistic. I just see it as a reason to put heavy cream and an extra bar of good Theo chocolate on my regular shopping list.
This is Molly Moon’s recipe for her famous “Scout” Mint Ice Cream, which is (in my humble opinion) the world’s best minty ice cream, studded with the Girl Scouts’ thin mint cookies. My version uses pure dark chocolate in place of the cookies, because I failed to save any this year. Perhaps next year I’ll follow Molly’s buying habits; she purchases 325 boxes of those addictive discs (from every girl she buys from!) every year to make Scout for her shops–a total of over 5,000 boxes!
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 (3-ounce) 70% dark chocolate bar, such as Theo Chocolate’s, finely chopped
Put the milk, cream, sugar, and salt into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Before the mixture has come to a boil, remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, 1 to 2 hours.
When the mixture is cold, stir in the peppermint extract. Pour it into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of processing, add the chocolate pieces. (Make sure you include all the chocolate dust.) Using a rubber spatula, transfer the ice cream to an airtight glass or plastic freezer container. Cover tightly and freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 4 hours.