Brownie Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

This time last summer we were living in China. If you would have told me then that a year later we would be living in Chicago, I might have laughed at you. Then again, you could almost say that about everywhere we have been/have lived for the past 4 summers. To say that life has been unpredictable is a bit of an understatement.

So here I sit. 37 weeks pregnant, living in Chicago, and rejoicing that I have once again been reunited with my ice cream maker  (just like I did when I made this and this).

This ice cream came about because of 2 almost unbelievable words. Leftover. Brownies. What kind of a person has leftover brownies?! As crazy as it sounds, I did indeed have a few brownies left over in a pan that were just a day or so away from becoming stale. Not wanting to be wasteful, I decided I must use them to make ice cream. The fudge ripple just seemed like a natural addition to round out the entire ice cream experience.

For the ice cream base I went with a Philadelphia style vanilla. Philadelphia style ice cream does not have a custard (egg) base. The milk and cream are simply heated together with the sugar and then chilled until churning. It’s slightly easier than custard style ice cream. Some people think you lose some of the rich, creaminess that the custard provides while others swear they can taste the egg in custard ice cream and therefor prefer Philadelphia style. Me, I can go either way. I like custard. I like Philadelphia style. Custard is probably a touch richer, but Philadelphia style is still creamy and delicious. Can you really go wrong with homemade ice cream? I don’t think so.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

You may have noticed that I have been saying “Week of Christmas Treats” and not “Week of Christmas Cookies“. As much as I love (really. love.) cookies, I can’t ignore the other delicious treats loved by so many this time of year. Fudge is something I’ve ignored for the last few years, but I couldn’t let that crime continue another year.

When deciding what kind of fudge I wanted to make I had a lot of ideas swirling around in my head. Once I finally had it narrowed down to 2 ideas, I started searching for good recipes. The problem I came across is that a lot of recipes call for marshmallow fluff or sweetened condensed milk, and some even call for Velveeta cheese (seriously?! tell me it’s better than it sounds). I really wanted to avoid those kinds of products, which, luckily I suppose, really narrowed down my search results. In the end the winning recipe contained evaporated milk (something I usually have on hand anyways) and no marshmallow fluff or sweetened condensed milk (something I never have on hand).

Of course, chocolate and peanut butter are a winning combination in my book. But that’s not all that’s great about this fudge! This fudge is also pretty easy to make and the resulting texture is amazing. Smooth and rich without being obnoxiously sweet (which I find some peanut butter fudge to be). The hardest part for me was deciding when to stop beating the fudge after it cooks and sits. I probably could have gone a bit longer, but I wanted to avoid overbeating.