Let me clarify … what you’re looking at is a deliriously great homemade nutmeg ice cream squashed between two classic chewy ginger molasses cookies. In other words, an ice cream sandwich that’s getting a little flirty with fall. And, although I have already given you the recipe for the GINGER COOKIES, you are going to want to bookmark this nutmeg ice cream. Imagine it sitting on a slice of fresh baked apple or pumpkin pie. Or pecan pie. Or pear crisp, or almost any fall dessert you can think of..
I realized the other day that I didn’t have an ice cream sandwich recipe on the blog…horrors! I knew I wanted to squeeze on in this summer, and I could have done a fruit flavor, or maybe some chocolate or caramel, but, to be honest, I’m already daydreaming about the next season. And after I made my CARDAMOM ICE CREAM, I knew I had a winning concept…the warmth of spice marries beautifully with cold creamy ice cream. Nutmeg has always been one of my favorites. I grate the whole spice for the freshest, most vivid flavor. It comes in the form of a little, egg shaped nut and grates easily with a special grinder or microplane. Of all the spices, I think fresh nutmeg is the most intoxicating.
These ginger cookies are from the early archives of the blog. They are a fall and holiday staple in our house. It’s the kind of cookie that will, I know, be bringing warm memories back to my kids for their lifetime. They will learn to make them, they will teach their kids to make them, and on and on. It’s that kind of cookie. They are full of spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and, of course, nutmeg. They have a soft, chewy texture. It’s that texture that makes them a perfect cookie for an ice cream sandwich. The molasses and brown sugar in the recipe helps keep the cookie soft and chewy even in the freezer.
The nice thing about this recipe is that each part stands on its own. Make the cookies by themselves, you’ll love them. Or make the ice cream just for a taste of that mind-blowing flavor. One thing, though. Grate your nutmeg fresh. It makes a huge difference. You can get a special NUTMEG GRATER made just for the purpose, or use a MICROPLANE GRATER like you would use for lemon zesting. You can buy WHOLE NUTMEG right in the regular spice aisle. Once you taste the fresh nutmeg you’re going to want it around for all your holiday baking and egg nog making, promise.
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 1 batch Ginger Cookies recipe HERE
- Whisk the egg yolks until pale and set aside.
- Put the heavy cream and half and half in a small saucepan with the sugar and nutmeg. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then heat it just until it comes to a bubble.
- Ladle a little of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, whisking the entire time. Add another ladle, and then one more, whisking constantly. Then slowly whisk the eggs into the pan, whisking constantly.
- Turn on the heat and heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Don't boil. I like to use a silicone spatula to stir it, it does a good job of scraping the sides and bottom of the pan so nothing sticks.
- Once it is thick, take it off the heat and pour the ice cream mix into a bowl to cool down. I like to set that bowl into another bowl full of ice to speed the process. Once it is cool, cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely, several hours at least.
- When the mix is really cold, add it to the bowl of your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. You can, at any point, taste the ice cream and add more nutmeg if you like.
- Put the soft ice cream in the freezer while you make the cookies. Let the cookies cool completely and then begin your assembly. I like to sort the cookies into pairs first. Then take a scoop of ice cream and set it on one cookie and press down slightly with the scoop. Set the other cookie on top and press gently. Keep the sandwiches in the freezer, wrapped in plastic, until needed.
I made the ginger cookies smaller for this recipe. I rolled out 1 inch balls and cooked for about 8 minutes. You can make 1/2 the recipe if you like, and you will get about 1 1/2 dozen sandwiches.
I really really love this ice cream. It’s number 2 in what will definitely become a series this fall. The spice, in both this and my Cardamom ice cream, lingers on the palate in such a pleasing way. The spice notes give a depth of flavor that ice cream normally doesn’t have. I can’t wait to pair these with fall desserts!