Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Yes There was a Purpose to that Cinnamon Sludge

Right peeps, today I’ve mostly just been feeling bloated and jiggly, so I’m going to focus on yesterday and the Part 2 post I promised you last night.

So I’m sure you spent all night tossing and turning wondering what I did with my cinnamon gunk. Answer? Well there are two.

  1. I ate the semi-baked stuff. It was actually delicious, like a muffin on the outsides but still liquidy and dough (sludge, I guess) on the inside. And it tasted remarkably like cinnamon buns.
  2. I put the frozen “dough” into some homemade caramel cinnamon ice cream!

Yes, I finally got out the ice cream maker for the first time since I moved! I was feeling guilty about taking it with me and not even using it, so now that I made this ice cream all I have to feel guilty about is the fact that I already had ten other kinds of ice cream in the freezer. (Not even exaggerating. But in my defense, only seven of them are unopened and the rest are less than half full. And most of them are pints so it’s not like I have a bunch of half-gallons in there.)

Wait. Back to my ice cream. The two main ingredients:

Half and half and coffee creamer. It seems like ever since I discovered you can make ice cream with coffee creamer, I’ve been seeing all these crazy flavors from International Delight, and the Cinnabon one really got my imagination going...but it only seems to come in giant quarts. And I know I can only take so much cinnamon ice cream before I’ve had my fill for the next few months, because really what I love in ice cream is chocolate, cake, and caramel. So I didn’t want some gargantuan thing of coffee creamer just to have most of it go bad.

Anyway, I would’ve waited to make my own ice cream until I tamed the beast in my freezer, EXCEPT I chose to shop at Walmart on a day when it was very well-stocked and found a pint (i.e., smaller container) of not Cinnabon but Cold Stone Creamery Churro Caramel. They also have some other Cold Stone flavors, but for some reason I was dying to experiment with cinnamon and, let’s face it, there are tons and tons of cookie and brownie flavors in the ice cream aisle already. But those are definitely flavors I might try in the future.

OK, enough rambling. The recipe is dead simple, you could do it in your sleep. You need:

  • 2 cups half and half (actually, I subbed this instead of using heavy whipping cream, which is quite pricey but might be worth investing in)
  • 1 cup coffee creamer
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (which I just realized I accidentally omitted...this makes the third time I’ve discovered a recipe error while blogging)

As with last night’s goop, no process. Just throw it all in and mix it up. Funny, I thought the creamer might be caramel colored, but it’s white. No doubt from the smell though, boy is it pungent! And it has a bite to it, too (I ate some that spilled while I was measuring).

Pour it in the ice cream maker and fire it up!

After about 25 minutes I started adding the cinnamon “dough” (you can see a bit of it on the bottom, above). I took it out of the freezer immediately before adding it, and I used a spoon to sort of break/spoon it in chunk sizes into the ice cream. It started “melting” fairly quickly and it was a rush to get it all in before the churning totally incorporated it into the ice it was it turned into more of streaks than actual chunks.

But it was still really good! I let it set in the freezer for more than an hour before attacking it (I only ate a pint, for the record), and it still had a very soft-serve-like consistency. So it was hard to tell what the texture would really be...that’s what the second pint is for! But it definitely left something to be desired in the way of creaminess, so maybe I shouldn’t have used the half and half. Or maybe I shouldn’t have forgotten the salt. Whatever, despite the texture issues it was really good. I can’t accurately describe that caramel-churro flavor, it’s really something you need to experience for yourself...but I will say there was definitely cinnamon and definitely caramel, and the little streaks of re-frozen cinnamon goop looked cool. And I have half the pint of coffee creamer left to try out one more batch!

Now, for a parting note, maybe somebody can help me out with the math here. I’ve always read (and found) that the volume of liquid that goes into the ice cream maker is the same as what comes out. So 3 cups of coffee creamer and half and half should equal 6 half-cup servings of ice cream, or a pint and a half. Yet I seem to have ended up with two VERY full pints (I had to squish the lids down) and that’s not counting the coating that built up on the sides and bottom of the ice cream maker bowl that I didn’t feel like scraping off. Oh, and the few spoonfuls that went into my mouth during transfer. One of the advantages of living by yourself is you can double dip with any utensil into any food (or multiple foods) and it doesn’t matter. (For example I lick off my peanut butter knife and then use it to spread butter on the bread.)

But back to the two pints thing...not that I’m complaining, but what gives??
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