Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones

It's now late April and I'm thoroughly under the impression that the seasons are going directly from winter to summer in Boston. Spring has been a roller coaster with some days edging into the 70s only to be combated with windshield frost and fallen daffodils later in the week. I came across a phrase, I'm not sure where, called "dressing optimistically". This practice involves wearing things like bright floral prints and ballet flats even when weather certainly doesn't support it. Basically, you're do darn over it that you break out your summer clothes box and don't look back. If you dress for the season - maybe the season will change? I bring this up because I'm trying something similar this week - eating optimistically.  Maybe if my grocery trips consist of watermelon, lemonade, and hamburgers it will be warm?  I'm taking my first stand with ice cream - a true summer staple. Wish me luck! 

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
20-25 frosted animal crackers, chopped
sugar cones
white chocolate candy melts
rainbow nonpareils 

Directions: 

For the Ice Cream

1. Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and add the bean to the mixture as well. Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.  Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. 

3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 180 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

4. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.

5. When ready to churn the ice cream, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Stir in chopped frosted animal crackers. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for 4-6 hours.

For the Sugar Cones:

1. Melt down white chocolate candy melts and place in a small bowl or measuring cup. You don't want the vessel to be too large because you want the chocolate to be deep so you can dip the cones. 

2. Dip each sugar cone in melted white chocolate about 1/4"-1/2" deep. Roll the still wet chocolate in rainbow nonpareils. Place cones upside down on a piece of wax paper or a silpat and place in fridge to harden. 

When ice cream is ready, scoop into sugar cones and garnish with more sprinkles or a frosted animal cracker! 

Ice cream recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography