Friday, January 3, 2014

Dessert from Heaven: Snow Ice Cream to Start 2014

I sit here waiting on rice to cool so that my wonderful husband can finish preparing sushi for dinner (yeah...I'm pretty lucky to have a sushi-making hubby!), and I realized that I've never posted about one of my all-time favorite things about the winter...snow ice cream! Time to change that.

As a kid growing up in north central Texas, we didn't see a lot of snow. We saw a few ice storms here and there and some flurries from time to time that left a thin blanket of white across the barren fields surrounding my childhood home. These rare blankets typically dissipated within a few days, but there were a few times that we got enough snow for this. I can't remember if we were at home or if we were visiting family in another city the first time that I had snow ice cream.

After growing up and moving off to college, there several times that I remember making snow ice cream. Though still in Texas, we were further north...close to the Red River which borders that awful place we know as Oklahoma. (Oklahoma isn't really so bad...that was just my Texan rivalry showing.) Out of instinct from years of living in places that don't typically get much snow, I still grab the biggest bowl I own every time I realize that it is snowing. Now that I live in Nebraska I get to make this much more often...which is one of the few things I like about the coldness here.

Okay, enough history. Here's how it is done!

Step 1: Wait for snow
This isn't something I can help you with...

Step 2: Grab the biggest freaking bowl that you own and place it outside.
I have a gigantic black mixing bowl with a lid that I like to use (without the lid of course). Be sure to place the bowl on an elevated surface so that critters don't get into it and leave you with yellow snow! I like to put mine on my car, but if the wind is blowing too hard that may not be the best option. Use your best judgement!

Step 3: Wait some more
Ugh! All the anticipation! You don't have to wait until the bowl is full, but you want as much as you can get, so don't pull in the bowl until the snow has stopped falling!

Step 4: Finally making the ice cream
Okay, now that you have your snow, you can bring in your bowl and whip out a big spoon to get started! You will need milk, sugar, and the extracts/add-ins of your choice. Let's start with your basic vanilla. I don't know exact measurements here (they would vary by the amount of snow you have collected anyway). Start by sprinkling in sugar. You don't want to over-do it, but get a nice dusting of the granules all over the top layer of your collected snow. You can add more as you taste test if you decide it needs to be a little sweeter.

Next you want to add in the milk. This is tricky because if you add too much you get a soup rather than ice cream. Add just a little at a time...less than you think you will need as the snow will melt into it a little bit as you add it in anyway since the milk isn't quite as cold as the snow. Now add in a little of your vanilla extract. Stir your concoction gently to get it all mixed well.  And you are done! If it seems a little thick, you can add more milk, but remember that if you add too much it will get very soupy. (Snow ice cream is going to be much softer than freezer ice cream anyway, so don't be surprised if it's not what you expect the first time you make it.)

Step 5 (optional): Extras and add-in's
Now that you know the basics, you can change it up if you so desire! I like to add in coconut extract (in addition to the vanilla) most of the time. I've also done cherry, root beer, strawberry, banana, and several combinations. Fun fact: coconut + strawberry extracts = a cotton candy-like flavor! You could also add in frozen-chopped fruits or fruit juices if you wanted! I've also been thinking of using powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, but I haven't quite tested that out yet.

Step 6: Enjoy your treat from the heavens!
Hope you make and fall in love with this tasty winter treat! It has a lot of potential for creativity and would be a lot of fun to do with kids! Happy Eating! :D

My vanilla-coconut snow ice cream from the first snow on the first day of 2014.
I accidentally added a little too much milk, but it still tasted yummy!

No comments:

Post a Comment