Gifford's Campfire S'mores Ice Cream Recipe

My search for a copycat recipe of the s'mores ice cream we had in Maine was renewed when I found a carton of it at our local Fairway market. I bought it on the Fourth of July and we devoured it in a couple days. The thing about this ice cream was that it didn't have chunks of graham crackers in it (prone to getting soggy over time), the ice cream base itsself was graham cracker flavored. In searching online it was hard to find a s'mores ice cream recipe with a graham ice cream base; most of them had chocolate ice cream, or vanilla with s'mores mix-ins.

I found a graham cracker ice cream recipe and tried it out. It was a HUGE flop. The worst ice cream I've ever made. Seriously, it wasn't even like ice cream. It used too much milk to cream, didn't have eggs in it, and it came out icy and froze really hard so it couldn't even be scooped. It was terrible and we had to throw it out. The search continued!

I learned from the first failure that I needed a recipe with a cooked custard base to yield a more creamy ice cream that could stand up to the graham cracker crumbs. I did some research, comparing and contrasting lots of graham ice cream recipes from around the web, seeing how much of each ingredient they used, and trying to find one that had a good balance of cream to milk and a technique that would produce a creamy ice cream that didn't have too much powdery graham texture, but still a pronounced graham taste.

I found a recipe that looked like the best combination of what I was looking for, tweaked it a little and tried it out, adding my own shaved dark chocolate and marshmallow swirl. I was so nervous waiting for it to harden in the freezer, wondering if it would turn out how I was hoping. And it was INCREDIBLE!! It seriously tasted just like the Gifford's ice cream we had in Maine. I was so happy knowing I could make this any time I want. We served it to our friends at a dinner party that night and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it. Sweet victory!

Gifford's Campfire S'mores Ice Cream Recipe

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 graham crackers, crushed into a powder
2/3 cup shaved or finely chopped dark chocolate
1/2-3/4 cup marshmallow creme (I drizzled until it looked good, not sure how much I used)

Put a glass bowl into the freezer to chill while you prepare the base. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together 5 egg yolks. Crush graham crackers in a ziplock bag. Be sure to grind them into as fine a powder as possible. You don't want any chunks.

In a sauce pan, stir together 1 cup cream, sugar, milk, salt and half of the crushed graham crackers. Heat over medium heat, stirring until all the ingredients are dissolved and the mixture steams and appears about ready to boil.

Temper the egg yolks. Slowly pour about half of the cream mixture into the eggs while whisking furiously (I use a hand mixer for this part). This warms the eggs without scrambling them. Once the hot cream and eggs have been combined, pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan over low heat. Continue heating over low to medium low heat, until it begins to thicken slightly and coats the back of a spoon. (Good examples of what coating the spoon looks like can be found through Google images.) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Grab the cold bowl from the freezer, and pour in 1 cup of cream. Pour the warm custard through a strainer into the cold cream, then whisk together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate three hours or until completely chilled.

When you're ready to churn, stir the remaining crushed graham crackers into the custard base and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. (Mine churns in the Kitchenaid for about 25 minutes.) After it's finished churning, transfer to a bowl and fold in drizzles of marshmallow creme and chocolate pieces. Freeze in an airtight container for 4-6 hours, until hard.


Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Ice Cream


On our trip to Maine, we had the best locally made s'mores ice cream at this little drive-in. It was insanely good. I knew I had to re-create it at home, especially because I wouldn't be able to get it since it's made in Maine. This ice cream was a happy accident as a result of my quest. It wasn't the same as the ice cream we had on our trip, but it was really great in it's own way.

Ice cream made from toasted marshmallows is blended with chunks of graham cracker and homemade fudge swirl to create an insanely rich, creamy and delicious ice cream experience. I loved this and will definitely make it again.

Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Ice Cream

For the Ice Cream:
1 (10-ounce) bag large marshmallows
1 vanilla bean
2 cups whole milk
5 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Fudge Swirl:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups coarsely chopped graham crackers

Make the Ice Cream Base:

Spread the marshmallows in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place them under the broiler for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until toasted (keep a close eye so they don't start smoking!). Take them out and, using tongs, flip them over and pop them back under the broiler for another 30 seconds or so, until the other side is toasted. (Alternately, you can use a kitchen torch to toast them right there on the pan.) Set the marshmallows aside.

 Place the milk in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the seeds into the pan with the milk, then add the vanilla bean to the milk as well. Set the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.

 Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a large, heatproof bowl. Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, using a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture from the bowl back into the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly with the spatula, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (it should be between 170 and 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer).

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes, stirring it every few minutes to help it cool down faster.

Put the toasted marshmallows in the blender, then pour the custard into the blender as well. Puree until the marshmallows are completely broken down and the mixture is smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and blend again for about 5 to 10 seconds to combine. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 Make the Fudge Swirl:

Whisk together the sugar, water, corn syrup and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using. It can be stored for up to 2 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.

 Churn the Ice Cream:

Before churning, whisk the custard vigorously until it is smooth and has a pourable consistency (it will be a little spongy when it first comes out of the fridge). Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

When it's done churning, gently fold in the chopped graham crackers with a rubber spatula. Spoon some of the fudge swirl onto the bottom of the storage container. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, layer generous spoonfuls of the sauce between layers of the ice cream, ending with a top layer of ice cream. Do not stir the fudge into the ice cream, as it will make the ice cream muddy looking. Freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 2 hours.

 Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.


Quinoa with Brussels and Sweet Potatoes


I've been throwing goat cheese on everything lately. I randomly picked up a little container of it at the store on a whim. And I've discovered that it makes almost everything look and taste more gourmet. I love it!

So, one of those things was this quinoa dish. It was awesome. A product of wanting to use what I had i the house, and a little internet searching. Honestly you could throw any combination of roasted veggies with quinoa and yummy dressing and you'd be good to go. And if you can throw goat cheese on top? GOLDEN!

Quinoa with Roasted Brussels and Sweet Potatoes

1-2 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups of brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Crumbled goat cheese (or feta)


1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs pure maple syrup (or maybe I used agave and maple extract? whatever.)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450.
Toss the veggies with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Place the sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet, and the brussels and onion on another cookie sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the brussels are crisp and browned. They may finish at different times, hence the two baking sheets.
Add the dressing ingredients to a jar. Shake well.
Toss quinoa, sweet potatoes, brussels and onion together in a bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Sprinkle goat cheese on top, and it will melt delightfully into the dish as you eat it. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Balsamic Pear Salad

Another salad I threw together the other night when we had the missionaries over. Sorry no photo, I was playing hostess. But this was amazing and everyone was "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing over it, so I ought to record it here so I don't forget about it!

salad greens (I used field greens)
thinly sliced pears
thinly sliced red onion
basic balsamic vinaigrette (everyone should learn to throw this together. once you see how easy it is you'll use it ALL THE TIME.)
candied walnuts (something else you should learn to do. so easy and so useful.)
crumbled goat cheese (just go buy it okay, you'll use it on everything. or substitute feta.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

toss greens, pears, and onion with dressing. sprinkle salad with nuts and cheese right before serving.

Sweet Potato Caramelized Onion Pesto Pizza

Okay, so the iPhone photo is terrible. Don't worry, summer is coming. Which means I will have natural light with which to photograph my dinners. For now we're stuck with the light above the stovetop. Yikes.

Just trust me, this pizza was super tasty!

No-Knead Pizza Dough

3 3/4 unsifted cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
11/2 cups water

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and, with a wooden spoon and/or your hands, mix thoroughly. Start with the spoon, then switch to your hands.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow it to rise at room temperature (about 72°) for 18 hours or until it has more than doubled. It will take longer in a chilly room and less time in a very warm one.

Flour a work surface and scrape out the dough. Divide it into 3 equal parts and shape them by folding four edges toward the center. Shape each portion into a round and turn seam side down. Mold the dough into a neat circular mound. The mounds should not be sticky; if they are, dust with more flour.

If you don't intend to use the dough right away, wrap the balls individually in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature by leaving them out on the counter, covered in a damp cloth, for 2 to 3 hours before needed.

(in depth instructions and photos for dough found here.)

Sweet Potato Caramelized Onion Pesto Pizza

1 ball of no-knead pizza dough
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce (i like costco brand or a quick homemade in the blender)
fresh mozzarella cheese (shredded is fine too if that's what you have)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°.

Start the onions by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet.  Place onions in skillet, sprinkle with salt and saute slowly over medium-low heat, stirring somewhat often, for about 15-20 minutes, until the onions have turned a rich, caramel brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

While the onions are caramelizing, line a cookie sheet with foil. Place the sweet potato slices in a bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Toss, then place in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 6 minutes, then flip and roast another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Dust your hands and work surface lightly with flour.  Working from the center of your ball of pizza dough, gently stretch & shape it to the desired size.

Bake the shaped pizza for about 5 minutes, then take it out for topping. Spread pesto sauce on pizza, then layer sweet potato slices, caramelized onions, and torn pieces of mozzarella cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper, and bake an additional 7-10 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

Just a little something I threw together the other day. ;)

-field greens (or other favorite salad greens)
-thinly sliced red onion
-sliced avocado
-sliced cucumbers
-chunks of grapefruit, peeled and membranes removed (time consuming but worth it)
-crumbled goat cheese
-salt and freshly ground black pepper

-2 parts olive oil
-1 part lemon juice
-a drizzle of honey or agave to sweeten to taste