Growing up, I had just about every summer job you can imagine.
I always babysat, but I got my first 'real' job at 14, the summer before I went into high school. I worked in the gift shop of a local aquarium on the boardwalk.
From there, I went on to work as a chambermaid in a bed & breakfast, an assistant manager of a frozen yogurt stand, a counselor at a day camp, a typist at a newspaper, an inventory-taker (!), and even a telemarketer (!!). I also worked in a tanning salon, and the nursery of a gym where parents would drop off their kids while they worked out.
But one of my personal favorite employers was a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop I worked at during college.
First of all, I got a really cool bulging forearm muscle from scooping hard ice cream. And secondly, I got to eat delicious ice cream every day, which is basically a dream come true.
To be honest, I took advantage of that perk much more at the frozen yogurt place than Ben & Jerry's (let's not lie, a cup of ice cream on a daily basis would be a little much). But I did treat myself at least once a week.
And I probably tried 75% of the flavors there, but I always came back to Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.
Ummm... whoa. Cinnamon sweet cream base with chunks of oatmeal cookies and fudge. What could be bad about that?
So when I realized that July is National Ice Cream month, I decided I needed to try & replicate my old favorite.
But I wanted it to be completely homemade and I didn't feel like first whipping up a batch of oatmeal cookies just to crumble up for ice cream. So I devised a sort of crispy, sugary oatmeal crumble instead.
And while it's not a dead ringer... it's pretty freaking close.
Not to mention pretty freaking delicious.
And the cool part about it is it's an eggless ice cream! I've never made one of those before, but it came out really well.
Which reminds me- don't be tempted to replace the corn syrup, that's part of what keeps it scoopable (if you're like me & try to avoid the stuff whenever possible, this might make you feel better).
Either way... I think my former employer would approve.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
- ½ C. old fashioned oats
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 1 T. granulated sugar
- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
Cinnamon Ice Cream
- 2 C. lowfat milk
- 1 T. plus 1 t. cornstarch
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 T light corn syrup
- ½ t. cinnamon
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 C. chocolate chunks
Make the oatmeal crumble: Preheat oven 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium-low until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Empty oats back into skillet to cool.
Make the ice cream: Measure out the 2 C. milk then take 2 T. of it and mix with the cornstarch in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Prepare an ice bath in a container big enough for the bowl with the cream cheese to fit in it. (An ice bath is just cold water with ice).
In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and cinnamon over medium heat. Whisking occasionally, bring the milk mixture to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil (watch carefully so it does not boil over) and whisk over medium heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt and vanilla. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until room temperature (about 30 minutes). Then refrigerate mixture until chilled, about 2 hours.
Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. With ice cream maker still on, add chocolate chunks & about 2/3 of the oatmeal, and mix to evenly distribute. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container, and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream. Close with an airtight lid, and freeze the ice cream until firm, about 4 hours. Use remaining 1/3 of oatmeal for sprinkling on served ice cream, if desired.
Ice Cream recipe adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer on Food & Wine; flavor inspired by Ben & Jerry's