I feel like a broken record saying this, because so many chefs have said it so many times before, but the real secret to making this amazing is getting the right ingredients. Fresh, preferably local and organic milk and cream are best (especially if the cream comes in a bottle with some thick creamy goodness hanging around the mouth). The same is true with the bacon--fresh, preferably local and sliced by a butcher. I do cheat when I make the brownies, but use the best "cheat" you can find--I go with Gheridelli brownie mix if I'm making the gluten-laden kind and Bob's Red Mill for amazing GF brownies if you have guests with celiac-type issues.
So, here it is, in all its glory...my recipe for Bacon-Brownie Ice Cream. Enjoy. In moderation. And maybe have a salad for dinner.
What ya need:
For the brownies:
- High-quality brownie mix and required ingredients (but don't put ALL the oil in! Read on!)
- Also note: If the brownie mix makes only an 8x8 or 9x9 pan of brownies, you'll need two. This assumes you've prepared a 13x9" pan's worth of brownies.
- 8 strips of uncooked bacon
- Reserved bacon drippings
- About 1/2 cup chocolate chips, if the brownie mix doesn't include chocolate chunks
For the ice cream:
- 4 1/2 cups milk (We used skim. Gotta save the calories somewhere!)
- 2 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 vanilla beans
- 4 1/2 cups whipping cream
How ya do it:
- Okay, start by making the bacon. Line a cookie sheet with high sides with tinfoil. Set a cookie cooling rack in the pan, and lay the bacon on the drying rack. DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN.
- Put the bacon in the oven, THEN turn it on to 425 degrees F.
- Let the bacon cook for about 15-25 minutes (depending on how thick it is) until it's nicely browned.
- Pull the bacon out of the oven and let it cool. Reserve the bacon oil.
- Okay, now time to get to work on the brownies. Measuring out the oil or melted butter, START with the reserved bacon fat from the brownies, then add whatever oil is necessary to make up the remainder of the oil requirements.
- When you have the brownies mixed, crumble and then fold in the cooled bacon.
- Prepare the brownies as package directions dictate.
- While the brownies are cooking, you can start making the ice cream. Heat the milk until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
- Remove from heat and add the sugar and salt. Stir until they're dissolved.
- Then, slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the gooky insides and add that to the milk mixture.
- Stir in the whipping cream.
- Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Remove brownies from the oven and let them cool completely (it wouldn't hurt to refrigerate them for a few minutes, too). Rip the brownies to big crumbled shreds.
- Once the mixture is cooled, add to an ice cream machine and chill per the machine's instructions.
- When the ice cream is ready to come out of the machine for its final chill in the freezer, stir in the crumbled brownies. I did this in three phases to keep the ice cream from melting too much.
- You'll probably want to let it firm up the rest of the way in the freezer for a few hours before eating. But I know you already licked the spoon you used to fold the brownies into the ice cream, and that is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE. You did all the hard work, after all.
Makes about 6 quarts. And you'll need it all when word gets out what you've made.
Extra pro tip: To make this SUPER wonderful, melt two parts of your favorite chocolate (or butterscotch, or peanut butter...) chips in the microwave (GENTLY...15 seconds at a time, then stir!). Add one part coconut oil. FAST AND EASY magic shell!
You might want to have salads for the next COUPLE days...