Maple Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I think I’ve told you guys this before, but just in case I haven’t, I’ll put it out there again: I am maple syrup obsessed. It’s not quite Buddy-the-Elf-level-putting-it-on-my-spaghetti obsessed, but it’s close. I’m always looking for an excuse to use it, especially this time of year. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I made both pancakes and french toast for breakfast (as if we hadn’t already eaten enough calories), in part just as a maple syrup delivery system.

I only wish it weren’t so darn expensive. The other day I seriously told Shane I wished we could tap a tree in our yard and make our own. Not gonna happen, but that would be ridiculously cool.

Maple Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Anyway, one way I’ve never used maple syrup is in ice cream; clearly that needed to be remedied.

And yes, I am still churning and eating ice cream. I don’t care how cold it is outside, there’s never a bad time for homemade ice cream, especially when there are awesome seasonal flavors like gingerbread and pumpkin pie!

Maple Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I was so excited about trying this maple syrup ice cream I made it way back in October the minute the first hint of fall appeared. Maple syrup is the only sweetener used in the recipe, but instead of just adding the maple syrup as is, it’s reduced on the stove top first so the flavor is even more concentrated. I also added a tiny bit of maple flavor but no biggie if you don’t have any. Other than that this is just like making any other homemade ice cream.

Maple Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream

At the last minute I decided I needed a mix-in and I wanted it to be seasonal, so I whipped up some eggless gingerbread cookie dough. Best decision ever! You might think the ice cream would be overly sweet given how much syrup is in it, but it’s really not. The flavor is sweet, but it’s also warm and slightly smoky. Paired with the spicy gingerbread, the combination is so good and just perfect for the holiday season!

Plus since you’re making and adding your own cookie dough you can control how much is in there. Isn’t it the worst when you buy a pint of cookie dough ice cream and there’s like 3 pieces in the whole thing? #firstworldproblems

Maple Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ice Cream
ice cream adapted from Chow, cookie dough adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis

{Note: the maple flavor I used in the ice cream is optional, I bought mine from King Arthur Flour.}

Cookie Dough
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ice Cream
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon maple flavor

To make the cookie dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, molasses, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the flour, spices, and the salt and beat just until incorporated. The cookie dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container at this point for up to 3 days.

To make the ice cream: Add the maple syrup to a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then cook until the syrup reduces down to about 1/2 cup, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream and milk in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a bare simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl until pale in color and slightly thickened. Slowly add the warm cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 170-175 F on an instant read thermometer). Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl and stir in the reduced maple syrup and the salt.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is good). Just before churning, stir in the maple flavor. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Meanwhile, break the cookie dough into bite-size pieces (mine were about 1/4 to 1/2-inch in size). As you transfer the ice cream to an airtight container for storing, mix in the cookie dough pieces (you can add as little or as much cookie dough as you want – I used about half of the cookie dough recipe). Freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.

Makes about 1 quart