It is this time of year when I crave the uniquely bitter flavor of molasses. Besides cookies and BBQ sauce, molasses is often lost, but I thought that it would make a dynamite ice cream. I was worried however that the molasses flavor would be one note as an ice cream. With that concern, I wavered between adult flavors of bourbon and the holiday flavors of gingersnaps. On the coldest day of the fall/winter so far, I had to go with the holiday flavors.

There are not too many molasses ice cream recipes available that do not include melting vanilla ice cream and stirring in molasses, but Sandra Lee I am not. Instead, I used a basic vanilla ice cream recipe, removing vanilla, and adding molasses. The gingersnaps stirred in during the churning process add not only some texture and crunchiness, but also some ginger heat. The flavors reminded me of a robust gingerbread cookie with some grown up complexity.

Gingersnap-Molasses Ice Cream

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 20 gingersnap cookies, crumbled

Step one: Heat the cream and 1/2 cup of the milk. Add molasses. Combine yolks and sugar and whisk in a separate bowl. Then add a few spoonfuls of the hot mixture to temper the yolks. Add the yolks back into the dairy mix.

Step two:  Whisk until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Pour through a strainer into a large bowl with remaining milk set in an ice bowl. Refrigerate overnight.

Step three: Churn into ice cream the following day according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. With about 5 minutes left to spin, add crumbled cookies. Freeze fully in the freezer.