Maybe Matilda: Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Don’t hate me, but if I’m being honest, ice cream would almost never be my first choice for dessert. I like ice cream and I wouldn’t say no if you offered it, but if presented with other sweet treat options, ice cream would be toward the end of my list of preferences. I’d take a cookie or brownie any day over a bowl of ice cream. I hope we can still be friends.

But. But. This summer, the urge to make homemade ice cream overcame me. I don’t know how it happened . . . maybe because Jeff (a true ice cream devotee) kept bringing it home and I kept not loving it as deeply as he did, or maybe the double dose of heat from baking brownies on 90-degree days finally broke me down and sent me searching for other sugar sources. Whatever the cause, it became vitally important that I make my own ice cream, because surely homemade ice cream would inspire me to join the happy throngs of ice cream zealots in a way that store bought ice cream never could.

I am here to tell you that homemade ice cream has made a believer out of me.

I love ice cream now. I really, truly, deeply love it.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Cuisinart was nice enough to send me my ice cream machine, so I'll share a few quick thoughts on it, and then I’ll get to sharing this delicious, perfect-for-fall recipe. I’m salivating again just thinking about it.

Unlike some ice cream makers, my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker does not actually use any ice. This is part of what drew me to this particular machine—I didn’t want to deal with any mess to make ice cream. Instead, this machine has a freezable bowl that does all the dirty work. We just keep the bowl in the freezer all the time, so it’s always ready to go if we have a spur of the moment craving. And it doesn’t take up much freezer space since you can, of course, stick other things inside it.

The downside is that if you want to make a lot of ice cream, you’ll either need additional bowls or you’ll need to give yourself quite a few hours between making batches to allow the bowl to refreeze. We had friends over for an ice cream sampling party shortly after our machine arrived, and we wanted to have a few flavors ready. I could only make one batch at a time before the bowl needed to be frozen again (this takes quite a few hours), so I just had to plan ahead and make 1 or 2 batches per day leading up to our little party, leaving plenty of time between for the bowl to freeze.

This isn’t a con for me—I'd rather have to deal with refreezing the bowl than use actual ice in my machine, but it’s something to consider if you think you’ll want to make a lot of ice cream at once, or multiple flavors at a time.

Now, to see it in action. To make this delicious Cinnamon Gingersnap ice cream, I started with the classic vanilla ice cream recipe from the recipe booklet that came with the machine. Standard ice cream ingredients—whole milk, heavy cream, sugar . . . but then I decided to get autumnal allllll over the place. I tossed in cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and a double dose of vanilla. It smelled absurdly good. Just whisk it together and pour it into the frozen bowl after turning the machine on.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Perhaps you will be impressed to learn that immediately after this shot, pouring and snapping pictures simultaneously got the better of me and I lost control of the bowl. I also lost probably half a cup of ingredients, poured directly onto the counter.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

It takes a lot of faith those first few minutes to believe that this will ever become anything other than creamy, cinnamon-scented soup. But lo and behold, about 15 minutes later, you’re staring into a dreamy bowl of soft serve fall-flavored deliciousness. A glimpse into heaven, I tell you.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

While it’s mixing, crush up some ginger snap cookies and add them to the bowl once the ice cream has reached a soft serve consistency. I like to leave some largish chunks of cookie in there. Give me ice cream with substance, I say.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Incidentally, I have discovered that the larger, 32 ounce yogurt tubs are the perfect size for storing a batch of homemade ice cream. I've started saving our old yogurt containers for this very purpose. When the ice cream comes out of the machine, it will be a deliciously lickable soft serve consistency. If you prefer a firmer texture, just toss it in a container and pop it in the freezer for another hour or two.

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Forrest is an ice cream fanatic (like father, like son), but I thought he might have objections to this particular flavor. A spiced ice cream just doesn’t sound terribly kid-friendly to me, but I was wrong. He absolutely devoured this batch (which came in handy as picky eater bribery, actually!).

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice Cream

Cinnamon Gingersnap Ice CreamMakes approximately 1.5 quarts. Less if you dump a good quantity onto your countertop.

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
11 gingersnap cookies, crushed

Combine all ingredients except cookies in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly, then add to ice cream maker. Mix according to machine instructions (for me, this takes 15-20 minutes). 5 minutes before mix time is complete, add cookies. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze an additional 1-2 hours if you’d like a firmer consistency.

The Fine Print: I was not paid for this post, but I did receive ice cream machine for free to review. All opinions are my own.


  1. I've had the same Cuisinart ice cream maker for ten years now (yikes) and I still love it! I don't make it often, but when I do it's a hit. If ever you're particularly lazy, throwing in some flavored yogurt makes dang good frozen yogurt...with no prep...and way cheaper than those by-the-ounce yogurt shops. ;) I love that the company sent one to you to made a good choice. It's a keeper.

  2. I love my Cuisinart maker, had it for almost 9 years now and it still works great! I love the freezable bowl, who the heck wants to make a mess with all the salt and ice?!

  3. I have never realized that I need an ice cream maker. Until now. Now I need one.

  4. I get it, I really do. Homemade ice cream is a thing of beauty. Hey, you're a blogger. You know what you have to do ;-)

  5. Hope you love it! It made me want to try making homemade gingersnaps. I think I've only ever had store bought.

  6. Then you should have come over. I keep telling you, Forrest would share his bedroom with you in a heartbeat. Just move in.

  7. I'm glad to hear it's going to last me so long! We've only made frozen yogurt in it once so far, but I ought to do it again--quite a bit less prep than ice cream.

  8. wait, what? You've never had a homemade gingersnap? I can't even describe to you how heavenly they are, I don't even really like the store bought ones (I mean, I won't turn one down, but if I had to choose...). Excuse my humble family blog, but you should try this recipe ASAP. seriously, best gingersnap ever.

  9. For Halloween you should make some pumpkin dark chocolate chip ice cream! I'm drooling just thinking about it.


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