Why is homemade ice cream so fulfilling? So totally and utterly…happy? Move over Pharrell. There’s a new tune in town.

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Making ice cream at home is something special but hardly a chore. It’s not like I’m working my building my depleting muscle tone when churning the cream and sugar myself. So why does it feel like I’ve really accomplished something once it’s done?

I think it’s because ice cream is one of those recipes that is so easily accessible and acceptable to buy from the store / truck / soda fountain, that we just don’t do it often enough. Like doughnuts. We need more homemade doughnuts, too. Topped with homemade ice cream.

But it’s probably more because homemade ice cream makes me and everyone who’s lips it touches, so…happy. Satisfied. Sweetly satisfied.

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

As I’m writing this post, Smudge just sauntered into the office with her daily fix of this Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream, totally testing the will of new intern-boy Scott. Yep, there’s another guy in the FoodieCrush kitchen besides my man G-Dawg for the summer. I’m not sure he knows how to wield a knife or preheat an oven, so he may stay behind the bloggity blog scenes.

But he proved his foodie-might today when he accepted a triple-scoop waffle cone of this decadent pleasure. He’s learning quickly: Never turn down a scoop of homemade ice cream. He’s my kind of intern.

This recipe is based on our family’s newest obsession: Tilamook’s Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream. I’m usually a chocolate girl, but this flavor has taken hold of my top knot and thrown me for a loop!

After plowing through several cartons in the past few weeks, I could have hopped on over to the store and bought another quart for my husband and daughter’s nightly sweet tooth but since it’s National Dairy month, I thought I should give myself a challenge. So I put my KitchenAid ice cream maker to work and went to work with Real®Seal dairy products.

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I don’t live in Oregon, so I skipped out on dressing in my trendy flannel and donning facial hair to take part in creating my homage to Tilamook’s recipe. Smudge did too. She just sported her pink-wipe-the-brow-Adidas-wristbands and red, white and blue DIY manicure. Not very Portland-ish.

But I did try to emulate it’s lush flavors of salted caramel and crunchy hazelnuts that marry so well together. And I am…happy…to say, Smudge declared it a victory! High fives and drippy licks all around!

About the recipe:

If you’re a novice ice cream maker, there are two things you must know.

1) You must freeze your ice cream maker bowl for at least 12 hours before you can make ice cream,

and….

2) You must chill your liquid mixture 6-8 hours before you can freeze it in the ice cream maker.

hence…

Don’t think you can buy an ice cream maker and make ice cream that night. You’ll need to plan ahead.

The ice cream base is extra creamy and rich, thanks to Real® half and half. And Real® whipping cream. Using Real® ingredients makes a REAL difference. DOH!

 

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I used my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer, and the amout this recipe makes fits it well. You may have to adjust for your own ice cream maker specifications. I found out the hard way the key to using the ice cream maker attachment is to read the directions first! And to be sure to affix the drive assembly and the scraper that fit inside the freezer bowl and start the motor running BEFORE you pour the chilled ice cream mixture into the bowl. I didn’t start my mixing until after I poured the mixture into the bowl and it instantly froze and then the scraper wouldn’t do it’s job. So I scraped it all out, cleaned out the bowl as quickly as I could and started the freezing process all over.

I toasted my hazelnuts to enhance and deepen their flavor. To chop them, I loaded them into a freezer bag and firmly rolled over them with a rolling pin, therefore avoided all zinging pieces of nuts ricocheting across the kitchen.

I could have made a homemade salted caramel (this homemade Salted Caramel recipe looks lush) but I figured since I was proving my merit by already making homemade ice cream, I could make it easy on myself and buy the store bought version. This brand was pretty darn tasty.

Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream
 
Serves: makes 16-18½ cup servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups Real® half and half
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ cups Real® whipping cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 8 ounces toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 8 ounces salted caramel, I used this brand
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, add the half and half to a medium saucepan and heat until hot, but not boiling. Stir often. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks and sugar in the mixer bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low with a wire whip for about 30 seconds or until slightly thickened. Gradually add half and half and mix until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture is steaming, but not boiling. Stir constantly. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the whipping cream, vanilla and salt. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Add the chopped hazelnuts in the last 5 minutes of churning.
  4. Layer ⅓ of the ice cream mixture into the bottom of a chilled freezer safe container. Drizzle with ⅓ of the salted caramel in large ribbons and use a knife to gently cut into the ice cream. Repeat 2 times, ending with more large ribbons of caramel. Sprinkle with additional hazelnuts if desired. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

This post is part of my partnership with Real® Seal because I like to cook, eat and drink real food :). As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.  

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