Peppermint Ice Cream Stars

What flavors can you think of to pair with peppermint?  When Dreyer’s Ice Cream asked me to create holiday recipes for their limited edition Peppermint Ice Cream a few years ago, at first I was a little stumped: chocolate and peppermint; vanilla and peppermint; what else?  Then I wondered if spices would complement the spiciness of peppermint.  A gingerbread blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg happily surprised me as an  immediate winner!   A drizzle of white or semi-sweet chocolate is the finishing touch for flavor and decoration.

If Christmas isn’t Christmas without holiday baking,  the recipe below should do the trick.  Or in lieu of kitchen-flour dust, use Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookie Thins (3.99 pkg.) for a very tasty option. Not star-shaped, but gold star flavor!   Happy Holidays! 

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Peppermint Ice Cream Stars
Dough chill time: 2 hours
Prep time: 1 hour for baking cookies; 30 minutes to make ice cream sandwiches
Makes about 4 dozen cookies; 2 dozen sandwiches

2-1/2       cups all-purpose flour plus flour for rolling dough
1/2           teaspoon baking soda
1/4           teaspoon salt
1-1/4        teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2           teaspoon ground ginger
1/2           teaspoon ground cloves
1/4           teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2           cup (1 stick) butter
1/2           cup granulated sugar
1/2           cup molasses
1               large egg
1/2           teaspoon vanilla
Colored sugar sprinkles (optional)

Dreyer’s Grand Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate or white baking chips

1.   Stir flour, soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
2.   In large bowl beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in molasses, egg and vanilla.
3.   Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time until dough is well blended.  Shape dough into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
4.   Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness on a well- floured surface.  Cut star shapes with cookie cutters.  Place cookies on ungreased or parchment  lined baking sheets, sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.  Bake 8 minutes or just until firm to the touch but not darkened. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps.  Cool cookies on a wire rack.

To make ice cream sandwiches: Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to soften slightly.  Spoon enough  ice cream onto a cookie to spread into a ½ to ¾ inch layer.  Top with another star cookie, gently press together then smooth edges with a knife.  Continue making desired number of cookie sandwiches and place in freezer.

For chocolate drizzle: Place baking chips in a resealable plastic bag.  Microwave bag of chocolate on medium power (50%) for 1- 2 minutes until softened.  Knead bag with hands until chocolate is completely melted.  Snip 1/8-inch off one bottom corner of the bag.  Remove cookies from freezer and squeeze chocolate decoratively onto tops. Or, spread chocolate and add sprinkles if desired.  Serve immediately or re-freeze.  To store longer than two hours, place in an airtight container or individually wrap in plastic.

An original recipe by Rosemary Mark for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. 
Photo Eskite Photography; Styling Kim Konecny Kissling

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