Spicy Gingerbread Ice Cream – vegan & gluten free

Are you spending inordinate amounts of time watching the Olympics? I’ve been watching a couple hours in the afternoon, but when they start up the broadcast again at 8pm it’s practically bedtime. Sad, but true. I suspect, however, as the games continue, I will stay up later, watch more, and sleep less. Man, getting that antenna is really cutting into my beauty rest!

In other news, it stopped raining (sad face), but on the plus side, I’ve noticed that the sun is still shining after 5pm. Spring is on the way! All you folks facing yet another snowstorm, take heart! I even saw an ad today for spring flowers and gardening tools.

I’ve made gingerbread ice cream in the past, but this time I wanted it to be both dairy free and really, strongly, gingerbread cookie-like in flavor. I was so pleased with how coconut milk worked in my homemade jam ice cream that I knew I had to use it again.

Mr Official Taster (the big ice cream eater of the family) prefers spicy gingerbread cookies to sweeter ones, so I used those as inspiration. The biggest flavor influence is choosing ginger as one of the spices to give the ice cream that signature bite. The sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves all play a sweet/savory role and balance the taste.

Because this is not a sweet ice cream, it goes particularly well with sweet desserts like apple tarts. Although I haven’t tried it, I imagine this spicy gingerbread ice cream would pair beautifully with chocolate pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, and snickerdoodle muffins. Or you could go another direction and enjoy it alongside some hot tea, coffee, or, dare I suggest, Irish coffee to help take the chill off?

So even though it’s cold outside, I still think you need to go make this ice cream. Tonight, if possible.

You can always snuggle in front of the Olympics for extra warmth.

Spicy Gingerbread Ice Cream – vegan & gluten free

Below is the full-sized version, but I’ve also made a half batch successfully, which comes in handy if you live with someone who will eat however much is in the freezer. I have not tried making this with the low fat version of canned coconut milk because it’s the fat that makes it so decadent and creamy. If you want to lower the fat, I would first try this recipe with one can of full fat and one can of low fat. Then let us know how it goes, mmmkay? For a sweeter version, skip the ginger, cut down the cinnamon to 1 tsp, and increase the sugar to 1/2 C.

2 cans full-fat coconut milk (see note)
2 Tbsp molasses
1/3 C brown sugar or sucanat
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
gingerbread cookie dough (optional- try this one or this one)

Add the milk, molasses, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat, whisking occasionally, on medium until steam rises from the milk and the sugar is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes or so). Remove from heat and cool completely (2+ hours in the fridge; you can speed things up by sticking it in the freezer instead). Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you want to add in pieces of cookie dough:
When I have done so, I’ve added somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 C of cookie dough pieces (recipes here and here) towards the end of the ice cream maker’s work, because that’s what the machine’s instruction manual said to do. I have no idea if you can add things like chocolate chips/cookie dough/gummie bears at the beginning or not. But I suspect that adding them in the last 5 minutes or so ensures they are well mixed in and don’t just sink to the bottom.