If you’ve ever walked into a frozen yogurt place, taken one look at the lever for peanut butter yogurt, wrinkled your nose, and thought, “WHO is the one person on the planet who is buying that peanut butter yogurt?” well…it’s me. Hi. Howdy. Sorry ‘bout it.
My friends are always making fun of my intense love for peanut butter frozen yogurt, but I am not ashamed. I reject their bullying. Peanut butter yogurt is delicious, and I’m not talking about that pitiful pretender, chocolate peanut butter yogurt, with its watered-down chocolate flavor. I mean the pure stuff, with a strong, bold peanut butter taste. Topped with crushed Oreos and chopped peanut butter cups, it’s my idea of heaven in a froyo cup.
I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to make my own peanut butter ice cream, but I finally got around to it this past week, and hoooo boy. This is a dangerous recipe for a peanutphile to have. The peanut butter ice cream is rich and creamy, and packed with miniature peanut butter cups. I also added thick swirls of peanut butter sauce and fudge sauce in the ice cream, so every bite is a mix of different textures and flavors.
A week or two ago I boldly proclaimed that I like—nay, require—egg yolks in my ice cream, and that only custard-based creams will do for this princess. Well, I’m a lying liar who lies, because I tried peanut butter ice cream with a custard base, and it was way too much. Too thick, too creamy, too gloopy in the mouth. The extra fat from the yolks, combined with all of the fat in the peanut butter, actually masked the taste of the peanuts and gave it this really rich texture that kind of coated the mouth. Have you seen videos of dogs eating peanut butter, where they smack their lips together over and over? That was me, eating my first trial batch of ice cream. I mean, it wasn’t bad (sugar+cream+peanut butter won’t ever be bad) but it wasn’t my dream ice cream, either.
So I took back everything I said about custards and yolks, and made a simple ice cream base with milk, cream, sugar, and peanut butter. All you have to do is heat it all together in a pan, whisking occasionally, until everything melts smoothly. No tempering yolks, no thermometer required. This method makes an ice cream that is still rich and creamy, but that has a strong, clean peanut butter flavor.
This is cream is perfect on its own, but I won’t object if you want to top it with a little more fudge sauce and some chopped-up peanut butter cups, either. And I’ve heard rumors that it’s great on top of brownies and chocolate cake, too.
Now true confession time: what’s your frozen yogurt/ice cream guilty pleasure?
I’ve included directions for making the ice cream just as I did, with peanut butter cups, fudge sauce, and peanut butter sauce. However, it’s also delicious as a plain peanut butter ice cream, so feel free to adjust or omit the mix-ins to suit your taste. You can use store-bought fudge sauce, or follow my recipe here, and my recipe for peanut butter sauce can be found below. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
- Combine the cream, milk, peanut butter and both sugars in a medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and warm the mixture, whisking frequently, until the sugars dissolve and the peanut butter melts into the cream. It doesn't need to come to a boil—as soon as the mixture is smooth and homogenous, you can remove it from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Pour it into a bowl or plastic container, and place it in the refrigerator until chilled. If you want to speed this process up, place the bowl over an ice bath and whisk it as it cools down.
- Once the peanut butter mixture is chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions, until it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Stir in the miniature peanut butter cups by hand.
- If you want to add a fudge and/or peanut butter swirl, spread about a third of the peanut butter ice cream in the bottom of a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Drizzle the peanut butter sauce over the ice cream, then top it with half the remaining ice cream. Drizzle the fudge sauce over this, and finish by covering it with the rest of the ice cream. (If you're omitting the swirls, simply spread all of the ice cream into the loaf pan.) Press a layer of cling wrap on top, and freeze the pan until the ice cream is firm, about 2 hours.
Peanut Butter Sauce
- 6 fl. oz. heavy cream
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips (3.5 oz)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter, not “natural” variety (3.25 oz)
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup (1.5 oz)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- Combine all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat, whisking frequently, until the peanut butter chips melt and all of the ingredients come together in a smooth sauce. It will be very thin at first.
- As the sauce cools to room temperature, it will thicken up. If it gets too thick, simply return it to the heat and whisk until it loosens up. To store, pour it into a bowl or airtight container and press a layer of plastic wrap on top. Keep the peanut butter sauce in the refrigerator.
- To reheat after chilling, gently microwave it in 20-second increments until warm and flowing. If it has separated, continue to whisk until it comes back together.