Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting Creative with Seasonal Flavors from Blue Bell Ice Cream: Buttermint and Cinnamint Shakes

 




It is always a good day when Blue Bell calls and asks if you'd like to come pick up some of their new seasonal ice cream flavors.  I never mind heading over to their distribution center.  Next to running Disneyland or maybe owning your own candy shop, working here would be close to my dream job.   I just know that some day that perfect  ice cream taster position will open up and be mine for the taking, but until then I'll head over any time they offer me a half gallon . . .  or four.

Alas, no dream jobs were offered to me this time, but my consolation prize was a bundle of four great new flavors to take home and play with.  Spoilt for choice, I didn't know whether to start with the Peppermint, Christmas Cookies, Gingerbread House or Spiced Pumpkin Pecan.  A nice problem to have don't you think?

After shuffling the cartons around in the deep freeze a time or two I finally committed and opened the peppermint first.  I need to say now that it is almost a shame to mix anything with this fresh crisp flavor.  It is so good on its own that using it in a recipe is really unnecessary, but since when has that stopped me?

The last time I was given some ice cream from Blue Bell, I made a couple of ice cream drinks and really wanted to do something different this time, but  when I tasted this flavor I had an epiphany.  I decided that with a few tweaks I could make liquid versions of two of my favorite after dinner mints, so I once again pulled out my blender. 



For my first drink I decided to make a holiday libation using a seasonal favorite, egg nog.  I know sounds a bit weird, but trust me here because the results were out of this world.  Buttery, minty, sweet and creamy, this is definitely my new favorite after dinner drink.

For my next drink idea, I added milk and cinnamon schnapps to the peppermint ice cream and made another shake that with or without the alcohol would be a real treat any time of year.  If you are making this for a non-drinking crowd, a few drops of cinnamon flavoring would certainly achieve the same results.  The cool peppermint with the slight kick of cinnamon at the end is really an unexpected and delicious treat.  Love it!

The other flavors were enjoyed on their own here at my house.  My boys plowed through the Christmas Cookies flavor so fast I hardly got to taste it (I was assured by my son that it is delicious). With delicious base flavors and mix-ins, the Spiced Pumpkin Pecan and Gingerbread House flavors absolutely taste like fun frozen versions of the holiday treats they represent.  



The folks at Blue Bell really do a great job with their special flavors; so good in fact that at times they are really hard to find.  Rumor has it that Christmas Cookies and Gingerbread House are scarce right now, but keep looking it is worth the trouble to get your hands on any one of them.


Buttermint Shake

I'm only showing one drink here because to be quite honest this is how they both look.  Pretty and pink.

3 scoops Blue Bell peppermint ice cream
1 cup low fat or regular egg nog
Light or dark rum to taste, optional ( I like 1 - 1-1/2 ounces)

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into serving glasses and garnish with whipped cream and crushed peppermint stick.

Cinnamint Shake

3 scoops Blue Bell peppermint ice cream
1 cup regular or low fat milk
Cinnamon schnapps to taste, optional  (I like 1 ounce)

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into serving glasses and garnish with whipped cream and crushed peppermint stick or cinnamon candy.
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