As I’m sure most people would agree, ice cream is a staple summertime treat.
Growing up, my mom made ice cream every single year on the Fourth of July for a huge group of people; it was practically a ritual. As you might imagine, I was thrilled to have an opportunity to make and share this deliciousness with several of my dearest friends a couple weekends ago.
We celebrated our Fourth of July holiday with a classic, tasty American barbeque which included hamburgers, hot dogs, tons of appetizers, beer and sangria. I ate SO MUCH. Well, everyone did. We ate so much food and yet somehow still managed to stuff our faces with more food once it was time for dessert an hour later. We just couldn’t wait.
And let me tell you, the dessert table was poppin’.
Brittles brought along a renovated version of an old favorite; strawberries filled with cream cheese, brown sugar, and graham cracker crumbs. Scrumptious. Our friend’s sister also took the time to bake brownie bites and an apple pie, which was a work of art. They are both super talented!
I chopped up some fresh strawberries and served mini chocolate chips with the ice cream. My mom also always makes toasted coconut, another fabulous addition to this already glorious sugary delight.
Surprisingly, I changed the flawless recipe a bit from what my mom always makes. I used at least a cup less of white sugar and added an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract. This adjustment resulted in a much lighter flavor and fewer calories!
It was an incredible day that ended with all of us watching fireworks on the top level of a building. From up there, we were able to see hundreds of different firework shows in every direction for miles all over the city! It was by far the most fireworks I have ever seen in one night.
I hope everyone else had a fabulous Fourth of July! 🙂
My Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
makes about a gallon of ice cream, takes about 1 1/2-2 hours
- 2 quarts of half & half
- 2 pints of heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- rock salt
a hand mixer and a 4-quart ice cream maker.
- Combine the dairy, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl using the hand mixer.
- Once the sugar is completely dissolved, pour the mixture into the center piece of the ice cream maker.
- Set up ice cream maker as instructed. Start the machine.
- Fill up the area around the ice cream with alternating layers of handfuls of ice and rock salt. (The rock salt slows the melting process of the ice!)
- Check back every 10-15 minutes to top off the ice/salt with more.
- When the ice cream becomes too thick to turn, the machine will begin to struggle audibly. At some point the machine should come to a stop.
Enjoy with others or alone. 😉