Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream

Just let that title sink in for a moment.  How does it sound to you?  Awesomely innovative combination or I think I’d like to keep my cinnamon toast and ice cream separate, thank you?  I think I may have fallen into the later category at one point in my life, probably the phase when I thought potato bread and provolone cheese sandwiches were the best things ever.

I do love Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal though, so I figured, it’ll taste kind of like that, but in ice cream form.  And let’s face it.  Almost everything tastes better when turned/incorporated into ice cream.  Like that toasted marshmallow ice cream I made.  Oh my, that was some good eats.

And as it turns out, so is cinnamon toast ice cream, even if it sounds a little strange.  The recipe is more complex than the usual for ice cream because of the cinnamon toast aspect.  It’s a little time consuming as well, but I thought the end result was definitely worth it.  The ice cream itself is like cinnamon heaven, and the addition of little cinnamon toast croutons is even more divine.  Plus, it helped me use of that half loaf of white bread sitting in the back of my freezer that I refuse to eat unless it’s in bread pudding or something.  I need more in my bread than the white variety can offer.

But it works well for making cinnamon toast bits.  Which I did eat.  And did not stop eating until the ice cream was finally cool enough to freeze.

Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

2 cups whole milk
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 slices firm white sandwich bread
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon molasses
1 cup heavy cream

Combine the milk and cinnamon sticks in a 2-qt saucepan.  Heat the milk until hot, or until bubbles form on the edges, then turn off the heat and cover the pan – allow to steep for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Cut 3 slices of the bread into 1/4-inch cubes and transfer them to a medium bowl.  Pulse the remaining 2 slices of bread in a food processor to make bread crumbs.  In a small bowl whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together.  Drizzle about 3/4 of the mixture over the cubes of bread, tossing to coat them evenly.  Transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets, spreading the cubes in a single layer.  Add the bread crumbs to the remaining butter mixture and stir to coat.  Spread on the second prepared baking sheet.

Bake the bread cubes and crumbs for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.  Stir occasionally and rotate the pans from top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking.  Leave on the pans and set aside to cool.  Once cool, transfer the bread crumbs to a heatproof bowl.

Heat the milk back up again until hot and then pour it over the bread crumbs.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then pour the milk through a fine-mesh strainer into the saucepan.  Press on the solids to extract as much milk as possible.  Discard the solids afterward.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, molasses and a pinch of salt together.  Heat the milk once again.  Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 170 and 175 F on an instant read thermometer).

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream.  Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl.  Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.  Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Fold in the bread cubes once churned, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.






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