Fluffer Nutter Butter Ice Cream

As a kid I was a major sucker for peanut butter. Favorite candy bars: Butterfinger, Reeses Fastbreaks, Payday. If it had peanut butter in it, I likely ate it and loved it. But somewhere along the way, as in the past three years or so, I couldn't handle a whole lot of peanut butter anymore. Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream was WAY too much for me to handle and even my PB&J sandwiches got a little heavy on the jelly side. Josh, on the other hand, is a peanut butter fiend so imagine his disappointment as over the years I've cut back on our mutual peanut butter consumption.

But oddly I'm still a sucker for Nutter Butters. In fact, they're a weakness. My mother-in-law often had them stocked in her pantry and I'd take one or two or three packages. If the vending machines at work had Nutter Butters it was easy to guess what I'd be eating for my afternoon snack. Maybe it's because I never really had them as a kid so I didn't have a chance to get sick of them? Or maybe it's because they're a toned down peanut butter snack? Whatever it is, I'm hooked.

So I take any excuse to make a Nutter Butter treat. A few months back I made a pie crust out of them and "accidentally" bought double the amount of cookies I'd need so I had a few leftovers to munch on while the pie set. And now that I can't get enough ice cream, I had to incorporate Nutter Butters somehow.

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As for the marshmallow, I've been a bit obsessed lately. In between perfecting the incredible Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream and the Cannoli Ice Cream, I've been making Toasted Marshmallow ice cream about once a week. I've made it what seems like a million times, trying to really incorporate that toasted fluffy sweet marshmallow taste to the actual ice cream base (none of this boring ice cream base with marshmallows thrown in business I'm finding everywhere) which means I always have marshmallows and marshmallow sauce on hand. In fact, I have a giant quart container of marshmallow sauce waiting to be used in my next experiment.

In the meantime, I wanted to use marshmallow elsewhere, at the very least so Josh and I don't get so sick of toasted marshmallow ice cream that we can't even handle the sample bites. So what goes great with marshmallow? Peanut butter. And chocolate. And caramel. And graham cracker. But let's start with peanut butter.

Now, this ice cream is wonderful, even for this non-peanut-butter-loving gal over here. It's not TOO peanut buttery (Josh said he would use a full cup of peanut butter if he were making it for himself) and the chunks of Nutter Butter and swirls of marshmallow sauce add some excitement and a break from a boring bite of peanut butter. (On that note, do not skip the vanilla. The mild hint of vanilla perfectly ties the ice cream and the marshmallow sauce together.) If you're a peanut butter fiend unlike myself, go ahead and use 3/4 cup of peanut butter and see how that goes. But if you want good classic peanut butter flavor without ending up looking like a dog trying to use your tongue to get it all out of your mouth, this recipe should be perfect for you.

Ingredients

3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Nutter Butters, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup marshmallow sauce (not marshmallow fluff)

Instructions

Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold and cool a 2 quart bowl.

In a medium heatproof bowl, break up the egg yolks with a whisk, then whisk in 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside.

In a 3-4 quart nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining sugar, milk, and cream. When the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

While whisking the eggs constantly, use a ladle to scoop out about a 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. Repeat with another scoop of cream, whisking until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to stir the cream mixture in the saucepan as you pour the egg mixture into the pan.

While stirring regularly, cook the mixture over the medium heat for about 2 minutes longer or until slightly thickened but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla.

Strain the base through a mesh strainer into a 2 quart bowl. Set the bowl in your ice bath and use a clean spatula to stir the base occasionally until it is completely cooled.

Dry the outside of your container, cover the ice cream base with plastic wrap, and put a lid on your container. Refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to churn your ice cream, place an empty ice cream container into the freezer.
Churn your ice cream in the ice cream machine according to the machine's instructions. When your ice cream is thick but not quite frozen into a solid mass, add in the Nutter Butter chunks and slowly pour the marshmallow sauce through the top of your container, using a spatula to keep the ice cream moving and incorporating the sauce. Stop the machine as soon as your marshmallow sauce is added to keep it from mixing the sauce into the ice cream.

Transfer the ice cream to your pre-frozen container. Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap, pressing it down so no air can get in. Put the lid on your ice cream and freeze for at least 5 hours.