Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snowy Day with Gingerbread and 'Nog

It's the first official snow day of the winter: no school, no driving, and no reason not to spend the day in pajamas. It's simply too dangerous out there to leave the warmth of the kitchen, where I've been working on some holiday dessert ideas.

Ice cream might be the furthest thing from your mind during a blizzard, but I've been dreaming of frozen eggnog since before Thanksgiving. I am in love with nutmeg, but don't enjoy eggnog's thick, gluey mouthfeel, and I can do without the egg yolks, too.

My solution? Lots of nutmeg, lots of cream (coconut and soy), some sugar and a smidge of rum, swirled around in the ice cream maker until light and fluffy. You could make ice cream out of commercially available soy or rice nog, but this from-scratch version is just as easy.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, put one on your Christmas list—it'll open up a whole new world of dessert.

Veganog Ice Cream

1 14-oz can coconut milk
1 cup soy creamer
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional, but alcohol improves the ice cream's texture)

Mix all ingredients in a blender until uniform. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Cover and freeze until firm.

Makes about 3 cups.

Delightfully rich and spicy on its own, veganog ice cream is perfect sandwiched between gingerbread cookies. In my gluten days, I liked this vegan gingerbread recipe (see last winter's Gingerbread Graemes). To make them gluten-free, I replaced the all-purpose flour with the following:

2/3 cup white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

I based my mix on Bette Hagman's Featherlight Flour, which I learned about here. The dough behaved normally; I was able to roll it out and cut it into shapes. The cookies looked perfect coming out of the oven, but their undersides were cakey and undercooked, and they clung to the baking sheet. Since my cookies were destined for ice cream sandwiches, this didn't matter.

What's wrong here?

They taste like normal gingerbread, but they leave a film on the roof of my mouth. Is it the xanthan gum, the cornstarch, or the tapioca? I'm too new at this to know. Fortunately, we like gingerbread, so I'll be able to test out this recipe with a different flour mix.

I'm going to assemble a bunch of these puppies and stick them in the freezer for instant, effortless dessert down the road.

Okay, I've had my fun. Time to shovel.

16 comments:

  1. I think it's the Devil's Crack. The same thing happened to me, and it is the same exact feeling you get when you have XG on your fingers and it gets wet...

    They look delicious.
    xo
    kittee

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  2. Gingerbread is indeed very far from my mind as I've been wearing a hat in my house I've been so cold. But the picture is beautiful, and paired with some hot gingerbread cookies I could be lured. You managed to make ice cream cozy!
    xo
    Eco Mama

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  3. This is the perfect way to spend a snow day. Yum!!

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  4. Just clicked on the Gingerbread Graemes. I love Graeme!

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  5. Mmmm that ice cream sounds delicious and makes we want to bust out the ice cream maker despite the plunging temperatures! I think I've got another kitchen experiment to add to this list for this weekend...

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  6. Your pictures are so cute!
    I love your idea to make them and store them in the freezer for instant treats later--so smart! Happy snow day!

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  7. Oh! I love that pic of snow, so beautiful! It sounds like a lot of fun making yummy goodies in the kitchen when it's snowing outside, YUM!

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  8. As soon as we finish eating our latest "ice cream" experiment I have plans to make "Nog Ice Cream". I also just made gingerbread cookies! (posting tomorrow) We are sooo on the same wavelength. I LOVE how you made them into ice cream cookie sandwiches! Hello?!!!! YUM!!!!!

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  9. How much snow did you get? I braved the sleet to go out to my friend's house to bake for my next Daring Bakers' Challenge. All the snow is pretty much gone here in Portland, after it turned to rain and the sun is out today. Boo.

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  10. Wow, I am so jealous...I am not looking forward to another almost snow-less winter. But I guess that will be the case again.

    That ice cream sounds just perfect, thank you for sharing the recipe!

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  11. I agree with Eco Mama... I've never thought of ice cream as "cozy" but you did manage to make it so! :-) Your entire POST is cozy! Aren't snow days the best? (Except maybe for the shoveling part). I also visited your "Gingerbread Graemes" post and adore it. "Gingerbread effigies!" :-D

    (Btw, I left a reply to your comment on my Peeping Peanut post, but it bears repeating that I'm really chuckling about finding out to whom I gave my sage tax advice! ;-D Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I must go give advice to the UPS man about how to deliver packages now. LOL!)

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  12. The soynog ice cream looks fabulous--if I had an ice cream maker I'd whip that up in a jiff.

    For the flour mix, I'd suggest a mix of rice flour, quinoa/millet/teff flour, and tapioca starch/corn starch. I haven't used xanthum yet, only guar, but I've had fine results with guar gum. But tapioca flour + cornstarch is probably a little too smooth and gummy without another grain mixed in. Just a hunch though.

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  13. Jess, I think you are right. Corn starch is what you make homemade play-do out of, and these cookies had 2/3 cup in them. Next time I'll do tapioca/rice/quinoa. Thanks!

    Fortunately, the texture is better when the cookies are frozen.

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  14. So, I've been wrestling with the idea of making ice cream, but I keep telling myself that it's winter and it's not seasonably appropriate. But...you just made some damn delicious lookin' ice cream (and gingerbread cookies!) and you live in Maine....where it is ten million times colder than Memphis. And you even have snow. You have me convinced!

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  15. Such beautiful snow! What I would give for a day like that here... And you'd be my best friend if I could come over and have such a treat on a snowy day. Vegan nog is one of my favorite things ever, and must say I'm rather fond of gingerbread, too.

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  16. Yum, that ice cream looks delicious!

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