Had to repost this one today. Happy Birthday Brother! I hope your day is as sweet and special as you made mine 26 years ago:
My parents gave me ice cream for breakfast the morning my brother was born. I was only 2 1/2, but I remember as though it was yesterday. Now, 25 years later, I found myself making him ice cream for his birthday. The irony? I made it fresh that AM and actually tasted some for breakfast.
My brother had asked me (back in June by the way) to make him a peanut butter chunk ice cream for his August celebration. A vanilla base, heavy on the peanut butter with “not a swirl, but globs” of it consistently running throughout the frozen mixture. Basically, he wanted me to specifically recreate his absolute favorite flavor of grocery store brand ice cream, the homemade way.
“Jenn, please double the peanut butter recipe so when you eat most of it during your tasting process there will be enough left for me.” Thanks brother, for that somewhat hurtful yet entirely accurate accusation. (I did make extra by the way. A perfect warm topping!)
He overlooked the fact that I had never created this before, hadn’t yet tasted what I was trying to replicate, and he can easily purchase a gallon of the good stuff on his own and guarantee he will love it. I can handle the pressure. So I began with my go-to vanilla ice cream base, and slathered (not swirled) in heaping amounts of stove top peanut butter sauce.
When it came time for dessert, I gave him the first scoop and whaddaya know–a perfect swirl formed. Everyone else’s was chock full o’ globs, but his was a swirl. We both smiled. Just another moment between the two of us where no words needed to be spoken in order to communicate an inside joke. You see, my brother and I are fortunate to have a very close relationship. Of course, even in our twenties we bust each other’s chops with typical sibling banter, but it’s always in good fun. The laughter we share, that is contagious within our immediate family, is unlike any other.
Swirl or not, the ice cream was a success. It was such a great feeling to be able to do something special for someone I truly care about. It’s like when you hit the gift-giving jackpot and find the perfect present for a loved one. Watching their face as they unwrap the treasure is how I felt seeing my brother take a bite of my creation. (Okay, I also cringed a little in fear of what kind of silly comment he might make!) Fortunately, he said it was delicious!
Happy 25th baby brother. May this ice cream–and the whole year ahead–be exactly what you are hoping for.
For Ice Cream:
1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
For Peanut Butter Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
Combine the peanut butter, whipping cream, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan.
Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth and sugar is dissolved.
Follow steps for vanilla ice cream base recipe.
Pack the finished ice cream into a container, alternating with generous spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture.
Or you can playfully swirl it on. Oops. I see what happened now…
Freeze until the mixture is solid.
Eat and enjoy for a special birthday or any time of the year!
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