With a banana base, plenty of spice, and lots of cookie chunks this Gingerbread Nice Cream is a creamy, healthy holiday treat–no ice cream maker required!
I’m not sure any of us are really prepared for how gingerbread-y it’s about to get around here. I mean are we really even ready to use ‘gingerbread’ as an adjective like that? I know I’m not, but yet I just did. And in the same fashion, gingerbread takeover–it’s happening.
Gingerbread is my favorite holiday flavor. Well actually it’s one of my favorite flavors year round, but since it only feels appropriate to post about for a couple of months out of the year that means it’s time to squeeze in as many gingerbread things as possible!
If you break it down, the flavor of gingerbread is pretty much just the best of the warm fall/winter spices plus molasses. Nutmeg, cloves, allspice–they’re great as supporting spices. But honestly I probably couldn’t tell them apart in a sniff test even if I tried, and which one to use when is kind of a blur for me. (Confession: Sometimes when a recipe calls for a bunch of those spices I just chuck in a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and call it close enough!)
But ginger and cinnamon, those are the key players. Those are the spices that you cannot leave out without noticing. Those are the spices that when I see a recipe call for one teaspoon I always make it one heaping tsp. And when it comes to gingerbread they are absolutely essential. Also when it comes to gingerbread, I think vanilla and lemon are always good additions.
Usually I am an advocate of using fresh ginger in anything gingerbread related, but nice cream is a different story. Because you know sometimes when you are blending up nice cream and it looks perfectly smooth and creamy from the top, flowing through the blades like a banana river, but then you start
eating from the blender serving it and you find a massive chunk of frozen banana still hiding in there? I didn’t want that same sort of chunk-slipping-by situation happening with a piece of ginger–too risky! So for this recipe I used only ground ginger.
Any chunks in that bowl should be of cookie and cookie only! It’s not called GingerBREAD Nice Cream for nothing. And by bread I mean cookie. Do you ever think about how weird it is that they are called gingerbread cookies? Like is it bread or is it cookie–pick one!! And I suppose I just took that weirdness a step further by making ice cream named after a cookie named after a bread. But there are lots of cookie chunks in this ice cream so that makes up for it, yes!?
Any gingerbread cookie will do as long as it can crumble. I used my favorite gingerbread cut-out cookie recipe, but pressed and baked them into circles instead of rolling. It’s still a bit early for actual gingerbread men to be showing up. Crumble those cookies and add some to the blender, some on top before you freeze it, and some more on top after scooping. When in doubt, add more cookie!
One thing that makes this nice cream extra cool compared to most nice creams is that it can actually last in the freezer for a couple of days without turning into the dreaded banana ice brick. Molasses by itself does not freeze solid at freezer temp, so that keeps the nice cream from freezing solid too. It is still best the first day (like almost everything) but even the next day it is still creamy and scoopable. That’s why I made this recipe larger than my other nice cream recipes, so you can get at least a few big bowls out of one batch.
Gingerbread Nice Cream
Blend everything except the cookies in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy and smooth.
Add 1/3 of the cookie crumbles. Blend briefly to combine.
Speed into a shallow pan or dish. Sprinkle more cookie crumbles on top.
Freeze for at least 2 hours.
Scoop into bowls, top with more cookie crumbles, enjoy!
Keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 days.
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