Take a second and look around. What do you see?
I see ice cream. Everywhere: in my freezer, in five different places one block away, and in everybody's hands. If I were to listen to myself, I would bathe in ice cream every single morning. Well, maybe not, because I have to hurry in the mornings and doing that would just take too much time.
Nevertheless, seeing everyone walk around with an ice cream cone has made me realize I may be hungry for fresh salads, but I'm also craving ice cream. All the time. See, I like sorbet, but what I really want these days is something creamy and not particularly light. Every time I hear a truck, I turn around, hoping it's the ice cream man or a Mr. Softee truck. Then, I realize I'm in France.
Toto, we're not in America anymore.
Oddly enough, my first reaction to this summertime craving (I say this because in the winter, I crave peppermint ice cream--different category, right?) wasn't to go out and eat ice cream. My first reaction was to go out and buy ice cream, to make ice cream muffins. Same thing? Hardly. Ice cream muffins are not, contrary to what you might be thinking at this very moment, like ice cream sandwiches. They are something else entirely.
When I was still in Urbana, my neighbor Pat found a recipe that she thought I might be interested in. (thanks Pat!) Sure enough, I couldn't wait to try it. Here's the catch: the recipe has two ingredients. Ice cream, and self-rising flour--which actually becomes a tiny five ingredients if, like me, you don't have self-rising flour. Ice cream in muffins? Sure--the ice cream replaces the traditional fat, eggs, and dairy you would find in traditional muffins.
I gave these a try this weekend, after deciding that the new caramelized almond vanilla ice cream I spotted at the supermarket was the perfect ingredient for these. That's the best part--you could really use any kind of ice cream you want, as long as it isn't anything too low-fat. I had fun with my batch and made one third plain, the other third chocolate-chip, and the last third chocolate-peanut butter-chip.
Verdict? These are pretty impressive. The texture is somewhat dense, but not really in a bad way. They aren't too sweet and might even be a little salty for some, so I reduced the original salt content in the recipe. Not to delve into the sketchy issue of calories here, but the recipe states that (without add-ins, obviously) each muffin boasts an impressively low 118 calories and 3 grams of fat. Take that, Starbucks muffins!
Here's the thing. Picture yourself having a get-together and buying lots of ice cream. You'll obviously--well, maybe, not if you're me though--have some ice cream left. Let it melt out in the sun for a half hour, pull out your flour, and 20 minutes later you'll have tomorrow's breakfast.
Magic? Maybe. I knew the ice cream man had something we didn't.
Ice Cream Muffins
adapted from Midwest Living
makes 6 muffins
1 cup ice cream, melted
1 cup self-rising flour
(or: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 TS baking powder, 1/4 TS salt, 1/4 TS baking soda)
Optional: 1/3 cup add-ins (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, fruit...anything!)
Grease six 2 1/2 inch muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. Preheat oven to 375°F / 180°C.
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until just blended. Fill each cup almost to the top.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Note: Midwest Living says to serve them warm, but they were pretty scrumptious at room temperature too.
Note II: I doubled this and it worked out great. The original recipe calls for 1/2 TS of salt, which was a little much to my taste, especially if you double the recipe!