[caption id="attachment_6179" align="aligncenter" width="633"] We have about 300 varieties of frozen treats[/caption] The original idea for this blog involved my opening with something along the lines of “what a hot summer this has been, what have you been doing to keep cool?” but it’s actually been a very mild, comfortable summer. Does that mean we can’t enjoy the refreshments of the season? Of course not! Who doesn’t like a little ice cream? Whether you are a frequent flyer of frozen yogurt, buy big buckets of the budget stuff, a pint of perfectly prepared premium ice cream, or a selection of smooth sorbet, the frozen aisle at your favorite Festival Foods has something for any self-proclaimed ice cream aficionado. Clocking in at around 300 different flavors or varieties in the freezers at each of our Festival Foods stores, there is no shortage of delicious ways to cool off. Though our best sellers are vanilla, chocolate, and butter pecan, you can find more creative confections from Kemps, Edy’s Blue Bunny, Cedar Crest, Ben & Jerry’s, and more! What’s the difference between regular vanilla and French vanilla you ask? French vanilla is made with eggs to give it a creamier taste and texture. That’s it! Vanilla Bean ice cream has bits of vanilla beans in it, and other varieties of vanilla are made by varying the levels of sugar and vanilla flavor. [caption id="attachment_6181" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Look at all the vanilla![/caption] Want to try something new? Make your own! Try this excellent recipe for Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut Ice Cream. Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut Ice Cream Ingredients: 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup half & half 2 cups whole milk 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon decaf instant coffee 4 ounces of finely crushed hazelnuts 8 ounces of dark chocolate 6 egg yolks Fresh mint leaves (optional for garnish) Directions: Combine the cream, half & half, milk, sugar, crushed hazelnuts, and coffee in a heavy saucepan. Set to medium heat and stir mixture until it reaches a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Temper with small portion of hot mixture then, while stirring, gradually add the egg mixture in to the hot cream. Bring back to medium-low heat, while stirring, add chocolate in bits. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 165 degrees F. This is important when using raw eggs to make the ice cream safe to eat! Once your mixture reaches temperature, strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to remove hazelnuts and any chunks. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Remove from fridge, and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately as a soft serve with mint garnish, or keep in freezer overnight for thicker ice cream. [caption id="attachment_6182" align="aligncenter" width="479"] Time for me to stop writing and start eating![/caption]
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