A Year of Holidays: Cinnamon Ice Cream with Cinnamon Crisps

A review of “Cinnamon Ice Cream with Cinnamon Crisps” from The Pioneer Woman: A Year of Holidays cookbook

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Cinnamon Ice Cream with Cinnamon Crisps

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Once again we are celebrating this holiday in quarantine, so I opted to only make this one recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays. You can find it split into two separate recipes on her website: here and here. You can also find her recipe for homemade tortillas here, though it differs slightly from the recipe in her cookbook.

This recipe requires a few different waiting times, so you may want to make the ice cream the day before. First you need to wait for your ice cream maker’s bowl to freeze (if it’s not already), then you wait for the ice cream mixture to cool completely after cooking, and finally you throw the ice cream in the freezer when it’s done.

The first part of this recipe is preparing the ice cream mix. The half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans are cooked over the stove until warm. Then the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean are removed, and egg yolks are slowly added in. This is then cooked until thick, and then the custard is strained. Finally, the heavy cream and ground cinnamon are added in. This is refrigerated until it’s completely cooled.

Next, if you’re making your own tortillas for the cinnamon crisps, you’ll want to get started on the dough. This involves combining the dry ingredients, cutting in the butter / vegetable shortening, pouring in hot water, and then kneading and covering for an hour. Then the dough is rolled out (or use a tortilla press if you have one!) and cooked for about 30 seconds per side until done.

Once the ice cream mixture is cooled, it’s churned in your ice cream machine according to the machine’s directions, and then put into containers to store in the fridge for several hours.

I realized too late that my ice cream maker recommends 6 hours of refrigeration first if making an ice cream using cooked egg yolks, like this one does, so my ice cream was actually a little softer than soft-serve when it was done. Otherwise I’m normally a fan of the soft-serve consistency of freshly churned ice cream! Once frozen for several hours, though, it was the perfect consistency – firm yet still soft enough to scoop easily.

While the ice cream froze, I finished off the cinnamon crisps. The tortillas are brushed with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, and cooked until they can be broken into pieces.

Serve scoops of ice cream with the cinnamon crisps, and enjoy!

Taste: 9/10

I can’t say I’ve ever had cinnamon ice cream before, but this tastes pretty much exactly like what I’d expected cinnamon ice cream to taste. It’s like eating (very creamy and delicious) vanilla ice cream with cinnamon mixed in. It’s pretty good! I wouldn’t normally order it at an ice cream parlor, but I still really enjoyed it.

The cinnamon crisps by themselves were only okay. They reminded me of cinnamon toast crunch, but drier and extra toasted. They went really well with the ice cream though.

I would recommend serving with chocolate or caramel sauce (or both)…yummy!

Difficulty: Average

I’ve made some pretty easy ice cream recipes before, but this is not one of them. I wouldn’t say it’s really difficult either, but definitely not easy. It involves basically making a custard over the stove, which could always end up meaning you over or under cook it.

The cinnamon crisps were pretty simple though, especially if you use store bought tortillas!

Cost: Average

Most of the ingredients are fairly cheap, but you will need a lot of it – a lot of cream, a lot of sugar, many egg yolks… And you also need cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean, which definitely increase the cost of this recipe overall (though she does say you can substitute with regular vanilla extract).

For the ice cream you’ll need half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean (or extract), egg yolks, heavy cream, and ground cinnamon. For the cinnamon crisps, you need sugar, cinnamon, tortillas, and butter.

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