mardi gras ice cream

As a self-named Lutholic (I was born + raised Lutheran [LCMS], Matt was born + raised Catholic, so we blended the 2), Fat Tuesday is usually the day where I splurge and binge on everything that I plan on giving up for the Lenten season.  However, thanks to this blog, the things I would be most likely to give up – sweets, Facebook, Twitter, chocolate – it just doesn’t make sense (or good blogging) for me to give up any of those things.  So, don’t worry, you won’t be missing out on new recipes or frozen custard trips!  I thought that would make you all happy… ;o)

However, I did want to celebrate Mardi Gras with a Mardi Gras themed recipe.  Typically, people think of King Cake, which was my initial thought.  But, I had never actually tried King Cake until yesterday (thanks Sarah for bringing some to school to share).  I also don’t enjoy cake or pastries as much as I enjoy cookies and ice cream.  So, I decided to come up with something new that fit my likes!

After researching for Mardi Gras ice cream, I stumbled upon this article from a few years ago.  Had I known Blue Bell used to make a Mardi Gras ice cream (I don’t think they do anymore), I would’ve sought some out.  But, instead, I decided to blend a few things that other people had tried and make my own recipe.

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Vegan Cinnamon Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirls
Adapted from Daily Garnish Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream.

1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, softened (or regular cream cheese)
1 tablespoon Earth Balance, softened (or butter)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine coconut milk, almond milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar in a large bowl or mixer.  Beat until creamy – this will only take about 30 seconds!

Once the ice cream is frozen completely (it shouldn’t be moving around in the machine anymore), empty into a bowl or Tupperware.  Fold in cream cheese mixture.  Cover and freeze in freezer until completely frozen, about 2 hours – overnight would be best.  (I got impatient and only waited an hour, so most of it was still pretty melty.)

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Colored Sugar Sprinkles
This is the easiest recipe ever.  I will never buy store bought sugar sprinkles again.

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 drop food coloring for each color you need

Pour sugar into a zip-top plastic bag.  Add 1 drop of food coloring of your choice (or 1 of 2 different colors to get other colors – purple took a little more to get the color right, but it worked).  Squeeze the coloring into the sugar until all blended together.  TA DA!  Colored sugar!

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EPIC.  I tell you.  This ice cream is seriously the BEST I have made so far.  And I really liked my plain ol’ vanilla custard!  But, this is hands down my favorite!

Rich and creamy – you would have no idea that it was actually vegan!  No cream or eggs at all, which is usually what gives custard/ice cream that delicious rich and creamy texture.  And don’t be scared of the coconut milk – I promise, it doesn’t taste anything like coconut with the massive amounts of cinnamon involved.

The sprinkles gave it a nice grainy texture which I love in anything.  Is that weird?  But, it gave it some crunch.  And beware – the ice cream is already very sweet, so this just sweetens it up even more!

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Served with a piece of actual King Cake on the side.  I was very close to eating the entire carton I made in one sitting – it’s THAT good!  And right now I am so very happy that I did NOT give up sweets for Lent, as this might just have to be my dinner after Ash Wednesday services!

Do you celebrate Lent?  Are you giving up anything?

If I think of something today that’s not food-related, I might still try it!  Matt’s giving up sleeping in – no more snooze for him!  I tried to convince him to give up meat, but that was a no-go for him.  He’s too chicken… ;o)

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