What Is Peppermint Ice Cream?

H. Bliss

Peppermint ice cream is a sweet, frozen dessert generally made from dairy products that are sweetened and flavored like peppermint. It can be white with red peppermint chunks, pink, or white with pink and red chunks and streaks. Most varieties of peppermint ice cream also have chunks of peppermint candy in them, and they are sometimes called candy cane ice cream. Though it can sometimes be acquired year-round, many varieties of peppermint ice cream are seasonal offerings that are only available near the end-of-the-year holiday season. The hard peppermint candy in peppermint ice cream generally has a red color, which gives the ice cream with pink streaks of varying brightness.

Peppermint.
Peppermint.

Some types of peppermint ice cream are also flavored with chocolate chunks. Some people top their peppermint ice cream with hot fudge. This type of ice cream is popular around the holiday season because it is flavored like candy canes, and sometimes with candy canes. Since the ice cream is moist, the candy inside takes on a unique chewy and crisp texture that makes them both sticky and crunchy. It is generally eaten around Christmas. In many areas, it is not available in retail stores outside of the holiday season, but it can also be homemade.

Vanilla ice cream can be covered with crushed peppermint chips for a homemade treat.
Vanilla ice cream can be covered with crushed peppermint chips for a homemade treat.

Peppermint ice cream can be made at home using a machine. It can also be made by hand, although with much more labor. To get the creamy texture typical of ice creams, the mixture must be churned as it freezes. The simplest way to get the experience of peppermint ice cream without the difficulty of making ice cream is to crush peppermint chips over vanilla ice cream. Besides peppermint candy, common ingredients in peppermint flavored ice cream include cream, sugar, and vanilla. Most homemade peppermint ice cream recipes also contain egg yolks, yielding a product that is closer to a custard.

A relative of water mint and spearmint, peppermint is one of the most popular mint flavors. It is common in many foods and drinks, including teas and cocktails, as well as candies and meat dishes. Mint is a popular flavor that is used in ice cream, and peppermint flavored ice cream is not the only kind available. Other mint ice cream flavors include mint chip, creme de menthe, and mint cookie ice cream. Mint chip, a green, minty ice cream with flecks of chocolate, is usually the most widely available flavor.

Many varieties of peppermint ice cream contain chunks of peppermint candy.
Many varieties of peppermint ice cream contain chunks of peppermint candy.

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Discussion Comments

Hazali

@Chmander - While I don't know how well peppermint goes with other desserts, it's a food that's best used in the winter. It goes great with hot chocolate. Besides, who knows? You could even try experimenting with peppermint and see how well it goes with other holiday sweets. You'll never know until you try.

Chmander

@Hazali - I definitely agree with you. It's amazing how sometimes even when people don't like a certain flavor by itself (example: peppermint candy), it blends well with other drinks and confections regardless. And as the article says, it's quite common in several foods. Ice cream aside, I wonder if there are any other desserts that go well with peppermint.

Hazali

While I'm definitely not a big fan of peppermint, I really enjoy it in ice cream, especially vanilla. In fact, has anyone noticed that peppermint flavor seems to only work in vanilla? Maybe it's because since vanilla is a "plain" flavor, you can add anything you want to it.

On another note, I don't know about anyone else, but I prefer homemade peppermint ice cream as opposed to the store bought brand, which tastes a lot more artificial.

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