Cooking with children is dreadfully messy but delightedly fun! Few things are more fun than making ice cream. Personally, I’d like to try the semi-famous “Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball” – allow you to play with your food quite literally, for just a few dollars. Here’s a link, if you’re curious:
If fancy-schmancy grown-up ice creams are more your thing, Cuisinart has a few models that will set you back a few more dollars, but still cost less than a good stockpot:
We used a “Young Chef” brand children’s ice cream maker, which for some strange reason I can no longer find online (sorry).
The premise behind most ice cream makers, however, is essentially the same. Milk, cream, sugar, and flavoring go on the inside, while ice and salt go on the outside. The rest is just window dressing. Here’s what we did…
Step 1) Add 2 cups of ice cubes, 1/3 cup salt, and 2 tablespoons hot water to the inside of the metal “freezer drum.”
Step 2) Seal tightly and set the freezer drum inside the ice cream maker so that it locks into the gears of the handle (very easy).
Step 3) Combine 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream, 1 heaping tablespoon sugar, and a flavoring in a small pitcher. For flavoring, you could add 1 teaspoon of any baking extract, a bit of pureed fruit, or perhaps a tablespoon of chocolate sauce. We used 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Step 4) Pour half of the ice cream mixture over the freezer drum and turn the handle. Give the handle about ten turns, then use the orange lever to “scrape” ice cream off of the freezer drum and into a wide container (to avoid spills). Transfer ice cream into little serving cups.
Step 5) Continue turning the handle, scraping, and adding more ice cream mixture. You will end up with about 2 cups of ice cream.
10 for fun! The kids loved it.
8 for ease of use! This wasn’t complicated, but I suspect the “Ice Cream Ball” ice cream maker would be even more simple.
5 for ice cream quality! As you can see from the photo on the left, the ice cream wasn’t very creamy. I still give this a solid “5” because the kids really didn’t care about the consistency.
Whatever model of ice cream maker you try, just go play in the kitchen. There will be plenty of time to keep sugar off of the floor when the kids grow up.