Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Vienna Finger Cookie and Bourbon Ice Cream

Posted on: November 12, 2009


One of my most successful recipes, ever.

This ice cream was just phenomenal. Seriously, everyone kept going back for seconds and we finished the whole thing in under a half an hour. Even though this ice cream might sound novel, I actually stole the flavor combination from a popular ice cream parlor in Cambridge, MA called Toscanini’s. To give you an idea of how awesome their ice cream is, The New York Times once said that they make the best ice cream in the world. Part of that greatness is their ever new and creative ice cream recipes that change from week to week. I’m so glad that Tosci’s thought up this flavor combination because who knows if I would have. And recreating it at home makes it even better because you get to eat it fresh and at its peak; right out of the ice cream maker!


Surprisingly good!

I never would have thought to put Vienna Fingers in my ice cream. Not that it’s wild and crazy idea, but Vienna Fingers in my mind were so, well…boring. After one taste of this ice cream I realized the grievous error of my ways. Vienna Finger cookies contribute a subtle creamy vanilla flavor and textural crunch that combines beautifully with the bourbon. Vanilla and bourbon are a match made in heaven, and the cookies really boosted that pairing.


Bourbon and Cookies, what could be better?

For the bourbon component of this recipe, I used Jack Daniel’s which tasted great in the creamy, sweet custard base. This ice cream was sophisticated without being too boozy. Just make sure that you don’t add too much liquor to any ice cream recipe. Alcohol doesn’t freeze very well, so if you add too much booze to your ice cream it may never set up and you’ll end up with a runny milkshake instead of ice cream. The upside of alcohol in ice cream is that if you use it in small amounts, it will prevent the ice cream from freezing too hard; a common complaint with homemade ice cream. Usually, you’re pretty safe with three tablespoons of liquor and under.


The ice cream just crying out for some cookies.

This flavor had an amazing depth of flavor with the bourbon and vanilla in perfect harmony. This has to be in my top five favorite flavors of all time, which is saying something because I’ve made a lot of homemade ice cream. The Vienna Finger cookies make you feel like a kid, while the bourbon is decidedly adult. Make this irresistable ice cream for your family and watch your efforts quickly vanish.

Vienna Finger Cookie and Bourbon Ice Cream Recipe


1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white sugar

5  large egg yolks

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons Bourbon, I used Jack Daniel’s

5-6 Vienna Finger Cookies, chopped

1.) Combine milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.     Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

2.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

3.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add milk mixture and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6-7 minutes.

4.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt and bourbon and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  When ice cream is ready, add chopped Vienna Finger Cookies. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

This ice cream is beautiful and complex as it is, but if you really wanted to make this into a sundae, I think any type of chocolate or hot fudge sauce would taste wonderful in combination with the vanilla and bourbon flavors.

 The lighter side– Feel to substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream in this recipe. If anything it will only make the flavors more intense, which is the reason gelati is often made this way in Italy.


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