This past September I got hitched, and one of the bridal shower gifts was an ice cream maker. I was so excited! I still am, really. I made a few batches and loved the idea of experimenting with different flavors. Naturally, Scott (this is the guy I married) and I can only eat so much ice cream, so when a friend’s birthday was fast approaching I decided to make him his favorite flavor: mint chocolate chip.
So off to find a recipe. All in all the recipes were very similar: a bit of milk, some sugar, green and yellow food coloring if you want it to have that mint green appearance you find in the store. But some recipes said to use peppermint extract and others said to use just mint. Some reviewers mentioned that peppermint seemed to be too strong so they would in the future opt for mint instead.
Now my line of thinking, was why wouldn’t you just use mint in the first place? It’s call mint chocolate chip not peppermint chocolate chip. What’s the difference? So, off to Googles I went.
After going down the rabbit hole of articles on mint, I soon discovered that “mint” is just a general term for a family of plants. There isn’t just a mint plant out there. There is a wide variety of mint types including lavender, pineapple, spearmint, and peppermint. So when one purchases McCormick’s pure mint extract in the spice aisle, it is combination of two types of mint, peppermint and spearmint. I also learned that generally people prefer peppermint to “mint” extract when making sweet items. Apparently, the spearmint in the “pure mint” extract can make it taste kind of goofy with chocolate, however, it seems to be based mainly on personal preference.
Nevertheless, the only reviewer complaints I found talked about how the peppermint was too overpowering, nothing about the hybrid “mint” extract, so I decided to go with a recipe that had just called for the “pure mint” extract. It was a super simple and tasted minty to me, and the receiver of said ice cream seemed to enjoy it. There were a few things that I would like to experiment with to see if I can make it better, and I’m sure the digital ink of the universe will be there to help me.
I must say I’m glad I live in the era of the internet otherwise I dare say I would be very much like my great-great uncle Ross who was known for reading the encyclopedia. Yes, the idea of learning via ink is in my blood.