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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baseball Nut Ice Cream (a copycat Baskin-Robbins recipe)

Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream
You know how certain foods, just like certain songs, can transport you back to a certain moment in time? For me, Baseball Nut ice cream is one of those foods. I didn't plan such a perfectly round number, but it was exactly 20 years ago this summer that I didn't go home from college for the summer for the first time. It was the summer after my sophomore year, and really, the next step in exercising my independence.

I rented the tiniest room known to man in a house rented by some of my friends who were already living out of the dorms. Seriously, it should have been a closet. My twin bed was just able to squeeze in between 3 of the walls, my other stuff in boxes stacked high against the fourth wall. I didn't have any room to walk, only enough room to open and close the door. After about a week or two, there was no hot water in the house and it was filthy (my housemates were all guys)—but I was on my own.

I didn't have a car, but it was the mid-90's, which meant that I rollerbladed everywhere. I lived in East Lansing, but worked in Okemos, which was about a 3 mile treck. I had pretty much the same meal every day: a sleeve of saltines, a tin of tuna fish, and an orange. Once a week I'd walk to Subway and order a Subway Club with light mayo and salt and pepper. And every once in a while I'd treat myself by popping in to Baskin-Robbins and ordering a double-scoop of Baseball Nut Ice Cream. Only that, never anything else.

If you've never tried Baseball Nut before, it's vanilla ice cream with cashews and a black raspberry ribbon. I'm not sure how cones I actually had that summer, but I've only been back to Baskin-Robbins a handful of times since...and really I can't remember the last time. Recently, I caught a status update of a friend on facebook who had just gotten two scoops of B-R ice cream, one being Baseball Nut—I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Sure, I could've rollerbladed...okay, the nearest Baskin-Robbins to squash my craving, but instead I thought I'd try my hand at making a copycat version at home. I think I succeeded. It tastes like independence.

Baseball Nut Ice Cream
This copycat recipe of my favorite Baskin-Robbins ice cream, Baseball Nut, contains vanilla bean ice cream studded with cashews and swirled with a black raspberry ribbon. Every scoop is a grand slam.
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Baseball Nut Ice Cream (a copycat Baskin-Robbins recipe)
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes + 6 hours to freeze
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Keywords: dessert soy-free vegetarian blackberries cream raspberries cashews frozen ice-cream American summer

Ingredients (a generous quart)
    for the black raspberry ribbon:
    • 6 ounces fresh blackberries
    • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    everything else:
    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
    • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, cold
    • 1 cup roasted, salted whole cashews
    Combine all of the ingredients for the black raspberry ribbon in medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook, stirring and pressing the berries against the side of the pan to release juices often, for about 8 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour into a metal strainer set over a small bowl and press on the solids to get as much sauce as possible; discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until cold, then proceed with the recipe.

    Stir the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla bean paste together in a small bowl; set aside.

    Place heavy cream in a large mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape the condensed milk mixture into the cream and gently fold in.

    Pour 1/3 of the mixture into a 9 1/2" x 5 1/2" loaf pan. Scatter 1/3 of the cashews over the top, then drizzle 1/3 of the black raspberry mixture over it. Scoop another 1/3 of the ice cream mixture, followed by another 1/3 of the cashews and black raspberry mixture. Scoop the remaining ice cream mixture on top, followed by the remaining cashews and black raspberry mixture. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to gently smooth the top, pressing lightly to submerge any cashews.

    Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream, then slide the pan into the freezer for at least 6 hours or until firm before serving.
    Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream
    I'm excited to share this ice cream with the Progressive Eats Ice Cream Social this month!

    Progressive Eats
    Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is an Ice Cream Social and is hosted by Barbara Schieving who blogs at Barbara Bakes. With summer in full swing, now is the time to get outside and enjoy some ice cream with friends and family!

    Ice Cream Social

    If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

    We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
    Copycat Baseball Nut Ice Cream