Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Project Lunch: We All Scream for Ice Cream

For this month's Kids Cooking Class with my MOMS Club, I decided to make ice cream! I found the idea online somewhere else, but ended up using this recipe (since it was the first one that popped up when I Googled it at the grocery store to find out what kind of milk I needed to buy!) Since I wanted to do all the Summer classes in the park, I needed to find recipes that required no cooking or electricity. Ice Cream in-a-bag? PERFECT!

To make it more fun (and less of me doing most of the stuff,) I asked them silly questions and gave them a little of the science behind how it works.

Ice Cream In-A-Bag
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk or half and half (any milk will work, but the creamier the better, so whipping cream or half and half works best)
1/4 tsp vanilla (extract, flavoring, whatever)
Pint and gallon or quart and gallon zipper bags (Heavy Duty Freezer Bags work best)

6 tbsp rock salt (also packaged as "Ice Cream Salt")
Ice cubes

It doesn't really matter which order you fill the bags in (ie: can swap steps 1 and 2,) but if you only have one tablespoon measurer, I'd do the ice cream mixture first, to avoid salty ice cream!

Step 1: Fill the gallon-sized zipper bag half-full of ice. Add the rock salt. Seal the bag, unless you can keep it from spilling.

Step 2: Put the milk, sugar and vanilla into the smaller bag and seal it carefully, trying to push out as much air as possible.

Step 3: Put the smaller bag into the larger bag and seal carefully (again, try to push out as much air as you can.)
Step 4: Shake, jostle, shimmy, or roll bag until the mixture is ice cream. Takes roughly 5 minutes. (You can easily tell by squeezing the smaller bag and feeling how firm it's getting.
Step 5: Open bags carefully and scoop ice cream out of smaller bag into bowl(s) or cone(s.) Mixture is very clumpy.
I brought chocolate syrup and rainbow jimmies to make our ice cream more exciting (especially if it had failed and was too runny or in case I had to give smaller portions to have enough for everyone or something.) And  silly Mama only brought three gallon baggies to the park. I should have just grabbed the whole box. My Mommy Brain is really making me dumb and forgetful lately!

Alternate flavor recipes:
Substitute chocolate milk for the milk, then add only 1 tsp sugar
Add 1 tsp chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, or fruit flavored syrup (like for Italian ices) instead of/in addition to the vanilla
Experiment with unsweetened Kool-Aid powder to find the right ratio of powder-to-milk
You can also add mix-ins, such as chopped candy, cookie crumbles, etc
For non-dairy options, you can use juice instead of the milk mixture (no need to add vanilla or sugar either) or rice/coconut/soy [juice] milk instead of milk (still add the sugar and flavor) to make ices!


  • HAVE SPARE BAGS. All of our ice bags sprung leaks due to them being banged against the table and the ice poking little holes in the sides (or, in one case, little fingers poking holes.) Our inner bags all survived unscathed. (And maybe plan to shake it outside, and/or eat it in a different spot that where you made it, since we got water everywhere!)
  • Another option is to use clean coffee canisters or other screw-top plastic containers. As long as one can fit inside the other with plenty of room for ice. Then you can roll the ice cream mixture around instead of/in addition to shaking.
  • 1/2 cup milk will make roughly one large scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But do it in several batches if you want even more than that, since it gets too heavy for the kids to help otherwise. We made 3 double batches, and I was easily getting enough for 3 kids out of each double batch, and we were able to eke out 10 servings total. Probably less than a 'generous scoop' each this way, but everyone seemed pleased with their servings {I brought small bowls, just in case it didn't make large enough servings, to make each serving look bigger. Teehee!) [Think about it though - if someone brought you a scoop of ice cream on a cone, it's just right. But dump that same scoop into a soup bowl, and "Heyyy... Where's the rest of my ice cream?!" I use this trick to minimize the serving size of treats and desserts. And the opposite trick for foods she's not as fond of. A big bowl for her serving of peas, so it looks like less.]
  • Use gloves, a towel, or even old (clean) socks over hands when handling sealed bag of ice to prevent frozen fingers!
  • The outside of the small bag will be salty, so be careful of salty water dripping into the bowls as you serve, or your salty fingers touching other things!
  • Feel free to eat it right out of the bag! Add toppings right into the bag and go!

I got my "fun science facts" from the original site where I found this recipe, but I think I messed up the explanation on why we add the salt. I thought it lowered the melting point of the ice, but instead it lowers the freezing point (making it colder?) But the kids (and parents) found it interesting anyway.

Linking this post (if I can remember!) up to: Melomomma's "Share it Friday," and

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post that looks like it was as much fun to eat as it was to make!! I love things like this and can't wait to try it out with my kids :)

    Thanks for sharing this with us at Rub Some Dirt On It!


Go ahead! Tell me how awesome I am. Or ask a question. Whatever.

(Please note that I had to disable Anonymous comments. Too many spam comments coming through the filters.)