If you haven’t heard of the Elephant & Piggie books from Mo Willems, you simply must get your hands on one!
From the same author who brought you the beloved Knuffle Bunny and Pigeon books comes Elephant & Piggie, a series of books kids of all ages love. I know this because my kids of all ages (6, 8, 14 and 16) adore the Elephant & Piggie books. We own almost every one and have read them multiple times… and then some. No matter how often I read them (with or without the kids), I find myself smiling if not giggling out loud. The kids and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. It would be like choosing which of my kids is my favorite.
Okay, so sometimes I do have a favorite child depending on the day and the attitude.
In Should I Share My Ice Cream?, Elephant has a really difficult choice to make… one many of us have had to make at least once in our life: to share or not to share that absolutely scrumptious ice cream cone.
Will he or won’t he? You’ll have to turn the pages to find out!
While you’re waiting for your copy to arrive, you should whip up a batch of Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream. And then make a second batch because I promise you that first batch will be nearly impossible to share.
NOTE: You can’t see the caramel swirl in my photo because I made the mistake of adding it to the ice cream machine before it started. That is SO not the way to do it. Make sure you add the caramel swirl after it’s done. You’ll layer it as you place the finished ice cream into an airtight container for final hardening in the freezer. Oh, and the caramel swirl is totally optional. If you decide to skip it, the ice cream will be just as yummy… and you’ll have fewer dishes to clean.
SALTED CARAMEL SWIRL PECAN ICE CREAM RECIPE
Adapted from Epicurious
Ingredients for Caramel Swirl
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 7 T heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Ingredients for Ice Cream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T butter
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
Directions for Caramel Swirl:
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Continue to boil but don’t stir! Gently swirl pan until mixture turns a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add cream and vanilla. Mixture will get angry and vigorously simmer; caramel will harden. Don’t worry!
- Return to medium heat and simmer, stirring until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Note: You can make the caramel swirl up to 1 week ahead. Cover and keep in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using. If caramel swirl is too thick to drizzle, warm slightly in the microwave.
Directions for Ice Cream:
- Heat 1 cup sugar in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork or whisk to heat sugar evenly. Once it starts to melt, stir occasionally so sugar melts evenly. Be patient! This can take a while. Allow it to melt completely until it turns a dark amber.
- Carefully add 1 1/4 cups cream. Again, mixture will get angry and sugar will harden but no worries. Continue to cook, stirring until caramel has completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl; add salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
- Bring milk, remaining 1 cup cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
- Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly and furiously. You don’t want those eggs to scramble! Pour egg-milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F. Do NOT let boil!
- Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel. Chill custard, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Stir once every hour for the first 3 hours or so.
- Pour custard into ice cream maker and begin freezing. While ice cream is freezing, melt 1 T unsalted butter in a medium skillet. Add pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature; add to ice cream maker five minutes before ice cream is done.
- Transfer 1/3 of the ice cream to a 2-quart airtight container. Drizzle 1/3 caramel swirl over it. Repeat with remaining ice cream and caramel swirl. Freeze ice cream until hard, at least 8 hours and up to 1 week.
Emily, a wife and mother of four living in Sandy, Utah, enjoys sharing her life experiences — mostly her experience making and eating delicious food—on her blog is this REALLY my life?. In her spare time she is a freelance copywriter and editor and social media junkie. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Diet Coke and chocolate make it possible.