Honey Butter Shortbread Ice Cream

Behind the Scenes: Making Ice Cream Flavors

Your name doesn’t have to be Ben or Jerry to dream up wildly fun ice cream flavors. Amazing ice cream doesn’t have to come from a specialty shop or the freezer aisle either. You can make homemade ice cream in your own kitchen with natural ingredients, an ice cream maker—and a whole lot of imagination.

We asked our Facebook fans to unleash their imaginations with ideas for fantastical ice cream flavors during the Name Your Flavor Contest. After thousands of entries, three flavors emerged as the undisputed crowd favorites: Honey Butter Shortbread submitted by Amy L., Chai Toffee Chip submitted by Fiona T., and Blueberry Waffle Cone submitted by Leslie I.

Start With a Basic Vanilla

It was up to Tim Hagedorn, a food and trend innovator at Pampered Chef, to turn these yummy ideas into real ice cream flavors.

“These recipe concepts were so good, they practically wrote themselves,” says Tim. “I wanted to make sure that all of these recipes had exciting textures, flavors, and visuals.

“For the Blueberry Waffle Cone and Honey Butter Shortbread, I used vanilla ice cream as the base because I didn’t want the lighter flavors of the honey or blueberries to be covered up in any way.”

That basic recipe uses only four natural ingredients. And when you make ice cream yourself, you decide how decadent or light you want your flavor creation to be.

Boost the Blueberry Flavor

Tim says the Blueberry Waffle Cone ice cream challenged him the most. It took him a week to get the ice cream recipe just right.

“Blueberries have such a subtle flavor,” says Tim. “That’s why I cooked down the blueberries to extract some of the water. Then I added just a little bit of buttermilk because the acidity really helps boost that flavor.”

Test Kitchen Tip: To make blueberry flavoring, add 1 pint of blueberries, a ½ cup of sugar, and 1 tbsp of water to a small saucepan. Simmer the mixture over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then remove the blueberry syrup from heat and chill for two hours. Add your blueberry mixture to the Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe.

Ice Cream Mix-In: Waffle cone crumbles. Break three waffle cones into bite-sized pieces, and add them during the last minute of churning.

Blueberry Syrup

Add a Little Salt to Boost Sweetness

If you’re tired of salted caramel everything, then this Honey Butter Shortbread flavor might be your new favorite. For the base ice cream, Tim used the vanilla ice cream recipe and replaced ¼ cup of honey for ¼ cup of the sugar and added ¼ tsp of salt. Salt, in tiny amounts, enhances the sweetness and creaminess of the other ingredients. That’s why salted caramel tastes so good, too!

Test Kitchen Tip: Add a flavor swirl. Whisk ¼ cup of honey, 2 tbsp of softened unsalted butter, and ¼ tsp of salt in a prep bowl until it’s smooth. Once the honey-vanilla ice cream base is churned to a soft-serve consistency and you’ve added the shortbread cookie mix-ins, gently stir in your swirl mixture using a scraper.

Ice Cream Mix-In:  A half-cup of crumbled shortbread cookies. Yum!


Try Adding Tea

The Chai Toffee Chip ice cream recipe turned out perfectly the first time Tim attempted it.

“I knew the richness of the frozen custard would be perfect for all the spices of chai tea, and the buttery flavors in the toffee,” says Tim.

Test Kitchen Tip: Steep four chai tea bags along with the ingredients of the custard recipe. Once the custard mixture reaches 165°F over medium-low heat, remove the tea bags and add 1 tsp. vanilla. Chill the chai custard mixture for 4 hours, and then churn for 25 minutes.

Ice Cream Mix-In: Toffee. Add ½ cup toffee crumbles during the last minute of churning.

Chai Toffee Chip Ice Cream

Tips and Tricks to Make Ice Cream

To get the most out of your ice cream maker, follow these easy tips.

  • Keep the bowl in a 0° freezer for 24 hours before whipping up your ice cream.
  • Chill your prepped ingredients for 30 minutes before adding them to the ice cream maker.
  • Add any mix-ins in the last five minutes of churning.
  • For a harder, more scoop-able consistency, freeze the mixture in the bowl after you’ve finished churning for about 20–30 minutes.
  • Don’t leave your ice cream maker to churn for 50 minutes or more at a time. It actually reverses the ice cream making process.

Experiment and Have Fun

“It was so much fun to work on these recipes,” says Tim. “Any one of them could be a summer classic for years to come!”

So, go ahead, make your own crazy custom ice cream at home. Experiment with these Test Kitchen tips for yourself. Simmer other types of fruit into a concentrated syrup or steep matcha or lavender tea bags instead of chai. It’s your summer treat, so you call the shots. Which of these three flavors would you make at home? What’s the craziest ice cream flavor you’ve ever eaten? What’s your favorite ice cream mix-in of all time. Leave a comment!

17 Responses to Behind the Scenes: Making Ice Cream Flavors

  1. Carolyn July 17, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    I would like ti know the basic rules for adding items to ice cream if I’m adding fruit to vanilla ice cream do I need to reduce any other ingredients.

  2. Stephanie Corrent July 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    Hi. I just purchase the ice cream maker and wanted to ask a couple of questions please.
    1. How much chocolate syrup did you add to make the chocolate ice cream.
    2. Do you have a recipe for orange sherbet?
    3. Do you have that are lower in fat?
    4. What flavor honey did you use for the Honey Butter Shortbread flavor?
    Thank you

  3. Reada July 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream was amazing! Similar to the the Chai Toffee Chip above, I steeped the earl grey bags (4) in the hot liquids. Additionally, I added a pinch of salt and a few drops of Bergamot essential oil. AMAZING!

  4. Sheila Harris July 19, 2017 at 7:12 am #

    It’s very expensive to make!

    • Melissa May 20, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

      I’ve made the custard and strawberry ice cream and didn’t find it expensive at all.

  5. Laura July 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Tried the Blueberry. Turned out perfect. My husband LOVED it!

  6. Jane Lair July 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    All the coconut milk ones I’ve tried from the website have only turned into smoothies…and the strawberry sorbet did not even get to soft serve…we poured it into glasses after 30 minutes. It had a delicious flavor and I froze it into containers and it was delicious later, but I want it to work in this machine!!! Yes…I even had the mixture overnight in the refrigerator so it was very cold pouring into the machine and yes the freezer portion had been days in the freezer. The only one that works is the Vanilla recipe. Help us as we are getting asked for “no milk” & “no cane sugar” recipes that firm up and taste like ice cream.

  7. Carolyn August 28, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    I just finished making frozen strawberry yogurt. It came out perfect! took 3 ingredients. 250 grams chopped strawberries, 1/2 cup splenda, and 2 cups full fat Plain Greek yogurt. Took 25 minutes. Made 6 1/2 cup servings. Can’t wait to play around with the flavors.

  8. Linda S. September 17, 2017 at 12:18 am #

    I made matcha green tea ice cream and it worked nicely. Started freezing quickly and soft serve after 40 minutes but setup quickly in the freezer so we could enjoy it pretty quickly. That’s the same story as my old fashioned, HUGE, MESSY, salty ice cream maker. This is a lot better!

  9. Becky L September 28, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

    I just used the ice cream maker. I was worried since I had seen so many negative comments about it. I was very impressed. It only took 30 minutes and the consistency was great. I added chocolate. I believe the key is to use their recipe and follow the directions they provide.

  10. Karen Woods May 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

    How much ice cream does this machine make. It looks quite small.

  11. Denise E Chittams May 26, 2019 at 8:52 am #

    I am making some ice cream with peaches now. So far so good. wants I see how this turns out I will be making a whole lot more. experimenting as you say. I can’t wait. I think I will try my version of banana spilt.

  12. Linda Lozzi August 31, 2019 at 12:28 pm #

    I bought the ice maker and I love it ! First try it was so delicious and extremely easy.. Now I want to experiment with some flavors, even though the vanilla was soooo good..

  13. Beverly Key May 26, 2020 at 5:51 pm #

    I would like ti know the basic rules for adding items to ice cream if I’m adding fruit to vanilla ice cream do I need to reduce any other ingredients. I want to add strawberries in syrup.

  14. Lynette Shaffett July 25, 2020 at 1:49 am #

    I have tried 3 times to make ice cream. It never hardens past a icy soup. The recipe that is given in the book with the whipping cream has a greasy consistency. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. If I have to finish the mixture in the freezer, then it’s not an ice cream maker.

  15. Rosanne November 23, 2020 at 11:25 am #

    I washed my ice cream maker and put in dish drain to dry. When took it out there were white crystals on the inside edge of container and the outside ring. Is this common or is something wrong with the container?

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