Drunken Thanksgiving

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Ample Hills Creamery

Ample Hills Creamery

By Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna

Published 2014

  • About

A slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, a tumbler of bourbon on the rocks, and a chewy molasses-ginger cookie—mash ’em up, toss ’em together, and you have a Drunken Thanksgiving. That’s what we love about ice cream: the endless flavor possibilities. Just consider your favorite meal, your favorite drink, or your favorite dessert—we promise you there’s an ice cream flavor lurking nearby.


For the Pumpkin-Bourbon Ice Cream

  • ¾ cup (165 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons (85 g) skim milk powder
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 2⅓ cups (560 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cloves


    1. Make the pumpkin-bourbon ice cream: Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl.
    2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, skim milk powder, and milk. Stir with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Make sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). Add the cream. Use a cheesecloth to squeeze any excess water out of the pumpkin puree; add the puree. Whisk to combine.
    3. Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110°F (45°C), 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
    4. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour ½ cup (120 ml) of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then whisk the egg-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture.
    5. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 165°F (75°C), 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk to combine.
    6. Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the ice cream base through a wire-mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool.
    7. Make the molasses cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-by-18-inch baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
    8. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.
    9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cane sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs and molasses and continue beating until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, 1 cup (about 100 g) at a time, beating until just combined after each addition before adding the next.
    10. Sprinkle some flour on your hands and press the dough into an even layer, approximately ¼ inch (6 mm) thick, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely, then chop the cookie layer into bite-size pieces.
    11. Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    12. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, folding in the molasses cookie pieces as you do. Use as many of the cookie pieces as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.