Vanilla bean ice cream and boozy root beer floats

Vanilla bean ice cream
Vanilla bean ice cream
Madagascar vanilla beans

Behold: the final ice cream recipe of summer. This is it, folks! Although I'm sure none of you are complaining considering I've shared one too many ice cream recipes this summer - OOPS. So, if you're sick of the ice cream (which you probably are, especially if you don't have one of those fancy ice cream making devices) - I'm sorry, but I can't not post this one. I just can't. It's the building block for future quarts of mint chocolate chip or cookie dough or salted caramel ice cream. Did I mention it comes with a boozy bonus and-- I had you at boozy bonus, right?

Right.

It's my belief that root beer floats are under appreciated. Overlooked for things like ice cream cones, milkshakes, or hot fudge sundaes. But I urge you, before the official end of summer, to make one and share it with someone you admire. Someone who inspires you and makes you want to be a better person. Pay attention to them, their face, as you pour the soda over the ice cream and it fizzles its way down the sides of the cup. Give them a pretty straw to sop up all that creamy, root beer flavored goodness. Watch them. How something as simple as ice cream and soda (and a pretty straw) will instantly brighten their mood. Sit there. Let the night take you in and get lost in deep, meaningful conversation. Feel sad, happy, hopeful, optimistic. Only good will come from a night spent over root beer floats. I promise.

Boozy root beer float

I've made this ice cream with coconut milk and soy cream, but I prefer the soy cream recipe best. If you're trying to avoid soy, replace it with equal amounts of coconut milk (one can full fat, one can lite). I've also made it with both sugar measurements, but I feel like 1/2 cup is just too sweet for me. However, considering apples are too sweet for me lately, you people who consume sugar regularly might want to add the larger amount. And don't you even think about skimping on the vanilla bean. Get the biggest, fattest one you can buy. If there's a spice shop near you, I recommend getting one there, as they're considerably cheaper than vanilla beans sold in grocery stores (not to mention, better quality).

VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM

3 1/2 cups soy cream
1/3-1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Add 1/3 cup of the cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, xanthan gum and vanilla bean; whisk into cream and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the remaining 3 cups of cream and stir for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate until cooled. Once cooled, pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream machine and mix according to the manufacturer's instructions. Eat ice cream immideately (it will be somewhat soft) or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to consume. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: about 1 quart


BOOZY ROOT BEER FLOATS

6 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
Vanilla bean sugar

Root liquor (or any other liquor)
Good quality root beer

Stack three large scoops of ice cream up the side of a 16 ounce cup. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Add root liquor (to taste) and root beer. Sip with a pretty straw.

Yield: 2 floats, one for you and your favorite person