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Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream & Strawberry Thyme Shortbreads

Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream

We have a winner! Beside the winning combination of Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Thyme Shortbreads Cookies, I am happy to announce that Maryann from Finding La Dolce Vita is the winner of The Baker’s Odyssey! Congrats Maryann! Shoot me an email with your address and the book is on it way!

I realized last evening when someone called to hire B’s band at the last minute for today that it was Mardi Gras! Ah! As a kid it was one of my favorite celebration in the year because I’d get to dress up and I loved to play dress up…ask my mother. I think I just about drove her crazy most years but she knew how much I loved becoming someone completely different even for just a day. So "Bon Mardis Gras" to anybody celebrating!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to play dress up. A different kind though. I played the adult, hardcore. I held the hand of a person in pain and massaged her back. I read her stories and cooked dinner. I did someone else’s laundry and folded someone else’s socks and underwear. For a weekend, I was mother, sister, friend and everything in between. I was the cold cloth girl, the cook, the story teller. We spent the weekend with friends who needed us for one last round of chemo aftermath. Hear that…last one…Hooray! Go life!!

Making Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream

M. was not up to much fun but she was a trooper and when she saw me unpack the groceries for the weekend, she got that little twinkle in her eyes. "Did you bring dessert? I wonder if I’ll have enough of an appetite for it…". Yes, I had brought dessert, a freshly made batch of strawberry and vanilla bean ice cream and planned to bake some cookies at their house. Yes, one more strawberry post but when they are this fresh and this gorgeous in their shiny red coat, I can’t help it…I am weak. What better combination than fresh vanilla, cream and strawberry?

I know how much they like a good cookie with their ice cream and I had planned to make shortbread cookies but the idea was still in progress in my head though. Sometimes, if you leave me too think to long, it ends up in a little frenzy. This time however, everything came together in a very fun way, blending and talking, chopping and talking.

I just did not want they plain and that is when I decided to dry some strawberry slices and add them to the dough along with some fresh chopped thyme. Yep, thyme. If rosemary and plums can be so good together, why not thyme and strawberries? It was perfect with the tart bits of the strawberries and the crumbly, sweet dough and it was delicious with the ice cream. Makes me want to try them with some lemon thyme once I get my herbs growing again. Strawberry heaven….Now I think I am done for a while with them…or am I?


Strawberry Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe:

Kitchen Notes: I made one batch with all the juices and the ice cream turned a very pretty pink but there were virtually no swirl left after trying to get the perfect scoop for a photo op!
I made another batch where I just used diced strawberries thrown in the vanilla ice cream base. Plenty of vanilla color to go around this time! (used in the pics here)

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100gr) + 2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
2 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean, split open
1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and one cup of sugar until pale and thick. In a saucepan set over medium heat, bring the half and half and vanilla bean to a simmer, without letting it come to a full boil. Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg yolks mixture while whisking to temper the egg yolks. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon. It should register 170F on a candy thermometer. At this point you have made a custard sauce, also known as "creme anglaise". Let cool completely, strain and refrigerate until cold.
While the custard cool, prepare the strawberries. Place the quartered strawberries and the remaining measurement of sugar into a small heavy saucepan over medium heat and cook just long enough for the strawberries to soften and to release some juice. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once both the fruit and the custard are cold, process the custard first according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions and toward the end of the churning period, throw in the strawberries.

Dried Strawberries and Thyme Shortbread Cookies Recipe:

Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cutters.

1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 stick butter (113gr) butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (188gr) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon of milk

Preheat your oven to 250F.
Place the strawberry slices in one single layer on a parchment paper line baking sheet and let them dry in the oven for about one hour. Let them cool completely. Chop the dried slices in small pieces and set aside.
Turn the oven to 350F.
In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, thyme, dried strawberries, pinch of salt and the milk and beat until the ingredients are just started to come together. Stop the mixer and finish mixing the dough with yout hands on a work surface. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies with your desired cookie cutter and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before baking the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges.


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Nina Timm February 24, 2009 um 8:19 am

I do not know what to drool over first,,, those lovely thyme short breads or the creamy dreamy ice-cream! Heavenly!

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 8:26 am

Hi! The strawberry vanilla ice-cream looks fantastic! and so do the shortbreads! I can’t wait to get fresh strawberries so i can make some strawberry ice-cream….
Your photography is amazing!

Laura Niemi

Rosa's Yummy Yums February 24, 2009 um 8:29 am

An original way of flavoring shortbreads! Together with this gorgeous ice cream, it must be just heavenly!



Snooky doodle February 24, 2009 um 8:31 am

WOW I m drooling . I can feel spring in the air. these look so nice and creamy and the shortbread is a nice addition to this marvellous dessert 😉

Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity February 24, 2009 um 9:02 am

Mmmm… I have been drooling over this recipe ever since I saw the pics on Flickr! I really need to buy an ice-cream maker. And, the cookies look fantastic! Can’t wait to give these a try when I get the chance! All the best to your friend M.

Sophie Sportende Foodie February 24, 2009 um 9:07 am

Wow, it all looks so fab! MMMMM…

Antje February 24, 2009 um 9:41 am

What a rich post – so much more then "just" a wonderful dessert. It´s my son`s 8th bday today, so there wont be any time to try a new wonderful sweet dish – but I will try it another day. Thank you a lot!

Botacook February 24, 2009 um 10:18 am

L’association fraise-thym et le moelleux de la glace-le croquant des shortbreads me séduit complètement!
Juste une question : c’est la saison des fraises en ce moment chez toi?

Culinary Wannabe February 24, 2009 um 11:33 am

Strawberries and thyme – now there’s a combo I haven’t seen before! So nice of you to bring this treat, and your time, for your friends.

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 12:09 pm

Mmm… sounds like a fabulous combination… your photos are fantastic, as always 🙂

LizNoVeggieGirl February 24, 2009 um 12:34 pm

Congratulations to the winner; and WOWZA that treat looks refreshing and gorgeous.

Darius T. Williams February 24, 2009 um 1:06 pm

This looks AMAZING…WOW!

Livia Luzete February 24, 2009 um 2:10 pm

Wow amazing, I want one!!!

Jen Yu February 24, 2009 um 2:29 pm

Hurray for M!! The last one is always the toughest, but it’s the last – and that is soooo good. What a treat. Ice cream was one of the few things I could eat on chemo without any odd taste (even tho lactose intolerant, it apparently didn’t bother me at all – or maybe it was that everything bothered my GI?) I hope she is improving and regaining strength. Hugs to you both. Yes, I’m still jealous of your strawberries (the ones in stores here taste like sour wax).

tara February 24, 2009 um 2:42 pm

My eyes welled up ever-so-slightly at your ethusiasm and support of your friend. So many wishes of health sent her way.

Onto the berries; what lovely little jewels. I have always thought that strawberry icecream is such a lovely, nostalgic treat. It smacks of childhood and prettiness.

montague February 24, 2009 um 2:52 pm

that last photo is just amazing!

Jessica February 24, 2009 um 2:53 pm

I’m dying to know what kind of spoon that pink spoon in the photo is. Ive seen those so much recently and am dying to find them!

MyKitchenInHalfCups February 24, 2009 um 3:08 pm

Maybe lemon thyme and strawberry will be even better that this but in the meantime this will be heaven I’m sure.
Last chemo! now that is something to celebrate.
From how you describe it you were the adult who knew how to lighten the dark. Very Beautiful Helen.

Elyse February 24, 2009 um 3:12 pm

Yay for the last round of chemo! That definitely deserves a celebration of strawberry ice cream and shortbread. It’s so wonderful to hear how generous and caring you are–and of course, what a great baker!

Char February 24, 2009 um 3:27 pm

hurray for the last round of chemo! and what a wonderful friend you are – so delish and the coolness I’m sure was very soothing to her palate.

Helene February 24, 2009 um 3:34 pm

Jessica: most of my props are courtesy of my mom who keeps getting stuff "because they might look good in a picture". The spoons were part of a pink coffee cup set she sent me last month. I can ask her where she got them in France but I don’t think it’ll help much. I’ll let you know.

Jessica February 24, 2009 um 4:03 pm

You have a very pretty one that’s similar white as well. Thanks so much and I adore your blog 🙂

Rita February 24, 2009 um 4:31 pm

Nice post, Helen. I hope your friend is better now, it is so important to have good friends around during tough times.
Now…. having good friends that bring you home made ice cream….that’s even better!
Loved the photos, your strawberries realy look amazing.

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 4:46 pm

Hi!!!! the recipe is fantastic and the photos too!! I’m from Italy and I’ve an answer for you: what’s Half and half? Thanks and have a nice day.. Sabrina

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 5:01 pm

Wow, it almost looks to pretty to eat! Almost.

Maria February 24, 2009 um 5:05 pm

Strawberries make me think of spring, it better be coming and soon! Great dessert!

Lucy February 24, 2009 um 5:16 pm

Both the ice cream and shortbreads look great! I’m severely craving the summer strawberry season over here now !

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 5:42 pm

that looks so good and the photography is just as delicious.

Cannelle Et Vanille February 24, 2009 um 7:43 pm

I bet M enjoyed every last bit of the ice cream. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than with this refreshing treat. The photos put a smile on my face for sure!

Arlette February 24, 2009 um 7:50 pm

I am going to try your cookies tomorrow ….
they look so good

Fifi Flowers February 24, 2009 um 8:38 pm

YUM… this is another recipe I will be using… going to make that ice cream with my kids… maybe even this weekend… thanks for ALWAYS having FAB recipes and adding extra calories to my life!
ENJOY your day!

Jennifer February 24, 2009 um 8:53 pm

Your pictures speak a million words.. beautiful!!! I’ll be saving this recipe! My nephews LOVE homemade icecream!

Mike of Mike's Table February 24, 2009 um 9:38 pm

Strawberry ice cream is one of my favorite flavors and this looks beautiful. I also never would have considered adding thyme into the mix–that’s something I’ll need to experiment with, it sounds amazing

baked in alaska February 24, 2009 um 9:55 pm

The last shot of the ice cream cone made me want to give it one big lick. Please tell me you made ice cream sandwiches with them both.
That is so kind of you to look after your friend.

Anonymous February 24, 2009 um 11:52 pm

That ice cream looks so mouth-watering! Beautiful pictures too!

dessert girl February 25, 2009 um 12:10 am

Thyme Shortbread? Who would have thought? I’ll have to try it! The pics are beautiful! I love the blue piece against the ice cream!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 12:14 am

Wow! Yay! Thanks so much Tartlette! Yay! 🙂

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 12:30 am

Beautiful post, and I can’t wait to try your strawberry ice cream when they are in season around here.

Helene February 25, 2009 um 12:52 am

Sabrina: you are right Half and half is not typically found in Europe. Just use half whole milk and half heavy cream.

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 1:01 am

My dear friend, P. would be clueless without you in the kitchen and B. helping on the house!! The weekend was as dreamy and refreshing as the ice cream!
Can’t wait for us to go hiking again!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 1:06 am

I love the shortbread combination. Unique and sounds delicious. The ice cream looks delectable!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 1:25 am

Oh that ice cream is amazing.

Hayley February 25, 2009 um 1:30 am

Your friend is quite lucky to have you. Glad to hear that last round is done! Your desserts are something else, and that last picture is beautiful. Thanks, as always!

cindy* February 25, 2009 um 2:06 am

hooray! i am so glad to hear that your friend had you there…and with ice cream no less. lovely photos as always.

michaela February 25, 2009 um 3:17 am

looks like heaven. sign me up.

Tej February 25, 2009 um 3:32 am

Wow – I just made the ice cream – it is AMAZING! I was walking through the produce market today and saw (and picked up) some great looking strawberries – when I came home and saw your blog, I knew it was meant to be. Thanks for making an ordinary day special!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 3:37 am

I am trying the shortbread cookies tomorrow they sound so interesting!
As always your pictures are gorgeous, different and delicious!

Susan @ SGCC February 25, 2009 um 5:13 am

I can’t think of a lovelier combination! They look perfect! I’ll bet they tasted just dreamy!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 5:18 am

Oh my! I just want to reach out and pick up the cone on the last picture! Stunning! Gosh, I just want to be as talented as you when i grow up. Will it ever happen? 🙂

Je voulais te dire aussi que je viens de poster la recette de Tonka bean/white choco cakes sur mon blog. mmmm.. delicieuse ces petites choses. 🙂

Sunshinemom February 25, 2009 um 6:37 am

Good girl!! Your friends were in good hands:). I like the idea of dry strawberry slices – brilliant idea!

Vera February 25, 2009 um 7:36 am

You are the best friend, Helen!
Strawberry and thyme is my all time favorite flavor combo. Your dessert looks spectacular!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 8:26 am

…Thanks.. Thanks…. thanks for your time to me!! Today I’ll try the recipe! Yummy afternoon for me ;))) Sabrina from Italy

Christy February 25, 2009 um 8:46 am

Dried strawberries with thyme sounds really, really good! And with shortbread and ice cream, even better! But best of all is that you made them for someone special to show her how precious she is!

Jo February 25, 2009 um 12:09 pm

Who would have thought of thyme shortbread but just the sound of it already sounds delicious. I’m sure it was a great combination with the ice-cream … hmm now I’m wishing I had some!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 12:40 pm

Très jolies photos, ça donne faim, j’ai envie de croquer dedans !

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 12:43 pm

We miss your ice creams…and your macarons (which the kids still call flying saucers!), and your tarts…Reading this is such sweet torture!!
M. is lucky to have you…I know it for a fact.

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 1:04 pm

It’s a little chilly here for ice cream but the post is very heartwarming! Gorgeous pics!

Mallory Elise February 25, 2009 um 3:20 pm

"hooray! go life!" what a great thing to read in the morning. and on top of it, there is nothing more perfect than ice cream to celebrate…i really must get a machines…

bon mardi gras!

Aimée February 25, 2009 um 3:44 pm

Love it! I can only imagine how delicious those chewy bits of dried strawberries that stud the ice cream are.

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." February 25, 2009 um 5:08 pm

THIS I got to try!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen February 25, 2009 um 6:29 pm

Strawberry heaven indeed. Maybe we should eat dessert first?

kickpleat February 25, 2009 um 6:55 pm

wow, everything looks so beautiful! i’ve never dried strawberries before but i love the sound of it!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 8:35 pm

I am always amazed about the internet and your blog is a true testament about the power of the internet. I found your blog accidentally, and it exactly fitted me!
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and your wonderful pictures!

Anonymous February 25, 2009 um 11:06 pm

I’m a pathological chocoholic, but oh would my daughter love this! Thank you!

Cakelaw February 25, 2009 um 11:45 pm

These look so pretty – I wanna live in a room that looks like this!

Helene February 26, 2009 um 12:18 am

Sabrina: you are welcome. Thank you for asking, I am sure others might have been wondering (my sister in law for example!).

Thank you everyone!

Lori February 26, 2009 um 1:04 am

Why be done when there is such beauty to behold! I can never have enough peaks of what is to be here in NY in a few short months!

Cheers to M and company!

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 2:00 am

Congratulations for being one of the best 50 food blogs from the New York Times online! You totally deserve it! 🙂

Katy February 26, 2009 um 2:34 am

how gorgeous. i want to try just making dried strawberries! they sound awesome — and so versatile!

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 4:12 am

That’s it – I am going to have to get an ice cream maker. Lucky me with a June birthday…just in time for summer (and the strawberry season here)!

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 9:21 am

Strawberry Vanilla – my two favorite ice cream flavors in one. And, you’ve got to have it in a cone!

ChichaJo February 26, 2009 um 11:07 am

You are a dear sweet friend 🙂 Both the strawberry ice cream and the shortbread look wonderfully cheering! 🙂

Carrie February 26, 2009 um 11:39 am

Congratulations to M for her last round of chemo! That is fantastic! They are still in my prayers… And once again beauty and enticing deliciousness! You never cease to amaze me!

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 3:29 pm

What a lovely thing to read in the morning! Most of the time I don’t want to be grown up but I do like some of the advantages!!

The ice cream pictures are absolutely superb!
Any tips on photographing ice cream?

Dewi February 26, 2009 um 3:46 pm

I’m so intrigue by your shortbread flavored with thyme. I might just try the recipe.

Deeba PAB February 26, 2009 um 4:51 pm

Oh yes…this is wonderful! Why not thyme indeed? It's gorgeous Helen…each word, each picture, each frame! I love the pairing of fruits & herbs. My thyme however looks very different from that sprig on your cookies. My oregano looks more like that sprig…hmmm…I'd better check my herb patch out!

Helene February 26, 2009 um 4:55 pm

Deeba: I hate to think that you mixed them up but oregano is a little brighter in its green and the leaves are bigger and more cluster-ish.

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 6:48 pm

Alors ca ma belle, c’est du beau et bon boulot! J’adore les petites coupes avec les fraises!

Cookie baker Lynn February 26, 2009 um 6:58 pm

An angel sent from heaven – that must be what your friend thought. You’re awesome and your ice cream is gorgeous!

NKP February 26, 2009 um 9:36 pm

How generous and gracious of you to take care of your friend.
I would love to have a Florence Nightengale who came with such a wonderful basket of goodies.

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 10:07 pm

I just recentle found your blog and I must say "I love it". I am hesitating with starting one myself. It is tempting but I fear my photography skills do not match yours!! Love the light in all your posts!

Anonymous February 26, 2009 um 10:16 pm

Oh, by the way, which ice cream maker do you use? I’m not so happy with my Cuisinart.

Cynthia February 26, 2009 um 11:31 pm

The strawberries we get in these parts in imported so I almost (read never) buy them. When next I am in the US and strawberries are in season, I’d like to try pairing them with thyme as you have done here.

Anonymous February 27, 2009 um 12:38 am

Love your pictures…everything look so delicious.

caitlin.d February 27, 2009 um 1:12 am

i just came across your blog today, and i love it! i look forward to my free time in the future to try out some of the wonderful creations you’ve posted here 🙂

The Food Librarian February 27, 2009 um 2:25 am

Beautiful!!! I’m so hungry now for strawberries!!

Shari February 27, 2009 um 2:34 am

I am in awe of your ethereal photos on this post. They are incredible.

Helene February 27, 2009 um 12:18 pm

Nurit: I have a Krups ice cream maker that I probably got about 8 years ago. I really like it.

Thank you everyone!

Simones Kitchen February 27, 2009 um 12:18 pm

Ooo, more of those amazing strawberry icecream photos! I love the first one!!

meg February 27, 2009 um 1:48 pm

Mmmm…strawberry ice cream brings back floods of childhood memories. I think that if I were sick, this might be the one thing I could eat.

Taking care of someone in pain is a wonderfully rewarding thing to do. We all have to stick together in this life.

Anonymous February 27, 2009 um 1:58 pm

What a beautiful post, in its ice cream deliciousness and your heart that is always so present when you write. Beauty!

Helene February 28, 2009 um 2:51 am

Angela D: photographing ice cream is not easy with the warm weather around here but my advice would be to keep everything very very cold. I froze the cone overnight to help with the chill and I had the scoops ready to go in the freezer. I had the freezer set on very very low but I did not freeze the glasses themselves because of condensation issues.
Hope it helps.
Thank you everyone!

nicole March 1, 2009 um 5:21 am

I’ve always loved herbed berries, and this looks like another great way to play with those flavor combos. Can’t wait to try this!

Anonymous March 2, 2009 um 6:26 pm

Thank you for the wonderful shortbread recipe! I am going to try it today.

Anonymous March 2, 2009 um 6:26 pm

Thank you for the wonderful shortbread recipe! I am going to try it today.

Anonymous March 20, 2009 um 3:18 am

I made the ice cream last week. It’s wonderful. Love the texture and flavor.
However it doesn’t look pink at all – next time I’ll use more strawberries. Also will try to omit 1/4 cup of suagr (too sweet for me).
BTW, my cream only got thick at 180F degrees.

Unknown July 1, 2009 um 5:49 am

The cookies are delicious! Such a surprise, biting into the thyme. thank you

Unknown March 25, 2010 um 7:17 am

Dear Helene!
i am dying to try this incredible looking icecream! Alas! we dont get vanilla beans here in Pakistan.

I have vanilla extract/essence, but dont know how much to substitute for the vanilla bean. Kindly let me know so that this can be my project for the weekend before the fresh strawberries go out of season!

p.s i LOVE ur blog!

Helene March 25, 2010 um 9:29 pm

Rabeeya: maybe 1-2 teaspoons?

hanni June 24, 2010 um 5:57 am

Dear Tartelette,

I just came across your website a week ago and now I'm hooked!!

I am actually making these cookies right now and I'm not happy with the way my strawberries have turned out. I have never made dried strawberries before. I would like to make a batch like urs to give it to my friend for her birthday and am trying out with this batch first. Can u tell me wat i'm doing right/wrong over here and wat can i do to make it batter.

1. They are all (irregardless of the state) stuck to the parchment paper. I tried spraying water under the parchment paper and it got the strawberries all wet too.

2. The slightly thicker ones are still wet. Is that alright?

3. The really thin ones are browned. Should i still use them or discard??


i'm saving the egg whites for macarons tomorrow 😀 can I substitute dried strawberries for blueberries and do i make them the same way??

Thank you so much for your website. It has been a motivation for me and i've been baking almost every night for the last week. I'm like you, away from home with the yearning for food you grow up on. It's a terrible feeling and ur website and the cooking and baking just takes my mind off everything.

could you send me a reply on my email? it's [email protected]

Thank you again!!

Helene June 24, 2010 um 3:22 pm

Hanni: lower the heat in your oven by 25F and rotate your sheets halfway through.

Helene June 24, 2010 um 3:22 pm

Hanni: lower the heat in your oven by 25F and rotate your sheets halfway through.

Hanni June 24, 2010 um 4:52 pm

thank you! will try it tonight again 😀

anyways, i continued with the batch yesterday. my cookies came out pretty pink – probably from spraying water to get the strawberries out. my husband says commented that mine looks grainier ( it's got cracked tops). did i go overboard creaming the butter??

otherwise, everyone love it. they think the strawberry and thyme is a great combo. my stepson loves it so much that he asked if i would make him a batch to take it with him to college!

do u reccommend substituting strawberries for blueberries?? if so, do you dry them the same way?

WendyinKK December 7, 2011 um 4:44 pm

Just want to double check with you about the sugar amount.
1 cup (100gm)? or is it 1/2 cup (100gm).
There's another strawberry ice cream recipe in this blog with the same amount (1 cup 100gm), but some other recipes calls for 1/2 cup sugar 100gm.

Christi August 1, 2013 um 7:23 pm

I want to know about the quantity of sugar for the ice cream base, is it 1 cup or 1/2 cup? The recipe calls for 1/2 cup and the instructions call for 1 cup. This looks delicious, both the ice cream and the cookies…I can't wait to try them both. Thanks for the recipes!

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