Homemade Candied Pecan Pumpkin Ice Cream Drumsticks
Inspired by the childhood classic, these homemade ice cream drumsticks are filled with roasted pumpkin ice cream, dipped in dark chocolate, and dusted with candied pecan bits!
Remember that homemade roasted pumpkin puree that we made on Monday? Well, today we’re going to use it for something very, very special! This is probably the hundredth time that I’ve stated this in writing, but I literally could not be more excited about today’s frozen treat.
I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut these past few months, so when I was invited by Sara (Cake Over Steak) to partake in today’s Virtual Pumpkin Party (70 other amazing food bloggers are participating!), it felt particularly…challenging.
A new pumpkin recipe? Is that even possible these days? Pumpkin is quite possibly the most exploited ingredient of all time (I’m talking to you, Trader Joe’s) right now. I brainstormed for weeks and nothing.
The idea for these pumpkin ice cream drumsticks slowly came to me over the past two weeks, and I almost jumped with joy! It felt like a very small, but noteworthy victory. I practically ran to the grocery store to grab the ingredients.
The recipe title is a bit long (apologies), but I couldn’t stand the idea of leaving out a single element of this dessert. It just seemed wrong. The candied pecans are a must! A simple “pumpkin drumsticks” wasn’t going to suffice either. Hence, homemade candied pecan pumpkin ice cream drumsticks.
These homemade drumsticks are filled with roasted pumpkin ice cream, dipped in a dark chocolate shell, and sprinkled with homemade candied pecan bits. If the name gives you any hints, they were inspired by classic Nestlé® drumsticks.
Except totally fancied up–as I have a tendency to do! Add some of my Windy City hot dogs to the mix, and this blog is basically turning into a fancy ball park food blog. I’m not mad about it. Who says food can’t be fun, whimsical, and a little bit fancy all at the same time?
P.S. If said company starts selling pumpkin drumsticks next fall, you saw them here first. Just sayin’.
So, let’s start with the most integral part of today’s dessert: the roasted pumpkin ice cream! My version below was slightly adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. If you’ve ever splurged on a pint of store-bought Jeni’s ice cream or visited one of the stores, you know that Jeni makes some of the best ice creams out there.
The original ice cream recipe called for five-spice powder, and I adapted it to have more a classic pumpkin pie flavor.
My version is infused with whole cinnamon sticks, allspice, clove, ginger, cardamom, and, as strange as this may sound, dried bay leaf (inspired by The Flavor Bible). It’s pretty darn delicious in its own right, so regardless of whether you decide to make the drumsticks, I highly recommend making a batch of this ice cream.
Next up! The candied pecans! Yes, we’re going to the trouble of making candied pecans, but you can totally accomplish this as the ice cream base is firming up in the freezer. Or, you can make a batch several days in advance (along with the ice cream)!
The recipe below makes extra for snacking purposes (you could also bag up the extras and give them to a friend over the holidays!).
Warning: they are extremely addictive.
Lastly. The dark chocolate shell. It is essentially a homemade version of a ‘magic shell’ achieved by melting semi-sweet chocolate and coconut oil together. Do not substitute with chocolate chips, as they will not work properly.
The coconut oil has the dual effect of thinning down the chocolate (so you don’t have an insanely thick shell that you can’t bite into!), as well as providing saturated fat (which solidifies when it comes into contact with the frozen ice cream).
Once you dip the frozen ice cream cones into the chocolate, be sure to sprinkle the chocolate immediately with the chopped candied pecans! You can either dip the ice cream entirely in dark chocolate, or you can use a spoon and do a fun, drizzling (Halloween cob-web like) effect!
Lastly, I used store-bought waffle cones for this recipe. If you are feeling incredibly ambitious (and own a homemade waffle cone maker), you can absolutely make them from scratch–and I commend you for doing so.
If you love the idea of making these, but don’t feel like making everything from scratch, here are a few time-saving tips:
- use store-bought pumpkin ice cream in lieu of homemade (Talenti makes a pumpkin pie ice cream!) ice cream.
- substitute homemade candied pecans with chopped, toasted pecans or roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
- or buy candied pecans from Trader Joe’s!
Homemade Candied Pecan Pumpkin Ice Cream Drumsticks
Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream (Makes 1 Quart):
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch’
- 1.5 ounces (3 tablespooons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 3/4 cup homemade pumpkin puree (store-bought would also work)
- 1/4 cup (84 grams) honey
- 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup (155 grams) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pinches of ground cardamom
- 2 pinches of ground cloves
- 1 pinch of ground allspice
- 1 pinch of ground ginger
Candied Pecans (Makes 2.5 Cups):
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2.5 cups (300 grams) raw pecan halves
For the Ice Cream Drumstick Assembly:
- 11 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (do not substitute with chocolate chips)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (at liquid state) or vegetable oil
- 6-8 store-bought waffle cones (*a few extra can be helpful in case of accidental breakage!)
- homemade candied pecans (see above)
- Prepare the Pumpkin Ice Cream (Makes 1 Quart): In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and about 2 teaspoons of the whole milk until smooth and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese and salt. Add the pumpkin puree and honey and whisk until smooth.
- Combine the remaining whole milk, heavy cream, brown sugar, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and spices in a large saucepan (at least 3 to 4 quarts in size). Place the milk mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it has thickened.
- Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese-pumpkin mixture and whisk until smooth and well combined. Place the bowl in a large ice bath until cool, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is cold, churn in an ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s directions. Place in a container, cover the surface with parchment paper, and allow to chill for at least 4 to 6 hours, or until firm.
- Prepare the Candied Pecans (Makes 2 Cups): Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large sheet pan with a Silpat (silicon mat) or parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, ground spices, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until very frothy. Add the raw pecan halves to the egg whites and gently toss to coat. Add the sugar mixture and gently toss until the pecans are evenly coated. Spread the pecans out on the lined baking sheet into a thin layer. Bake at 250 degrees for 40-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until the pecans are dry to the touch and the sugar mixture has hardened. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely before storing in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.
- Assemble the Drumsticks: Remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften at room temperature slightly, as you melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate and oil in a double-broiler and melt, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate has melted completely and is smooth and shiny. Spoon about 2-3 teaspoons of melted chocolate into the bottom of each waffle cone. Set the cones upright (small mason jars or glasses work very well for this; alternatively, you can cut small “X”s with a knife into the top of a cardboard egg crate, which also works well to hold the waffle cones upright) and place the cones in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, until the chocolate has set.
- Using a spoon, fill each waffle cone with softened pumpkin ice cream until the cones are completely full. Top each cone with a full scoop of ice cream, gently pressing the ice cream into the waffle cone (be gentle, as the waffle cones can crack if you are too aggressive).
- Place the waffle cones back into the freezer for at least an hour, or until the ice cream is very hard. During this time, I like to keep the melted chocolate in the double-broiler (set above a pot of warm water), so that the chocolate stays completely melted.
- Roughly chop a little over 1 cup of candied pecans and place in a bowl for easy grabbing. Make sure the chocolate is completely melted and lukewarm in temperature. Remove the waffle cones from the freezer and dip the filled cones, one at a time, in the melted, lukewarm chocolate until the ice cream is fully coated in a thin layer (I like to tilt the double-broiler so that the melted chocolate pools in one edge, making for easy dipping)– another alternative is to use a spoon and do a fun, drizzling (cob-web like) effect!
- Hold the cones upside-down to allow any excess chocolate to drizzle back into the pan, place the cones upright, and immediately sprinkle the tops with chopped candied pecans.
- Set the waffle cone upright in a small mason jar (or back in the egg crate). Repeat with the remaining cones and place back in the freezer until the chocolate has completely set, roughly 10-15 minutes, before serving. Alternatively, you make these ahead of time and wrap the drumsticks in parchment or wax paper for easy storage and grabbing.
Spiced pumpkin ice cream lightly adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home.All images and text © .
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