On this day in 1909, American explorer Robert Peary sent a telegram from Indian Harbor, Labrador, announcing that he had reached the North Pole five months earlier. In honor of this achievement, today we offer the following dessert recipes for your enjoyment.
Polar Bear Paws
- 1 (11 oz) bag caramel bits or squares
- 3 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 cup peanuts (roasted and/or cocktail)
- 12 oz. vanilla almond bark or white melting wafers
- Line a large cookie sheet with Silpat mats (or parchment paper) and grease it with butter. Set aside.
- Melt caramels with butter and cream in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring, and repeating until smooth.
- Mix in the peanuts and then let it sit in the bowl to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- Spoon onto the mats in tablespoon size mounds. Place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes until set.
- Place chocolate in a bowl and melt in the microwave on low in 30 second increments and stir until melted and smooth. Dip caramel cluster in the chocolate and use a fork to remove it. Holding it over the bowl, tap the fork on the edge to let any excess chocolate drip back down. Place cluster back on the parchment lined pan and repeat with remaining clusters.
- Put the pan back in the fridge for 30-60 minutes until chocolate is set. Remove and package.
Peppermint Ice Cream
- 2½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 8 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼2; tsp salt
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- ½ cup crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candy
- Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Make sure the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
- Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and set a medium-mesh sieve on top.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, about 5-7 minutes.
- Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Then stir until cool over the ice bath. Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- One the mixture is thoroughly chilled, add peppermint extract, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, tasting the mixture after each addition, until you reach the desired level of pepperminty-ness. (Different peppermint extracts vary in strength. I used 2 teaspoons of McCormick peppermint extract, which was just the right amount for our taste.)
- Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream has been formed in the ice cream maker, it will be fairly soft. Fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Put in an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.