Cooking with your kids is a great way to spend quality time with them while teaching important life skills. Ice cream in a bag is a simple, tasty treat that is great fun to whip up on a summer day. All you need are a few supplies and even fewer ingredients and you’ll have homemade ice cream in no time without the help of any sort of machine or hand cranking.
Supplies. First of all you will need to gather your supplies. For each serving of ice cream (or each person who will be participating in the ice cream making) you will need one gallon sized zip top bag, one quart sized zip top bag, a hand towel, plenty of ice, and about ¾ cup rock salt or table salt. If you are making ice cream with very young children, you might also want to have some masking or electrical tape. Scissors will also be helpful.
Ingredients. Next you need to gather your ingredients. This simple and natural ice cream recipe calls for ½ cup half and half, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. If you don’t have real vanilla extract you can substitute 1 teaspoon of artificial vanilla flavoring. You may also want to purchase some ice cream toppings such as chocolate sauce or sprinkles. Or you could collect some mix-ins such as chocolate chips or peanut butter.
Procedure. Once you have gathered the necessary supplies and ingredients you are ready to make your ice cream! In the quart sized zip top bag, add your half and half, sugar, and vanilla. Press as much air as possible out of the bag, and seal the top carefully. You might want to secure the top closed with tape, just to be safe. Next, fill the gallon sized zip top bag about half full with ice. Add to the ice, about ¾ cup of rock salt. If you don’t have rock salt, table salt will work as well, but it may take a little longer for your ice cream to freeze. Once you have both bags assembled, carefully lower the smaller bag down inside the ice and salt filled larger bag. Securely close the large bag, pressing out as much air as you can. If you are working with young children, you may also want to seal this bag shut with tape. Now are you really ready to make ice cream! Place the bag in the hand towel to protect your hands and begin shaking, kneading, squishing, and jiggling the bag all around. Make sure your smaller ice cream bag stays surrounded by the ice at all times. You will need to provide almost constant motion for about 5 full minutes. Eventually, the ingredients in your small bag will freeze and harden. Congratulations! You just made ice cream.
Completion. Once your ice cream has hardened, open the larger bag and carefully remove the small bag. Wipe the bag clean with your hand towel. This is an important step because you don’t want to end up with salty ice cream. Using you scissors, snip off one fairly large corner of the bag. Squeeze the ice cream carefully out through the opening into your desired container. Top with any toppings or mix-ins and enjoy!
This is a very fun way to create ice cream for kids and adults alike. The natural recipe is healthier and lower in fat and sugar than most commercial ice creams, but it still tastes great. Get creative with your toppings and mix-ins, or try making a bigger batch for the entire family all at once. Just remember that larger your batch, the longer your freezing (and thus shaking) time will be. Have fun with this recipe and enjoy a summer afternoon cooking with your kids.