charlie brown ice cream

Last night I attended a dinner for work. There were 5 of us: 3 women and 2 men. I arrived third, and slid into the booth next to one of the women. One of the men was seated across from us.

When the last two diners arrived, the other woman slid into the booth next to me. But then, within minutes, asked me to trade seats with her so that she could sit next to Woman #1. Okay. I moved to the outside.

Then the other man said to me, “Did you want to sit on this side?” I replied that, no, I was quite fine where I was. Seemed to make sense to have the three (physically smaller) women on one side of the booth and the two men on the other side.

He continued to look at me strangely so I finally said “Do you want me to move?” He got twitchy and said “I mean, it seems like I should be sitting there.”


So again I got up and moved to the other side of the booth. I still have no idea what the purpose of the musical chairs game was, given that it was a small group and there was only one conversation happening at the table. And none of us had hearing losses that needed to be accommodated (something we consider in our profession).

But in the spirit of behaving like children, here’s a recipe that brings me back to being about 9 years old.

When I was a kid we used to go to Shady Brook Ice Cream during the summer (eventually became Gannons for all my Syracuse peeps) and I would always order the Charlie Brown. It was chocolate ice cream with a peanut butter swirl. It’s well established on this blog how I feel about that combo. So when I had a hankering to make ice cream again a few weeks ago, I had to give it a shot.

Charlie Brown Ice Cream

adapted from Bon Appetit’s Chocolate Ice Cream recipe

7 oz chocolate (I used semisweet)

2 1/4 cups whole milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 egg yolks

7 tbs sugar

1/2 cup natural peanut butter, melted

I FINALLY got a kitchen scale! It was my other Christmas present from Mike, who did the custom Spill the Beans cutting board. The GS says I’m easy to shop for because I have so many aggressive hobbies. I think that’s a good quality.


Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Set aside.

Dump out the water and add the whole milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Whisk together and bring to a low boil, then turn off the heat.

Using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar for at least 2-3 minutes. It will start to thicken and become a really pale yellow.


Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Then pour it all back into the saucepan and return to the stove over low heat. Add the melted chocolate.


Stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass or metal bowl to cool. The recipe recommends this bowl be placed in another one with ice. This seems like an aggressive step but I did it anyway.

It also says to cool in the fridge for TWO DAYS. I would say 3-4 hours is plenty.

Pour the custard in the ice cream maker and let it start churning. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave, then pour into the custard once it’s already been going for at least 10-15 minutes.


I was hoping for those thick ribbons of peanut butter and didn’t quite get that effect, but it was still VERY rich and delicious. It’s actually the perfect ice cream to eat in a kiddie cone because you only need a scoop.

And then I took the worst finished product photo of all time.


But I’ll make it up to you with one of Alice.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Beth says:

    I think some men feel weird sitting so close to each other in a booth. Apparently, that guy did. The woman was really rude. It’s probably a good thing we don’t live in Syracuse anymore. I would be hitting up shady brook way too often. Love little Alice’s expression!

    1. good point I didn’t think of that. but yes, weird nonetheless! i’m sure you could find a good ice cream spot down in FL 🙂

  2. EDEAN CASEY says:

    Thank goodness your story ended with a pic of Alice!

    1. Alice photos make everything better!!

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