Oh Snap!

It probably goes without saying that school is giving me many opportunities I would not have otherwise had. Like the chance to make something that would be tasted not only by fellow students and the chef instructors, but the deans of the school themselves.

Oh yes, there will be cream.
Oh yes, there will be cream.

You may have heard of them – they are a quartet of very distinguished French fellows…Do the names Torres, P├ępin, Sailhac and Soltner sound familiar?

The rim is the key to gingersnappy effectiveness.
The rim is the key to gingersnappy effectiveness.

We had a fundraising event this week that involved a hot dog eating contest (very long hot dogs on baguettes!), a condiment contest (with the winner getting a charcuterie class and their condiment featured in an amuse bouche in the school restaurant) and a blended drink contest.

I was all over that drink contest. No surprise. Except…it had to be non-alcoholic.

Cookies are just a garnish. I didn't have time to make my own :(
Cookies are just a garnish. I didn't have time to make my own :(

I thought and thought and thought some more. You’ve read about my predilection for putting booze in unusual things. This was tough. I consulted my beloved idea notebook. Hmmm…an open-ended notation about almond milk, carrot juice and candied violets…sounds yummy but a little too daring and, well, springy for a competition held in September. So what to do?

Guess who tipped over the glass during shooting and had to refill?
Guess who tipped over the glass during shooting and had to refill?

I was thinking idly one day, after being tortured with the idea of fresh gingersnaps made in class for going on a week. We made the dough on one of the first days of class but didn’t bake them off until well into the second week. For a diehard gingersnap fan like myself, this was unacceptable. I was wondering how to get my ginger and molasses fix. Could one, I mused, perhaps…put molasses in a DRINK?

And thus, the gingersnap milkshake was born!

If you have happy childhood memories of delicious gingersnaps, they will be evoked. Promise.
If you have happy childhood memories of delicious gingersnaps, they will be evoked. Promise.

Gingersnap Milkshake

First, Make the Ginger Ice Cream:

  1. 2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1 cup + 1-2 Tbsp milk
  3. 2/3 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Bring just to a boil, them remove from heat, cover and let steep at least an hour. Strain out the ginger, reserving it. Place the ginger in cheesecloth and squeeze all the liquid you can from it into the cream mixture, then discard the ginger. Cool over an ice bath, then churn in an ice cream maker or by hand, according to my handy dandy directions. Freeze until firm enough to scoop.

Then You Can Make Milkshakes! Hooray!

  1. 2 scoops ginger ice cream
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1 Tbsp molasses
  4. Pinch ground cinnamon
  5. Pinch ground cloves
  6. Turbinado sugar

Place all ingredients but the sugar in a blender. Blend until frothy. There shouldn’t be any chunks of ice cream left. Spread some turbinado on a flat plate. Slightly moisten the rim of a glass, then twist it into the turbinado sugar. Pour the milkshake carefully into the glass. No straws!

So, I didn’t win the competition, but no one seemed to hate my drink, and the people who liked it REALLY liked it. There were some true gingersnap fans coming through, taking a sip and then lingering, telling me about gingersnap-related memories.

This drink also totally made me stick out as a pastry student among the refreshing spritzers and herbal concoctions of the culinary students. Not a bad thing, though. I like my sweet status.


  1. Not only do I love the description of the fundraising event and the fun recipe itself, but I LOVE that you photographed the Pepperidge Farms gingermen cookies – those bring back MAJOR nostalgia for me :-D

  2. I love it! I’m so happy for you that your amazing deans got to taste your food–and such a fun one, too! Very good that you “stuck out.” You are going to be one they’re watching, I bet! Go, Anna, go!

  3. Isn’t cooking school fun? Eating contests, eating your masterpieces, eating other people’s creations.. eating, eating, eating… Fun!
    I could drink about 2 cups of that milkshake right now.. I’ll take care of adding the booze myself. :)

  4. I was just taking a look at this again because while cleaning the fridge today I realized that I have about FIVE different knotty bunches of ginger (plus candied ginger and frozen ginger) in the fridge. I need ginger recipes stat!

  5. Thanks for the ice cream recipe — I was looking for a ginger ice cream recipe that didn’t contain LOADS of sugar and/or egg yolks. I’ll be making it tomorrow for our Thanksgiving dinner which is going to be on Sunday because Official Honey was — and still is — out of town.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.