For your gelato or ice cream or simply your spoon, there’s nothing like creamy peanut butter sauce. As a native New Englander, I’ve always loved the peanut butter sauce at Friendly’s. But it struck me I might love it even more with a bourbon caramel twist–so I made it happen. And so can you. Ready?


First, make the salted caramel. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoon butter
good pinch of Kosher salt

Continue to whisk till sugar dissolves, then cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and add:

2 tablespoons Maker’s Mark bourbon
¼ cup light Karo syrup
½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy creamy)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar

It will take a bit for the peanut butter to melt in, so be patient and keep whisking. Once it’s nice and smooth, add:

¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
one more good pinch Kosher salt

Let cool and store in the fridge. When it’s time to serve, reheat very gently and very slowly in the microwave–on the defrost setting for maybe 10 seconds or so to start. I swirled a quarter cup’s worth (by spoonful, using a very tiny spoon) into a batch of stracciatella I made last night to make it extra-special good. It worked. 🙂

Because I’m wired funny, “Peanut Butter” gets stuck in my head every time I’m making something with this ingredient. I confess to singing it aloud as I’m putting the recipe together. I’m sharing so you can sing along, too! “It takes a lot of little nuts to get things done!” Truer words never sung or spoken. C’mon now, sing it with me! Oh, and grab a spoon and dig in!

♫ “We are the farmers who work the land and grow the crops to feed the cows that give the miiiiiiiilk…for you to enjoy!” ♫ So catchy, I get a kick out of this silly little local  jingle, not to mention I find myself singing it when I’m thinking about making gelato! HA HA! Fresh Connecticut milk from The Farmer’s Cow makes killer gelato, don’tchaknow? Andiamo–let’s go make some!


1 ¼ cups whole milk (I use The Farmer’s Cow)
¼ cup heavy cream
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, halved the long way and scraped
¼ cup (2 oz.) dark chocolate (I ♥ Valrhona feves)
a pinch of Kosher salt
optional and magical: 2 tablespoons of your favorite bourbon

Combine milk and cream in a saucepan. Scrape vanilla bean seeds with the tip of a sharp knife–add both seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Dig my new pig!

Heat on medium to  medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, till small bubbles form at edge of pan. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for half an hour.

In a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk till smooth. Temper egg mixture by slowly adding to hot milk, whisking constantly. Ooh, look at all the vanilla bean specks!

Cook over medium-high heat and continue to whisk until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Do not let it boil! This custard will be exceptionally thick.

Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl, remove pod, if you’re adding bourbon, now’s the time to do so. Stir in salt. Let cool to room temperature. You can make an ice bath to speed up the process. Chill custard overnight or at least four hours.

Just before turning the chilled custard into your ice cream maker, place the custard and the dasher from your machine into the freezer for up to 10 minutes. And now, time to spin it up: process according to your ice cream machine’s directions.

While your gelato processes, melt the dark chocolate in the microwave. When the gelato is finished, keep the machine running, then pour the melted chocolate S-L-O-W-L-Y and carefully in a fine stream. The chocolate will harden in tiny bits and streaks that make the gelato uniquely stracciatella and not just ordinary chocolate chip!

I must confess, this particular gelato was so delicious, I ate far more than my fair share. And can’t wait to make it again! MOOOOO!