Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Root Beer Float - from scratch!
Today is National Root Beer Float Day. Most people, upon realizing this, would go to the store, buy root beer and ice cream, then go home and make root beer floats. The traditional, boring way.
Jeff and I aren't most people.
We chose to make our root beer floats entirely from scratch. So we dug out our root beer recipe, invented in ice cream-like concoction, and really made Root Beer Floats!
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. root beer extract
1 liter (just over 4 cups) cold seltzer water
Dissolve sugar in water. Add root beer extract and let cool. Stir mixture into cold seltzer water. Drink immediately or refrigerate in tightly-covered container.
Not Quite Ice Cream
1 cup powdered milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
3 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
2/3 cup milk (not powdered)
This recipe is basically my recipe for sweetened condensed milk, but with additional milk to thin it down.
Combine powdered milk, sugar, water, and butter in blender. Process until smooth. It may take a while for the powdered milk to all get incorporated, so be patient and occasionally turn off the blender to scrape the sides.
When smooth, add the regular milk and blend until incorporated.
Pour mixture into a large, flat container with a tight-fitting lid. Place in freezer for several hours. (You like all my frozen chicken that we bought for 50 cents per pound? Yeah, me too)
We left it in the freezer for 6 hours. I intended to put it through the food processor when I took it out, to make it creamy and more like ice cream. But when I removed it from the freezer, it was already spoon-able, so I didn't worry about it. I don't know if it would require the food processor if left in the freezer longer.
Just a note: This ice cream stuff has a strong powdered milk flavor. If you really can't stand the taste of powdered milk (I kinda like it, but everyone's different), you can just open up a can of sweetened condensed milk, then add the 2/3 cup regular milk and freeze as directed.
Root Beer Floats
Spoon ice cream (or Not Quite Ice Cream) into glasses. Pour root beer over ice cream. Enjoy!
Now, I don't know if this really qualifies as being the most frugal alternative for this treat. Maybe it would cost less to just buy a bottle of root beer and a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream - I didn't add up the cost for this. But you know, sometimes it's okay to sacrifice a tiny bit of tightwaddery for a lot of creativity and fun!