The peppermint candy, commonly associated with Christmas, makes for a mint-flecked ice cream that is both sweet and soothing. Around the holidays, after countless lavish meals and heavy desserts, a palette cleansing mint dessert perfectly fits the bill.

Joseph Decker, Hard Candy
oil on canvas, 22.8 x 35.5 cm, Private collection

The German-born artist Joseph Decker moved to the United States in 1867. In 1879, he traveled back to Germany to study at the Akademie in Munich and after which, he returned to the States and painted many still life paintings. In his painting titled Hard Candy, the colourful sweets are piled in front of a wooden box with light reflecting off of their smooth surfaces. Candy did not become a major subject for artists until its production was industrialized after the civil war. Once artificial dyes and geometric uniformity became available, artists embraced the sweet confections as one of their most popular subjects (1).

{Peppermint Ice Cream}

Yield: 6 servings

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups light cream
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup crushed peppermint candies

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large, freezer safe container. Stir well, ensuring the salt and sugars have dissolved. Place in freezer and stir every 30 minutes to break up ice crystals to ensure the ice cream is smooth.