It is common knowledge that I, Claire Lower, enjoy McDonald’s and its many fine products. The fries, when hot and fresh, are perfect, the Diet Coke is the coldest and fizziest in the game, and their double cheeseburgers are a cheesy, savoury, known and predictable commodity. And, when their ice cream machine isn’t broken, the McFlurry is my favourite fast food dessert of all time.
With the exception of one ill-fated trip to the Aberdeen, Miss. franchise — I slammed my finger in the door, my sister spilled her entire soda in her lap, and my other sister smashed her ice cream cone into her forehead for reasons that still elude us — I have nothing but pleasant memories associated with McDonald’s soft serve. I would have happily eaten nothing but cones and sundaes for the rest of my life, never asking them to expand their dessert menu, but I’m glad they did. McDonald’s began rolling out their McFlurry in the late ‘90s, and the creamy, candy-flecked treat has remained a constant on the menu ever since. (This was also around the time they released Teenie Beanies unto the world; 1997 was a good year.)
Straddling the line between milkshake and concrete, the McFlurry is a combination of vanilla soft serve and some sort of sweet inclusion, most commonly Oreo or M&M’s, though we get some fun seasonal flavours from time to time, and you can find some truly special McFlurries in Europe and Asia. (I once had a Cadbury Egg McFlurry in Oxford. It was good.)
Replicating McDonald’s seems like a fool’s errand at first, as a fast-food kitchen has equipment and capabilities that are quite different from what we have access to at home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. If we can make reasonable approximations of their fries and McMuffins, we can certainly do the same with their iconic frozen dessert. All you need is vanilla ice cream, your favourite inclusion, and a stand mixer.
A stand mixer has the power to beat standard ice cream into submission, giving it a smoother consistency. The paddles soften the ice cream while smashing the air out of it, creating a silkier, denser product that reads like soft serve on the tongue. A stand mixer also has the power to pulverize Oreo cookies, which means it has the power to make a McFlurry, or something similar to a McFlurry.
How to make something that is similar to a McFlurry
You will need more ice cream than you think. The single cup you see above this sentence started out as four scoops of Tillamook, then my Kitchenaid paddle got ahold of it. (Air really does take up a lot of room.) Start by equipping your mixer with the paddle attachment and add as much ice cream as you like to the bowl of the mixer — at least four scoops — then cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel (this will prevent chunks of ice cream from flying across your kitchen.
Set the mixer to “stir” or “low,” and gradually increase the speed until the ice cream starts to soften. Add Oreos or Butterfingers, peanut butter cups or Cadbury eggs, or any other inclusion that crumbles, and keep on beating until the ice cream takes on the consistency of soft serve. If you are adding M&M’s or another candy that doesn’t crumble, fold them in now. Exactly how much you add is up to you, so add as much flurry as you want. Part of the beauty of making your own McFlurry is that you don’t have to choose between candy or cookie, or trek across the pond to get your hands on a Malteasers McFlurry, the McFlurry I covet above all others.
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