A month or two ago, I received a card in the mail from Josie that read, “Rocky road can be an obstacle or an ice cream…and I’m willing to help you make either one disappear.”  Even though it’s been over three months since Dad passed away, it’s still extremely tough.  Some days are okay and some are just horrible.  A lot of people maybe forget, or maybe think I’m fine because I look okay on the surface.  Josie knows about the good days and the bad, and she also knows that a greeting card involving ice cream is a pretty perfect way to cheer me up.  Of course, an added side effect was that I ended up really craving rocky road.

As I was making this ice cream, Ben and I were talking about rocky road and how it seems to be referenced in so many kids’ books and stories.   We both feel as though it was built up to sound like something truly amazing and then when we first tried it as kids, we were totally let down.  Chocolate ice cream that probably would have been fine on its own, but it had all this other junk mixed in – blah.  Well, this may not be the most appealing ice cream flavor to our former selves, but we certainly enjoy it now.  Ben says it ranks right up there near his all time favorite, milk chocolate with brownie bits.  I knew it had to be great because it starts with the same base as my favorite chocolate ice cream and gets a boost from the additions of crunchy honey-roasted peanuts and fluffy marshmallows.  It can definitely put  a smile on my face.  Josie, I wish you could be here to share it with me because when we are together, we can talk, laugh, and smile till our faces hurt, and that is good for my soul.


2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped


  • 01

    In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder.  Warm over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the cocoa.   Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.  Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.  Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.  Transfer this mixture to a medium-large mixing bowl.  Set a fine mesh sieve over the top.

  • 02

    In the same saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt and warm the mixture over medium-high heat.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  When the milk mixture is warm, gradually whisk into the egg yolks, beating constantly.  Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan and continue heating over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, until the mixture is slightly thickened and reads 170-175° F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from the heat, pour through the mesh sieve into the chocolate-cream mixture and stir to blend.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

  • 03

    Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  (Alternatively to speed chilling, stir the mixture frequently over an ice bath.)  Once the mixture is well chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Stir in the marshmallows and peanuts until evenly incorporated.  Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.


  • That ice cream looks amazing! I think I need to go make some….right now!!!

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and blessings to you.

    This ice cream does look so delicious, and I cannot wait to try it.

  • Um, yum? Looks great. Was thinking about you yesterday with BBQ’s birthday – I know it’s still gotta be so hard. So sweet (literally!) for Josie to send you a little pick-me-up in the mail. You guys are some of the kindest ladies I’ve met!

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    Now, that’s a great way to start a Friday!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This looks so freaking yummy!! Awesome idea!

  • Elizabeth Ann

    Amazing! :-) I cannot wait to make this! :-) And don’t cards from friends just make your day. . . they sometimes know us better than we know ourselves!

  • i know i don’t even know you – but after reading your blog for so long i feel like i do… i lost my mom 9 years ago and so i know the pain. i’m praying for you and your family! and what a blessing your friend is!!

  • All the Rocky Road ice cream I ate as a kid had walnuts in it — bleck! I hate walnuts. This though, I could do. I LOVE peanuts!

  • Ice cream for breakfast, anyone?? This looks awesome!

  • Oh, yum. And this post pops up at a most opportune time. Due to baking that Neapolitan Layer cake, I am about to have leftover egg yolks that I intend to turn into ice cream, I just wasn’t sure what kind. Now my decision is made for me!

  • Louann

    My dad died in December, so I totally understand the ok days and the horrible days. This ice cream looks as though it might turn today into a little better than ok day. Thanks, Annie.

  • I can’t find words to describe the hurt we feel losing a loved one. Everyday is a struggle of letting go and moving on. Having a person to cheer you up on these sad moments is very helpful and comforting. I am a rocky road ice cream fanatic. Finding the recipe on how to do it at home is awesome. =)

  • Oh man, I really want some rocky road now. I love that you used honey-roasted peanuts instead of plain in this. So yummy! I can’t wait to eat ice cream together in Charleston soon!!! :)

  • This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. My thoughts are with you. I know what you mean about looking ok on the outside. I lost my mom 8 years ago to cancer and still miss her dearly. I so wish she was around to see her grandchildren. Thoughts and prayers are still with you.

  • I love that first photo – its pefect! I bet this would be even better with homemade marshmallows ;)

  • Lots of hugs to you & your family. I think the sentiment expressed in the card is pretty much perfect.

  • My mom loves rocky road. Since I was a little kid, I always eat rocky road. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will love to make some and bring back some memories.

  • annieseats

    I’m sure it would, but I didn’t have that kind of time on my hands.

  • Sara

    Thank you!! You have just helped me solidify my spot as favorite daughter-in-law to my father-in-law!!! Can’t wait to make it for his birthday!!

  • I can’t imagine how it is to lose one’s dad and my thoughts are with you. The ice cream looks good, would you believe me if I say I have never had rocky road ice cream! We never had that growing up in India. I would love to try it out though!

  • annieseats

    So sorry to hear that. Stay strong.

  • Tltut

    How timely. My dear, sweet daddy passed away 3 months ago today. I am missing him mightily. But I know he is always with me. Is it a coincidence that a recipe for my favorite ice cream flavor should show up today? ;)

  • Twilley2b

    My dad passed over a year ago and I still have days that I ache to hear his voice. He LOVED ice cream. Thank you for continuing to be a deliscious inspiration.

  • I have never made ice cream in my life but If I were to venture into this world, I would make this one first. Anything rocky road will turn my head and capture my attention.

  • Isabel Huber

    Hi Annie, i know how you feel. I lost my dad very unexpectedly 1.5 years ago and i went through hell (I was the one doing CPR on him, and i am a professional, and i did not succeed)
    A song, a scent, actually anything made me weep. But it gets better. People kept telling me that it takes 1 year, then you start to feel better. And they were right about that.
    So my thoughts are with you!

  • I know how you feel. I lost my dad to cancer about 2 years ago. We didn’t have the best relationship, but he was still my dad, and I loved him. I still think about him all the time. You’re ice cream looks amazing, and as usual..beautiful photos!

  • I love The Perfect Scoop and I’ve made this ice cream before – it’s heavenly.

  • Anna P

    My Father-in-Law passed in 08, and my husband and I still have our days and our moments. But they do get fewer and father apart. Though it never really gets easier. Your ice cream just got me teary because I know he would have LOVED it, but I’m also laughing because I can still picture his reaction to this too! :)

  • Kruusel

    I sympathise with you, I lost my husband of 42 years in November and I know only too well how good one can look on the outside while aching inside, the tears flow at the most inopportune moments for no reason at all. Perhaps I should try this ice cream when I feel down. Thank you and as we say in South Africa “sterkte” which is Afrikaans for “have strength”.

  • Diana

    I just discovered your blog several weeks ago, and want to thank you for ” inspiring us to be fearless in the kitchen”. I have grown children, but have always wanted to be better at cooking; your blog is wonderful and inspiring. Thank you so much.

    I’m so sorry to hear that your father passed away three months ago. I know what you are going through. I was also very close to my dad and losing him was one of the most painful things I ever had to go through. In the beginning, when people asked me about him, I could barely get out the words. I hope it helps to know that people care and are keeping you in their thoughts. I know your father is very proud of you, and I know that you and your family have brought him so much joy. Take care.

  • I understand the Rocky Road completely. This looks like a great way to boost the spirits! You can never go wrong with ice cream.

  • Swedejeanine

    Cheesy comment time: when I read this I thought “when life puts you on a rocky road… make icecream.” Sincerely, though, I’m so sorry for your sadness. It’s good that you have friend like Josie.

  • Elaine Shannon

    My father passed away on October 24th and I carry one of his cloth hankies with me. It has lost his smell, but is still a small comfort to me. Last week my teen son got his first job and my first thought was. “Grandpa is going to be so proud of you” and it hit me again,, he isn’t here any more. Silly I know, but it still happens. Thank you for your lovely blog and recipes.

  • annieseats

    So sorry for your loss. Glad you are on the path to healing.

  • Molly

    I read once that it takes five seasons to begin healing over the death of a loved one. The first year is full of events, holidays, anniversaries, that are the first one(s) since the passing of him/her. It isn’t until the next year begins that one can see beyond the pain of loss. It seems to be true…speaking from experience…be kind to yourself Annie; three months is barely a dent in the grief process.

  • Andrea

    I hope dealing with the sadness is getting a little easier. I am sorry for how much it must be to deal with emotionally.

  • Marciajm

    3 weeks ago it was 3 years since my dad died. I wish I can tell you time makes you forget, but it doesn’t… It does get easier, you get more ups and less downs, but when the calendar gets closer to that date everything starts to play again… I’m no sure if this ends at some point (in 100 years maybe?), but if you can survive the first weeks and months, you will make it longer. I’m sending my best wishes for you and your family from Costa Rica.

  • Monica

    Oh Annie, I didn’t know your dad passed away. I remember how close you were to him from reading your blog and The Nest days…I am SO sorry to hear that. Big hugs and prayers to you for strength!

  • Jennie

    I think you are very brave and very real. Ever since I heard about your father-I have been spending more and more time with my own father-and have decided to make peace with some things from the past. We have been spending lots of Sundays together with my husband and little girl-and it has been such a gift. Thank you for sharing your good times and hard times. I have been praying for you and your family.

  • annieseats

    Jennie, that is very sweet of you to say. I am really glad to hear that you’ve been spending more time with your family. It truly is a gift and, at least to me, it’s the only thing that really matters in the end.