It doesn't matter that I know what's in them. It doesn't matter that I understand how bad for me they are. It doesn't matter that I know I can make far better shakes at home using far better ingredients. The draw of the drive-thru shake as an occasional indulgence is nonetheless strong. Sometimes too strong.
It's an affliction that goes way back. Once, during high school, a friend and I were driving from Connecticut to New Hampshire. For reasons only the minds of teenage boys could muster, we decided to challenge ourselves to stop at every McDonald's we passed and order shakes.
We made ourselves so very, very sick.
I've mostly gotten over my shake problem. These days I average one about every couple years. Which doesn't mean the desire is gone. What I really need is a way to satisfy that urge without requiring a highway pit stop. So with St. Patrick's Day on the horizon, I decided to try my hand at recreating that most cultish of all McDonald's shakes — the Shamrock shake (formally called the McCafe Shamrock Shake).
It's just as delicious. No drive-thru needed.
FAST FOOD-STYLE CREAMY VANILLA-MINT MILKSHAKE
Creme fraiche is a cultured dairy cream similar to sour cream, but thicker and less tangy. In this recipe, it provides both a rich mouth feel, as well as a deep creamy flavour. If you have trouble finding it, substitute an equal amount of full-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.
Start to finish: 10 minutes
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 drops green food coloring
Whipped cream, to top
Green candy sprinkles, to garnish
In a blender, combine the ice cream, milk, creme fraiche, corn syrup, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, salt and food coloring. Blend until smooth, then divide between 2 tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy sprinkles.
Nutrition information per serving: 490 calories; 270 calories from fat (55 per cent of total calories); 30 g fat (19 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 115 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 42 g sugar; 8 g protein; 210 mg sodium.
J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org