How to Make the Perfect Milkshake at Home

By: Sarah De Heer

There's still a couple weeks of warm weather left and what better way to soak up the sun than with a frosty milkshake, at home. But what makes a good milkshake and how can someone at home re-create something as thick and delicious as they'd get at a restaurant?

At the recent Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, I had what I thought was the best milkshake from Bill's Bar & Burger -- a simple cookies and cream concoction. I had to find out their secret to a successful milkshake. I caught up with the creator, Brett Reichler, Corporate Executive Chef for BR Guest Hospitality, several weeks later for the answer.

According to Chef Reichler, there's no such thing as a bad milkshake. "It's a pretty personal thing -- a person may like a thicker shake over a thinner, or vice versa," he said. "I prefer a cookies and cream milkshake on the thicker side." While his first choice is simple, he's created everything from classic chocolate and vanilla milkshakes to popular flavors like the Apple Pie, Cheesecake, Strawberry and a Campfire Milkshake with toasted marshmallow on top.

"If you don't own a blender, you can also use a stick-blender, which works just as effectively," he added. "If you don't have either one of those, grab a stainless steel bowl and a whisk, you should never deny yourself a milkshake because you don't have a blender."

Chef Brett Reichler's Tips for the Perfect Milkshake at Home

1. Put your glass in the freezer to get a nice chill on it.

2. Make sure your ice cream is tempered, soft but not runny. This step is key -- if the ice cream is too hard, you'll add too much milk and thin it out, diluting the concentration of the ice cream. You can also use frozen yogurt and low-fat ice cream.

3. Take three hearty scoops of your favorite ice cream, add two ounces of milk and any flavorings you want (chocolate syrup, candy or cookie pieces). Do not add ice as it will just water it down. If you like your milkshakes thinner, add more milk.

4. If you're adding cookies to your milkshake, Brett recommends adding three roughly crushed cookies to the ice cream.

5. Top it with whipped cream and additional cookies/candy if you desire.

*If you want to make a grownup milkshake, skip the milk and just add your liquor of choice -- just a splash will do.

Food Network's Top 5 Most Popular Milkshake Recipes:

1. Paula Deen's Vanilla Milkshake

Watch Chef Reichler and Bill's Bar & Burger in action at the 2011 New York City Wine & Food Festival's Burger Bash.

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