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Milk Shake Recipes

I was craving one and didn't want to go out so I made one and it really sucked. Who has the secret to a great milk shake?

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  1. What was wrong with it?

    1. It was too runny. I have a fairly new blender and I don't think I blended it that long. I used Edy's slow churned chocalte and vanilla, some hersheys' syrup and 2% Milk. Maybe it was the quality of the indgredients? Very dissapointing

      3 Replies
      1. re: angelo04

        If it was too runny, I'd venture to guess you added too much milk.

        1. re: QueenB

          Yeah, it's probably more a technique issue than a recipe problem at this point. Start with a very small amount of both milk and ice cream, and then add ice cream until you think it's thick enough. Let's just say I was surprised how much ice cream is actually in a milkshake the first time I tried. Talk about "please don't tell me how many calories, just hand it over!"

        2. re: angelo04

          Another tip, let the ice cream soften a little before putting it in the blender & stir it a little before adding. This way it doesn't have to "blend" as long and won't melt all your ice cream. Softserve ice cream really makes the best milkshakes, IMHO.

        3. Best peach milkshake ever: A bag of frozen peaches, a couple of glops of sour cream, a bit of milk, vanilla, brown sugar, whirl it up in the blender.yummmmm.

          1. Oh....a Peanut Butter Shake!

            (I like to say it's a "protein smoothie," to make me feel better....but really now....it's just a milkshake!)

            Fat free vanilla frozen yogurt (or full fat vanilla...knock yourself out)
            Skim milk (or regular!)
            Lots of peanut butter

            Favorite treat/snack ever.

            1 Reply
            1. re: stacylyn

              The peanut butter shake is my favorite, 1/2 cup peanut butter,
              2 lg eggs, 1 ripe banana, 3 cups nr.2 milk. a pinch of cinnamon.
              you have a new snack. and a quick breakfast, that will give you
              the energy for the start of the day.

            2. Add malted milk powder, that favorite mellow flavor of the inside of a malted milk ball! Good with vanilla or chocolate, never tried it with fruit, or others.

              1. Not sure what you were going for, but I personally wouldn't like a choco-vanilla mixed shake. For me a choco shake should be made with choco ice cream, choco syrup, and milk. Ease back on the milk and just keep adding syrup and milk till you get the flavor and consistancy you like.

                The others are correct, there isn't as much milk in a shake as you'd think.

                Also, Edy's Ice cream is good but not great. If you can get Turkey Hill - try that.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ace_Mclean

                  Vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup is called a "Black and White". It's a pretty nice combination if you don't want too chocolatey.

                2. Use less milk to ice cream. It's probably easier to start with too little milk and add more to reach desired consistency. And use whole milk. "Supermarket" ice cream tends to have high overchurn - a lot of air incorporated into it - which can fool your mouth into thinking it's creamy, but doesn't work so much in shakes. Use more, or use a superfatted product like HaagenDazs and its ilk.

                  And oh, yeah, there is no such thing as a "healthy" milkshake unless you plan the rest of your day's eating around it. ;) Those other things may be shakes of a sort, but if that satisfies you, you didn't really want a milkshake in the first place anyway. lol

                  1. also, if you like banana, it's great thrown in!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pamd

                      Add a bit of rum to that! And an extra shot of pure vanilla extract.

                    2. Ah, to each their own! I hate the chocolate ice cream/choco syrup shake. I chocolate shake, to me, should be made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. And frankly, just skip the milk. It's guaranteed to make it too runny. I also think using supermarket ice cream is the way to go. It's got some fillers (xantham gum, guar gum) that make it somewhere between solid and liquid for a much longer time than the premium. Premium ice cream goes pretty well straight to liquid from solid. A nice quality in ice cream (heck, that's natural!), but not what you want in a milk shake.

                      1. Thanks for all the fine tips. I will give it whirl tomorrow night!

                        1. Years and years ago when I was in HS and college I worked the counter of a Howard Johnson's and made a lot of milk shakes. They were not the kind of thing like you get at wendy's etc. where you could stand a straw up in in and could eat it with a spoon. You could sip them with a regular sized straw with no problem. We used quality ice cream and whole milk and the appropriate syrup for the requested flavor, chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream vanilla with vanilla etc. It was a shot of syrup a large scoop of ice cream and I am guessing now, about 1 C. milk. all whirled together and poured into a tall glass it was quite creamy but sippable.

                          1. Several scoops of Breyer's Vanilla;
                            A couple of tablespoons of Nesquik;
                            Not quite a tablespoon of Karo syrup;
                            Add Half and Half until desired consistency reached.

                            ...and a glass of ice water for a chaser!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: wabbitslayer

                              Yikes - dont't take this the wrong way as I used to be a "soda jerk" like Candy, but I worked in one of those nifty roadside ice cream and sandwich shops. We used a locally made, very fatty ice cream.

                              When you mention Bryers and Nesquik, I have to think...

                              If you like it with those ingredients, give the exact same method a shot with a better brand of ice cream - like something local - or Turkey Hill, and perhaps Hersheys syrup instead. I know this isn't a thread about ice cream brands, but Bryers is not a very flavorful or creamy ice cream by comparison. I only bring this up because my in-laws only ever bought Bryers and just figured that's what store bought ice cream tasted like. The first time they ate at my place - I served T.H. with desert and they were amazed at the difference. This may explain why your shakes are enhanced with the Karo and half and half.

                              I'm like you though, for some reason, I have to have a big glass of water after a milk shake or eating ice cream.

                              1. re: Ace_Mclean

                                Actually, you have a good point. My method is more nostalgia than anything. I've always done the karo syrup and half & half thihg b/c that's how my grandmother always did it when I was a child...but she used "ice milk". Apparently that's all the local store carried.

                                When I lived in NC, I once used some Andy's ice cream (HQ local brand) in the above method and ended up with something that needed an insulin chaser.

                            2. I watched them making milk shakes at Haagen Dazs. Three huge
                              scoops of ice cream, syrup, and a some milk.

                              1. The choc./van thing a North/South thing. North of Maryland a chocolate shake generally means chocolate all the way. Further South it usually mean vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

                                A good way to eyeball a milkshake (assuming you have a Hamilton Beach home spindle thingee) is to fill the cup half full with ice cream, add 2, 3, or 4 oz. syrup based on the size of the cup, and fill to within 1 inch of the top with whole milk.

                                1. In terms of consistency, does anyone know if a blender versus the machine they have in diners makes a big difference?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: optimal forager

                                    As I said in my post below (in reply to the original post), a blender will liquify your shake and there's not much you can do about it. Use a spindle-type shake mixer (Hamilton Beach is the classic brand). There's a reason soda fountains use that type.

                                  2. I guess my secret is melt a scoop of ice cream first to liquidish form, stick it in the blender with a couple of scoops of ice cream, and the melty acts as the milk and doesn't dilute it as much. Then if it's still too thick, you can drizzle in milk as the blender is running...

                                    As a kid, my mom used to use cookies'n'cream ice cream, softened a bit in the microwave, then blended and just a little milk streamed in so the blender will "go." Then toss in some actual broken cookies... Crazy Cookie Shake!

                                    Some more of my fave combos...

                                    French vanilla ice cream/fro yo with mashed canned pumpkin... If it won't go, you can add a little milk as necessary. Then once it's blending, shake in some graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice (I know it has cinnamon too, but this is more for the delicate balance of a little nutmeg and clove.) Malt powder is good too. Also, you can add a bit of ginger too if desired.

                                    I also like the same blend as above with applesauce and cinnamon as well as graham cracker crumbs (or shortbread cookies if you're feeling indulgenter).

                                    Vanilla ice cream + key lime juice + white chocolate pieces + graham crumbs (yeah I'm into these).

                                    Any cookies crumbled into vanilla or chocolate base are good... I particularly like the pink/white animal cookies... I know it sounds weird, but if you like them, it's yummy.

                                    You can also use 7-up or sprite instead of milk... good with bing cherry ice cream. I know it's not technically a "milk" shake.

                                    For a lower cal, you can use vanilla fro yo, a little skim milk, and sugar free jello powder.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      I like some of these ideas. Thanks for posting them.

                                    2. My dad's method, and the best milkshake I know:
                                      Pack a tall glass with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Add a generous amount of chocolate syrup. Fill in the cracks with milk. Stir, stir, stir, and eat with a spoon!

                                      1. Maybe 50 years ago when I was a kid, my grandfather used to make me milk shakes and the one ingredient I remembered him adding was a raw egg. Back then I didn't know any better and they were great !!!!

                                        1. >I have a fairly new blender and I don't think I blended it that long.<

                                          The blender is the problem. Milk shakes shouldn't be made with blenders. Blenders will liquify your shake and there's not much you can do about it. You should use a mixer made for making shakes like you see (saw?) at soda fountains. Hamilton Beach is the classic brand for them. You can find them online for $30 to $200. I haven't used one of these currently-available models, so can't recommend any specifically. My experience is from a long time ago making shakes at a drug store soda fountain in high school :-) With the right mixer, it's just milk, ice cream, and a concentrated-flavor syrup. It's not rocket science. The proportions you can work out for your own preference. For chocolate shakes I much prefer vanilla ice cream; the vanilla flavor with the chocolate sauce means "chocolate shake flavor" to me.