Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I Scream!

It has been HOT in Seattle for the last few weeks.  Days in the 80's and low 90's which is crazy for Seattle. Most of the true Seattlites are a little distrustful of weather this good.  (I still have a down jacket in my trunk because it could be in the 40's tomorrow.)  One of the very best things about Seattle when it is sunny, EVERYONE is outside.  I think it might actually be against a city ordinence to be inside if the temperture is above 65 degrees.  

I am originally from New England and we are trained at a very young age to eat ice cream year round, even on the coldest of days. (My mom would actually pour maple syrup or molasses over snow for us to eat.)  In the summertime, there is no limit to my ability to consume the cold, creamy happiness that is ice cream.  Frankly, it is a God given right that should never be denied!  I lost my ice cream maker in a move a few years ago and hadn't replaced it. I vowed not to go another summer without one and my new best friend arrived last Friday on my front porch!  Hezzah!  I have made 4 batches of ice cream so far and it hasn't been a week yet.  I am sharing - needed to qualify that I hadn't eaten 6 quarts of ice cream on my own.  I can but I didn't. 

Not to toot my own horn but TOOT, TOOT!  I had a bit of genius as I was deciding what my next ice cream caper would be.  Ice Cream Sammies...yummy, easy to handle, crowd pleaser, no down side.  So many possibilities and then a stroke of ice cream brillance!  A study in perfect compliments - Strawberry Black Pepper Ice Cream sandwiched between 2 Salted Peanut Butter Cookies! Oh sweet LORD! 
Both components on their own are delicious but put the two together and what is that old saying?  The whole is better than the sum of its parts.  Heck yeh it is!

This is my favorite PB Cookie recipe is adapted from smittenkitchen.com and the ice cream recipe is UNBElieveable and adapted from epicurious.com

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Course sea salt for sprinkling (i use fleur de sel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.
Roll pinches of dough into your handles until rounded tablespoonfuls  then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a criss-cross pattern but do not overly flatten cookies. Sprinkle lightly with course sea salt.   Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

YIELD: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts


  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed, halved if large
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of crushed black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Equipment: an ice cream maker
Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth. (This is an AWESOME tip - just don't over blend because you are making whipped cream at that point) Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to Tovolo Glide A Scoop and put in freezer to firm up.

When the cookies are good and cool, take the ice cream from the freezer and let it get SLIGHTLY soft.  Take a Tovolo Ice Cream Scoop and generously scoop one scoop of ice cream onto a cookie then take another cookie and gently push the two cookies together.  You want to mash the ice cream a little but not so it pushes out from between the cookies.  Wrap each cookie sandwich in waxed paper and return to the freezer.  The waxed paper keeps them from sticking but also gives you a built in drip catcher while eating them.  I found that the cookie stayed the perfect consistency for a ice cream sandwich.  Everyone LOVED these! 

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