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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Dessert Bar

After a big holiday feast, instead of serving dessert at the table, consider setting up a dessert bar. Guests can digest the main meal a bit, and then help themselves at their own pace. They can also cut slivers of more than one dessert.

In addition to pies, cake, cobbler, cookies, fruit and other bounty, guests can help themselves to coffee and tea.

Set out the plates, forks, spoons, napkins, and don’t forget the garnishes. Consider:

  • Crème fraîche
  • Crème anglaise (custard sauce)
  • Hard sauce*
  • Ice cream
  • Mascarpone
  • Whipped cream
  •  
    If you want to over-indulge, add bowls of shaved chocolate and toffee bits, and flavored whipped cream (like bourbon whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream) in addition to the classic.

       

    pecan-pie-beauty-beauty-goodeggs-230

    Set the apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and other desserts on a sideboard or table and let guests help themselves. Photo courtesy GoodEggs.com.

     

    *Hard sauce is a rich dessert sauce made with butter and sugar plus brandy, rum, sherry, whiskey or vanilla.

     

    open-mint-chip-230

    Talenti’s four delicious seasonal flavors. Get them all: They’re heavenly! Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    TALENTI LIMITED EDITION SEASONAL ICE CREAM

    Look for limited edition seasonal ice cream flavors to add to your dessert bar. One of our favorite brands, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, has four exceptionally delicious flavors:

  • Caramel Apple Pie is Talenti’s signature cinnamon gelato (the milk is infused with whole cinnamon sticks!), blended with pieces of apples, sweet flaky pie crust and a caramel swirl. It’s a great fusion of ice cream and pie.
  • Old World Eggnog Gelato is made like eggnog, with fresh egg yolks, pure vanilla extract and nutmeg. But it’s family-friendly: no alcohol. A terrific treat for eggnog lovers!
  • Peppermint Bark Gelato adds crunchy morsels of semisweet Callebaut Belgian chocolate to refreshing peppermint ice cream. We’re hooked on it.
  • Pumpkin Pie Gelato blends brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin with real pie crust pieces. It’s even better than a slice of pie!
  •  
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ICE CREAM & GELATO

    In brief, gelato is made with more milk than cream, for a lower butterfat content. While many of us have been led to believe that higher butterfat “superpremium ice cream” is better, the butterfat coats the tongue and dulls the flavors in the process.

     
    Gelato is also more dense, with less air whipped into it (overrun). The combination of lower fat and higher density engender greater intensity of flavor. Here’s more on the difference between ice cream and gelato.

    Note that in the U.S. there is no government standard to differentiate ice cream and gelato. We’ve found more than one very high butterfat “gelato.”

    Why? It’s marketing: “Gelato” sounds newer, more sophisticated and special.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Pear Cème Fraîche Ice Cream

    Pear is a popular fall flavor. Pear sorbet is one of our favorite seasonal treats.

    But you can also churn pears into ice cream, as we discovered in this recipe by Samantha Seeley, who blogs on food from her home in that great food mecca, Hudson Valley, New York. She contributed the recipe to the delicious recipe files on VermontCreamery.com.

    Make a double batch, because the single quart doesn’t last very long!

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 30 minutes. With freezing, total time is 6 hours, 45 minutes. You can see the recipe with full photos at Sweet-Remedy.com.

    RECIPE: PEAR CRÈME FRAÎCHE ICE CREAM

    Ingredients For 1 Quart

  • 3 ripe pears
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 container (8 ounce) Vermont Creamery Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche*
  • 1 cup maple glazed pecans
  •  
    *You can add vanilla extract to regular crème fraîche.

       

    pear-creme-fraiche-ice-cream-sweetremedy-vtcreamery-230

    Calling all ice cream gourmets: Make Pear Crème Fraîche Ice Cream. Photo courtesy Sweet Remedy | Vermont Creamery.

     

     

    madagascar-vanilla-creme-fraiche-vtcreamery-230

    Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche: We love it! Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.

     

    Preparation

    1. WASH, peel and chop the pears. Combine the pears and the arrowroot or cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the water and place over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, while stirring. The mixture will thicken up. Refrigerate until you are ready to churn the ice cream mixture.

    2. BEAT the milk and eggs together in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger and cook over medium-low heat. Constantly stir with a wooden spoon until thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat. Once cooled, add the heavy cream and place plastic wrap directly on the top of the mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.

    3. CHURN the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churning is complete, add the crème fraîche to the ice cream, it will resemble soft serve. Mix in the pear mixture and maple glazed pecans recipe. Transfer to a container with a lid that is suitable for freezing. Freeze until frozen through, usually about 3-4 hours.

     

    HOW TO PICK A PEAR

    Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc pears are varieties that can be eaten raw or cooked. Other varieties, such as Forelle and Seckel, are better eaten raw.

    Pears are one of the few fruits that are much better when they’re picked before they ripen. Pears ripen from the inside out, so as soon as the stem end has a slight give to it when gently pressed, the fruit is ripe. Don’t wait for the midsection to be soft.

    Buy firm pears and place them in a paper bag to ripen if you need them in a day or so. Placing a banana or an apple in the bag speed up ripening (here’s why).

     
    WHAT IS CRÈME FRAÎCHE?

    Crème fraîche (pronounced crem fresh, French for “fresh cream”) is a thickened cream. It’s not as thick as sour cream, but more of the consistency of yogurt, which is an appropriate analogy because it is slightly soured with bacterial culture. Originally from Normandy, the dairy heartland of France, today it is used extensively in Continental and American fine cuisine.

    Sour cream, which is more accessible and less expensive, can be substituted in most recipes; but crème fraîche has advantages: it can be whipped, and it will not curdle when cooked over high heat. In addition, it is usually a bit lighter in body than commercial sour creams, more subtly sour, and overall more elegant.

    Crème fraîche is made by inoculating unpasteurized heavy cream with Lactobacillus cultures, letting the bacteria grow until the cream is both soured and thick and then pasteurizing it to stop the process. Thus, authentic crème fraîche cannot be made at home because generally, only pasteurized cream is available to consumers. To add Lactobacillus to pasteurized cream will cause it to spoil instead of sour.

    The only negative to crème fraîche is that it’s pricey. You can make your own with far less expense with this crème fraîche recipe.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Camouflage Ice Cream

    first-class-camouflage-baskinrobbins-230

    Left, First Class Camouflage sundae. Right, First Class Camouflage ice cream in a special
    First Class Camouflage cone. Photo courtesy Baskin-Robbins.

     

    Baskin-Robbins is celebrating Veterans Day all month long, honoring military veterans new November Flavor of the Month, called First Class Camouflage.

    First Class Camouflage, emulating camouflage in its colors and design, is a combination of chocolate, salty caramel and cake-flavored ice cream.

    On Veterans Day itself, November 11th, there’s an in-store donation program to support the USO (United Service Organizations*. Baskin-Robbins will donate 10 cents† from ice cream scoops sold at all U.S. locations to the USO. Baskin-Robbins’ support is part of the USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign, which calls on Americans to honor and create special moments for troops and their families, who make daily sacrifices as they serve.

    So what better excuse to enjoy an ice cream: the ability to honor veterans, U.S troops and military families. Your choices:

    • In a standard cone or cup.
    • In a special Camouflage Waffle Cone or Waffle Bowl, which are decorated green, brown and tan.
    • In a First Class Camouflage Layered Sundae, which includes Oreo cookie pieces, hot fudge, caramel praline topping and whipped cream.
     

    If you want to give thanks for our troops, serve a scoop atop a slice of apple pie at Thanksgiving.

    For more information about the USO’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign, of which First Class Camouflage is a part, visit USOmoments.org, and consider a donation of $11 on 9/11.
     
    ABOUT CAMOUFLAGE DESIGNS

    Since the mid 18th century, camouflage patterns have been used by military forces to protect personnel and equipment from observation by enemy forces. Colors and materials have been applied to including vehicles, ships, aircraft, gun positions and uniforms.

    “Camouflage” is a French slang word that came into common English usage during World War I, when the concept of visual deception became an essential part of modern military tactics. In that war, the advent of long-range artillery and observation from the air expanded the field of fire, so camouflage was widely employed to decrease the danger of being targeted and to enable surprise.

     
    *The USO provides critical support to forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency.

    †The donation is inclusive of all regular (4-ounce) and kids (2.5-ounce) scoops of ice cream sold as cups and cones on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014. It is based on regular-priced cup and cone scoop sales only, including kid size. It does not include scoops that are used in other desserts (sundaes, beverages, cakes, take home, novelties, etc.).

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Halloween Ice Cream

    While crafty cooks are inspired to turn ice cream cones into witches’ hats and use candies to create ghost and black cat faces on a scoop of vanilla or chocolate, specific Halloween ice cream flavors don’t typically come to mind. (When did you last see pumpkin ice cream?)

    Baskin Robbins will sell you an ice cream cake in the shape of a jack o’lantern or a haunted house.

    But our friends at Talenti inspired us by carving a jack o’lantern face into their Alphonse Mango Sorbetto, naturally colored like a harvest moon.

    Perfect, we thought; and promptly bought a few pints to carve and then pass, lid on, around the dinner table as a Halloween surprise.

    With its deep orange color, we nominate mango a Halloween flavor, served plain or with a scoop of vanilla for a delicious “Creamsicle” effect. For extra panache, layer the flavors in a glass parfait or sundae dish or a wine goblet.

    More Halloween ice cream ideas:

       
    talenti-mango-jack-o-lantern--230

    Mango sorbet: a great holiday color. Photo courtesy Talenti.com.

     

     

    Carmel-Apple-Pie-talenti-230

    Another seasonal option: Caramel Apple Pie.
    Photo courtesy Talenti.

     
    • Substitute orange sorbet for mango, or serve them together.
    • Freeze orange or mango sorbet into balls and make jack o’lantern faces with a tube of black decorating gel.
    • Top ice cream with a Halloween cookie, such as Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies (soft, oversize cookies you can use as a base for the ice cream), or Lucy’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Patch Cookies. We also discovered a local brand of ginger snaps shaped like jack o’lanterns (plain ginger snaps will do) and pumpkin spice cookie mixes from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury.
    • Candy corn: a few kernels create a seasonal garnish for vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
    • Try eyeball candy instead of a maraschino cherry.

     
    Other ideas? Let us know!

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Orange Date Ice Cream

    orange-date-ice-cream-spiceislands-davidlebovitz-230

    Different and delicious: Orange Date Ice
    Cream. Photo courtesy SpiceIslands.com.

     

    Here’s something special for ice cream lovers: Date-Orange Ice Cream, a citrusy-sweet, sophisticated combination crafted by David Lebovitz for Spice Islands. He happened upon a sale on dates and created what he calls “a uniquely delicious cross between a classic Creamsicle and exotic dates.”

    If you want to dial up the orange flavor, says David, use an orange-flavored liqueur with the dates. You can also add a tablespoon of rum or orange-flavored liqueur to the custard just before churning.

    RECIPE: ORANGE DATE ICE CREAM

    Ingredients For 1 Quart

  • 5 ounces pitted dates, snipped into pieces
  • 1/3 cup dark rum or orange-flavored liqueur
  • 4 teaspoons Spice Islands orange peel
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands pure vanilla extract
  •  

    Preparation

    1. Combine the dates, rum (or orange-flavored liqueur) and orange peel in a small saucepan. Warm the mixture gently and let simmer for about a minute, or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, then cover and set aside.

    (You can do this the day before.)

    2. To make the ice cream, combine the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.

    3. Pour the cream into a medium-sized bowl, set a mesh strainer over the top and nest the bowl in a bigger bowl of ice.

    4. In a small bowl, whisk the yolks together.

    5. Warm the milk until the sugar is dissolved. Once warm, slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour.

     

    medjool-dates-bowl-murrays-230

    Dates—“nature’s candy”—are delicious for snacking and with cheese. Photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese.

     

    6. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture just begins to thicken and coats the spatula. Do not overcook.

    7. Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the cream, add the vanilla and stir to cool. Once cool, chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

    8. Freeze the ice cream mixture in your ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, fold in the macerated dates and orange peel, along with any liquid that might still be in the pan. Chill in the freezer before scooping.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Donut Ice Cream Sandwich

    holey-cream-donut-c-jean-philippe-gerbi-230sq

    A donut ice cream sandwich from Holey
    Donuts in New York City. Photo ©
    Jean-Philippe Garbi.

     

    Holey Cream in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City (a block west of the theatre district) is known for its donut ice cream sandwiches.

    Customers pick up to three flavors of ice cream (standards and specialties like coffee mud pie, dulce de leche and red velvet), the icing flavor (chocolate or vanilla) and the topping—many choices from M&Ms and sprinkles to gummi bears.

    But you know how to slice a donut and scoop ice cream. Make your own!

    Thanks so much to Jean-Philippe Garbi for taking this yummy photo. We could almost eat it—but instead, we’re heading down to Holey Donuts at lunch time.

    MORE DONUT SANDWICHES

    A little less appetizing, to our eye, are the nine donut sandwiches featured in Women’s Day magazine.

     
    They range from a bacon cheeseburger with peanut butter on a glazed Krispy Kreme to Sloppy Joe on the same.

    Take a look.
     
    DONUT SANDWICH TRIVIA

    Paula Deen is [in]famous for creating The Lady’s Brunch Burger: hamburger, bacon and a sunnyside-up fried egg sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.

    To add alarm, it is served with a side of cheesy fries.

    We’ll stick with the ice cream donut—thank you very much.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Waffle Bowls (Ice Cream Cone Cups)

    strawberry-sundae-cup-230

    Strawberry sundae in a cone cup. Photo
    courtesy Joy Cone Co.

     

    Can’t decide between a cup of ice cream or a cone? Have two in one with a cone cup, a.k.a. waffle bowl.

    Perfect for customers who have trouble deciding whether they want their ice cream served in a cone or a dish, this waffle bowl from Joy Cone Company offers the best of both worlds!

    Joy, world’s largest ice cream cone company, has been family owned and operated since 1918. It’s proof that you can be the biggest and still turn out a top-quality product.

    The cones and cone cups are made with a blend of cake and pastry flours that produce a light-tasting cone with subtly sweet taste that does not overpower the ice cream—and can be used for savory recipes as well.

    The waffle bowl uses the same batter as the company’s waffle cone. Dark brown sugar is used in the recipe. Many other brands, says Joy, use white or liquid sugar with added molasses, which gives a burnt aftertaste when compared to Joy’s recipe.

    Beyond sundaes, you can use these bowls for numerous sweet and savory recipes. The sturdy waffle bowl does not get soggy.

     
    Sweet Foods & Snacks In Waffle Bowls

  • Apple pie a la mode: vanilla ice cream topped with apple pie filling
  • Custard, mousse, pudding, yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt, ice cream, sorbet
  • Fruit: grapes, fruit salad, apple slices and dip
  • Lemon meringue pie: prepared lemon pie filling and meringue topping
  • Oatmeal and other cereal
  • Snack cups filled with trail mix, candy corn, whatever
  •  

    Nonsweet Foods In Waffle Bowls

  • Asian chicken salad
  • Carrot salad, broccoli carrot slaw, apple slaw
  • Chicken salad with grapes
  • Crudités and dip
  • Shrimp salad
  •  
    Let your creativity be your guide.

    Here’s a store locator for the waffle bowls.

    ICE CREAM CONE HISTORY

    Most sources, including the International Dairy Foods Association, say that the first ice cream cone was produced in New York City in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. An Italian immigrant, he was granted a patent in December 1903 for “small pastry cups with sloping sides.” The bottoms were flat, not conical, much like today’s molded cones.

     

    broccoli-salad-230

    Broccoli salad, one of numerous savory salads that can be served in waffle cups. Photo courtesy Joy Cone Co.

     

    Another story cites an independent creation accidentally born at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. According to the story, Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire, was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry called zalabia*; as were other concessionaires. A neighboring ice cream vendor ran out of clean glass dishes. Hamwi rolled one of his waffles into the shape of a cornucopia; the fresh-made “cone” cooled in a few seconds and the ice cream vendor was able to put a scoop of ice cream in it. Three different ice cream vendors claimed credit. In a 1928 letter to the Ice Cream Trade Journal, Hamwi reported that it was either Arnold Fornachou or Charles Menches who ran the ice cream booth next to him.

    Others also lay claim. But while the ice cream cone was popularized in America, it was not invented here.

    Robin J. Weir, co-author of the book, Frozen Desserts, has spent years researching this topic. He purchased a print dated 1807 of a young woman eating an ice cream cone at the Gardens Of Frascati, a Parisian café known for its ices. Was it glass or edible? It’s hard to tell. An 1820 print of an ice cream seller in Naples shows glass cones on his cart.

    This is a story shrouded in the mists of history—and the real answer may still be out there. Here’s more about the invention of the ice cream cone.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Blender Slushie, Blender Sorbet

    the-great-pepper-cookbook-melissas-230

    Whether you like a little or a lot of heat,
    check out this exciting new cookbook from
    Melissa’s. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    Yesterday we reviewed the Zoku Slush & Shake Maker, noting that the benefit of using it over making a blender is that there’s no ice to dilute your drink.

    Another way to avoid blender dilution is to freeze the ingredients, so they also act in place of the ice. It’s easy to do this with fruit, most of which can be purchased frozen.

    Here’s a recipe from The Great Pepper Cookbook from specialty produce purveyor Melissa’s, which shows readers how easy it is to use 38 different fresh and dried chile pepper varieties in everyday recipes. It’s a beautiful cookbook.

    The recipe is made in a blender. Process it for a shorter time for a slushie-type drink. Process it longer, and you’ve got blender sorbet. Add milk and you’ve got a smoothie.

    But wait: Chile in a slushie?

    Sure, and that’s the beauty of the cookbook. You’ll discover how to use a bit of heat where you never thought to use it.

     

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MANGO SLUSHER (or SORBET or SMOOTHIE)

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 fresh manzano chile pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped (substitute de arbol chile or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper)
  • For a smoothie: 1/4 cup milk or vanilla flavored almond or soy milk
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE all ingredients in a blender. Process until slushy and not quite smooth.

    2. For a smoothie, add milk to desired consistency.

    If you want a slushie but aren’t getting enough “slushie consistency,” next time use frozen strawberries in addition to mango.

     
    ABOUT MANZANO CHILES

    The manzano chile, cultivated in high altitudes in Mexico, is a member of the Capsicum pubescens species (as opposed to the more common Capsicum annuum species) from the Andes region of South America. It is most often used in its fresh form because the pod is so thick that it is difficult to dry. It is also unusual in that it has black seeds.

    It turns yellow-orange when mature, and is popular for making hot salsa. The name translates to apple, and is also known as Chile Peron, Chile Caballo, and Chile Ciruelo.

     

    strawberry-banana-slusher-melissas-230

    With less processing, you get a slushie or a smoothie; with more processing, you get blender sorbet. Photo courtesy Melissa’s.

     

    The Manzano chile generally rates between 12,000 and 30,000 Scoville units on the Scoville heat index. If you need to substitute a chile, look for one in the same range of Scoville units.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Prosecco & Alcohol-Infused Ice Pops

    prosecco-ice-pops-conradhotel-230

    New, fun, delicious: Prosecco and boozy ice
    pops. Photo courtesy Conrad Hotel | NYC.

     

    Too bad “Sex And The City” is off the air. The girls could have spent an afternoon or evening at an elegant rooftop bar in Battery Park City at the foot of Manhattan, enjoying the stunning views of Lady Liberty and the Hudson River…

    …and enjoying glasses of Prosecco, the Italian sparkler, garnished with boozy ice pops.

    The Conrad Hotel in New York City, part of the Hilton empire, offers a tempting lineup of boozy pops at Loopy Doopy, its rooftop bar. (It looks neither loopy nor doopy, but Hamptons-inspired).

    The ice pops are made from fruit purée and spirits, and served in a goblet of Prosecco. Ice pop flavors include:

  • Appletini with gin, vermouth, lemon juice
  • Blueberry Plum with Irish Whiskey
  • Raspberry Apricot with Grand Marnier
  • Spiced Peach with añejo rum
  • Strawberry Margarita with lime juice & tequila
  •  

     

    Loopy Doopy partnered with People’s Pops, a local artisan ice pop maker, which makes the boozy ice pops exclusively for them.

    And there’s more fun: Throughout the 2014 summer season, those enjoying Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktails will discover various prizes revealed on their ice pop sticks. Prizes range from something as small as an appetizer, or to a complimentary weekend stay for two in the hotel’s 1,500-square-foot Conrad Suite.

    Waiter, we’ll have another, please!

    You can make your own alcohol-infused ice pops. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well, so add just a teaspoonful into each individual pop mold.

    ABOUT PROSECCO

    Hailing from northeast Italy’s Veneto region, Prosecco is the name of the village where the where the Prosecco grape—now known as the Glera grape—originated. Other local white grape varieties, such as Bianchetta Trevigiana, can be included in the blend.

    The wine can be frizzante—just slightly fizzy, sometimes bottled with a regular cork to be opened with a corkscrew—or spumante—very fizzy, bottled with the mushroom-style cork and cage or something similar.

    The wine is often labeled Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, after its appellation.

     

    mionetto-bottle-2-230

    Prosecco in its traditional bottle shape. Photo courtesy Mionetto Prosecco.

     

    Prosecco is affordable, light-bodied for hot summer days, and something you should be sipping now.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Popcorn Ball Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Make an ice cream sandwich with a “popcorn
    ball” sandwich. Photo courtesy Popcorn.org.

     

    August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Sure, ice cream between two cookies or thin slices of cake makes a great sandwich. But try something different this year: Make the “sandwich” part from popcorn balls.

    This recipe takes the ingredients for popcorn balls and makes them flat, in a baking pan, so they can be cut into rectangles for the sandwiches.

    RECIPE: POPCORN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

    Ingredients For 12 Sandwiches

  • 2-1/2 quarts popped popcorn (fresh-popped or store-bought)
  • 1-1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 6-ounce package chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 pints brick-style (rectangular package)vanilla ice cream†
  •  
    *Variations: other baking chips (butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.), dried cherries, mini M&Ms, mini Reese’s Pieces or candy of choice.

    †If you can’t find brick-style pints, get a quart. Why do you need a rectangle? To slice the ice cream in a rectangle for the sandwiches. You can experiment with other ice cream flavors, but start with vanilla for a benchmark.

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vinegar and salt in a three-quart saucepan.

    2. COOK, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until hard ball stage (250°F on a candy thermometer). Pour syrup over popped popcorn; stir to coat.

    3. ADD chocolate pieces and nuts; stir just to mix. Pour into two 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans, spreading and packing firmly. Cool.

    4. CUT the popcorn mix in each pan into 12 rectangles. Cut each pint of ice cream into 6 slices. Sandwich ice cream between two popcorn rectangles.

    5. WRAP each sandwich in plastic and place in freezer until ready to serve.

    Find more recipes at Popcorn.org, the website of The Popcorn Board.

     

    WEST COAST ICE CREAM SANDWICH NEWS

    If we were in L.A. we’d celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, August 2nd, at Napoléon’s Macarons.

    Or maybe not, since the pâtisserie is giving away* free Maca’Longs today from 2-4 p.m. at the Glendale and Canoga Park locations. Imagine the crowds, and perhaps stay home and make your own ice cream sandwiches.

    Maca’Longs are macaron cookie ice cream sandwiches that use the bakery’s macaron expertise to create long, almond meringue-based shells for their made-from-scratch ice cream. (See our original post on Pierre Herme’s version).

    The Maca’Long debuts in four flavors: Hazelnut Lemon, Mocha, Raspberry Pistachio and Vanilla Pecan. For this we have just two words: Mmmm, mmmm.

    Discover more at NapoleonsMacarons.com.

     

    maca-long-w-meringue-napoleonsmacarons-LA-230b

    An ice cream sandwich on a meringue cookie sandwich. Photo courtesy Napoléon’s Macarons | L.A.

     

    EAST COAST ICE CREAM SANDWICH NEWS

    On the other side of the country, in Manhattan, Ristorante Asellina is serving up Crolatos: homemade gelato sandwiches on split croissants.

    While a buttery plain croissant works just fine, see if you can score some almond croissants or chocolate croissants.

      

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