i can hardly believe it: my little blog turns one year old today!
i can hardly believe it’s been a year since i started sharing my thoughts and photos and recipes with you all.
in the beginning, i hardly ever updated this site. i would go weeks and weeks, sometimes months and months without posting anything. maybe i was scared. maybe i was uninspired. really though, i think i was unsure of what i wanted to say. in fact, in all of 2010, i wrote a grand total of 14 posts! i realized, about eight months into blogging that i’m not only doing a disservice to my readers, but to myself if i don’t push myself to write as frequently as possible.
a year into writing for this site, i think i’m finally getting the hang of this whole blogging thing.
i’ve learned so very much, and i feel i’ve grown in leaps and bounds as a writer, a baker, and cook over these past twelve months.
i would surely be remiss if i didn’t thank you, yes you! honestly, i never thought anyone would read anything i wrote here, save for my parents, fiance, and a few dutiful friends. happily, i was wrong about that.
i’m always so elated and touched by your comments, and i can’t believe how many connections and wonderful friends i’ve made through this blog. i’ve met so many wonderful food bloggers, and i can say firsthand that this community is unlike any other. i love connecting with others who, like me are passionate about sharing their recipes and stories, feeding others, and talking about food until they’re blue in the face. it’s love.
a huge, hearty thank you from the bottom of my little ol’ heart to all of you who read my blog. it means so very much to me that you’re here, and that you keep coming back. i’m so proud of how much food + words has grown in the past year, and i can’t wait to see where i’m at another year from now!
shall we talk ice cream sandwiches? i think we definitely should.
i’ve been pondering what to make for the anniversary of my foray into food blogging for a few weeks now. lots of people do cupcakes, or grand layer cakes. beautiful, yes, but it’s a bit too warm here in florida to have the oven on for too long, not to mention that buttercream doesn’t really love heat and humidity. a layer cake would’ve been a beautiful disaster waiting to happen.
i was stumped. while wondering aloud to myself on twitter the other day (which i do quite often, as i’m sure you know if you follow me @foodpluswords!), jim suggested i make an ice cream, since that was the first thing i posted about a year ago. genius!
ice cream by itself isn’t terribly exciting or special. it’s delicious for sure, but a bowl of ice cream doesn’t exactly scream ‘celebration!’ to me.
however, an ice cream sandwich does.
it’s portable. it’s refreshing on a hot summer’s day. and, depending on the flavors you choose, an ice cream sandwich can be downright chic.
a little messy, yes. but still classy.
this particular ice cream sandwich is composed of two deeply dark chocolate cookies flecked with maldon sea salt (easily one of my top five favorite ingredients on the planet), which flank a generous scoop of sumptuous salted caramel ice cream. oh yeah, it’s decadent.
i’d love to serve these as dessert at a fancy dinner party, if i were the type to attend fancy dinner parties. these ice cream sandwiches would also be adorable if miniaturized; they’d be the cutest one-bite treats this side of the mississippi. you could even serve them on a stick! now that’s charming.
these ice cream sandwiches have perfected the tightrope walk between sweet and salty. my love for salted desserts runs deep, and these beauties deliver the goods.
if you’d like to make your own caramel sauce, which i highly recommend doing, check out my foolproof recipe here. in lieu of vanilla, simply add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and you’re all set!
is it your birthday? your friend’s birthday? your letter carrier’s birthday? you should make any of those people these ice cream sandwiches. they’ll be delighted, i promise. especially your letter carrier delivers the mail on foot every day like ours. betcha they’d love an ice cream sandwich during summertime!
who am i kidding, anyone would love an ice cream sandwich in the summertime. so make ‘em already!
chocolate sea salt cookie & salted caramel ice cream sandwiches
Yield: 6 ice cream sandwiches
the cookie recipe will give you enough to make six ice cream sandwiches, while the ice cream recipe will leave you with plenty of leftover deliciousness in the freezer! the cookie recipe can easily be doubled.
did i mention that these cookies are delicious enough to eat on their own? you might want to make double the recipe, just so you can snack on them while assembling the ice cream sandwiches!
for the cookies
1/2 stick unsalted butter
4 ounces good dark chocolate (you can use chocolate chips too!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
large-flake sea salt for topping (i love maldon)
for the ice cream
1 cup salted caramel sauce (see recipe here)
2 cups whole milk (i used fat free half and half because it's all i had, and it worked beautifully. use what you have!)
5 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
for the cookies
preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. microwave in 20 second increments until chocolate and butter are melted, and stir to combine. set aside.
sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. set aside.
whisk together the sugar and egg, and whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. whisk until combined.
add the flour mixture to the melted chocolate mixture. using a spatula, fold until combined. dough will be very wet.
i used a #60 cookie scoop, which holds 2 teaspoons-worth of dough and yields cookies which will be 2 inches in diameter. feel free to use a teaspoon to make the same sized cookies, or make smaller cookies.
using a cookie scoop or portioner, place cookie dough scoops two inches apart on baking sheet. sprinkle tops of cookies with large-flake sea salt.
bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until tops are crackled and cookies have spread out a bit.
allow to cool completely. set aside.
for the ice cream
pour caramel into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat over medium heat until warm.
add milk to caramel, and whisk until caramel is dissolved and incorporated.
in a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks to combine.
slowly drizzle about 1/2 cup of caramel milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously to temper the yolks.
scrape tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with the remaining caramel milk mixture. over medium heat, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the pan continuously.
the mixture will begin to thicken and become a custard, and this can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
the custard is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
strain the custard through a sieve or cheesecloth into a clean bowl. add the heavy cream, and stir to combine.
transfer custard to an airtight container, and refrigerate for at least two hours, overnight if possible.
when ready to make ice cream, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, about 25-30 minutes for soft-serve consistency.
transfer to airtight container for at least two hours to firm up.
assembling the ice cream sandwiches
using the #60 cookie scoop or a rounded teaspoon, deposit a small amount of ice cream on the underside of on cookie. spread out a bit using a small spatula or butter knife. top with another cookie.
once all ice cream sandwiches are assembled, return to the freezer for at least an hour to firm up.
the ice cream sandwiches will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.