Saturday, July 16, 2011

It happened.

I've always liked peanut butter, but I was never a peanut butter lover, as many are. I liked peanut butter on sandwiches, usually with jam, or sometimes in noodles in an attempt at Asian-style peanut noodles. I did not like peanut butter flavored desserts or candies, though. The idea of peanut butter as a sweet was just not appealing. Didn't get me going.

But then it happened. I was very hungry after working all day and not being fed (a sob story for another occasion), and I was also disappointed and stubbornly angry that all the sandwich places I came across in Park Slope were overpriced (go figure). I reasoned I could either trek to the coop and buy raw ingredients with which to make a snack at home, knowing that from start to finish would be well over an hour and by then I'd be sickeningly famished, or I could stop at the ices place right in front of me and just have a sweet snack. I picked the sweet snack. And not only that, but I picked the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough ice! O.M.G.!!!!! I know, I know, I didn't think it would ever happen either! I thought I was a life-long peanut butter lover hater! But apparently, as vipassana meditation reminds us, nothing is permanent.

When I realized my self-discovery, I decided to merge two new interests: Ice cream sandwiches and Peanut butter as a sweet. Genius. Just genius.

Chocolate cookie/Peanut Butter Gelato sandwich recipe (makes 8 ice cream sandwiches and some leftover gelato for later)

Cookies (adapted from Smitten Kitchen adapted from Retro Desserts)
1 c flour
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 sticks softened butter (10 T)
1 egg

By hand or in electric mixer, combine all ingredients in order above. With damp hands, roll bits of dough into uniform balls. Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet at least 2" apart (these babies spread!). Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Gelato
1 Quart Whole Milk
1 3/4 c peanut butter (I used Smuckers Natural style)
1 1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 T arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if you can't find this)
2 large egg yolks

Pour milk into large saucepan and begin to heat over low heat. Whisk in peanut butter. Whisk occasionally while milk heats slowly. While milk heats, mix arrowroot powder and sugar. When milk is hot, but not yet simmering, add 1/2 c sugar mixture to the egg yolks in another bowl. Temper the egg mixture with some of the hot milk. Then add the egg mixture followed by the sugar mixture quickly to the not-yet-simmering milk. Whisk consistently now -- the mixture will thicken quickly! Continue stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Then turn off the head, pour custard into a big bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge to cool. Once cool, run through your ice cream maker.

To assemble sandwiches, simply spread some softened gelato on 8 cookies and top with another 8. Your friends will love you forever.

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