Fresh peppermint purchased from the farmers market.
The farmers market has been kicking the past couple weeks, and we like cooking things that are in season. We will shortly be working our way through the various fruits that the Northeast has to offer (in various forms), but as of a couple weeks ago fruits were still scarce. The ice cream cake at Allswell inspired us to do a clean, simple, refreshing mint ice cream. After all, herbs are abundant at the market right now.
Mint Ice Cream between Salt & Pepper Mini Chocolate Cookies.
When thinking about mint and mint ice cream, we could not help but think of chocolate and how to incorporate that into our ice cream without taking away from the simple beauty of mint ice cream on its own. Chocolate shavings and mini ice cream sandwiches were our solutions. The perfect recipe for one bite ice cream sandwiches that I adapted from Dorie Greenspan‘s World Piece Cookies for Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cookies follows.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream (makes 1 quart)
loosely adapted from Humphry Slocumbe
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons corn syrup
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
*The only additional equipment that will come in handy is a mesh strainer and a bowl made of non-reactive material (glass or stainless steel)
1. The night before freeze the canister bowl. Wash and clean mint. Remove leaves from stems, and make sure to only have the best leaves. Measure the cream and milk into a resealable jar. Add the all of the mint leaves to cold infuse over night in the fridge.
2. Strain out the mint into a medium saucepan. Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.
Straining the mint from the infused milk.
3. In a medium, non reactive bowl (glass or stainless steel), whisk the sugar and egg yolks until well mixed.
Beaten egg yolks and sugar
4. Heat over medium heat the infused dairy, salt, and corn syrup until hot, but not boiling.
5. Slowly pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the while. For this part it is nice to have an ice cream making partner (four hands are key).
6. Pour that mixture back into the rest of the hot milk. Return to medium heat. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula along the bottom so it doesn’t scorch. Heat until the milk starts to steam.
7. Strain again into a resealable bag. Chill in the ice bath until cool.
8. Pour into ice cream maker and churn. Pour in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper pressed into the top. Freeze in the back of the freezer for a couple hours.
Fresh mint ice cream with chocolate shavings.
Salt & Pepper Mini Chocolate Cookies (makes between 3 and 4 dozen)
(note: This recipe was adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies which appears in her book Baking: From My Home To Yours. Many people call this book a baking bible, and we agree. It is our go to for pretty much all things from the oven.)
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2/3 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chips
1. Whisk flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.
2. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, and beat it until soft and creamy (using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or whisk). Add the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, pepper, and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until combined (if you are using a whisk you might need to get our a wooden spoon to finish this job).
3. Pour dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture. If you are using a stand mixer you can do this all at once (put a towel over to protect yourself from flying flour), but if you are using a hand mixer or whisk, add it little by little. Continue to mix until all the flour is incorporated into the dough. The dough should look a bit crumbly at this point.
4. Add the semisweet chocolate pieces and mix with your hands just enough to incorporate the chips into the dough.
5. Put the dough on a work space, and divide into two equal halves. Shape the dough into logs that are about 1 1/2 inches thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours.
(Dorie notes that these logs can be refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen up to two months. No need to defrost before baking)
6. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
7. Slice logs of dough into rounds that are about 1/2 and inch thick, and place them on the cookie sheet. If the dough starts to crumble just push it back together. These cookies don’t expand too much so they can be pretty close together.
8. Bake for 11 minutes (one cookie sheet at a time). Cookies will be very soft when they come out of the oven, and very fragile. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest (we pulled the parchment off the cookie sheet directly on to the cooling rack to prevent breakage). Let them rest til they are about room temperature before eating.
Equal parts ice cream and cookie.
Once the cookies are totally cool you can scoop out little balls of ice cream, and sandwich them between two chocolate cookies. Be quick and wrap them plastic wrap, and stick them back in the freezer for a couple hours for the best results!