Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt

Handel's Ice Cream from Youngstown, OH

Tom was born in Youngstown, Ohio and he remembers family trips to Dairy Queen and Scooper’s in Canfield. Those places bring to mind memories of chocolate milk shakes and scoops of butter pecan from Dairy Queen (yes, they had scoops back then) and the black cherry rum from the now defunct Scooper’s. A more seldom treat was ice cream from Handel’s Ice Cream and those occasions typically ran parallel with little league baseball.

Now when Tom returns to Ohio, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt is the only choice. He does not even have to travel to the scoop shop to get it…his family brings it to almost every family function. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream is now a franchise with locations in six states (if you live in Ohio they are all over). But Handel’s truly is a Youngstown establishment with its original location on the South Side of Youngstown (their headquarters is still in the suburb of Canfield).

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The Euphoria- Lock: Is Your Pint Safe?

Ben & Jerry’s Euphoria-Lock via aspiringauteur / brain-food

To most people ice cream is not a big deal, but others will defend the frozen treat with their life.  Ben & Jerry’s has come up with what appears to be a simple solution: the Euphoria Pint-Lock.  This is a plastic three digit pad lock that protects your precious pint from roommates and children that might be scheming to eat all of your delicious ice cream in the middle of the night.

But how well does it work?

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Fresh Mint Ice Cream (with Salt & Pepper Mini Chocolate Cookies)

Fresh Peppermint

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.

Salt & Pepper Chocolate Cookies with Fresh Mint Ice Cream

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.

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The Ice Cream Cake

dark wave cake

The “Cold Wave” ice cream log

We remember ice cream cakes from growing up in the 1980s. Tom’s family got birthday cakes from Dairy Queen, but Kira and her father got Carvel chocolate ice cream cakes from the Publix freezer on their shared birthday. It has been a long time since either of us enjoyed a proper slice of ice cream cake. Brady got Tom a “Cold Wave” ice cream log from Baskin Robbins for his birthday last year. It’s not really cake shaped, but comes pretty close.

Last week at Allswell in Williamsburg they had a black mint chocolate ice cream cake on the menu. Of course we had to try it.

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New Orleans Coffee Ice Cream

Coffee at Puerto Rico Importers

Bags of roasted coffee beans at Porto Rico Importing Co, Williamsburg Brooklyn

Our pal, Brady, has long expounded on the virtues of San Francisco ice cream shop, Humphry Slocombe, exclaiming that we have to vacation there just for the ice cream.  Luckily, Mimi told us that they just published a compendium of their recipes, Humphry Slocumbe Ice Cream Book.  They make the French style  ice cream with an egg custard base, something which we haven’t done so far on this blog.  We decided to use one of their recipes as a jumping off point for our own.  
New Orleans coffee ice cream and Peter Pan crueller

This ice cream tastes great with any classic doughnut.  This marble cruller is from Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

The San Francisco based Blue Bottle Coffee opened a Brooklyn outpost in 2010.  While Kira is not a ‘coffee person’, she will indulge in the extremely caffeinated delight that is their New Orleans style Iced Coffee.  Humphry Slocombe collaborated with Blue Bottle to dream up a Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, which we use loosely as a starting point for our own New Orleans Coffee Ice Cream.

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A Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream for Mom

bourbon vanilla

It’s a special occasion whenever family comes into town.  Tom’s mom came into town for a short visit and wanted to make ice cream with us.  While her favorite flavor is plain vanilla, we decided to add another layer of complexity to the flavor by adding bourbon to the mix.  While we think it’s just grand, if you aren’t feeling boozy, just omit the bourbon altogether.  You’ll still have a delicious spoonful to enjoy with pie, cake, etc. without fussing with the additional steps.

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The Ice Cream Sandwich

The history of the ice cream sandwich is a little bit foggy, but many signs point to it being an American food.  In 1900 a man on the Lower East Side was said to have sold quarter-inch slabs of ice cream between two water wafers. Pictures from the Jersey Shore in 1905 show a horse-drawn cart selling ice cream sandwiches for one cent, and one of the first appearances of the modern ice cream sandwich was at Forbes Field, in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The New York Times even mentions the food as early as 1928.  The ice cream sandwich spawned many frozen treats including the Eskimo Pie, originally called the I-Scream-Bar, and I was unable to find an instance of the ice cream sandwich being eaten in the world before its United States debut.  The town of Blue Earth, in Minnesota, claims to be the birthplace of the ice cream sandwich, but fails to back up their claim to fame.

ice cream sandwiches: a truly american food.Michael’s first ice cream sandwich ever from Melt Bakery.

Last summer was when we realized that the ice cream sandwich might actually be something truly American. Michael, founder and creative director of Hong Kong Honey, was visiting New York working with our good friends at Brooklyn Homesteader.  We all headed down to Parked! Food Truck Fest for some delicious treats and our excursion ended by sharing a couple of ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery.  One was a chocolate concoction, and other was the inspired combination of ginger ice cream with lemon sable cookies.

Michael mentioned that he had never had an ice cream sandwich before, and we talked about how truly American the food was.  He was surprised when he opened the package when it revealed cookies on the outside instead of bread.

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