Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cream Cheese-Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream Sandwiches

There is something very decadent, yet surprisingly refreshing, about the combination of cheesecake and strawberries. It makes for a wonderful summertime dessert, particularly when it’s in ice cream form. Only thing better would be an ice cream sandwich, with homemade Graham Cracker Cookies (or “bickies”, as the Brits

 would say). It’s like a portable strawberry-topped cheesecake – a really cold one. So here’s my version of this humidity busting treat. (I say ‘my’ version, but credit for the ice cream goes to the very talented Dana Cree, whose book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream is a MUST BUY. Seriously.) Feel free to use your own favorite cookies in place of the graham cracker ones -- vanilla or almond cookies would be a great choice, too, or even oatmeal cookies. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer! xo

Cream Cheese-Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes about 8

Strawberry Ripple:
(from Hello, My Name is Ice Cream by Dana Cree; Clarkson Potter, 2017)
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100 g) glucose or light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 ½ cups (300 g) strawberry puree (12 ounces fresh or frozen strawberries, pureed in blender)
½ teaspoon maltic acid (optional)

1. Place the sugar, glucose or corn syrup and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook until the syrup is clear and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in the strawberry puree and maltic acid, if using.
3. Transfer the ripple to a container. Cover tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream:
(from the most excellent book Hello, My Name is Ice Cream by Dana Cree; Clarkson Potter, 2017)
¾ cup (150 g) cream cheese
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup glucose or light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

1. Place a storage container (1 ½ quarts) into the freezer and allow to chill while you preparethe ice cream. Cut the cream cheese into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and allow to come to room temperature.
2. Place the cream, milk, sugar and glucose (or corn syrup) in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, whisking occasionally to discourage the milk from scorching, until it comes to a full rolling boil.
3. Immediately pour the ice cream base into a shallow metal or glass bowl. Working quickly, fill a large bowl two-thirds of the way with very icy water. Nest the hot bowl into this ice bath, stirring occasionally until it cools down.
4. When the base is cool to the touch (50°F or below), whisk in the softened cream cheese. Transfer to a blender and blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute, until very smooth.
5. Strain the base through a fine-mesh sieve into a shallow metal or glass bowl. Use a rubber spatula to push any unincorporated lumps of cream cheese through the strainer, then scrape the bottom side of the strainer to collect any cream cheese that has accumulated there, whisking it back into the base.
6. When the base is cool to the touch, transfer it to the refrigerator to cure for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
7. Place the base into the bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is ready when it thickens into the texture of soft-serve ice cream and holds its shape, typically 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Remove the storage container from the freezer and drizzle a couple of spoonfuls of the Strawberry Ribbon over the bottom. Spread one-third of the just-churned ice cream in the container. Drizzle one-third of the ribbon over the ice cream. Repeat layering two more times. Plunge a spatula through the layers four or five times to distribute the ribbon. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream, cover the container with a lid, and freeze for 4 to 12 hours, until completely firm.

Honey Cinnamon Graham Cracker Cookies:
(from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle)
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (sounds like a lot but it’s correct)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup water

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, sugar, honey and vanilla at medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture at low speed, then the water, mixing just until blended.
3. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and, with floured hands, shape it into 2 discs (the dough should be sticky). Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, until chilled.
4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Remove one of the dough discs from the refrigerator and place it on a floured work surface. Dust it lightly with flour and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible from the dough and arrange them, 1/2 inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Prick each cookie 4 times with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely. Gather up the scraps, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 10 minutes before re-rolling.
6. Repeat the procedure with the remaining disc of dough.

Assemble the ice cream sandwiches:
Remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow it soften for 15 minutes. Arrange 8 of the cookies upside-down on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Top a cookie with a scoop of the ice cream and top with another cookie, flat side down. Press down on the cookie, letting the ice cream squeeze to the edge. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving (this will soften up the cookies). Repeat with the remaining cookies and ice cream.