03 Jul Maple, Bacon & Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches
Here I sit, after 13 hours of travel to get to New York, sipping a cup of hot coffee and gazing out over the majestic Keuka Lake. Every window in the house is open, there’s a cool breeze tickling my skin and a bowl of freshly-picked, perfectly ripe strawberries laid out in front of me.
I awoke this morning to the sounds of Pharell’s Happy, drifting in on the wind from a lonely boat of early-risers, serenading me out of my travel-exhaustion induced slumber. And even though I really can’t stand that song, something about it felt right.
It’s all a stark contrast to the blast of air-conditioning and sweaty hustle of Austin’s summers. And a much welcome one, at that.
And while I’m feeling pretty damn content at the moment, yesterday was brutal. I had plans to write this blog post on the airplane (because that’s where creative juices flow freely?), but heavy delays from weather on the East Coast put us far behind schedule, unclear on if we would actually make it to Upstate New York, and in an unfortunate, sour mood.
I was going to tell you all about the last few weeks in my world. Things have been a little crazy around here and an update felt appropriate. But now, I’ve got a sparkling lake in front of me and more fresh air than my lungs can handle, so I’m going to keep this short. I’m itching to shut this computer, grab my camera and explore – so let’s get to it – Maple, Bacon & Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches.
This is as close to a 4th of July recipe as you’re going to get from me this year. But really, if you think about it — what’s more American that putting bacon on anything and everything?
Our founding father’s fought for our freedom – and that includes the freedom to consume bacon at any damn time of day we please. That’s what they were going for, right?
Consider this a patriotic challenge of sorts. Can you, on this day of celebration of freedom, prove your American-ness, and eat bacon in some form for every meal of the day?
I’ve got dessert covered.
Maple, Bacon & Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches — creamy maple ice cream (flavored with the real thing), peppered with bits of thick-cut candied bacon and sandwiched between two buttermilk sugar cookies. Can I getta amen?
Have a very happy 4th of July!!!
A few notes about this recipe:
The candied bacon recipe calls for 5 slices of thick-cut bacon. You’ll only need 4 for the recipe, but trust me, you’ll want the extra for snacking. You can use any kind of bacon you’d like, though you’ll need to adjust cooking time if using a thinner sliced version.
Shortcut: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could buy maple ice cream from the store (or whatever flavor you like), let it soften a bit, and mix the bacon bits in. OR use store-bought ice cream then roll the sandwiches in bacon bits before re-freezing to firm.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- Clear decorating sugar
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- in a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.
- Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with decorating sugar.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil, then place an oven-safe wire rack on top of the pan. Spray the rack liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the cayenne pepper. Mix them together until the spices are well-distributed.
- Add bacon to the bowl and press it into the sugar mixture, making sure to coat all pieces evenly. Place slices on the wire rack and sprinkle over any remaining sugar mixture.
- Bake the bacon in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your bacon, you may need to cook it a little less/more. When it is done, it will be firm and crispy and dark along the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to lift the bacon off the rack. Place on a piece of parchment paper or a non-stick surface. Let the bacon cool completely, and then chop into small pieces.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream and vanilla until simmering.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a bowl until pale yellow, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in ½ cup warm cream mixture to temper the eggs, then whisk the yolk mixture into remaining cream mixture. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, 2–3 minutes.
- Stir in the maple syrup. Strain into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, 2-4 hours.
- Once chilled, process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once frozen, stir in the bacon pieces and transfer to your preferred dish (I use a loaf pan), cover and freeze until firm.
- Place a generous scoop of ice cream on top of the bottom side of one cookie and top with another sugar cookie. Refreeze until firm before serving.