Revelations From A Creek Bed In Rural Alabama
Since we last talked, I was peer pressured into hiking with friends. An hour into the hike–while they were cheerfully scrambling up rocks and I was crouching in a creek bed sucking on an organic lentil chip that tasted like a paper towel–I realized something alarming: now that the weather is warmer, this is going to happen all the time. People will coax me outside, hand me a weird energy snack, and tell me to enjoy myself in The Great Outdoors.
I don’t hate The Great Outdoors, but I wish it were labeled better. You know how ski slopes are either “green circles” or “blue squares” or “double black diamonds,” so you know if they’re easy or hard? Well, I wish the people who labeled those would label the hikes near me. As it is now, every third tree is painted with a random shape or spirit animal. It’s very confusing. Dozens of Alabamians get lost in the woods each year because one hiking partner thought they were following “the trail with the squiggly triangles” and the other thought they were following “the trail with the equals sign that looks like a hippopotamus.”
So I got to thinking: the least I can do for you is label my recipes properly, right?
I’m giving a GREEN CIRCLE (easy) to the Magic Sauce that Jenny and Tina posted in the comments last time around. (I put a halved onion, 6 Tbsp. butter, 1/2 tsp. packed brown sugar and 2 28-oz. cans of whole, peeled tomatoes in a pot and simmered for 30 minutes or so. It made an amazing tomato sauce.)
Another GREEN CIRCLE goes to the root beer pulled pork recipe Bunky recommended. (Great. For the most tender results, you could swap a Boston Butt in for the pork tenderloin.)
I haven’t made my way through every recipe that you guys posted in the comments last time but I will. And thank you.
- First you make a sheet of chocolate chip cookies using mini chocolate chips. Then you use a biscuit cutter or something to cut circles out.
- Then you soften some ice cream and spread an inch or two of it into a tray and freeze it again. That way you can cut identical shapes of ice cream out.
- You put the ice cream between two cookie cut-outs and press mini chips on the outside. And you’re done.
And BOY ARE THEY GOOD. They’re the closest thing I’ve ever had to a Chipwich®. When you bake the cookies into one big sheet, the cookie part of each sandwich is soft and chewy, not hard and crunchy on the edges like it would be if you used actual drop cookies.
Feast yourselves, my friends!
Eggton’s Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
by eggton (methods and write-up are mine, but the cookie ingredients are from Nestlé)
2 12-oz. bags mini chocolate chips
2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. (packed) brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put the butter and the sugars. Mix on low speed until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fully combined.
In a separate small bowl, put the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt) and stir a few times. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three additions, mixing well after each.
Stir 1 12-oz. package (2 c.) of chips into the dough by hand.
Line a 9 x 13″ baking dish (not a baking sheet) with parchment paper (or grease it well) and spread the dough into the pan in as even a layer as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned on top and then remove it from the oven and let it cool.
While the sheet cookie is baking, thaw the ice cream a little so that you can manipulate it easily with a spoon. Glop some ice cream into a couple pie tins or a freezer-proof dish and smooth it out so that you have a 1 1/2 to 2 inch layer of ice cream. Put the dishes in the freezer and leave them there until the ice cream firms up again (30 minutes to an hour).
Find a baking sheet or a couple freezer-proof plates that fit in your freezer because you need something to store the finished ice cream sandwiches on. Pour 1/2 c. of the remaining chocolate chips into a small bowl.
When the sheet cookie is cool, cut squares or circles out of it with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Carefully cut each cookie in half horizontally. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and cut identical shapes out of the ice cream. Carefully place a piece of ice cream between the halves of each cookie, forming a sandwich. Using your fingers, gently attach chocolate chips to the strip of ice cream in each sandwich. As you finish each sandwich, immediately transfer it to your baking sheet or plates in the freezer so that it doesn’t melt. You can eat them right then or freeze them for an hour or more before eating. When they’re thoroughly frozen, transfer them to a plastic bag or freezer-safe container so that they’re not lying open in the freezer overnight.