By 300 Sandwiches
We are approaching October. Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been on sale at Starbucks for weeks. As have pumpkin-flavored Mini-Wheats and Twinkies and donuts and a whole bunch of other artificially made foods that have no business being pumpkin-flavored (you know there are pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts? News to me!) Yet I realized that I had not eaten any pumpkin treats all season. Somehow I’d escaped the seasonal onslaught.
I asked E if he’d eaten any pumpkin goodies yet. “I’ve had three pumpkin spice lattes already. Maybe four.” I love my husband, but he’s so basic.
Since it’s still warm out, I went for pumpkin-flavored ice cream. I thought the smooth creamy pumpkin ice cream would be an awesome dessert, or, if I got the recipe right, I could use it in ice cream sandwiches. Perhaps my last ice cream sandwiches of the season.
I found David Lebovitz’s pumpkin pie ice cream recipe the most appealing, since it also called for booze and if you know anything about me you know I like cooking with booze as much as drinking it. He adapted it from this cookbook, and gives instructions on his site on making your own pumpkin puree if you wish. I had a can of pumpkin in my cupboard, so I bypassed that process. The results were so creamy and delicious. I could have eaten the whole bowl with a spoon in one sitting.
Then I found What’s Gaby Cooking’s recipe for healthier pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and baked off a bunch of cookies, which use Greek yogurt and no butter or oil. They were fluffy, chewy, and pumpkin-y. And there were barely enough left for ice cream sandwiches.
E and I snacked on the sandwiches while we gazed at the supermoon last night, which was about as reddish as the ice cream. Both are great to eat in their solitary form as well.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier, rum or brandy (I used rum)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water in a large bowl and nest a smaller metal bowl (one that will hold at least 2 quarts) inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
In a medium saucepan, mix the milk, cream, granulated sugar, ginger, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and salt. Warm the mixture until hot and the edges begin to bubble and foam.
Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually whisk in about half of the warm spiced milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read between 160º-170ºF.
Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Mix in the brown sugar, stir until cool, then chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Whisk in the vanilla, liquor (if using), and pumpkin puree. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (from What’s Gaby Cooking)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Combine the eggs and sugar and whisk for 3 minutes until it doubles in volume. Add the yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla and blend until fully combined. Mix in the flour and then add the chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.
Once chilled, scoop 3 tablespoon sized scoops of the dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for 16 minutes and remove from the oven. Let the cookies cool for a few moments on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat the process with any remaining dough.