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Verses from my Kitchen: Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches

July 29, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Picture this. It's summertime. You're outside and have your hand up over your eyes to protect yourself from the bright glare of the sun. You hear kids playing and laughing all around you. A sprinkler is watering the lawn and someone is gardening nearby. Your skin feels warm and, for a fleeting second in time, everything is perfect.

It's hot and slightly humid outside and you start looking for cover. Shade. You find a big oak tree out back and press your back up against it and hide for a moment in the soft cool shade. And for a few short months a year this is yours. All yours.

I often talk about my affinity for summer weather and activities. When I take time to reflect on what it is about summer that draws me in, I realize it's the moments and memories that are firmly attached to a day or time from the season. It's not the heat or warm breeze as much as it is that one thing that can't be duplicated. My summer recollections. They're mine. Only mine.

Almost of the images from my mind's eye which were stored there years and decades before involve friends. That or food. And sometimes, particularly as I aged, there were spots where the two crashed into one. When you're young and carefree and you're surrounded by good friends with loving parents, you often create life-lasting moments almost everyday. Almost.

For instance, the times being in the kitchen as a young lad throwing the flour everywhere on the counter top as I escaped from the pressing heat outside. Maybe sitting in the backyard tent that was put up for me as a teen to see what it was like to live outside. For a night. In the cool, late August evening weather.

I remember all of them.

There were particularly hot days on the courts playing tennis with the crew I grew up with. Competing with and practicing with. And at the end of the match we sat on the bench outside the rusty fence and sipped on ice cold lemonades that one of their mom's dropped off. And we laughed. The battle was over so we sunk back into the friendship that united us.

On the hotter weekend nights the four of us would play tennis long after the adults left to move on with real life. Responsibility. For us, tennis was all the real life we needed. We played round robbin tourneys until the lights overhead abruptly shut off.And then we played some more using the street lights as our guide. After that we drove to the nearest ice cream shop for sandwiches and dipped cones.

There were invitations to neighbourhood pools to swim. Jumping off the diving board knowing any second I'd be crash into that crisp cool water refreshed and alive. After a while my friend's mom would bring out lunch and lemon loaded iced tea. Cold and welcome like the pool.

I'm fond of summer because of the fondness I had for it as a child. As a young man. Running through sprinklers or chest diving onto the lawn after a warm rainfall created small puddles that seemed big enough to swim in. I was blessed with opportunities. And opportunities were all I ever asked for.

All of those summertime retreats, excursions away from the safe inside of my house, were fantastic and memorable and life defining in one way or another. All of them. And usually, at the end of a get together or celebration or activity, we shared cold drinks and cold treats.

I can't pinpoint the best of those memories. They all helped me be who I am today. Madly in love with life and the most important person in it, slightly foolish at times, and nostalgic. Nostalgic for the food, the people and the chances. And in love with summer.

Picture this. It's one of the hottest days of the summer. You've been out back in the yard and you start feeling uncomfortable. Perspiration is running down your face. You duck for a spot in the shade with an ice cream sandwich. This will be a moment that you look back on in years and remember with fondness. And for a fleeting second in time, everything is perfect. Everything.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Sandwiches

The Goods:
  • 200 grams non-salted butter (7/8 cup)
  • 200 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour, sifted (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 200 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a large mixing bowl, add butter, sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add lightly beaten eggs and beat thoroughly. Add in the flour, salt and baking powder and beat again until smooth. Next fold through the chocolate chips until combined.
  3. Roll out two tablespoons of the cookie dough into balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Press down to flatten.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on trays. Makes a dozen cookies.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

The Goods:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups pitted chopped cherries, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 125 grams of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
  1. Warm milk, heavy cream, sugar and cherries on the stove in a medium pot over medium heat. Add vanilla and salt. Once it froths up a bit, lower heat and warm for about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and chill for an hour in the fridge.
  3. Put the mixture into your ice cream maker. Churn the ice cream according to your maker directions.
  4. Once churned, and with the ice cream still soft, fold in the chocolate. Put the contents into a freezer safe container with lid and freezer for several hours, or until cold and solid.


At July 29, 2011 at 9:43 AM , Anonymous bellini said...

Cherries are in season and prolific at the farmers market. I was in Ontatio just last week and we are far behind in the produce department, but then again if I don't want to wish away my whole summer.

At July 29, 2011 at 9:55 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

These are beyond gorgeous! Love all of the photos :) Really beautiful not to mention completely mouthwatering!

At July 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM , Blogger Maria said...

Great summer treat!

At July 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM , Blogger Adora's Box said...

Sadly there's no decent summers here in England. Sunny days are rare. Luckily I have a lot of sunny days in my memory bank that's enough to last me a lifetime. Lovely ice cream sandwiches. Chocolate and cherries_I like that a lot.

At July 29, 2011 at 2:01 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

I buzzed these before I even really looked at them because I am mildly obsessed with all things ice cream at the moment. And on closer inspection, they live up to the hype! Yum.

At July 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM , Blogger The Procrastobaker said...

Such a gorgeous post, can totally relate :) and my goodness..your photos, im literally gawping. Wonderful!

At July 29, 2011 at 5:51 PM , Blogger Lizzy said...

Oh, wow! What a delicious way to cool off :)

At July 29, 2011 at 6:38 PM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

Retreats. Notice you can break it into two parts re-treats. I think I glance back up and re-treat myself. GREG

At July 29, 2011 at 7:19 PM , Blogger Wilde in the Kitchen said...

I remember so many great summers of playing in the backyard with the sprinklers and slip'n'slide. I'm loving all the hot weather we're getting now, great excuse to make lots of ice cream. Yours sounds delicious!

At July 29, 2011 at 7:57 PM , Anonymous marla said...

These ice cream sandwiches scream summer and look like the perfect hot weather treat. Especially after a long day in the pool or on those tennis courts. Hope you have some left for the weekend :)

At July 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Kimmy Bingham said...

I've been dying for cherry chocolate chip ice cream. I need a few more cherries thought to pull it off.

I feel the same way that you do about summer. It's fleeting, and brings back all kinds of nostalgia. Beautiful post.

At July 31, 2011 at 1:17 AM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

One of my favorite ice cream flavors is chocolate cherry... and then to squash it between those decadent cookies is just a beautiful thing.

At July 31, 2011 at 5:52 PM , Blogger SweetSavoryPlanet said...

These look delicious. Cherries seem to be the "it" fruit for me this summer!

At August 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM , Blogger SKIP TO MALOU said...

Yeah I do agree. Summer is magical. It lends us memories that takes us back HOME. It warms the heart whenever we do.
This ice cream sandwich gives the same feeling especially with that bottle of milk beside it.
Happy Monday!

At August 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM , Anonymous fooodwanderings said...

Oh Mike gorgeous pics. I like your take on ice cream sandwiches. You would laugh I love eating the rectangular ice cream sandwiches whether vanilla or chocolate sandwiches with vanilla ice cream inside, only to peel the sandwich part off and hand it over to Jonathan and eat the middle. lol

At August 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM , Blogger Valerie said...

The perfect treat in summer! ;)

At August 4, 2011 at 11:29 PM , Blogger Cookin' Cowgirl said...

Your blog is yummy. That is all.

At August 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM , Blogger Kaitlin said...

What lovely words, photos and memories... Thanks for sharing!

I am new to your blog (how could I have missed it?) and am looking forward to digging through the archives.


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