Friday, July 11, 2014

Samoas Ice Cream

America's love affair with chocolate chip, oatmeal and peanut butter cookies is undeniable.  But leave it to the Girl Scouts to develop one of our nation's other most distinctive and beloved cookies, Samoas.  Added to their repertoire in 1976,  Samoas are produced by Keebler and have become their second best-selling cookie after Thin Mints.

Samoas are composed of a base of vanilla cookie topped with caramel and coconut and drizzled with chocolate.  There are lots of good recipes out there to recreate Samoas in your own kitchen.  But I decided to take it to another medium.  I've been getting back into making lots of ice cream lately so this seemed like a worthy project.  And wow, am I glad I made this happen.  This is a super ice cream.

I begin with a basic coconut ice cream made with coconut steeped in coconut milk and cream.  It's not a custard base, which means there are no eggs for added fat so I include some cornstarch to impede the formation of ice crystals and combat iciness.  There's an easy brown sugar caramel swirled in as well as bites of vanilla shortbread.  Last but surely not least, there's a drizzle of chocolate.  I love how this all works so beautifully together.

If you're a Samoas aficionado, you will most certainly enjoy this format.  It's a great combination of luscious flavors with a balanced sweetness and a bit of texture.  Just enough to get you through until the next Girl Scout cookie season.

Bench notes:
- I use Thai Kitchen coconut milk because it has a consistent quality.
- I really like butter cookies in this recipe (I used my Plain Jane Cookies from my cookbook) but you can use your favorite vanilla sugar cookie if you like.  Chop them into bite-sized pieces until you have about 3/4 cup or however much suits your fancy.
- The corn syrup in the chocolate drizzle is there for viscosity and shine.  Omit it if you prefer.
- Because homemade ice cream doesn't contain any commercial emulsifiers, it's important to let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes to soften before scooping.
- If you're crazy for Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, try this Mint Chocolate Ice Cream.

Samoas Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

2 1/2 cups (20 oz) heavy cream, divided
1 3/4 cup (14 oz) coconut milk
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (2 3/4 oz) sugar
pinch of salt, to taste
3 tablespoons (27 grams) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped vanilla shortbread cookies

Brown Sugar Caramel
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (3 oz) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt, to taste

Chocolate Drizzle
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (3 oz) heavy cream
2 teaspoons (1/2 oz) corn syrup

Place 1/4 cup heavy cream in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the remaining cream, coconut milk, shredded coconut, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until mixture begins to steam, stirring to combine.

Blend cornstarch with reserved 1/4 cup cream until there are no lumps.  Add to the hot coconut milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to come to a boil.  Lower the heat and stir until thickened, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and add vanilla and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust for salt.  Pour into an airtight container and cool completely, then cover and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

For the caramel, place the brown sugar and cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk to combine.  Bring to a slow boil for a minute or so until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is smooth, whisking constantly. Take off the heat and add vanilla and salt, to taste.  Pour into a container, cover and chill until ready to use.

Freeze the ice cream according to your machine's directions.  Fold in the chopped cookies pieces until evenly distributed.  Pour about a third of the ice cream into an airtight container then dollop about a third of the caramel.  Repeat with another layer of ice cream and caramel and then finish with remaining ice cream.  Reserve the remaining caramel for garnish.  Using a knife or a skewer, draw a couple of figure 8s in the ice cream to swirl the caramel.  Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.

For the chocolate drizzle, finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.  Warm the cream and corn syrup until it just begins to come to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and let it sit for a minute to absorb the heat.  Stir slowly until smooth.

To serve,  remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it rest for about 10 - 15 minutes to soften.  Scoop into bowls and drizzle with chocolate and extra caramel.


Sue/the view from great island said...

Samoa aficionado here...and this is a brilliant idea!

pastry studio said...

Aha, I knew you all were out there somewhere! Put this on your To Do list and see what you think.

Cheers, Sue!

dina said...

oh my god this looks amazing!

pastry studio said...

dina, it is, it is!

Kate said...

What an innovative idea! I love your ability to surprise me week by week with delicious recipes. Our daughter loves Samoas. I must send your link to her.
I love ice cream loaded with other ingredients and this combination is a winner.
An ice cream excursion I'd love to eat my way through ;)
Happy summer days to you!

Glenda said...

I'm new to this site. Love the "bench notes". Will be back. :)

pastry studio said...

Howdy, Kate! It's fun to know your daughter might find this a delicious idea. Lots of delicious notes to enjoy in this ice cream.

Glenda, welcome and thank you for your sweet comment.