Just in case my “midwest” knuckle tattoos (complete with a tiny ear of corn on one finger) and the tattoo of a Chicago style hotdog on my shoulder didn’t tip you off, I would like to officially disclose my status as a Midwesterner right now. I grew up in good ‘ol Channahon, IL, a town I lovingly referred to in a previous recipe post about Vegan Taffy Apple Salad. Some of my fondest memories involve hopping on my grandpa’s Honda motorcycle and riding (with him driving, of course) into the neighboring cornfields to snag some sweet corn. My grandma warned us that if any of the farmers caught us they’d skin us alive, but Papa assured me I was “as safe as if I was in God’s pocket” and together we were the Channahon Sweet Corn Bandits.
My grandparents also had a huge rhubarb plant in their backyard. I don’t know if they planted it or if it just kind of happened, but no one ever touched it except for the wild rabbits. My sister and I would leave stalks of the stuff wherever we spotted rabbit holes in the yard, but otherwise we weren’t big on pie in our household, so it just kind of grew out of control until my dad eventually yanked it out of the ground.
Last week I received a review copy of Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cool Recipes for Delicious Dairy-Free Ice Creams and Cookies by Kris Holechek Peters and spotted a recipe called Mouthful O’ Midwest Sandwiches, so needless to say I was pretty excited. Sweet corn soy ice cream sandwiched between two soft rhubarb cookies? Throw in a few episodes of Punky Brewster and you just handed me my childhood, my friend.
The book has a lot of other recipes I’m excited to try – Happy Birthday Batter Sandwiches (sprinkle cookies and cake batter ice cream) and Shirley Temple Sandwiches (chewy cherry cookies and lemon-lime sherbet), to name a few. Now that I’ve gone through one iteration I picked up a few tricks that might help make these come out perfectly for you:
- Make the ice cream a day ahead, there’s a lot of prep involved
- If you have real Midwestern sweet corn, you may want to cut back on the amount of sugar you add to the ice cream mixture
- Consider scooping 2 Tbs of dough instead of 1 Tbs for larger cookies
- Slightly flatten each mound of cookie dough prior to baking
- Sprinkle the top of 1/2 the unbaked cookies with a pinch of course sea salt to play up the tart rhubarb and sweet, sweet corn
- Add more rhubarb to the cookies than the recipe calls for – because why not?
Sweet Corn Soy Ice Cream
Makes: 1¼ quarts
- 2½ cups soy or hemp milk (full fat)
- 1½ cups sweet corn (fresh preferred, but thawed, frozen corn is fine)
- ¾ cup evaporated cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the milk and corn and process until smooth. If you’re not a fan of texture in your ice cream, pour through a strainer to remove any corn debris (we love that stuff in our house). In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and arrowroot starch, and whisk until the starch is incorporated into the sugar. Pour in the milk/corn mixture, whisking to incorporate. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a heat-resistant bowl and let it cool completely.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a 1½- or 2-quart ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for at least 2 hours before assembling the sandwiches.
To Make the Sandwiches
Let the ice cream soften slightly so it’s easy to scoop. Place half of the cookies, bottoms up, on a clean surface. Scoop one generous scoop of ice cream, about ⅓ cup, onto the top of each cookie. Top the ice cream with the remaining cookies, with the cookie bottoms touching the ice cream. Gently press down on the cookies to level them out. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap or waxed paper and return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Sandwich Fixin’s, Fillin’s, and Mixin’s
For added fun, make these treats state fair–style: on a stick! After assembling each sandwich, insert a Popsicle stick halfway into the ice cream and wrap the plastic wrap around the stick. Wait at least 3 hours before serving to ensure the stick is stable.
If your childhood was an ice cream sandwich, what would it taste like?
Rhubarb and Sweet Corn Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches
By July 8, 2014Published:
- Yield: 12 sandwiches (12 Servings)
From the author: Corn and rhubarb are two classic Midwestern summer staples. They grow like weeds and find themselves getting morphed into everything, including ice cream sandwiches. Yes, you read that right. Sweet corn ice cream. Rhubarb cookies. Suspicious? Cast your doubts aside, put on your overalls, and eat one of these sweet and tangy sandwiches in the summer heat, refreshing yourself after a day in the field, er, lounging on your porch.
- 1 3/4 cups white unbleached flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
- 1/2 cup nondairy margarine softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen (thawed) rhubarb (red parts, not green)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and margarine. Add the vanilla and mix until well combined. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet in batches and mix until smooth. Gently fold in the rhubarb.
- Using a cookie dropper or tablespoon, drop tablespoon-sized* scoops of dough and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and the edges are set and lightly golden.
*See note above
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
- See above for ice cream recipe.
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