Last Saturday, something magical happened — the one and only Molly Yeh graced my little Brooklyn abode with her sunshiny self, and we baked and ate and shot a joint post together. Really! It was the most fun I’ve ever had shooting a post; I might even go out on a limb and say it’s my favorite post so far. There was highly hygienic ice cream churning involved, the consumption of lard bread and gummy pigs to keep our strength up, the tomato-tomahto of Canon and Nikon, what lens are you using and what ISO are you at. Molly is every bit as lovely and ebullient as she seems on her blog, even when someone, not naming any names, splatters a good quantity of butter on her and potentially ruins her clothing. (I am the worst.)
As my clumsiness might suggest, I’ve never collaborated with anyone before, so sharing the creative process with someone else for the first time was really something special. Molly’s eye for detail, aesthetic sense, and all-around joyful spirit were a breath of fresh air for this blog. From the surreal feeling of watching a quintessential Yeh shot emerge from my own dining nook (like wait, that was there all along?) to the novelty of photographing someone else (and action shots without tripods!) to the seamless back-and-forth of what if we sub this for that or how would it look if we added this, this truly captured the essence of what I imagined a collaboration to be.
I have about a million photos for you — and for me, otherwise I might not believe that Molly Yeh really cooked bacon in my kitchen and artfully placed probably-dying succulents on my dining table — so I’ll end this here. For Molly’s half of our joint shindig, hop on over to my name is yeh. Thank you lady for the tremendous honor of working with you, and for such a fun afternoon. Your box of Sahadi’s sprinkles are like a little wave from North Dakota every time I open my spice cabinet. 😉 (P.S. I owe you a new jean skirt!)
Oh, I lied! I’m back. I just have to add a few love words for these bacon sugar cookies. Guys, bacon sugar cookies. Molly had the brilliant idea of rolling the cookies in this ground-up toffee-like caramelized sugar-bacon ambrosia called “bacon brickle,” which was, in scientific terms, somewhere between crack and fairy dust. And then we felt like maybe it was a little too healthy, so we swapped out some of the fats in the cookie for bacon fat. Of course. I maybe wouldn’t eat a million at once, but I would definitely eat one each day for the rest of my life. Insanely good.
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 ear of sweet corn (or 2, for a stronger corn flavor)
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp (1 1/2 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1 batch of these amazing bacon sugar cookies
- For the ice cream: In a bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk, and set aside. Cut the kernels off the corn cob and cut the cob into large chunks. In a medium pot, whisk together the remaining milk, cream, sugar, syrup, and salt. Add the corn kernels and cob, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring continuously. If the mixture becomes too frothy and threatens to boil over, partially or totally remove from heat for a few seconds until it calms. I found that scooting the pot halfway off the burner and continuing to cook worked well.
- After 4 minutes, add the slurry. Return to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring continuously again, until thickened. Remove the cob, then pour the hot mixture into a large bowl. (Alternatively, strain out all corn solids by pouring the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.)
- Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in a small amount of the hot milk mixture. Whisk until smooth, or use an immersion blender to get out the lumps. Whisk in the remaining milk mixture, then pour mixture into a plastic bag, seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled.
- Once cold, pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. After churning, freeze in a storage container while you make the cookies -- at least 2-3 hours.
- For the cookies: Bake according to this recipe.
- To assemble: Once cookies have cooled, remove ice cream from freezer and let soften slightly. Place a scoop of ice cream between two similar-sized cookies and squeeze gently to press them together. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream.
- Place assembled ice cream sandwiches on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then replace in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until hardened. After that, enjoy or wrap individually in plastic wrap for later.
Cookies are best in the sandwich when on the underbaked and softer side -- if they're too soft to stand up to the ice cream at room temperature, pop in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before assembling sandwiches.