This month brings us November’s poster child…the pumpkin. The orange bundle of strings and seeds that so many look forward to every fall. In October we participate in the manslaughter of pumpkins, however this month we ditch the creativity and have our eyes on the prize…PUMPKIN FACE.
FACT: When you eat pumpkin flavored goods, you are actually eating the outside…not the stringy guts that make your sink drain look like a walk in the park.
I can’t really speak to this flavor as my taste buds missed the memo to like pumpkin flavored things so I’m a mere backseat driver on this one. What I can say from the backseat is that this flavor is slightly spiced and cradles that fall urge to feel comforted. There’s a crew of cloves, cinnamon, ginger and a sweet high five from vanilla bean all telling jokes by the fireplace. Ginger snaps crashed the party and brought their sturdy and effective sassy self so all together you get a snippet of what fall tastes like.
You know the drill. Whether you like it or not, candy corn IS Halloween. I think those cheap plastic masks are secretly made out of candy corn…the aroma and fumes those things give off is scary in itself.
I call this Part II because this was one of my first experiments last year and boy what a difference a little practice and selection of right vanilla beans can do. Last year I didn’t use any “creaming” aid, meaning ingredients that help ice cream get their creamy edge such as egg yolks or corn starch. I also used vanilla extract last year… GASP! This year I did a few new things, first is I used a few tablespoons of corn starch to make sure this ghoul was soft and creamy. The major difference though is that I bought a new batch of vanilla beans. I was using Tahitian beans for awhile and read up a little about vanilla and thought I would try Madagascar vanilla beans. There’s a difference you ask? Switching to Madagascar beans was like switching your bed sheets to fresh ones straight from the dryer. INCREDIBLE. There’s no going back after this. They are so much sweeter, warm, and fresh tasting…they are like the perfect Tetris piece to ice cream.
In addition to the new vanilla beans, I also added broken up pieces of honey graham crackers which added a nice mellow flavor to the sweet heap of Halloween. I have made about 3 batches (6 pints) of this flavor so far this season and the only thing that’s stopping me is Walgreens and their inventory of candy corn.
FAIL. I’ll keep this brief because it upsets me. I was attending a party and wanted to make seasonal fall delights for my friends. The result was failed pumpkin cookies that rose higher than a Jersey girl’s hair in the summer. The cookies were way too soft and just didn’t do it for me so I ended up making only four sammies and ditched the rest. It was dramatic. [insert “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel]. The butterscotch ice cream also came out mediocre in my opinion. I vamped up the usage of eggs in the ice cream to 3 and yes it was creamy as pre-hardened cement but didn’t have enough flavor for me. I give this a fail cone.
If you could eat autumn, this is it. Your mouth and tongue will thank you for it as it’s always a steamy 98 summer up in that piece. eww. So the cookies are a nice blend of spices like cloves, cinnamon, and ginger with a basic brown sugar base. I prefer brown sugar over white sugar just because I feel brown sugar has more texture and flavor. The pumpkin ice cream has similar spices as the cookies but is packed with a pumpkin punch. (I just slapped my hand for writing “punch”). …………………K my hand is healed now. I don’t really care for pumpkin flavored items so by my standards it was OK but folks at work liked it, so edible fall we made a good team.
Why Bear? Because I couldn’t say “Blast”…it’s too Dairy Queen. Though I adore a medium vanilla with cherry dip in a cone any day. This to date has been my favorite. I made spiced brown sugar cookies for the pumpkin sammies and had a bunch of leftover cookies. Insert this dreamboat. The cookies were cooked so it wasn’t raw like cookie dough but gee whiz it tasted like it. I blended the cookies with a simple vanilla and once again I added some cinnamon. Two bear paws up! Oh and I actually didn’t bring this to work for my co-workers to try because I wanted it all to myself. Sorry suckahs!
mmmm Earthy. I am a huge fan of Caramel Apples mainly because I’m not a huge fan of plain apples. huh? Yes. I am beyond particular when it comes to apples. I loathe soft, buttery apples and I’m not a huge sour fanatic so crisp Grannies do nothing for me. Alas the caramel apple is a delightful way to mask buttery apples that feel like a crispy sponge. I chopped up a bunch of Gala apples and gave them a bath in homemade caramel sauce. After letting them cool completely, I chopped ’em up and matched them up with plain vanilla and dusted the relationship with cinnamon. The apples didn’t freeze which was nice, so it was just a little chunk of earthy sugary goodness.