My mom comes home with ears of corn and plastic bags of fresh fruit in her pocketbook.
In the summer, it seems like my mom can’t leave the house without stopping at a farmer’s market or a farm stand. I understand– these late August days produce the most temping fruits and vegetables. When she comes home, my brothers and I help her unload her bag, anxiously waiting to see what she has brought for us. We open the warm, slightly damp plastic bags as if we are opening Christmas presents: peaches! raspberries! zucchini! plums! tomatoes! strawberries!
We usually have big plans for these goodies. I think of pies and galettes; cakes and shortbread bars; roasted on the grill and swirled into ice cream. In reality, I eat the carton of raspberries before I can even put them on my yogurt the next morning, and tomatoes are quickly cut and eaten on toast with salt. It’s always a little frustrating, but also perfect. This is how summer produce is meant to be eaten– by the handful in the middle of the kitchen while they are still warm from the sun.
Ice cream sandwiches are the other ultimate summer food. Whenever I eat them, I think of waiting for the bus at the end of the day at camp, or getting chipwiches from the snack shack at the top of the beach. These particular ice cream sandwiches encapsulate all of the flavors of these late August days. They remind me of eating strawberries out of the carton and corn on the cob. The corn cookies have a distinct corn flavor– they taste like butter-smothered corn– salty and sweet and unfettered in taste. They are almost savory. The sweetness of the strawberries pairs perfectly with them, offsetting their salty flavor. They taste like pure summer afternoons.
The cookies are from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, which I recently treated myself to. If you don’t have the book, don’t fear: you can find the recipe for these cookies here! Milk Bar cookies are notoriously finicky, so here are a few tips for making them: use good, European-style butter and make sure you cream it well (actually do the 10 minute creaming method– it works!). Also, use bread flour instead of all-purpose, since that is what they use in the Milk Bar kitchen. It helps reduce cookie spread and achieve a crisp outside and chewy inside. For the ice cream compodent of the sandwiches, I just used store bought strawberry ice cream. However, I had dreams of making this roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream from Jeni’s, my favorite strawberry ice cream recipe, to go with it. I imagine any berry flavored ice cream would taste delicious in here, as well as maybe peach ice cream or even something herby, like basil.
Eat these outside in the sun or standing in the middle of your kitchen– the two best places to consume summer treats.