I hope I'm not the only one but I find it hard to believe that summer is nearing it's end. LA is still hitting triple digits and friends back home (in Hawaii) are still beaching daily. If we had AC, we'd be running it full blast but sadly we don't. Instead we're turning to popsicles, shakeratos, smoothies, and of course, ice cream as means to cool down. Whoever said ice cream isn't fit to be a meal wasn't around for LA's most recent heatwave. I'm confident that if they were, they'd be singing a different tune.
I'd like to suggest a compromise for any and all you ice cream meal naysayers and introduce you to the idea of Concord Grape-Buttermilk Sherbet Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (woah, that's a mouthful) for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Think about it. You've got your fruits (grapes), dairy (buttermilk) and protein (peanut butter + nuts + seeds) all packed into one frozen sweet and salty stack. It feels like a no-brainer and I having tested this for breakfast, I'm affirming that it is a wonderful meal.
Think of this sandwich as the frozen cousin of the pb+j sandwiches you enjoyed as a child (or still enjoy today--no judgment, in fact, I still make 'em too). The sweet and subtly tangy concord grape-buttermilk sherbet sandwiched between crunchy peanut butter cookies is should be known as pb+j 2.0 from here on out. The cookies are rolled in a mixture of peanuts, pistachios, salted pepitas, almonds and sesame seeds to help give them a nutty, seedy flavor to balance out the sweetness of the sherbet, as well as add extra texture and crunch. The concord grape-buttermilk sherbet tastes just like Welch's concord grape jam but with the tanginess that only buttermilk can bring.
If you're planning on just making the sherbet (and loosing the cookies, which I wouldn't recommend), make sure you top it with some nuts, popcorn, potato chips, or any other salty topping you want. The point is that, concord grapes are sweet, sweet, sweet and so is this sherbet, so a little bit of salt goes a long way and really helps to round out the flavors of the sherbet.
Hope your last full week of summer (autumn officially starts next week Monday) has been filled with sun, AC, gorgeous summer produce, as well as, ice cream, popsicles, and maybe even these Concord Grape-Buttermilk Sherbet Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches (jeez, still a mouthful). After all, it's summer, and it's almost a sin not to eat as many frozen treats as possible during the summer, right?!
P.S. I've launched a new comment hosting service, Disqus, so all comments before today have unfortunately disappeared (sorry guys--I really loved all of them too).
- 1/2 c. softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter (I used this)
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. fleur de sel
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/8 c. unsalted pistachios, chopped
- 1/8 c. salted pepitas, chopped
- 1/8 c. unsalted peanuts
- 1/8 c. blanched almonds, chopped
- 1/8 c. sesame seeds
2 lbs. Concord grapes
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. sour cream
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbps. rosé
Pinch of kosher salt
- Ice Cream Maker
- Stand mixer
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Glass measuring cup
- Mixing bowls
- Fine mesh sieve
- Silicone spatula
- 2 baking sheets
- Parchment paper or silpat mats
- Plastic wrap
- Wire cooling rack
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cookie scoop
- 9 by 13-inch baking pan
- Biscuit cutter
- Medium saucepan
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Cream together the butter and peanut butter in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
- Beat in both sugars until light, about 3 minutes.
- Beat in egg and vanilla, and scrape down sides of bowl at least once to make sure ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Add salt, baking soda and flour and beat on low just until combined.
- Give dough one last fold with spatula.
- Chill dough for at least one hour, or until firm and scoop into balls using 1 1/2 Tbsp. cookie scoop.
- Roll each ball in the chopped seeds and nuts and place on silpat or parchment lined pan, spaced at least 2 in. apart.
- Gently flatten each cookie with spatula or your hand.
- Place sheet in freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden and just firm around the edges.
- Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, transfer to a container and move to the freezer.
In medium saucepan, add the grapes and cook over medium heat. Cover and stir from time to time and cook until the grapes are soft.
Remove from heat and press grapes through a fine-mesh strainer. Don't worry about pressing too hard, as the remaining pulp and skins will be processed through blender.
Transfer remaining pulp and skins to blender and blend on medium until smooth.
Pass this mixture through fine-mesh strainer, which will take a bit of time and force, and add to juice. Discard seeds and skin remnants. (I got a little over 2 cups of juice/purée from mine).
Let cool completely. While grape mixture is cooling, Whisk together 1/4 cup of the buttermilk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
Add sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch mixture, buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla bean paste, salt and rosé, to the cooled grape mixture and purée in blender smooth.
Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer sherbet to 9 by 13-inch baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm.
- Remove cookies and sherbet from freezer and let soften very slightly.
- Using biscuit cutter, cut rounds from the sherbet and sandwich between two similar-sized cookies.
- Gently squeeze cookies to press together.
- Repeat with remaining cookies and sherbet.
- Place assembled sherbet sandwiches on baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and replace in freezer for at least 1 hour, or until hardened.
- Serve and enjoy!
Note: If enjoying sandwiches later, wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap to preserve freshness.