In 2008, Molly Moon Nietzel left the corporate world for a more satisfying and fulfilling livlihood. She yearned for something more like her ice cream scooping days during college, and the ice cream sundaes she made with her grandparents. She wanted to create a place of community, where many generations could gather for something they all enjoyed. That something was ice cream. And Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream was born. Now, four years later, there are five Molly Moon locations around Seattle and a new cookbook, Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream
The book is focused on recipes for Molly Moon's style of ice cream, which is cream-based versus custard-based. This means no egg yolks are needed and cooking is rarely necessary. And most of the recipes just require a handful of ingredients--plus an ice cream maker and some time--before you've got a quart or two of ice cream as a result. There are recipes for popular Molly Moon flavors such as salt licorice, salted caramel and "scout" mint ice cream using Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. Plus unique and savory flavors like carrot cake, olive oil and toasted pine nut, maple bacon, and cheese ice cream.
Nietzel, who previously worked in politics, takes the opportunity in the book's introduction to talk about her success at starting and running a small business that still aligned with her values of buying local, seasonal and organic raw ingredients whenever possible, and paying your employees good wages and providing them 100% of their health insurance. There's even a recipe for "Baracky Road" ice cream, a riff on rocky road ice cream--with marshmallows, hazelnuts, and chopped dark chocolate--which was created during the 2008 presidential election season.
The book's introduction isn't all politics however; there are several tips and best practices for making good ice cream at home. Things like making sure your freezer is cold enough, which ice cream machines are best and how to store your ice cream. There's also information about how ice cream and sorbet should look when they are churned, so you'll know when your frozen treat is ready to transfer from the churner to the freezer.
The book isn't all ice cream, there are dozens of sorbet recipes as well, like sorbet made with baby beets, meyer lemons, mulled wine, cranberries, or strawberries and rhubarb. There are goat's milk frozen yogurt and information about how to make many of the recipes vegan by substituting coconut milk. Ice cream isn't just a scoopable treat, so there are tips for making ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cakes, which aren't so much recipes as they are concepts. For cookies--just use less leavening and underbake them. For cakes, make sure you stick with a simple shape and freeze the cake first.
Throughout the book there are also recipes for dozens of ice cream toppings. There's your standard hot fudge and caramel sauce but also apple pie crumble topping, rhubarb rose compote, candied hazelnuts, pepita brittle, and a port reduction. With a spread of various ice creams and toppings, you can serve up ice cream sundaes kids will love and grown-ups will crave.
There are several book launch events around town this spring to celebrate this new book. A full listing of events can be found at mollymoonicecream.com. There's a free book signing and demonstration at Book Larder on Thursday, May 3 from 6:30-8 p.m.