Rum Bananas and Maple Ice Cream Sandwich
This interpretation of the ice cream sandwich is made with crisp butter cookies, maple ice cream, and bananas cooked in butter with cinnamon, brown sugar, and rum, a combination reminiscent of many holiday nogs and toddies.
- Maple Ice Cream
- Milk - 4 cups
- Vanilla bean - 1, split lengthwise
- Egg Yolks - 12
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Maple Syrup - 1 cup
- Black or English Walnuts - 1 cup (4 ounces), chopped
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)
- Honey - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 2-1/4 cups
- Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- Pinch of salt
- All-Purpose Flour - 3/4 cup, unbleached
- Rum Bananas
- Bananas - 4 to 6
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon, ground
- Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup, packed
- Dark Rum - 1/4 cup
- Almonds - 1 cup (4 ounces), sliced
- Chocolate Sauce - 1 cup
- Blackberries - 1/2 pint
- Raspberries - 1/2 pint
- Mint sprigs - 4
To make the ice cream: Put the milk a heavy, large pan over medium heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, then drop in the pods. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and maple syrup. When the milk is hot, remove about 1/2 cup and whisk it into the egg mixture. Return this mixture to the hot milk and whisk until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Stir in the walnuts. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Put in an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.
To make the cookies: In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, honey, water, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour slowly, then reduce the heat and cook for 5 more minutes to remove the raw flower taste. Let cool for 20 minutes, or until cool enough to handle but not too stiff. If the dough becomes too stiff, warm in a bowl placed over a warm water bath until it reaches spreading consistency.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone liner, or with parchment paper or aluminum foil; butter the paper or foil. Spoon 12 to 16 dollops of batter (2 tablespoons of batter per “dollop”), 4 inches apart, on the prepared pans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, until firm enough to handle. Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies from the sheet pans and let cool on a metal rack.
To prepare the bananas: Peel and cut the bananas into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. In a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the bananas until they begin to soften. Add the cinnamon and brown sugar and continue to cook until the sugar melts. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the rum and warm it. Avert your face, light the rum with a match, and shake the pan until the flames subside. Add the almonds, lower the heat, and cook for 1 minute.
To serve: Dust the plates with confectioner’s sugar and just a little cocoa powder. Place the sauces in separate squeeze bottles. Drizzle the chocolate and raspberry sauces over the plates. Place a small amount of syrup from the bananas on each dessert plate to hold the cookie and place 1 cookie on top. Add a scoop of ice cream and cover with some of the rum bananas. Place another cookie on top. Drizzle the cookie with a little of the remaining chocolate sauce. Garnish with blackberries, raspberries, and a sprig of mint.