We’re back with another silent era taste test! I’m cooking my way through Photoplay Magazine’s 1929 cookbook of the stars but today, we’re taking a little ice cream detour to 1917.
(You can catch up on all my past taste tests here.)
In the mid- to late-1910s, entertainment writer Lillian Blackstone was doing a bustling business creating recipes or “echoes” based on popular film stars. Most of her recipes involved ice cream, though she also branched into salads and sandwiches.
This time around, the recipe is a “frozen echo” of William S. Hart entitled Sherro. Now, ya’ll know that I just love Mr. Hart’s movies and so how could I resist eating the ice cream treat that he inspired?
(If you’ve never seen a Hart film, watch this free and legal copy of Hell’s Hinges, read my review and then come back here and tell me how you liked him.)
Thanks to some research into cookbooks of the period, we know that “macaroons” called for are more of what we would call “macarons”. In the modern American dessert vocabulary, macaroons are almost always chewy coconut cookies, sometimes dipped in chocolate, and macarons are little almond cookies that are often dyed and flavored.
Macaroons are everywhere in my neck of the woods but macarons are harder to come by. Fortunately, I can buy them frozen at Trader Joe’s but if you have a cute little macaron shop nearby, by all means take advantage of it.
For ice cream, I used Tillamook French Vanilla because it’s one of the few egg-based ice creams available at the supermarket and it’s pretty darn delicious. Obviously, this recipe is going to work with any flavor but I recommend keeping things simple so that the add-ins can shine a bit.
I used a cream sherry for my alcohol. I always keep it on hand because it’s an essential component of my famous trifle. You’re free to go fancier with your sherry, of course, and I know cream sherry isn’t exactly sophisticated but this is a dessert ingredient; I don’t think that using your $100 bottle of Imperial Amontillado is going to be the best option for either the eater or the wine.
(The best use for your amontillado is to deploy it to lure your enemy into your basement lair for revenge best left unspoken. Obviously.)
This recipe is pretty easy. Crumble the cookies, mix them into the ice cream and add a splash of sherry to taste. The alcohol melts the ice cream slightly, leaving you with a milkshake consistency.
And here is the finished product, accompanied by one of Sidney Drew’s peanut cookies. My guests had fun choosing their macaron flavor, a major advantage of the modern, super flavorful product. Most turned down the sherry for various reasons but I have to say that I was rather in favor of the alcoholic variation.
Score: 4 out of 5. So what we have here is a boozy McFlurry and I am quite happy with the result. Obviously, you can substitute any alcohol or flavoring and any crumbly cookie you like. For a darker, old-westy vibe, I think a splash of good whiskey and some gingersnaps would have the right vibe.
Should you wish to go dairy-free or vegan, simply substitute your favorite non-dairy ice cream and give some vegan macarons a whirl (or whatever crumbly vegan cookie you prefer).
If you have any cute little cups, this is a great excuse to dig them out but this recipe will work just as well in a solo cup for easy party cleanup.
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We tried Hart’s recipe over last weekend using Wild Turkey and ginger snaps- simply delicious! I can see using orange macarons with some Grand Marnier for a classy upgrade, but for that Old West saloon taste, whisky’s a must 😉
Thanks for the great dessert recipe!
How grand! Thanks so much for sharing!
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