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News / Life / Food

5 sensational cookbooks, from noodles to no-churn ice cream

By Jessica Yadegaran, Bay Area News Group
Published: July 12, 2023, 6:04am

These five cookbooks hold the secrets to all the new tacos, burgers, ice creams, salads and pastas you’ll want to make — not just this summer but all year long. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

‘Easy No-Churn Ice Cream’

No ice cream maker? No problem.

Baking blogger Heather Templeton got rid of hers years ago. Now, she makes creamy, cold treats — from classic vanilla to chunky rocky road and peach crumble — using a strategic ratio of condensed milk, heavy cream and half-and-half. To that base, she adds simple ingredients, like strawberries and sugar or Biscoff cookies. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and freeze for three to five hours or overnight. That’s it.

“Easy No-Churn Ice Cream” (Page Street, $23) is easy to follow, requires only a whisk and bowl and offers 50 indulgent recipes, including ice cream bars and sandwiches, like summer-defining Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches.

‘Between the Buns’

If Sam Zien, aka Sam the Cooking Guy, calls a burger a sandwich, just go with it.

In his cookbook “Between the Buns” (Countryman, $30), the San Diego restaurateur and YouTube cooking sensation unleashes his “big in taste, small in effort” ethos on handheld foods, including sandwiches, burgers, burritos, brats and tacos.

The cookbook, his fifth, is perfect for summer cookout season, with 100 drippy, toasty, always-better-with-a-fried-egg recipes, from a Buffalo Chicken Burger to a Garlic Bread Steak Sandwich. It’s a stuffed, protein-heavy ode to comfort food a la bread plus the sauces and sides to make it sing.

‘The Cook You Want To Be’

Berkeley, Calif., native Andy Baraghani’s debut cookbook is a peek into the rising food personality’s love of cooking, including but not limited to the dishes of his Persian heritage. Who could forget the former Bon Appetit senior editor’s viral recipe video for kuku sabzi?

That fluffy kuku is one of 110 gotta-make recipes in “The Cook You Want To Be: Everyday Recipes To Impress” (Lorena Jones, $35). Chapters include Salad for Days (Persimmons With Torn Burrata and Fresh Lemon) and Meaty Things (Shawarma-Spiced Lamb Chops With Pickle Salad) as well as thoughtful personal essays on salting fruit, working at Chez Panisse at age 15 and his almost spiritual relationship with rice.

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‘Dinner in One’

Bestselling author Melissa Clark on one-vessel cooking? Yes, please. If you buy one cookbook this summer, make it “Dinner in One” (Clarkson Potter, $30), which delivers straightforward, flavor-packed, home-run recipes for busy people who don’t like washing dishes.

The New York Times food writer covers it all, from sheet pan dinners (Crispy Lemon Chicken With Potatoes, Oregano and Capers) and one-bowl cakes (Ricotta Olive Oil Pound Cake) to one-pot pastas (Gingery Coconut Noodles With Shrimp and Greens).

All 100 recipes offer vegetarian or vegan alternatives or ingredient substitutions.

‘That Noodle Life’

Whether you skew ramen or rigatoni, you’ll fall in love with the stories, flavors and food photographs in “That Noodle Life” (Workman Publishing, $30) Mike and Stephanie Le’s ode to everyone’s favorite carbohydrate.

The authors of the award-winning food blog have traveled the world in search of the most slurpable pastas and covered the range with impressive gusto, offering 75 recipes for everything from Super Savory Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup and French Onion Mac and Cheese to Miso Clam Linguine and Luxe Lamb Ragu.

There are tips on how to elevate instant noodles, steps for making pasta from scratch and all the homemade topping necessary to reach noodle nirvana, including chile oils, sauces and garlic breadcrumbs.

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 12 to 14 ice cream sandwiches

In her cookbook, “Easy, No-Churn Ice Cream: The ‘No Equipment Necessary’ Guide to Standout Homemade Ice Cream” (Page Street, $23), blogger Heather Templeton shares 50 recipes for scoop shop-worthy ice cream made with little more than condensed milk, a loaf pan and freezer. These edible cookie dough sandwiches require just a tad more work. Make the dough first, as it needs about an hour of fridge time before it is solid enough to make into sammies.

For the edible cookie dough:

½ cup salted butter, softened

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoon heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups all-purpose flour (see note below)

¾ cup mini chocolate chips

For the ice cream:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup half-and-half

1½ cups heavy cream

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small to medium-sized bowl, begin to make the cookie dough squares by creaming the butter and both sugars together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add in the heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt. Blend the mixture until everything is incorporated.

Add the flour and mix well, finally folding the mini chocolate chips into the batter.

Roll the edible cookie dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. You will want the cookie dough to be about ½-inch thick. Using a square (or round) cookie cutter, cut the cookie dough squares out and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour to allow the cookie dough squares to harden.

In a medium-sized bowl, make the ice cream by whisking together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and half-and-half, until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

With a standing or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Gently fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream. You will want this to be as smooth as possible and lump free.

Prepare two 8-inch round or square pans by lining them with parchment paper. Ensure that the parchment has a bit of overhang so you can remove the ice cream as a whole unit once it is fully frozen.

Separate the ice cream into your two parchment-lined pans. Using a spatula, spread the ice cream evenly throughout the pans. You will want the ice cream to be ½ to ¾-inch thick for an optimum ratio when sandwiched between the cookies. Freeze the ice cream pans uncovered for 3 to 5 hours or overnight, until firm.

It is best to work in batches so that both the ice cream and the cookies remain fully frozen. Remove half the cookie dough squares and one pan of ice cream at a time. Using the same cookie dough cutter that you used to cut out the cookie dough, cut squares (or circles) of ice cream and place between two frozen cookie dough pieces. Gently press down and refreeze the cookie sandwiches. Repeat this process with the second pan of ice cream and the remaining cookies. You may want to refreeze the ice cream for a short time if you find that it is becoming soft as you assemble the sandwiches.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 60 seconds or until the chocolate can be whisked smoothly. With a spoon or a piping bag, drizzle a little bit of chocolate onto half of each edible cookie sandwich. Refrigerate for 10 minutes then serve. Store any leftover cookies in a covered container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.