Big Gay Ice Cream is the brainchild of Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff who decided in the summer of 2009 that it would be fun to have an ice cream truck. After two successful Big Gay Ice Cream pop-ups in Los Angeles, they are opening a brick and mortar in Downtown LA. Their debut cookbook reads like a yearbook, complete with handwritten testimonials from friends like chef Andy Ricker (“Dear D and B, I always hated it when kids called me “Soft Serve,” but when you two did it I knew it was meant with love! Stay Gay, Andy Ricker”).
Unlike most ice cream “cookbooks,” Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories and Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream, starts with the toppings, like this one for Whiskey Walnuts. Toss a handful of these over your favorite vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a semi-homemade grown up sundae.
Makes 2 Cups
1 ½ cups walnuts
½ cup dark corn syrup
¾ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup whiskey
Dash of coarse sea salt
Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 275ºF.
Scatter the walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 2 minutes. Toss and bake for another 2 minutes, or until they have just begun to brown. (Burnt walnuts taste very bitter, so it’s better to err on the conservative side.) Remove the walnuts from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Roughly chop the walnuts (save that dusty powder) and set aside.
Heat the corn syrup and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the whiskey.
The mixture will foam up for a spell, but keep stirring. Add the sea salt and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts, including that powder. Allow to cool slightly—the mixture will be very hot!
Spoon the warm wet walnuts over your favorite ice cream and dig in! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; reheat before serving.
“Reprinted from Big Gay Ice Cream. Copyright © 2015 by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Donny Tsang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.”