Novelist Wally Lamb once wrote: "Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love."
Give some, too. Making milkshakes - or love - is a pleasurable endeavor with deliciously sweet results. And what a treat for a languid summer day.
For milkshakes, I recommend using premium ice cream and the freshest milk possible, flavored with natural ingredients. You'll have no problem finding local sources for any of these. More and more grocery stores carry products made close by, including farmstead organic milk from Sassy Cow Creamery and the glass-bottled artisan choices from Blue Marble Dairy (which also sets up shop at a number of farmers' markets). Lots of ice cream gets made in the Dairy State, of course, from Sibby's Homestead Organic to the premium pints from Babcock Hall.
As for flavorings, the fruit season is on, so that means strawberry malts, blueberry shakes and raspberry frappes. I like a milkshake made with maple syrup or cherry jam, but I crave one blended with Tom's Handmade Caramel - too thick and lush to be called a sauce, it comes in a jar and is sold at the Dane County Farmers' Market.
Strawberry (or Blueberry) Cheesecake Shake
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened 3/4 cup milk 1 cup fresh strawberries or blueberries 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup vanilla frozen custard
Combine cream cheese, milk, berries and vanilla in a small, deep bowl or the blending container of an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Add frozen custard; use an up-and-down motion to blend mixture until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 small shakes.
2-3 tablespoons Tom's Gourmet "Jarred" Caramel or bottled caramel sauce 1/2 to 2/3 cup milk 2 tablespoons powdered malted milk 1 packed cup vanilla bean ice cream
Heat caramel sauce in microwave until it thins out, 20-25 seconds. Place milk and caramel in a deep bowl or the blending container of an immersion blender; stir or blend to combine. Add malted milk powder and ice cream. Use an up-and-down motion to blend mixture until smooth and thick. Serve immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 small malts.
Maple Nut Milkshake
1 cup maple nut ice cream 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1/2-2/3 cup milk
Combine ingredients in a deep bowl or the blending container of an immersion blender. Use an up-and-down motion to blend mixture until smooth and thick. Serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.
Chocolate Malt with Chocolate Nibs
1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream 1/2-3/4 cup milk 3 tablespoons malted milk powder 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup 1 tablespoon chocolate nibs
Place ice cream, milk, malted milk powder and chocolate syrup in a deep bowl or the blending container of an immersion blender. Use an up-and-down motion to blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Stir in chocolate nibs and serve immediately. Makes 1 large or 2 small malts.
Use a standup blender if multiplying the recipes.
The pure, unsweetened center of shelled cocoa beans, nibs are roasted and coarsely ground and give a crunchy, intensely chocolate accent to desserts. For a sweeter, kids' version of this malt, substitute grated sweetened chocolate bar.
Recipes were first published in "In the Thick of It," by Terese Allen, Rootstock (Organic Valley's online newsletter), June 2007.