The bay area is an embarrassment of ice cream riches, and in my mind the standouts are Humphry Slocombe here in San Francisco and Tara’s in Berkeley and Oakland. What the two establishments share are ice cream flavors that successfully marry ingredients that don’t seem like they belong together.
During law school, I became mildly obsessed with the white pepper and chocolate chip ice cream at Tara’s, and after returning home from a semester in Geneva where I ate a macaron for the first time, I was determined to make white pepper and chocolate chip macarons (white pepper shells, dark chocolate ganache filling). I bought everything I needed to make macarons -- a tiny kitchen scale because all the recipes measured ingredients by weight instead of volume, a piping bag to distribute the filling, a bunch of almond meal -- and…proceeded to make exactly one batch. They turned out surprisingly well, but macarons are notoriously fussy and high maintenance, and if I wanted more fussy and high maintenance things in my life I would invite Comcast back into it or own way more dry clean only clothing, or something.
As strange and unexpectedly delicious as Tara’s white pepper and chocolate chip ice cream is Humphry Slocombe’s peanut butter curry ice cream. And soft peanut butter cookies with a trace of sweet curry are, very happily, neither fussy nor high maintenance.
Peanut Butter Curry Cookies
Adapted from One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti
Makes 18 to 20 cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups creamy unsalted peanut butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sweet curry powder*
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* I used sweet curry powder from Spice Ace (best spice shop in San Francisco!), but any sweet curry powder will do. It’s probably best to avoid anything that is too spicy and to stick with the yellow curries.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, and salt until full incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter, then the egg, vanilla, and curry powder.
Add the flour and baking soda, then stir until combined.
Scoop the dough into balls using about two tablespoons’ worth of batter per ball. Using a fork, press a crisscross pattern onto each cookie, pressing the ball to about 1-inch thick. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden, puffed, and just beginning to crack. Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes.