Enjoy | JH Pantry

The Taste of Summer

Jackson is the home base for two artisan ice creameries. 

// By Sam Simma   // Photography by Kathryn Ziesig

In the shadow of the Tetons, two local producers make people of all ages scream for their ice cream: Cream + Sugar and Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream. Between the two, the difference is a matter of form—seen in Cream + Sugar’s miniature ice cream sandwiches—and formula—Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream is loyal to a recipe that uses cream, not milk. 

Cream + Sugar

In 2012, ice cream sandwiches appeared on the dessert menus of The Bistro and Il Villaggio Osteria, both part of the Fine Dining Restaurant Group’s portfolio of restaurants. Diners loved these sandwiches and the ice cream inside them. “Not only can you taste the difference when ice cream has been made by hand, you can also see the difference,” says Gavin Fine, owner of Fine Dining Restaurant Group. “Each of our signature ice cream sandwiches looks perfectly imperfect because it was made by humans rather than machines.” Today, these ice cream sandwiches and pints of ice cream are no longer relegated to the back of a restaurant kitchen; they have grown into the Fine Dining brand Cream + Sugar. And yes, every ice cream sandwich and pint of ice cream is still handmade, hand scooped, and hand assembled.

Although Cream + Sugar has toyed with a range of flavors—including garlic ice cream and Wyoming Whiskey ice cream sandwiches—it settled on six mainstays: vanilla, mint chocolate chip, salted caramel, cookies and cream, chocolate, and huckleberry. From $5.99; pints and sandwiches are available at local grocers and markets including Pearl Street Market, Whole Foods, and Albertsons; 307/201-7148, creamandsugaricecream.com

Cream + Sugar’s cookies and cream ice cream is a spin on the classic flavor. It uses the same chocolate chip cookies—baked with a proprietary blend of spices—that provide the structure for its ice cream sandwiches, but here they’re crumbled and folded into sweet cream ice cream. The result: ice cream reminiscent of cookies dipped in milk.  

The salted caramel ice cream strikes a balance between salty and sweet. The flecks of vanilla sea salt are house made, as are the swirls of caramel, which only appear after sweetened, condensed milk has been boiled in-house for hours.

Huckleberries churned with wild blueberries and sweet cream ice cream are sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies to assemble Cream + Sugar’s huckleberry ice cream sandwiches. Like the rest of the creamery’s  four-bite sandwiches, the color-coordinated sprinkles are not your average sugar sprinkles; these homemade chocolate sprinkles are hand dyed.

Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream

The smoothest, richest ice cream uses cream, not milk, according to local ice cream expert and Moo’s Gourmet founder Rick Bickner. Bickner says Moo’s is committed to making the purest ice cream: “Once you add milk to ice cream, you have to add all the texturizing components. We only use clean cream—regardless of how hard it is to find—and real ingredients. There are no syrups or extracts in our ice cream, just real fruits, oils, and quality ingredients.” 

Bickner perfected the Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream recipes—organic, preservative-free ice cream and sorbet—while working as an executive pastry chef on the West Bank in the late 1980s. Since founding Moo’s in the early 1990s, Bickner says he’s created more than 300 flavors. Moo’s serving cases only have space for 32 flavors at a time, though. From $7; open daily 12–10 p.m.; 155 Center St.; 307/733-1998, moosjacksonhole.com 

Of its various sorbets, the strawberry sorbet tastes most like a warm summer day.  Moo’s sorbets are 99 percent pure organic fruit; the remaining 1 percent is cane sugar, for added sweetness. This makes them both diabetic and dietetic friendly.

Having earned the title of the “Most Delicious Dessert” in Wyoming, according to Food Network’s “On the Road” Guide, Moo’s wild huckleberry ice cream has gained notoriety beyond sthe borders of the Cowboy State. On an average summer day, Moo’s scoops through 13 three-gallon containers of the flavor.

A chocolate lover’s dream, and a favorite of Bickner’s granddaughter, the Belgian chocolate ice cream exudes decadent dark and semisweet chocolate flavors. For the ultimate sugar rush, top a Belgian chocolate sundae with toffee, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. JH

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