After an inn-filled, 2-week shooting trip through New England, we ended up shooting at one of our favorite places: Squam Lake Inn in Holderness, NH. We have been working with owners Rae and Cindy and their remarkable team for several years. It’s been exciting to see them grow and change…while doing everything perfectly in the meantime. Over the last 4 years, they have upgraded and expanded their restaurant, renovated and redecorated guest rooms and bought the local general store with an ultra-luxe lakeside vacation rental above. These gals are dynamos at all things retail–their new Squam Lake Marketplace is just another jewel in their crown of successes. I particularly loved their branded “home” t-shirts with the Squam Lake silhouette, but seriously, that is just one of the things that made Mark keep asking “how do you do everything so…perfectly???” And, yes, Mark (who once started crying in Dean and Deluca in NYC because everything was “so beautiful”) really did tear up when describing to Cindy how inspired he was at their achievements.
What really makes the whole thing sing is the indescribably warm-yet efficient-staff, the completely natural sense of hospitality and the overall vibe they have created and nurtured. It’s worth visiting the place just to soak up the vibe. And if you do, be sure to dine at the restaurant and order the fried chicken…and here’s the most important piece of advice: order the ice cream sandwiches.
Honestly, there are too many cool things to mention in one blog post…stay tuned. Mark says he could write a book…
Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches from Squam Lake Inn & Squam Lake MarketPlace
We use local ice cream for these incredible treats from Sandwich Creamery located on the north end of Squam Lake in Sandwich, NH, www.sandwichcreamery.com. Our customers favorite ice cream flavors that complement the coconut macaroons are: Coffee Kisses (chocolate chip), Black Raspberry Chip and Caramel Sea Salt.
The other cool thing about these cookies is they are gluten free!
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 TBL good vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups sweetened coconut, shredded
In a standing mixer or by hand, combine all ingredients. Cover bowl and store in a refrigerator for at least one hour so that the ingredients can combine. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
To form consistent cookies, use a scoop (I use a 1 oz. scoop) to drop onto the cookie sheet. Spread out dough into an evenly flat circle using your fingertips. Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes and rotate. They may need another 3-10 minutes depending on your oven (convection ovens bake faster). Check often. They should be a dark brown in color, which indicates the coconut has caramelized.
Allow the cookies to cool completely. Remove the macaroons from the sheet pans and place into an 11”x13” or similar pan or container that will fit into your freezer. You can stack the cookies between layers of wax or parchment paper. Allow to freeze thoroughly.
To assemble, work quickly with the frozen cookies and ice cream. Hand scoop the ice cream onto the cookie and pack it down by placing the second frozen cookie on top and pressing down firmly without pushing ice cream out the sides. Cookies should have 1-1/4” to 1-1/12” of ice cream in the middle. Immediately place assembled ice cream sandwiches into the freezer. I wrap mine with wax paper sheets to protect them.