Ice cream and farmers markets are summertime musts. And at Northville’s new Browndog Creamery & Dessert Bar, these faves give each other a tasty high five.
Using fresh Michigan-made dairy, its small-batch gourmet treats feature local ingredients, including fruit and herbs, served as scoops and even push pops (paired with layers of cheesecake or mousse).
“Our idea was to take culinary food flavors and add them into ice creams,” says Brian Scherle, who co-owns the cozy downtown shop with fellow food enthusiast/entrepreneur Paul Gabriel. “We like unique pairings.” One example? Eastern Bliss, a creamy blend of pistachios melded with cardamom and strewn with a raspberry reduction swirl. Farmers market visits are an inspiration, too. “We saw rhubarb at the market – and usually you’d think to combine it with strawberry,” he says. “But we’re thinking of maybe doing a rhubarb-maple ice cream with a third flavor like burnt sugar.”
While new tastes abound at Browndog, which opened in February, some staples are always available. “We can barely keep enough of the Salty Dog on hand,” says Scherle – a salty caramel homemade ice cream swirled with a band of salty caramel (roasted pecans are the finishing touch). Kids, however, seem drawn to the cookie sandwiches. They choose what type of ice cream gets packed between two homemade chocolate chip cookies. Try this spin at home: Bake a batch of brownies and plop some Browndog in between!
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 stickbutter (melted)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 16 oz. sugar
- 8 3/4 oz. all-purpose flour (1 cup + 1.5 Tbsp.)
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- Pint of Browndog ice cream (or your favorite brand)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together cocoa, espresso powder and boiling water in a large bowl until smooth.
- Add bittersweet chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
- Whisk in melted butter and oil (mixture may look curdled at this point). Add eggs, yolks and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
- Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.
- Sift flour and salt into chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached (about 30-35 minutes).
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool for about 1.5 hours
- Take out of pan and cut into squares.
- Take two brownies (one for the top and one for the bottom) and place them top-down in front of you.
- Top one brownie with a 2-to-3-ounce scoop of Browndog ice cream. Place the other on top. Repeat to use up remaining brownies, serve and enjoy.
Named after the owners’ Boston terrier, Flash, Browndog offers big flavors in small, micro-churned batches starting from $3.25 ($5.75 for a pint to go).
Address: 118 E. Main St., Northville
Summer hours: noon-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday