Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beat the Heat: Ice cream sandwiches at Sweet Love

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM


There are about a billion things to love about Arkansas—really no need to start naming them here—but I’ll never be totally content with the summer heat. Sure, I’m a big baby, but it sucks the soul right out of me. But I’ve found that exceptional summertime treats are a guaranteed pick-me-up, the greatest way to pull yourself out of that heat funk you’re sure to be wallowing in within the next few months. Where does one go to successfully ride the heat wave? We’ll be sharing a few of our favorite eats and drinks throughout the hottest months of the year right here on “Beat the Heat.”

Owner, Kelli Marks, owner of Sweet Love Bakery, began experimenting with scratch-made ice creams a couple months ago, venturing into the freezer and pushing herself a little beyond her routine oven-baked goods. As she began posting pictures of her experimental cold creations on Twitter and Facebook, she was subsequently bombarded by sweets fans wanting to get a sample, asking her, pleading with her to start making them available to the public. After a little tweaking, she recently began offering the house-made ice creams, which come in a variety of flavors, with any number of freshly baked cookies, also in all sorts and flavors.

Kelli tells me she wanted her ice cream sandwiches to be something relatively unique to the Little Rock frozen treat scene. Maybe she doesn’t already realize that anyone willing to produce small batch, handmade ice cream, utilizing local ingredients is already going above the norm at this point. Sure, I did feel a bit like I was cheating on my beloved, Loblolly Creamery, who will always hold a special place in my heart, but with Kelli’s skill as a baker combined with her knack for inventive combinations, I felt like I couldn’t pass up an offer to sample her wares.

Sweet Love is committed to a constantly rotating list of flavors. When I visited, of course, I snagged every flavor available…for journalistic purposes, I assure you. It was a hot day and I was in dire need of something to dampen the heat, and these ice cream sandwiches barely lasted me ten minutes—needless to say, I enjoyed them,

Sweet Love is doing a fine job with their ice cream. It’s handmade, and has high quality, dense, creamy texture, free from excessively frozen crystals and not overly hardened by too much time in the freezer. But the magic really begins when it’s paired with their lovely cookie sandwiches. Upon my visit, I was completely won over by the Key lime with graham cookie crust. She makes small rounds of graham cookie, bakes them off, giving them a toasty flavor, leaving them light and crisp. The lime ice cream is subtly flavored, not pucker-inducing, but with just bit of zest to bring to mind pleasant thoughts of far away beaches, poolside frozen drinks, and Florida orchards. I’ve always been partial to Sweet Love’s brown butter cookies which incorporate butter that’s been cooked past its melting point until the milk solids in the butter brown and begin to give off a wonderful nutty aroma. Sweet Love paired these with a simple, fresh vanilla bean ice cream—the results were splendid. I would have eaten five in one sitting if my waistline would have allowed. Then came a seductive salted caramel and almond ice cream (always a fantastic flavor profile in my mind) and slathered that onto a crisp, buttery waffle cone sandwich—another successful sandwich, but they really had me won over at salted caramel. The occasional touch of salt, sweet caramel—I was very much pleased with my selection.

Sweet Love is constantly imagining up new combinations to keep their customers coming back for more. You can also pick up scoops of ice cream alone in pre-portioned quantities if you’d like to pass on the cookie all together (or if you’re watching your carbs for swimsuit season). Local, seasonal ingredients include those in such ice creams as their cinnamon peach with bourbon soaked pecans, or their creamy lemon and blueberry. Try passing that up.

There you have it. No excuse now to fester on your couches wishing it would cool down outside. Sweet Love has air conditioning and enough items in the freezer to keep you smiling ‘til October.

(Sweet Love is located at 8210 Cantrell Road, Little Rock)

Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Daniel Walker

  • The Kraft Mac & Cheese Food Hack

    Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Food Feedback Friday: The "We need your vote!" edition know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • Looking in on the new Le Pops, now in the Heights

    Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
    • Jul 24, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Updated: Arkansas Fresh Bakery Cafe is open

    Get up early for some of the best food in Central Arkansas, because Arkansas Fresh has announced that they're ready to go with their cafe. UPDATE: And it's delicious!
    • Jan 5, 2015
  • Root Cafe the Growing America winner on HLN

    How apt: The Root Cafe is the viewer-chosen winner of the documentary series "Growing America: A Journey to Success," on HLN TV. The show's idea: that MBAs from the country's most prestigious universities could help businesses to, well, leaf out.
    • Dec 21, 2014
  • We can do better, Little Rock

    The Friday Five open line is here, and we're talking restaurant sales numbers. You can talk about whatever you'd like.
    • Feb 20, 2015

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Lawsuit filed over settlement in forum-shopping class action case

    The lawyers facing disciplinary action by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith over their settlement of a class action lawsuit against the USAA insurance company have a new legal headache.
  • Cherokee tribe backs the casino amendment

    NOW, I get it. The group circulating petitions for a constitutional amendment to establish casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties reveals that the deal anticipates operation of the casino in Washington County by the Cherokee tribe that now has casino operations in Oklahoma.
  • A modest proposal for charter schools

    It was just a little over a year ago when Baker Kurrus was hired as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. With new Education Commissioner Johnny Key there was a strong concern that the Little Rock school system would be converted to all charter schools and the entire public education system would disappear.
  • Highway Department: Key parts of new Clarendon bridge installed upside down.

    The future of the old Highway 79 bridge at Clarendon is uncertain, but it's a good thing the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department didn't jump the gun on demolishing it.That's because the new bridge at Clarendon — or at least the western approach, which is elevated over U.S. Fish and Wildlife wetlands — is snakebit.
  • Mansion wars

    It has never been as consequential as Versailles, which helped trigger the French Revolution, but the royal palace of Arkansas's First Family has always been an object of political intrigue.



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation