Serious Eats: Sweets

First Look: Cow Tipping Creamery, Austin

[Photograph: Veronica Meewes]

When Corey met Tim Sorenson as a student at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, she never would have never guessed that two cities, two children, and several businesses later, they would be serving artisanal softserve out of a 1978 Chevy emergency response vehicle in Austin, Texas.

However, maybe she should have seen it coming. "I've been obsessed with ice cream my whole life," says Corey. She recalls the parlors of her youth the way some kids collect baseball cards, with the MVPs being the Grape Nuts concoction served at a shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Friendly's classic Reese's Pieces sundae piled high in a silver dish.

"That peanut butter sauce was the most amazing peanut butter sauce for that sundae," she recalls with a smile, "...until I made mine!"

Cow Tipping Creamery is a turquoise gem in a food trailer park near Austin's University of Texas. The menu is a force to be reckoned with, and peanut butter sauce has to be one of the most ordinary things on it. You're more likely to find Dr. Pepper cherry sauce and blood orange olive oil and champagne marshmallows and honey dust—all made from scratch by Tim and Corey.

Before they opened last spring, they toyed with the idea of offering a few typical candy toppings, but Tim says, "It's a slippery slope. First you start with M&Ms and soon you're doing gummy worms and Oreos and, 'oh look, it's dirt and worms!' No way, there was no way we were going to do that. Honestly you could go anywhere else and get that, but you can't go anywhere else and get our toppings."

The canvas used for their palette of texturous, salty, and sweet toppings is a creamy softserve infused anywhere from 48 hours or longer. Indonesian vanilla, speckled with bean flecks, is almost always one of the choices and the other can be anything from mint (infused with fresh farmer's market mint) to coffee (infused with fair trade beans) to more adventurous flavors like matcha green tea, cereal milk, and horchata.

The Sorensons list New York's Momofuku Milk Bar as an inspiration of theirs, as well as The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. "They made it fun," says Tim. "And softserve up until that point wasn't fun."

The mixmasters behind Cow Tipping Creamery pride themselves in using the highest quality ingredients: organic milk and sugar, local items whenever possible, and premium products like San Francisco's Tcho and Ghiradelli chocolate—and lots of it! They call their sundaes "stackers" ($4.50 for 12 ounces/$5.50 for 16 ounces) because toppings are layered between softserve, creating a bit of magic in each bite; cones are made the same way. Speciality shakes ($4.25 for 12 ounces/$5.50 for 16 ounces) are made with only a splash of milk and come chock full of goodies which zip through wide bubble tea straws.

"You can build an ice cream truck to make money but it definitely would not be this!" laughs Tim. "We decided we wanted to make something we'd be proud of more than anything else."

Click through the slideshow to see some of their frozen creations.

Cow Tipping Creamery
2512 Rio Grande Street Austin TX 78705 (cowtippingcreamery.com)


About the Author: Veronica Meewes is an Austin-based freelance writer and food blogger who will travel for food but always comes back for breakfast tacos. Follow her on Twitter @wellfedlife and visit her blog.

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