Using only locally sourced ingredients, Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier — the duo behind Lick Ice Creams — artfully concoct a wide array of quirky, seasonal flavors; think Roasted Beet and Mint; Lone Star Au Lait; Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey; Caramelized Carrot and Tarragon.
Sobotik embraces ice cream as if it was a blank canvas and explains the painstaking process used to produce his unique flavors. “I’ve always loved ice cream. You can put anything in it. I never get bored with it."
Creating the concoctions is more than half the fun. "There’s so much prep that goes into our ice cream, as far as processing all the herbs, caramelizing and making the caramel," Sobotik explains. "Everything is steeped to achieve the flavor profiles we like, so all of these steps incorporate all the components that I love about cooking and baking. I had never had experience using a commercial batch freezer, but I just started reading everything I could possibly read about making ice cream and about milk in general. Then I started making small batches at home, just so I could get the flavor profiles down.”
Find your new favorite flavor at Lick on South Lamar, nestled between Horseshoe Lounge and Barley Swine.
The results yield a rich, multi-layered flavor with an airiness not often found in ice cream. And it's because Sobotik uses light cream rather than heavy cream; the freshness of each ingredient is apparent with every lick. In fact, most ingredients are handpicked from a number of local farms and purveyors — Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Round Rock Honey, Delysia Chocolate and Pure Luck Dairy, just to name a few.
Hailing from the small Texas town of Shiner, Sobotik developed his strong palate for flavors from his catering and baking experience in New York City. There, he met his partner and co-owner of Lick, Chad Palmatier, a native of Pennsylvania’s Amish country.
“When we lived in New York, we’d go visit [Chad’s] family in Lancaster, PA. There are all these great little mom and pop ice cream shops. A lot of times, they’re connected to the local creamery, so I was fascinated by that concept because I never grew up with that. We only had a Dairy Queen or a chain like it. I just loved the nostalgia of a family owned and operated ice cream shop — they were making it from the creamery down the road. I love that idea too, because you can really taste the difference in the ice cream.”
When it came time to leave New York, Austin just made perfect sense for the couple. Anthony could be closer to home and Austin’s warm climate made ice cream consumption ideal almost year-round. And as luck would have it, the perfect space was available on South Lamar, nestled between Horseshoe Lounge and Barley Swine.
Palmatier and Sobotik had no idea what kind of response they were going to get. They certainly didn’t think they would be the target of a mysterious ice cream bandit, who walked off with an entire tub of ice cream. But that’s the thing — their salted caramel ice cream is THAT good. And don’t fret, non-dairy eaters, Lick also offers numerous vegan options, made with coconut milk rather than cream.
With summertime right around the corner, a tasty ice cream sandwich is just the right thing to hit the spot. I highly recommend making Thomas Keller’s Oreo cookies and sandwiching a large scoop of softened Lick ice cream (the Salted Caramel or Hill Country Honey Vanilla Bean flavors works quite well).
Recipe is as follows:
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened premium cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3/4″ cubes, at room temperature
For the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and mix on low speed. With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time. The mixture will be dry and sandy at first, but over 2 minutes, will form pebble-sie pieces that start to cling together — be patient, it will eventually come together. Transfer the dough to a work surface.
Divide the dough in half. Roll each half between two large pieces of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Stack the rolled sheets of dough onto a baking sheet (to keep them flat) and chill until firm, at least 15 minutes.
When you’re ready to bake, position a rack to the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats. Working with one sheet of chilled dough at a time, use a round 2 to 2 1/2-inch cutter to cut the dough into rounds (scraps can be gathered and rolled out again). Place the rounds about 1/2 an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Take the ice cream out of freezer to begin softening and bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
When ice cream is soft enough and cookies are cool, cut small squares of plastic wrap to wrap each finished sandwich. Set a cookie on the plastic and place a large scoop of ice cream in the center of the cookie. Top with another cookie and then wrap and place the individual sandwich into the freezer. Do this for the remainder of the cookies.