Food & Drink

Blueberry-Maple Ice Cream with Corn Cookies

A winning combination from Emie Dunagan of Louisville’s 502 Bar & Bistro

Photo: Johnny Autry | Food Styling by Charlotte Autry

Emie Dunagan’s path to pastry chefdom reads like a casebook study. “I started out using an Easy-Bake oven, but once I got to elementary school, my grandmother began teaching me all of her grandmother’s recipes,” Dunagan says. “Sometimes I would experiment. I would use only egg whites instead of egg yolks to figure out the reason we follow the recipe.” At age sixteen, while still attending high school in Louisville, Dunagan launched a baking business. Her grandmother was her first employee. A month after graduation, she started culinary school and took a job at the 502 Bar & Bistro, the Louisville hot spot that blends executive chef Ming Pu’s Southern and Taiwanese traditions. Now twenty-one, Dunagan is continuing her education as part of the Women Chefs Initiative, a mentorship program founded by Louisville chef Edward Lee to help women find higher-ranking jobs in the restaurant industry. Like nearly all of Dunagan’s recipes, this irresistible cookie and ice cream combination harks back to her first female mentor, and the berry-picking trips they’d take when she was a child. At 502, she serves it in a bowl. “If you scoop it all up into one bite with a spoon, you get the burst of the berry, the crunch of the Corn Nuts, the salt off the top of the cookies, and the creaminess of the ice cream,” Dunagan says. “But if you want to put it together like an ice cream sandwich and eat it like a kid, that’s cool, too.”


>See More Summer Berry Recipes


  • For the Ice Cream (Yield: 1 quart)

    • (2) 6 oz. containers fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

    • ⅔ cup sugar

    • ½ cup buttermilk

    • 1 cup heavy cream

    • 6 egg yolks

    • 1½ cups maple syrup

  • For the Cookies (Yield: 20 cookies)

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

    • ¾ cup demerara sugar, divided

    • ¼ cup Corn Nuts, crushed, plus more

    • 2 eggs

    • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

    • ¾ cup masa harina (corn flour)

    • 1 tsp. baking powder

    • ½ tsp. baking soda

    • ½ tsp. salt


  1. For the Ice Cream: Place blueberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir occasionally, until berries burst and a syrup forms (about 8 minutes). Carefully puree this mixture in a blender or food processor and strain into a mixing bowl.

  2. Let cool to room temperature and whisk in buttermilk and cream. In a mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and maple syrup until combined and slightly lightened in color.

  3. Combine the berry and egg mixtures in a saucepan, stirring continuously, and cook over medium heat until thickened (about 5 minutes) and the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

  4. Chill the mixture completely and place in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions to churn.

  5. For the Cookies: 

    Preheat oven to 365° F.

  6. Cream butter, brown sugar, ½ cup demerara sugar, and Corn Nuts in a stand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs and mix for about 1 minute.

  7. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and add to mixer. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold batter together.

  8. Scoop batter onto a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet. Flatten scooped dough balls slightly. Top each cookie with ¼ tsp. demerara sugar and ¼ tsp. crushed Corn Nuts.

  9. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

  10. Bake for 9–10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack.

Recipe from from Emie Dunagan of 502 Bar & Bistro in Louisville