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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

28 Aug

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” ~ Unknown

The ice cream cookie sandwich!

I learned my lesson the hard way.

If you recall last week I made The Mama Chipwhich, which the Silly Husband thought was for him. Womp Womp. Seeing him so disappointed was heartbreaking, and being the nice wife that I am, I decided to make him his own chocolate peanut butter ice cream sandwich. I know that chocolate and peanut butter are the way to his heart. Though he wasn’t blessed with my sweet tooth, he never refuses a cookie. They are, in fact, his weakness. So, what’s better than a gooey chocolate peanut butter cookie smothered in chocolate peanut butter ice cream? Nothing.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

Cookie only very slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which was previous adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Ice Cream from Serendipity Sundaes (and created for my last post!)

Making the peanut butter mixture

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar

Look at that dough smothered in chocolate and peanut butter chips

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips and milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Extra sugar for sprinkling

Method

A big ball of dough, getting ready to make the individual cookies

For the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate.

Rolling a little cookie ball into sugar

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion.

Flattening the cookies with a fork and making small indents

Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern (I used the back of a small offset spatula to keep it smooth on top), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

This recipe made approximately 35-40 cookies.

Look at those gorgeous cookies stacked and ready to go!

For the Ice Cream Sandwich:

Make the dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream (see here for a complete guide to making this delectable treat). As soon as the ice cream is done churning you’re going to want to start assembling.

Place one cookie face down on a plate. Place 2 scoops of ice cream on top of the first cookie, cover with the second cookie and “smush” the top cookie down a bit onto the bottom cookie so the ice cream oozes out a little on either side. Repeat until you have enough ice cream cookie sandwiches and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Dig in!

The Verdict: The cookies were outrageous bundles of butter, peanut butter and chocolate. The little sugar coating on the outside was a great way to start the bite. I brought the cookies to my office and they were devoured.  When filled with ice cream, these were just the bees knees.

The Husband was grateful for my peace offering, especially when I promised to only make ice cream cookie sandwiches for him…

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Indego Africa’s Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream Sundae

22 Aug

365 Scoops: “If I were to make a flavor for Indego Africa, what would it be?” 

Indego Africa: “Good question…what flavor would represent empowerment?” 

Now that's an "empowerment" sundae

When I think of Indego Africa, I think of innovation and empowerment.

When I think of Indego Africa, I also think of transparency and good governance, creativity and sustainability, and most importantly unparalleled impact.

In sum, Indego Africa is an innovative non-profit social enterprise – built on core values of transparency and good governance – that attacks systemic poverty by delivering access to export markets and job skills to African women. Indego Africa’s business model is simple yet powerful.

I’ve been involved with Indego Africa for the past 2 1/2 years, and for those of you who know me, you understand that this organization marries some of my deepest passions for Africa – where I have been traveling for the past 7 years – and women’s empowerment – a crucial part of my graduate and professional work. This organization really is the bee’s knees. Trust me.

Nicole Miller and Indego Africa partner to produce these vibrant, fair trade bangels

But, just in case you need more proof get a load of this…Indego Africa has been recognized by the likes of Harvard Business School, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program, and iconic fashion designer Nicole Miller. Its list of corporate and nonprofit partners is wildly impressive and includes Generation Rwanda, Vision Spring, Amazon, Anthropologie and many more. Most notably, however, Indego Africa won the 2010 AfriPro Charity of the Year, and the Fair Trade Federation Award for “Most Positive Change in a Producer Community” and has been recognized because “their innovative business and education model creates a broad, deep, and sustainable impact on the artisans’ lives.”

In short (ok, maybe that was not short, but I have a lot to say about this great organization!) if you don’t already support Indego Africa then hurry and join. All the cool kids are doing it.

One last thing…We’re having an awesome fundraiser in NYC on Wednesday August, 24 at Libation. Buy your ticket, come hang out with me (if that’s not an enticing offer, than I don’t know what is!) and have fun all while supporting a good cause.

Do it. You know you want to!

Blueberries, sugar and lemon marinading

Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream Sundae (A.K.A. Empowerment Sundae)*

Inspired by Serendipity Sundaes and Ciao Bella

*This empowerment sundae is purple to represent Indego Africa’s logo color. Blueberries also happen to be a very powerful fruit, which is fitting for this empowering organization.

Ingredients

Ice Cream:

3 cups blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

2 cups half-and-half

Beautiful blueberry sauce

1 cup whole milk

2 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

Crumble:

5tbs butter

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Milk mixture and blueberry sauce right before blending

Method

To make the blueberry ice cream pour 3 cups of blueberries into a pot, add 1/4 cup of sugar and 2tbs of lemon juice. Toss to coat thoroughly and let sit for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, pour the 2 cups half-and-half and 1 cup milk into another pot and heat until bubbles form around the sides (do not boil).

While the milk mixture is warming, whisk together the 2 egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in a large, heat proof bowl. Because there are fewer egg yolks than usual (most of my recipes call for 3-4 yolks) this mixture will get extra thick when whisking. Once the milk mixture is hot, temper the eggs by slowly pouring the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the entire time. Once fully incorporated, pour back into the pot and heat slowly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees, F – this should take approximately 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool entirely before refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight.

Making the crumble topping

At this point, the blueberries will have marinaded sufficiently and are ready to cook. Heat the blueberry mixture on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and some of the blueberries burst. Stir occasionally and once ready, remove from the stove to cool completely before refrigerating.

Anything with butter is delicious and this is no exception

While you’re waiting for the blueberry and milk mixtures to cool completely, make the crumble topping. In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats and until well-blended. Chop the butter into small pieces and thoroughly knead into the flour mixture. Eventually when the ingredients are mixed, you’ll get a big ball of buttery-goodness. Spread evenly into a 9″ pie pan and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. I cooked mine for 11 minutes and it was well-browned and toasted.

Yum! Crumble topping straight out of the oven

Once the blueberry and milk mixture are well-chilled,  pour half of the milk mixture into a blender with the blueberry mixture. Whisk in the remaining milk base and pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions or approximately 20 minutes. Once ready, scoop into a freezer-safe container and store for later use.

Yes. This was outrageous.

And now, the final creation…Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream Sundae! To assemble, place two generous scoops of blueberry ice cream in a sundae dish. Pour 1/4 cup crumble on top or layer with ice cream and crumble to create a parfait, drizzle a few fresh blueberries on top and enjoy! Warning: this is outstanding. You may not actually be able to sit down and enjoy it because it will be gone by the time you reach the table!

The Verdict: Unequivocally one of the best flavors yet! The marriage between sweet, creamy blueberry ice cream, and crunchy crumble is simply divine! I’m really a fan of deconstructed desserts so it should come as no surprise that this blueberry crumble ice cream sundae made the top of my charts. More importantly, however, you should feel really good eating this flavor – after all, it supports Indego Africa, which by now should be synonymous with women’s empowerment in Rwanda and long-term solutions to systemic poverty.

The Mama Chipwich

21 Aug

“Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first.”  ~Ernestine Ulmer

The chipwich slice in all of its glory

Dear Ernestine,

I could not agree more. You are a genius.

Yours sincerely,

365Scoops

This chipwich is the creme-de-la-creme of ice cream sandwiches and the mac daddy of all chip ‘wiches. This is huge. I owe all credit for this recipe to my fabulous cousin, a fellow foodie, dessert-o-holic, and amazing chef. You see, this cousin sends me recipes daily and each one is more delectable than the next. I have to stop myself from drooling directly onto my computer screen while reading them. It’s embarrassing. This recipe came through a few weeks ago, I filed it into my ever growing ice cream folder, until I realized that this one needed to be on the fast track.

One cookie smothered in butterscotch sauce (before the assembly!)

Well you should know that when The Husband came home from work, and saw this magnificent creation in our kitchen, he was instantly elated and then instantly pissed. Elated because the poor guy thought this big fat chipwich was for him (you should know that chipwiches are his favorite desserts) and then pissed because this dessert was not for him. Woops. Fatal error. Note to self: next time you make a chipwich make it exclusively for The Husband.

Wanting to pay homage to the original chipwhich I present you with some fun chipwich facts:

Did you know?

– The chipwich was invented by Richard LaMotta who owned an ice cream/confection shop he set up with friends

– Chipwiches date back to 1981 when LaMotta invented the Chipwich and began a guerilla marketing campaign, in which he trained and enlisted 50 street cart vendors (mostly students) to sell the Chipwich on the streets of New York City. Within an hour these amazing treats were sold out!

– The original chipwich was named by a young student in NJ – until then these frozen treats were virtually nameless!

Churning the chocolate ice cream

Now that you are probably salivating, let’s move on to the recipe…

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Adapted only slightly from the Key Ingredient website

Ingredients

 Butterscotch Sauce:
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 pinches (plus more to taste) of sea salt/kosher salt

Word to the wise: set out all the ingredients before assembly...

Cookies:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)
*I used the same chocolate base from the Truffle-upagus ice cream and omitted all the mix-ins. It was perfect and creamy!

Step 1: Cover the bottom cookie with butterscotch sauce

Method

For butterscotch sauce:
Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until both sugars dissolve. Increase heat and boil until large bubbles break on surface and sauce drops thickly from spoon, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cream and vanilla (mixture may bubble vigorously) and then add in the salt to your liking. I probably added one teaspoon, but it could have been a bit saltier.  (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm slightly over low heat before using.)

Step 2: Cover with chocolate ice cream

For cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray and flour two 7″ diameter cake pans.  Sift flour, baking soda and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop half of dough by large spoonfuls into each prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake cookies until light golden, about 14 minutes (Whatever you do, don’t overcook, so I would bake for 12 minutes and then check each minute afterwards. You want the cookie to be a bit gooey since you’re going to freeze it…) Cool cookies in pans on racks. Carefully turn out cookies.

Step 3: Cover with the second cookie, drizzle with butterscotch and freeze

The Great Assembly:

Place 1 cookie, top side up, in 7-inch disposable pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Drizzle 1/4 cup sauce over. Spread evenly with ice cream; drizzle with 1/2 cup sauce. Top with remaining cookie, top side up; press gently to adhere. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons sauce. Cover pan and freeze ice cream cake at least 5 hours. Cover and chill remaining sauce. (Cake and sauce can be prepared 3 days ahead.)
When you’re ready to serve the cake, remove from the freezer and let it stand until ice cream is slightly softened, about 5-8 minutes. Rewarm butterscotch sauce over low heat, cut cake into wedges, drizzle with sauce and enjoy!
The Verdict:
Really good, but not great and here’s why. Each individual component of this creation was delicious but once put together and frozen for 5 hours (it needed to harden and mold into its shape) the cookie got too hard. The problem was, if you thawed it before eating, the cookie softened but then the ice cream melted. Uch, it was a catch 22!

A nice side view!

So, the next time I make this (or perhaps just in a later post, you’ll see…) I will make individual cookies and fill them immediately before eating, that way the cookies are soft and fresh – just like the good ‘ole chipwich!

Having said all that, I served this treat at a party, and it was definitely a crowd pleaser! Heck, what’s not to love about 2 chocolate chip cookies smothered in butterscotch sauce and chocolate ice cream? Enjoy!

Watermelon Sorbetto

4 Aug

“When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.” ~ Mark Twain

Look at that sorbetto!

Yesterday was a great day. Not only was it National Watermelon Day but I also met David Lebovitz. Yes, that’s right. I. Met. David. Lebovitz. It was epic.

So, in honor of this most auspicious day, I’ve decided to make David Lebovitz’s watermelon sorbetto. It just so happens that this is the first of  a few entries for my Watermelon Bombe, which will be debuted (hopefully!) later this week. It’s quite an undertaking, but if all goes as planned, I will be recreating a watermelon from lime sorbet, vegan vanilla ice cream and watermelon sorbetto. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention Jerry Seinfeld’s hilarious stand-up bit about the seedless watermelon. I first heard this routine on a mixed tape – yes, a mixed tape – one summer at camp. Thankfully, technology has progressed since then and I found the youtube video.

It’s so funny, I know. I keep laughing, and replaying. Some things never change.

If you want to read the complete transcript from Seinfeld’s watermelon bit here you go…

I’ll leave you with one fun fact before the recipe. Did you know that watermelons are not actually a fruit? Contrary to popular belief, watermelons are vegetables and part of the cucumber and squash family. So, next time someone tells you to eat a vegetable, pick up a watermelon and you’ll show them who’s boss!

Watermelon from the trusty fruit vendor

Watermelon Sorbetto

From David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop

Ingredients

3 cups of seedless watermelon puree*

1/2 cup sugar

1-2 tbs lime juice

1 tbs vodka (optional)

pinch of salt

1-2tbs of mini chocolate chips (for seeds!)

*To get 3 cups of watermelon puree, you’ll need approximately 3lbs of watermelon. I bought a 5.5lb watermelon which yielded 6.5 cups of watermelon puree.

Watermelon puree. It just looks so refreshing.

Method

Remove the watermelon rind and cut the fruit (actually, the vegetable!) into small pieces. Puree the watermelon in the blender until smooth. There will be small white seeds, don’t worry about it.

Pour 1/2 cup of the watermelon puree and 1/2 cup of sugar into a pot. Turn on the stovetop, heat, and stir until well-blended. Turn off the stove and pour the rest of the 2 1/2 cups of watermelon puree into the pot. Add 1-2tbs of fresh squeezed lime juice, and 1 tbs of vodka (I did!). Remember, using alcohol will affect the freezing temperature, so you may notice that the sorbetto is a little softer than usual when done churning, it will harden more in the freezer.

Refrigerate the mixture until chilled completely. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately 2-3 minutes before done churning add in the chocolate chips for “seeds”.  Scoop the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze. Before eating make sure to defrost for 5-10 minutes first; watermelon has a high water content and so the sorbetto will be quite hard straight out of the freezer.

Watermelon sorbetto (check out those chocolate chip seeds!)

The Verdict:

Authentically watermelon! I like that this recipe was no frills – and really highlighted the true watermelon flavor. The lime juice is essential – it actually awakens the watermelon flavor. The vodka helped too as it kept the sorbetto a little softer. And of course, the chocolate chips were too cute to resist.

New York Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie

27 Jul

“I can’t wait to get back to New York  City where at least when I walk down the street, no one ever hesitates to tell me exactly what they think of me. ” ~ Ani Difranco

New York Cheesecake Ice Cream Cake. Enough said.

Cheesecake is to New York as tea is to London. There’s no two ways about it; cheesecake is quintessentially New York.

Or so you thought…

I hate to burst your bubble, New York, but cheesecake actually originates from Greece. Good thing Greece didn’t get the rights to the name because quite frankly “Greece Cake” sounds revolting!

The advent of cream cheese (like all good discoveries, a mistake at first!) truly shaped the taste of cheesecake today. In 1872, a fine dairy man by the name of William Lawrence from upstate NY, attempted to make a batch of Neufchatel (a soft, fresh, cow’s milk cheese from France) when lo and behold he added too much heavy cream and instead created a much silkier and richer cheese. This “mistake” came to be known as “cream cheese.”  Until the creation of cream cheese, cheesecakes were typically more coarse and heavy in texture. But, thanks to good ‘ole Will and the creative talents of Jewish New Yorkers (who began swapping this new schmear, aka cream cheese for other cheeses originally in the dessert) we have the famous New York Cheesecake!

Graham cracker crumbs, ready for the crust

So, I guess the New York Cheesecake is native to New York, circa 1900s,  but the idea of making cheese into a cake form is totally ripped off from Greece, circa 4th Century B.C.E.

I have to admit that I absolutely love cheesecake. As a kid, I would dream about going to the Cheesecake Factory just to get oreo cheesecake. Here in NY my favorite cheesecake comes from Cafe Edgar and is smothered in brownies and a fudge crust. It’s heavenly, sinful and indulgent. But that never stops me.

So, rather than going to a bakery to buy cheesecake I decided to recreate it at home. A very wise friend suggested that I put cheesecake ice cream into a graham cracker crust for “the total New York Cheesecake experience”. And voila, here you have it! I hope you’ll enjoy this authentic New York Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie.

Filling the graham cracker crust with cheesecake ice cream

Graham Cracker Crust

From Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing

10 graham crackers (pulsed in a food processor until finely ground)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Method

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a flouted tart pan (with a removable bottom, this part is key!). Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Zesting a lemon into the cheese mixture (yes, I am using a cheese grater to zest a lemon, it's brilliant, I know!)

Cheesecake Ice Cream

From David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop

Ingredients

1 8oz. package of cream cheese, cut into small chunks*

1 cup sour cream

zest from one lemon

1/2 cup half-and-half

3/4 cup sugar

approximately 10 strawberries (for garnish, not to be mixed in…)

*I used full fat cream cheese and sour cream because, well, why not?

Method

Zest the lemon directly into the blender and then pour in all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and then chill in the refrigerator. Once cool, pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s

Thinly sliced berries for decoration

instructions. Since this only has a half cup of actual liquid, you may notice that it churns faster than other ice creams. Once finished, pour/scoop into the graham cracker crust and freeze immediately for 10 minutes.

While the “cheesecake” is freezing, thinly slice approximately 10 strawberries for decoration. Remove the “cheesecake” from the freezer and start moving quickly! Arrange the strawberry slices in a circular pattern, beginning with the outer-most edge. Continue arranging the strawberries in concentric circles until you’ve reached the center. Place a full strawberry in the center and return the dessert to the freezer.

Remove from the freezer approximately 5 minutes before you want to eat it. Before serving, lift the “cheesecake” out of the tart pan (the bottom should slide off easily) and slice like a cake. I’m telling you, this dessert is eye candy. And it tastes as good as it looks.

A close up...graham cracker crust, cheese cake ice cream, and fresh strawberries. Bottom line, it's delicious.

The Verdict:  Sinful. This dessert was a hit. If you’re like me and eat with your eyes, than this dessert is perfect. Because it’s so visually appealing, you have no other choice but to dig in. I should note, however, that if you’re looking to enjoy a nice big scoop of ice cream, than this dessert is not for you. Because the ice cream is molded into a tart pan, it’s much thinner than your average scoop. The good news is that the cake melts so perfectly, and is so utterly creamy, that each bite is more delicious than the next. Trust me.

White Chocolate and Candied Ginger Ice Cream

14 Jul

The importance of ginger can be dated back to the writings of Confucius. In 9th century Europe, powdered ginger was placed on the table alongside salt and pepper.

The candied ginger heart. I did put my heart and soul into this!

Being from Boston I am a big fan of Emack and Bolio’s. In fact, they affectionately refer to themselves as “The Boston Ice Cream Experience” which I think is quite accurate. Though desserts were a rarity in our household growing up, I do remember occasional outings to Emack and Bolio’s. I always thought that their name was really funny. To be honest, I don’t think I ever started pronouncing it correctly until about last year. True story.

Recently a friend wrote to 365scoops in a moment of desperation, panicking because a super fabulous Emack and Bolio’s flavor had been discontinued. The original Emack and Bolio’s flavor, I’m told, was called “Triple Ginger Mama” and was some sort of vanilla base with ginger flavor and lots of texture. This flavor was affectionately referred to as “vanilla/ginger amazingness”. Trying to decode that description was a little hard, so I took some liberties and attempted to recreate this recipe with my own 365scoops flair.

It turns out that this friend was the first person to witness the birth of 365scoops because I actually ran into her on the fateful night that I purchased my ice cream maker . I suppose I owe it to her to create a flavor in her honor. I also owe it to her because she just got engaged and what a better pre-wedding treat than good (I hope!) ‘ole fashioned ice cream…

The beautiful candied ginger

So, since I’ve been wanting to make a white chocolate ice cream for a while, this just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I wanted to subtly introduce the ginger flavor, but not go overboard because I’m not such a fan of ginger in my ice creams (give it to me in Asian cuisine or salad dressings and I’m game though!). Additionally I thought that little chunks of caramelized ginger would give a nice added texture and treat without making the ice cream too “aggressively ginger.” So, that just leaves me with one thing…the recipe!

White Chocolate and Candied Ginger Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe has two parts; the actual ice cream and the candied ginger. You should make the candied ginger first unless you have enough kitchen space/pots and pans to make it while the ginger is steeping in the milk. I, however, live in NYC, and therefore it was just too tight in the kitchen to make all this work at once !

Candied Ginger

Adapted from David Lebovitz (only slightly) 

It may be hard to tell, but that's a lot of ginger!

Ingredients

1/2 lb peeled fresh ginger

2 cups sugar (plus a little extra for dusting)

2 cups water

candy thermometer

Method

Don’t be scared but this recipe calls for a candy thermometer. Actually, you don’t really need one, but I can say unequivocally that I would have ruined this recipe if I did not use the thermometer. There. I said it! So, while I typically shy away from any recipe that requires a candy thermometer, they’re much easier to use then I thought, and way less intimidating!

Slice the ginger as thinly as possible. It can’t be too thin, so use a sharp knife.

Put the ginger slices in a non-reactive pot, add enough water to cover the ginger, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let ginger simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and repeat, simmering the ginger slices one more time. After the second time boiling the ginger, do not drain the water; you’ll be adding to it for the rest of the recipe.

Success! 225 degrees F. Home-made candied ginger is on its way!

Mix the sugar and 2 cups water in the pot, along with the ginger slices, and cook until the temperature reaches 225 degrees F. This is where the candy thermometer comes in handy. The temperature will rise rapidly to approximately 17o degrees F and will hover around there for approximately 10-15 minutes. It will then continue to slowly rise until it reaches 225, again hovering around 215 degrees F for a while. You’ll need to keep watching the mixture, and periodically check the thermometer to make sure. All in, this takes approximately 20-30 minutes.

Remove from heat , drain very well while the ginger is hot, and toss the drained slices in granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar, and spread the ginger slices on a cooling rack overnight, until they’re somewhat dry. The sugar can be reused in a batter or ice cream base, or for another purpose. The ginger syrup can also be used for home-made ginger ale.

Heaps of candied ginger.

The candied ginger can be stored at room temperature for at least a month. This recipe will yield plenty for snacking or gifting.

White Chocolate and Candied Ginger Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup milk

2 cups half-and-half

2/3 cup sugar

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

8 ounces good quality white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli), chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger

Method

I did not have a ruler to measure out the ginger...so I fashioned one by folding a 4 inch envelope in half. Crafty, I know!

Peel and slice the ginger very thinly and cover it with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Drain away the water but return the blanched ginger to the pan.

Add the sugar, milk and 1 cup of the half-and-half. Rewarm the mixture, turn off the stovetop, cover the mixture and steep for at least an hour, or until you are satisfied with the ginger flavor. I steeped mine for 1 hour and it was a very mild flavor – which is what I wanted. (But if you really like ginger I suggest you use either 3 inches of ginger or let it steep more. Once you add the white chocolate mixture it will dilute the ginger flavor a lot).

Chop the white chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Melt on high for 30 seconds, stir and see whether you need to melt it again, if so, repeat. Whisk the white chocolate into the milk mixture. Add in the remaining one cup of half-and-half.

Mixing the melted white chocolate. I may have stolen a few licks (after I made the mixture, don't worry!)

Pour the mixture through a strainer and discard the ginger. Cool completely (at least 2 hours) and then pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Approximately five minutes before the ice cream is done churning, slowly pour in the candied ginger pieces.  When finished, scoop into a container and let freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

You’ll notice that I cut one piece of ginger into a heart, and placed it on top of the ice cream. Let’s just say it was a cute surprise when the newly engaged couple opened the container!

The Verdict: Folks, I think they liked it! One of the royal taste testers got down on one knee and asked me to marry her (I politely declined, though I was flattered. I just didn’t think The Husband would want to give me up that easily!) Another taste tester said “many things are frozen but not all things are chosen”. I liked that rhyme, and again, I was flattered. And of course, the dear friend who requested this flavor seemed really happy with it. I hope you’ll all try this flavor at home.

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 Jul

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and honor that I wish you Happy National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day!

In 1984 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July “National Ice Cream Month” and urged fellow Americans to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” I love those politics :) To kick off ice cream month I’m presenting you with a very creative flavor that I hope will knock your socks off!

My cousin’s cousin (hell, we’re all related, he’s my cousin too!) is a masterful chef at the ripe ‘ole age of 14 and a great fan of 365scoops. He sent me this cinnamon bun recipe and anecdote below and I knew I had to turn it into an ice cream. I’ve been saving it for a special day, and today is the day!

Baked to perfection!

Here is the story of the cinnamon buns…One Sunday morning, my family and I were relaxing, getting ready for breakfast, and my sister said she wanted cinnamon buns, so I said I would make them for her. [Note to self: move into their house!] I looked on the internet for a recipe, and found one, but changed some of the ingredients. They came out delicious. Now whenever we have sleepovers with friends, I make them for breakfast. We love them so much because they are the best cinnamon buns any of us have ever had, and my mom  doesn’t even like cinnamon buns and she loves these! [Now that’s an endorsement!] I will make them for anyone who comes to our house and is here during a breakfast time. [Great, I’ll be there tomorrow!]

The cinnamon bun dough ingredients

Mitchell’s Cinnamon Buns 
Created by Mitchell himself!
Ingredients
The Buns: 2 cups flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 egg

Adding the butter...which makes everything better!

Filling:
3 tbs butter1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Glaze:
2  sticks of butter (wowzers!)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 tbs Agave nectar
Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda + powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir with fork to blend. Cut butter into dry mixture; it will resemble coarse crumbs. Beat the yogurt with the egg in measuring cup and pour into bowl. Stir with fork until dough forms ball. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead about five times, until no longer sticky.

The dough, covered in the cinnamon filling, rolled half-way

Pat dough into 12×8 inch rectangle. Spread with filling and roll up into 12 inch long “jelly roll”. Cut into 1 inch thick slices.
Spray 9×13 inch pan with nonstick coating. Spread 1/2 glaze on bottom and then arrange rolls on top of glaze. Bake 15-20 minutes until rolls are golden and glaze is bubbly. Watch them closely as they can burn quickly!
Coming up with an ice cream flavor to complement these perfect cinnamon buns was not so easy. But, I decided on a classic: cinnamon. It’s a perfect addition to the buns, and served with the

Yum. Simply Yum.

remaining glaze drizzled on top was simply heaven.

Cinnamon Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop
Ingredients 
1 cup whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
10 cinnamon sticks

The beautiful cinnamon sticks

Method

In a saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks, and 1 cup of the half-and-half. Warm through, and then cover and let steep off the heat for one hour. Pour in the remaining cup of half-and-half.  Refrigerate until completely cold.
Once cooled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Great Assembly!
To serve this incredibly delectable treat you’ll need two warm cinnamon buns, a generous scoop of cinnamon ice cream, and 1-2tbs of glaze. Place one cinnamon bun on a plate, glaze side up,scoop a generous heaping of ice cream on top and drizzle with a bit of glaze. Cover with the second cinnamon bun, glaze side up. Enjoy!
The Verdict: In-cred-i-bleMouthwatering. Buttery and gooey. The perfect amount of cinnamon. Most importantly, Mitchell, you’ve made 365scoops proud! Here’s to many more delectable days during national ice cream month!

Now that's the money shot!!