Coffee Madness Ice Cream

Ready

Now that the fear of making ice cream and my first chocolate ice cream is under my belt … and so fabUlous … I have this desire need to try more flavors, add in different flavors and textures. Who knew making ice cream could be so easy? Well, easy thanks to my Kitchen Aide Ice Cream attachment.

After a kitchen powwow with a fellow ice cream with lots-o-stuff lover, coffee ice cream was the next flavor. But it needs chocolate! And something crunchy! Okay … brownies? Heath Bar pieces?

OH! YES!

The Dear One went to the store for me, list in hand, clearly saying MILK. I didn’t think I needed to be more specific … like, whole milk versus 2% milk. So into the house came 2% milk. Yucky to begin with, I wasn’t sure it would fly in the ice cream, but the thought of driving ALL the way to the store again made my head want to implode, so I went with it.

The 2% milk made this slightly less creamy. I also think my helper let the custardy part cook a *tiny* bit too long.

All that said, it was GONE without a problem in a couple of days. Freezer door opening, lid popping open, spoons digging in for just a spoonful.

But, really, how can you go wrong with coffee ice cream, brownies and toffee bits? You can’t!

  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C very strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 C bite sized brownie pieces
  • 1/4 C Heath bar bits

Combine eggs, yolks and sugar in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a whisk or electric beater for about 5 minutes. Heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan; do not let boil, just “scorch” it, bringing to a near-boiling hot. Turn off heat. Very slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, beating rapidly with a whisk.

NOTE: Just as an aside, the reason for pouring a bit of the hot liquid into the eggs while whisking is so you temper the eggs. If you just poured the eggs into the hot milk, you’d have scrambled eggs!

Once it is all beaten in, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture while beating. Heat mixture under medium low, stirring constantly, for a few more minutes or until the consistency is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when dipped in. Turn off heat.

Pour mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the liquid (this keeps the mixture from forming a skin). Chill overnight or until completely cool.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow machine’s directions for how long it should churn. Add the 1/2 cup of CHILLED coffee halfway through churning. Toss in the brownie bites and Heath bits during the last minute of churning. You may need to finish mixing by hand before placing the ice cream in the freezer for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Sliced

I had the honor … well, no, privilege of starting and maintaining a fabulous cooking forum. I met fabulous women. I even met some of my very best friends through this forum, all of whom I cherish and miss as I sit here in the frozen springtime beauty of Maine.

We traded our cherished recipes, helped each other with ingredients, shared our family trials, tribulations and successes. Sadly, we mourned together at the passing of some of our members.

We decided that our wonderful recipes needed to be in written in book form and we set out to self-publish our own cookbook. What a joy it was to put together! So many fabulous recipes, everyone jumping in to help test recipes and type. 290 pages of food and friendship!

One of my absolute favorite recipes from the book is Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, shared by jerseygirl. It is my go to banana bread recipe and where all of the bananas we don’t get to fast enough end up.

Continued thanks to all of you for sharing your recipes and time. Becky, I still miss you each and every day.

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 C mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 C butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan

Combine all ingredients except chips and nuts in a large bowl. Blend well on medium speed of an electric mixer. Stir in chips and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick interested in center comes out clean.

Ready to slice

Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a rack.

Pistachio Dried Cherry Torrone ~ March Daring Bakers

Done 3

The March 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt. She challenged us to learn to make classic nougat and to make it our own with our choice of flavors and add-ins.

It’s been a terribly long time since I’ve been able to join in any cooking or baking events. I’ve missed it.  I am so pleased to be able to join in BOTH Daring Kitchen challenges this month.

I have had this Martha Stewart Torrone recipe on deck for a LONG time and made my own changes to it, but felt the base recipe was easy enough for me to handle!

Done 2

And you-know-who is screaming WHY? And in the same breath WHERE’S MINE??

This was a bit fiddley. I was a bit hampered by not being in my own kitchen. I used a hand mixer that’s affixed to a bowl that turns, so it was a semi-stand mixer type piece of equipment … but not really.

It needs to sit and ‘dry’ a bit more, but man oh man, this is tasty stuff!

  • 2 pieces edible rice paper, (9 by 13 inches each) wafer paper
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 3 T light corn syrup
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C shelled salted pistachios, (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 1/3 C unsweetened finely shredded coconut, (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 C dried cherries

Place 1 piece of rice paper in a 9×13-inch rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

NOTE: I lightly buttered the sides of the baking dish. You’re going to trim them off anyway so it just makes removing the Torrone easier.

Put sugar, honey, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to simmer and sugar has dissolved, about 6 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.

NOTE: Aside from the no stand mixer problem, I also suffered from a no CANDY THERMOMETER problem. 300 degrees is hard ball stage. Drop a tiny amount of the boiling sugar into a cup with cold water, when it becomes a hard, crunchy mass once in the water, you’re done.

Meanwhile, put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Raise speed to high. Pour hot honey mixture into egg-white mixture in a slow, steady stream, and beat until mixture has cooled and thickened and begins to stick to whisk, about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

Reduce speed to medium-low; beat in vanilla, pistachios, coconut, and cranberries.

Working quickly, spread mixture into prepared dish. Place another sheet of rice paper on top; press down to flatten and spread evenly. Let cool on wire rack at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Ready to cut

Cut around edges of Torrone to loosen. Remove from baking sheet; transfer to a cutting board. Trim edges to be straight. Using a long, sharp knife, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch slices.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Scoop

For Christmas (I am hanging my head in shame as I type) about 5 years ago (see, shameful) I was given an ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aide stand mixer. I have never had enough room in my freezer in Brooklyn to place the bowl. It sat in its box, in a corner, waving frantically at me, “Use me! USE ME! Oh, please use me!”

Fast forward … Maine. Huge chest freezer in the basement. First thing that went into it? The bowl for the ice cream attachment! YAY!

Home alone. Nothing to do. What to make? What to make?

“Hello! Hello? Psst! Hey, LADY! It’s me! You know, the lonely and now FREEZING ice cream bowl? Come on! Give it a whirl. You won’t be sorry! Don’t you just love ice cream?”

Love? Well, for me, it’s an affliction, really. The creamier the better. Crunchy bits? YES, MA’AM! But fortunately I have lots of will power where ice cream is concerned. See a new flavor … HAVE.TO.HAVE.IT! Buy it, have a few spoonfuls and never look at it again.

Well, I used to have willpower where ice cream was concerned. What happened? The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz happened and this fabulous recipe for chocolate ice cream! The flavor is so rich and intense, it is so lusciously creamy … well, all I can say is O.M.G. and thank goodness the Dear One was returning soon so he could eat a lot of this!

Oh, Kitchen Aide, thank you for making this ice cream make so easy to use!

Hmmm, what next? What can I add in next? What sort of flavor? Must have crunchy bits. Think it may have to be coffee ice cream with heath bars …

This makes about 1 quart of the best chocolate ice dream you have ever had!

  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 3 T unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 ozs bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

Ingredients

Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

NOTE: I used chocolate chips. I totally spaced the chocolate bar when I went food shopping!

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla.

Chilling

Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)

Scoop Spoon

NOTE: This ice cream stayed really creamy and soft-ish in the freezer. What a delight!

Panna Cotta with Berries

Panna Cotta finished

Let’s make dessert.

Sure. What do you want for dessert?

Panna Cotta. Please. I love Panna Cotta!

You love Panna Cotta? Well, if you love it, I’ll make it for you.

PANNA COTTA? SERIOUSLY!? I can’t make Panna Cotta! Off to the bookshelf I go to find a recipe that isn’t going to make my head explode by just looking at the recipe! And to the rescue came Giada de Laurentiis and an easy to make Panna Cotta from Everyday Italian.

It was silky and smooth and really yummy. Easy to put together and not a lot of fussy ingredients.

When a Panna Cotta lover tells you it was the best Panna Cotta they’d ever had, you know you’ve done well!

  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1 T unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 C whipping cream
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 T sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 C assorted fresh berries

Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes.

Mixing

Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.

Spoon the berries atop the panna cotta and serve.

HOW EASY WAS THAT!?

Valentine Cupcakes with a Surprise #SundaySupper

Done HALF

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and I know I would like to make something super duper fabulicious for Valentine’s Day! Something that not only tastes great, but LOOKS great – anything flambé is out, we all know what happens when I try to light things on fire! I just can’t try something new for a special occasion without taking it for a test drive first.

Done CUT

So when the opportunity came to FINALLY be able to play with my foodie friends from Sunday Supper again, experimenting with a super duper fabulicious dessert for Valentine’s Day for two was the perfect plan.

At least now I know it works and how it works and can bake this again as a dessert for Valentine’s Day!

This looks like far more work than it actually is and the end result is worth making a wreck out of your kitchen and dirtying every baking utensil and mixing bowl you own!

Sunday Supper Movement

Pink Cakes 
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 T sugar
  • 4 T butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C  cake flour (AP flour is fine)
  • 1/2 heaping t of baking powder
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 3 T milk
  • Red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350

Pink Mixing Batter

In large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.   Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. All at once, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Keep stirring until everything is smooth and well-combined.  Add milk and stir until incorporated into the batter.

Add a few drops of red food coloring. The color lightens a little while baking, but you don’t want it too dark.

Pink Ready to Bake

Lightly spray a small baking pan and pour in batter.

NOTE: I used a loaf pan. You don’t want this to be too thick.

Bake  14 minutes or until just done, remember it’s baking again inside the chocolate batter. Cool completely.

Pink Cutout hearts

Once cool, using a small heart shaped cutter cut hearts out of the pink cake and set aside. 

NOTE: This is WAY more cake than you’ll need and more hearts than you will need! With the left over hearts, I spread a little raspberry jam on one cake heart and placed another on top and dipped them in melted chocolate.

Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 3 t cocoa powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/4 C cold water
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/8 t vanilla
  • Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325

Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.

In a second small bowl or spouted measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients.

Add the dry to the wet and stir till combined, whisking well.

NOTE: Here’s the tricky part! Remember this makes two cupcakes!

Placing hearts

Dollop a couple of tablespoons of batter into two wells of a cupcake tin. With the pointed end going into the bottom of the cupcake, place heart standing up in batter. While very lightly holding the heart in place put batter around and on top of cupcake. Repeat with second cupcake.

NOTE: When I did this I faced the flat part of the hearts toward the short end of the tin so I knew where they were and which way they face so when cut in half you were cutting through the heart.

Cupcakes baked

Bake for 18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

NOTE: The cake hearts rose a little during baking. Was perfectly fine. Once you frost you won’t know. Well, YOU will know, but the object of your affection will not know. This makes it easier to line them up properly to cut.

Frosting

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T + 2 t cocoa powder
  • 3 T confectioners sugar
  • 1 t half and half or any milk/cream
  • dash of salt

Frosting

Melt the butter in a small bowl.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the butter and whisk to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until frosting is partially set.

Whisk again then allow to rest at room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost.

Cupcake frosted

Check out these other Valentine’s Day treats for two!

Alluring Appetizers:

Exquisite Entrees:

Decadent Desserts and Drinks:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Chunky Chocolate White Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Done Single

New cookbooks for Christmas are always a great thing. I don’t have to buy them, so they don’t really fall under the moratorium on cookbooks. They are still met with a wee bit of eye rolling, perhaps a grimace, but always followed by a giggle. This past Christmas brought many cookbooks into the house … yay! And even a new bookshelf, built by you know who.

Other people receive cookbooks too! Many I drool over and put on my secret wish list (you know, the ones you order when you know you will be the one to get the mail or perhaps even when someone is travelling …) and many I can easily take a pass on.

Southern Living Home Cooking Favorites is one of those books that someone else received and that may have to end up in my kitchen at some point! While flipping through the book, many ooohs and aaahs and yums were heard, and then a ‘would you please make these for me?’ I never turn down a request to bake something for someone else, that usually means they mostly go on someone else’s waistline and not mine.

These cookies are HUGE! You aren’t reading incorrectly, scoop 1/3 cup of cookie dough for EACH cookie! YIKES! We can try to justify this by saying, well it only makes 15 cookies. Yeah, 15, but 15 4″ cookies that are over 1″ thick! It’s a weeks worth of treats calories in one cookie. They are so worth it though!

  • 3/4 C butter
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 (3 1/2 ounce) dark chocolate bars with finely ground espresso beans, divided and chopped
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 (4 ounce) white chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 1 C coarsely chopped pecan halves, toasted

NOTE: I used Perugina for both the white and the cappuccino chocolate. I search high and low and in and out of at least 9 stores to find Ghiradelli dark chocolate with ground espresso beans. No luck. I did, however, find milk chocolate with cappuccino … meh. Not terrible, but not a strong enough coffee taste for my liking. I did like the milk chocolate part, though. I think, sadly, that they’ve discontinued the Espresso Escape bars …

Preheat oven to 350°

Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs and vanilla, beating just until blended.

Microwave half of the dark chocolate in a small bowl, at HIGH, 50 seconds to 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds.

Chocolates

Add melted chocolate to butter mixture, beating just until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir in remaining dark chocolate, white chocolate, and pecans.

Ready to Bake

Drop dough by 1/3 cupfuls, 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Done Tray

Bake at 350° for 21 minutes; cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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