Advertisements
Tag Archives: treat

Strawberry Icebox Cake (No Bake!)

10 Jun

I must have been hiding under a rock all these years, because I’ve only become familiar with icebox cakes this year.  I may be a late bloomer to this cool no-bake cake, but I’ve totally been making up for lost time.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 4

Yes, this yummy cake is absolutely bake-free.  The kitchen gets to stay cool for those warm summer days.  The time is ripe for sweet strawberries, and we are loving them right now.  We just had this delish Fresh Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and now this. This Strawberry Icebox Cake comes together beautifully, making for an impressive looking dessert for get-togethers.

Strawberry Icebox Cake

I love how easy this cake is to pull off!  Some assembly required.  Six ingredients.  That’s all it takes to wow your family and friends with this light, refreshing cake that has just the right amount of sweetness to it.  Not too sweet nor heavy.  Which means you can eat more of it.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 2

Yes.  You will totally eat more than just once slice.  This Strawberry Icebox Cake boasts two pounds of fresh strawberries, freshly whipped cream, and graham crackers that soften into an airy, cake-like texture as it rests overnight in the fridge.

Strawberry Icebox Cake 3

That’s another thing.  I’m the biggest fan of make-ahead food.  If I can make it ahead of time, it’s a done deal.  Less fuss on the day of the party is always, always a very good thing.  I’m already planning my next icebox cake flavor.

Enjoy this while fresh strawberries abound.

———————————————————————————————————–

STRAWBERRY ICEBOX CAKE (NO BAKE) 
Serves 8-12

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs fresh, sweet strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 oz graham crackers (about 24-28 whole crackers or 4 sleeves)

Simple ganache:
2 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

In a large metal bowl, combine 3 cups heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.  Place entire bowl, plus beaters of electric mixer, into fridge for 10 minutes to chill.  On medium-high, beat heavy cream mixture until stiff peaks appear.

Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan.  Lay six graham crackers down evenly.  Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the graham crackers, followed by a single layer of closely-placed strawberries.  Repeat layers (graham crackers, whipped cream, strawberries) 3 more times.  You will have 4 layers total of graham crackers when finished.  Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of entire dessert, and add rest of strawberries for garnish.

Heat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat.  Once it bubbles, turn off the heat.  Add chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes.  Whisk mixture until it’s thick and glossy.  Let it cool to lukewarm and drizzle ganache over dessert (I use a plastic baggie with tiny bit of tip cut off.)

Cover loosely with tented foil and chill in fridge overnight, for crackers to soften.  Keep cold until ready to serve.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from theKitchn

Advertisements

Favorite Pumpkin Scones with Spice Glaze

30 Oct Favorite Pumpkin Scones

We’re finally gearing up for a little Halloween fun here.  We’ve totally procrastinated this year, with so much else going on.  I have yet to check that all the pieces to my kids’ costumes are existent and intact.  I barely had time to make sure we have enough candy to hand out to all those trick or treaters.  A little last minute, right?  With some exceptions, Halloween is lucky to get a courtesy nod amidst the fall/winter holidays.  As one child in my son’s class proclaimed in disbelief, “We don’t even get the day off school?!”

Better Than Bakery Pumpkin Scones

Yes, the 31st will come and go, we will have a sugar overload, and then everyone will be eagerly anticipating the next major holiday.  At least, we carved out all the kids’ pumpkins last weekend and read our annual Pumpkin Story while we yanked and threw out out all the yuckies inside the huge round gourds.

Better Than Bakery Pumpkin Scones

Seriously, I could barely bend my fingers after carving all those pumpkins.  And our kitchen was an orange mess.  Yet…the memory making, the kids’ excitement, and the Pumpkin Story make it all worth it.  And now there they are, four smiling squash, adorning our porch and ready to shine tomorrow night.

Favorite Pumpkin Scones

In honor of pumpkins everywhere, I’m sharing the best Pumpkin Scone I’ve ever had.  In fact, it may well be one of the best tasting scones of any flavor.  This scone is not your everyday, average scone.  This pumpkin scone is amazingly delish, and I think you’ll love the recipe as much as I do.

Favorite Pumpkin Scones

This Pumpkin Scone is tender and moist on the inside.  It’s packed with yummy spices, giving it a delightful holiday flavor and bringing out the pumpkin.  What everyone loves in this scone is the addition of cinnamon chips and white chocolate chips.  Cinnamon chips can be found at many grocery stores, especially seasonally.  Be sure you pick up a bag before they’re gone.  I love including pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), which are readily found in the stores right now.  The pumpkin seeds give this scone a fantastic texture and delicious flavor.  Pepitas seem to be selling like hotcakes right now, so grab some on your next grocery trip.

Enjoy this special morning treat. 🙂

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

RECIPE (12 scones)

INGREDIENTS

2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 – 1/2 cup white sugar, depending on whether you like it sweeter
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup cinnamon chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
2/3 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
coarse sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top
milk for brushing on

Spice Glaze
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 TB whole milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Directions

In large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Work in cold butter (I use my fingers) just until mixture is unevenly crumbly; some larger chunks of butter that remain unincorporated are fine.  Stir in cinnamon chips, white chocolate chips, and Pepitas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth.  Add pumpkin egg mixture to the dry ingredients.  Stir until all is moistened and holds together.  If dough is sticky, just scrape it into a ball and wrap with cling wrap.  Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes or until dough is cold enough to be workable.

Line two plates with squares of parchment paper (parchment should extend past the plate) and sprinkle some flour on parchment.   Divide dough in half and place each half on a separate plate.  Pat each half into a 6 inch circle, about 3/4 inches thick each.  Carefully slice each circle into 6 wedges.  Separate wedges so there is at least 1/2 inch space between them.  Brush each wedge with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar/cinnamon.

Place the plates into freezer for 30 minutes (this helps the texture and rise.)  White scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425F.

Transfer parchment paper with scone wedges onto baking sheet.  Bake scones 18-19 minutes on lower middle rack, watching to make sure they don’t over bake.  Once they are golden on top and a toothpick comes out mostly clean (a few tender crumbs are fine.)  The edges should look baked, not wet or doughy.

While scones are baking, make Spiced Glaze.  Mix together all glaze ingredients and whisk to incorporate well.

Remove scones from oven and cool a bit.  Drizzle with spiced glaze and serve warm.  Wrap any leftovers in airtight container and keep at room temp.  Do not put in fridge.  Glazed scones keep well for a day or two.

By Chewoutloud, adapted from King Arthur Flour

Pure, Creamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

27 Aug Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

As we hang onto the final summer days, we are clinging to all things warm-weather related around here.  I’m truly a summer girl who adores living in flip flops.  It is with reluctance that I’ll bid sweet summer goodbye.  Sniff sniff.

It’s true, you did just read about Bananas Foster “Split last week.  I  have a mini obsession with ice cream right now.  I am determined to make – and eat – as much ice cream as possible before the weather turns.  It turns in  a matter of days here.  Like, after a 72-hour fall season, we’ll launch into a 6-month deep freeze.  Okay, I exaggerated.  But only a little.

Moving on.  Onto our happy topic – ice cream! 🙂

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – all natural goodness

Yeah!  Ice cream somehow just makes people smile.  If you’re like me, you like to keep things pretty simple on a day-to-day basis.  That’s what this is – simple and oh-so-satisfying.  Vanilla bean is my favorite ice cream flavor in the whole wide world.  Pure, natural, and nothing artificial about it.

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – Just a handful of ingredients

There are only 5 ingredients that go into this treat.  This recipe uses eggs, which results in a rich, creamy ice cream.  I also like to make the basic no-egg version, which is much lighter in texture.  I guess it depends on mood and preference.  The boys and I easily devour both.

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Creamy Dreamy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – got a spoon?

Because of this ice cream’s thick/creamy texture, it can set up pretty firmly in the freezer.  If it does, just set it on the counter to soften a bit before serving.  It’s soooo worth it.

The flavor of this ice cream reminded me of vanilla bean creme brulee.  Except it’s frozen.  Can’t go wrong with that.  Enjoy, and save some for your peeps!

RECIPE (about 10 servings)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean
2 large eggs + 3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar

DIRECTIONS

Combine milk and cream in medium saucepan.  Using sharp knife, split vanilla bean in half, lengthwise.  Scrape out all the seeds into the saucepan.  Put bean pod in saucepan (there’s lots of flavor left in pod.)  Bring mixture to slow boil.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir frequently.  If you get a little milky film on top, don’t worry about it.   Just stir away.

Combine 2 eggs, 3 yolks, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Lightly beat until mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow.  Remove bean pod from milk mixture.  Measure out 1 cup of the hot mixture.  Gradually pour the cup of milk mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream while whisking (can also use a mixer on low speed.)  When combined, pour egg/milk mixture back into saucepan.  Stir constantly over low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat spoon.  Do not let it boil.  If using thermometer, it should be around 170F.

Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly over custard, and chill completely.   Takes at least a few hours chill, so do this overnight if you like.

Pour chilled custard into ice cream maker and churn until thickened, about 25 min.  Transfer to airtight container and place in freezer to set.

posted by chewoutloud

Bananas Foster “Split”

22 Aug bananas foster banana split

Banana and banana split lovers, you’ve come to the right place.  This one is for you.  If you follow food holidays, you already know August is not only the final month of glorious summer, but it’s also the month of bananas.  Additionally, it’s the month that features a guilty pleasure known as banana splits.  In celebration of National Banana Lovers Day and Banana Split Day, I present this scrumptious and not-as-guilty dessert.

Bananas Foster banana split

Bananas Foster – caramelized brown sugar, rum, and cinnamon!

OK,  it’s a teeny bit of a guilty pleasure still.  But a little sauce goes a long way (for some), so you may not have to use much to satisfy your sweet tooth.   Leftover sauce is wonderful on waffles, pancakes, etc.   I used reduced fat ice cream, which tastes amazing in this dessert, but almost anything will taste awesome with this bananas foster and the caramel-like sauce.   I added a bit of orange zest to the sauce, which was fantastic, and reminiscent of Grand-Marnier without the alcohol.

bananas foster banana split

Bananas Foster – add whatever toppings you want to this!

I left my sweet treat pretty basic – just bananas foster over classic vanilla bean ice cream.   It’s a great place to start (and end), but if you’d like, add any toppings you wish to amp up the banana split factor.  Whipped cream, chocolate, chunks of fruit… whatever rocks your socks!

Bananas Foster Split 3

Bananas Foster – easy, quick, and impressive

The gooey warm sauce started melting my ice cream, so this is the last photo I could manage before I… I mean we…had to put away the lens and take care of business.   You definitely want to drizzle the warm sauce on the ice cream just when you’re ready to serve and eat.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention… this sauce is unbelievably easy.  It took me literally minutes to cook it up.  No need to flambe, either.  You can do it for show if you want to impress guests, but it’s not necessary.  The alcohol in the rum can be cooked off with simmering.   If you want to be extra sure the alcohol has burned off, you can use a long candle lighter to see if anything ignites.  The alcohol is burned off if there is no flame.

Enjoy!

RECIPE (4)

INGREDIENTS

3 slightly under-ripe or barely ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 TB rum
1 TB vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: 1 tsp orange zest, fine
Vanilla bean ice cream

DIRECTIONS

Melt butter over medium heat in large skillet.   Add sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Stir frequently.  Bring to slow simmer, reducing heat to medium-low.  The sauce will bubble as it simmers.  Simmer until alcohol taste is mostly or completely burned off, 1-2 minutes.  If you can still taste alcohol, simmer a bit longer.  Place sliced bananas in pan and gently cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or just until soft, but not mushy.  Serve immediately over ice cream.

* If flambe:  Add the rum last, just before adding bananas.  Pour rum into skillet, slightly and carefully tilting pan to expose alcohol to heat source, and it should ignite.  If not, use long candle lighter to ignite.  Cook until flame dies out.  Then add bananas.

By chewoutloud, adapted from Allrecipes

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

12 Jul mint chip ice cream

For whatever reason, I didn’t care for chocolate as a kid.  My mom would buy chocolate bars that would remain untouched by me.  As an adult, I could quite possible live on aforementioned food.  I can also survive on ice cream.  In fact, I eat at least one teeny tiny bowl of ice cream almost every day, to ensure I continue to survive.

So, I heard it’s ice cream week.  In honor of this very important week, I made my family’s favorite flavor:  Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

mint chip ice cream

Mint chip ice cream, aka “peppermint bon bon”

Ooooh, gooood.  Did you know mint chip ice cream is referred to as peppermint bon bon in the Midwest?  I did not know.  Until I stepped up to the window at an ice cream shop a year or two ago and asked to “see what the bon bon flavor looks like.”  Oh.  Isn’t that the same as mint chip?  Why didn’t they write that on the chalkboard menu?

mint chip ice cream

creamy ice cream, lots of chocolaty bits, and cool peppermint

When Hubby finally was able to sample (after the kids swooped in front of him to grab their minty bowls), he didn’t speak.  Bite, swallow, bite.  Yes, he affirms:  His favorite frozen treat is just as good home-made as the ones he would stand in line to buy.  Maybe even a tad better, because you can amp up the mint factor and chocolate bits as you wish.

mint chip ice cream

Grab your spoon and go!

Just try, try to give the ice cream time to firm up in the freezer for a few hours before digging in.  Of course, some of us don’t mind taking a few test bites of slightly melty ice cream.

RECIPE (approx 1.5 quarts)

INGREDIENTS
1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1.5-2 tsp pure peppermint extract, or to taste
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped into tiny pieces
Special Equipment:  Ice cream maker

DIRECTIONS
In bowl, use whisk to combine milk and sugar until dissolved.  Stir in heavy cream and peppermint.  Turn ice cream maker on and pour mixture in for about 25 min.  During the last 5 minutes of churning, slowly put in chopped chocolate.  Put ice cream in airtight container for a few hours before enjoying, if you can wait that long.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

%d bloggers like this: