The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen Cookbook Review & Giveaway

Blood-Orange-CakeMain

Happy Chanukah! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I’m taking a break from Latkefest 2015 to tell you about this fabulous new cookbook – The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman. I’m also hosting a giveaway for this cookbook, so don’t forget to enter.

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The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman is a fabulous cookbook that explores traditional Jewish foods while sticking to the Jewish calendar. Filled with beautiful photos and wonderful stories, this book really spoke to me. As someone who tries to cook seasonally, I felt like this cookbook was made for someone like me. I also loved that even as a Jewish cookbook, it wasn’t just about the potato kugel and the brisket. Amelia writes about the history of various foods and where they came from, while sharing about why they’re important to the Jewish calendar. I love that all of the foods in her cookbook are fresh and inspirational – using very clean ingredients. I recently made her Lamb, Butternut Squash & Quince Tagine and it was a huge hit with my family and guests. I also made her Winter Greens Saute and I know it will be a staple on our table over the next several weeks. I highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who loves exploring new flavors, while sticking to the traditional Jewish calendar. Even putting aside the Jewish calendar, this book stands out as a fabulous cookbook with fresh recipes. This Shabbat, I plan on serving Amelia’s Braised Beef with Semolina Dumplings. It’s the perfect Shabbat Chanukah meal.

Because I rarely share desserts with you, I decided to share this fabulous winter cake recipe with you. Blood Orange & Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake evokes flavors of the Middle East and would be a special treat for your holiday table.

Blood Orange & Olive Oil Polenta Upside Down Cake
 
Syrup-soaked cakes, usually made with semolina and called tishpishti or namoura, are popular throughout the Middle East. With its stained-glass effect from the variegated colors of blood oranges, this upside-down cake, which gets its nubbly texture from sunny cornmeal, is drenched in a sophisticated ruby-red blood-orange syrup. Use fine-grind cornmeal or polenta; stone-ground meal doesn’t get tender enough in baking.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2⁄3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2⁄3 cup (105 g) cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
FOR THE SYRUP
  • ½ packet (¹⁄8 ounce/3.5 g) unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Using a Microplane grater, grate zest from 2 of the blood oranges and reserve. Juice the 2 oranges and reserve. Cut both ends off of each of the remaining 2 oranges, then cut each orange crosswise into rounds ⅛ to 1/16 inch (3 to 2 mm) thick. Cut all but one of the slices in half and discard any center pith.
  2. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the bottom of a flameproof and ovenproof 10-inch (25-cm) skillet (a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is perfect) and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Heat skillet over medium-low heat until most of the sugar is bubbling. Remove from the heat.
  3. Starting at the outer edge of the pan, lay the halved orange slices in the melted sugar with the “scalloped” edge of each slice touching the edge of the pan. Fit as many orange slices as you can into the circle, pinching their corners as you set them into the hot sugar (use a knife point or tongs to adjust the fruit as needed). Some slices will have a “prettier” side; make sure those are placed face down in the sugar. Arrange the remaining halved orange slices in concentric circles toward the center, finishing with the reserved whole slice in the center.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and granulated sugar on medium speed until thickened and golden. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is thick and creamy gold, 3 to 5 minutes total. Beat in the zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, beating after each addition just until blended.
  5. Pour batter evenly over the orange slices and gently smooth the top. Bake the cake until golden brown, the top springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Invert a serving plate over the cake, invert the pan and plate together, and lift off the pan. If any fruit sticks to the pan, loosen it with a spatula and place it on the cake. While the cake is hot, use a fork or bamboo skewer to make holes in it without going all the way through.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the soaking syrup. Fill a medium bowl one-third full with ice and a little water and nestle a smaller bowl, preferably metal, in the ice bath. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) of the remaining orange juice into a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin on top, and let soften for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir granulated sugar, Cointreau, and lemon juice into the remaining orange juice, then stir the mixture into the softened gelatin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar and gelatin, about 1 minute. Do not allow to boil. Pour syrup into the waiting bowl and stir from time to time until it thickens to the consistency of maple syrup, about 15 minutes. Spoon or brush some of the syrup over the cake. Allow it to soak in, then spoon or brush on more. Repeat until you have used all the syrup.
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing, then cut into wedges with a serrated offset knife to serve.

 

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The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer: Giveaway & Babka Bites

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The holidays are upon us. So much craziness. I’m thrilled that I get a fresh dinner on the table –  let alone somehow manage to pull off a holiday meal. Each day I come home from work with a new menu idea and a new shopping list. I know I should probably just stick to just one idea, but I’m always inspired by new things I see. My menu tends to change up until the actual holiday day. As long as it’s a holiday I can cook on, I tend to play and go with whatever my mood dictates.  As long as I have some fresh veggies and proteins on hand, I’m good to go.

The only thing I have trouble with though is dessert. I love chocolate and cookies as much as every other person out there, but I’m not always creative about it. 90% of the time, I tend to rely on my trusty cookbooks.

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That’s where a book like The Holiday Baker by Paula Shoyer comes in. This cookbook is filled with fabulous treats to bake up in my kitchen. Paula Shoyer makes holiday desserts simple to create. Her recipes are easy to follow and the photos in the cookbook make me want to make and eat everything right away. She even has a fantastic section on must-have tools and tips. Was thrilled to get a copy of the cookbook this holiday season. My daughter has flagged about 10 recipes that I MUST make. Everything with chocolate was at the top of my list.

Paula Shoyer’s recipe for Babka Bites are on my must-make list. Such an amazing treat and the recipe is super easy to follow. I highly recommend you make this now.

Don’t forget to enter this fabulous giveaway for this amazing cookbook!

Shana Tova! Happy New Year. May you have a happy and sweet New Year!



Babka Bites
 
Recipe from The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer Sterling / November 2013
Author:

Ingredients
Dough
  • ¼ cup (60ml) warm water
  • ½ ounce (2 envelopes; 14g) dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 15 minutes
  • ¼ cup (60ml) canola oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
Filling
  • ½ cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine, at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips

Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. PLACE WARM WATER, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Add the ¼ cup (50g) sugar, flour, salt, margarine, oil, egg, and egg white.
  2. Combine with a wooden spoon or a dough hook in a stand mixer until all the ingredients are mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 1 ½ hours.
To make the filling:
  1. PLACE THE MARGARINE into a medium or large bowl and beat until creamy. Add the cocoa and sugar and beat until combined. Cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature while the dough is rising.
  2. PREHEAT OVEN to 325°F (160°C). Place mini muffin papers into a 12-cup mini muffin pan. You will need to bake Babka Bites in batches.
To assemble and bake:
  1. AFTER THE DOUGH HAS RISEN, divide it in half. On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with a little flour, roll each piece of dough into a 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30-cm) rectangle so that the 12-inch (30-cm) side is facing you. Sprinkle a little flour on the rolling pin if the dough starts to stick to it. Use a silicone spatula to spread half the chocolate filling all the way to the edges. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips all over the chocolate filling and roll up tightly the long way. Cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm)
  2. slices and place one into each of the muffin cups, cut side up. You will have about 24 slices. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  3. BAKE for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.

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Mocha Pound Cake

I am slowly conquering my fear of baking cakes from scratch.

I am sheepishly admitting here that in the past, I have been known to simply doctor cake mixes in to creations of my own. I had no idea that it was so easy to create a cake of your own. I’ve made a few cupcakes here and there, but by and large I have stuck to Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker.

Until last week.

mocha pound cake

Last week, I made some chocolate brownies from scratch! Whoa! They came together super fast, and actually tasted pretty good! Who knew?

So the other day, when I was working on my chocolate crouton recipe for the Kosher Connection link-up post, I decided to come up with something on my own. I will admit that I did look for a chocolate pound cake at Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t find it. So I made my own. I decided to turn it in to a mocha pound cake. I was so amazed with the results, I had to share the recipe.

Mocha Pound Cake – (adapted from King Arthur)


Ingredients:

1 stick butter, room temperature

1.5 cups sugar

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. instant espresso powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup cocoa

2 tbsp. sour cream

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

mocha cake batterIn a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.

Beat in the eggs slowly.

Add in the flour and milk. Mix well – so that all the ingredients are combined.

cake batter in panPour the batter in to the loaf pan.

Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.

Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

I turned my cake into croutons. Check it out here!

mocha pound cake

 

Mocha Pound Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon and sour cream.
  4. Beat in the eggs slowly.
  5. Add in the flour and milk. Mix well – so that all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Pour the batter in to the loaf pan.
  7. Bake the cake for an hour at 350°F. You may need an additional 5-10 minutes. The cake may be a little moist on top. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for a bit.
  8. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool further.

Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

Today’s recipe is part of the Kosher Connection link-up. The Kosher Connection is a group of food bloggers who happen to be kosher and are working hard to bring amazing flavors to the kosher community. This month’s link-up theme is croutons.

When I first saw the email, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical. What can I do with croutons that I haven’t done before? I’ve made soup croutons before, and those were pretty awesome. I like croutons in my salad as well. Those have been done before, and I wanted to do something different. My daughter suggested cotton candy croutons. Not sure that’s workable. It did lead me on a quest for sweet croutons.

berry compote and chocolate cake croutons

I knew my croutons had to include chocolate. I came up with a mocha pound cake recipe that is perfectly suited for croutons. You can use your own favorite chocolate pound cake recipe or even a store-bought chocolate pound cake.

My original intention was to pair the croutons with a warm pudding dish. As I was discussing this dish with my family this morning, a warm compote was recommended. I’ve never made compote before, but I warmed up to the idea. I quickly ran over to my fruit & vegetable market and picked up some berries.

While this recipe has a few steps involved, it is totally worth it. This dessert was amazing. Will definitely make this again.





Warm Berry Compote with Mocha Pound Cake Croutons

berries for compote

Warm Berry Compote
Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

3/4 sugar

juice of one lemon

1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water
Directions for the Compote:

Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high.  Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.

Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.

Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve

 

Chocolate/Mocha Pound Cake Croutons



Ingredients:

chocolate croutons1/2 – prepared and cooled pound cake loaf

baking spray

Directions for the Chocolate Croutons:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.

Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.

Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.  Enjoy!

berry compote with chocolate croutons
Warm Berry Compote
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • ¾ sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tsp. water

Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the corn starch slurry, in a sauce pan on the stove on medium-high. Stir everything together until the mixture begins to boil.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, add in the corn starch mixture.
  3. Turn down the heat and keep cooking and stirring. The berries will begin to disintegrate and the mixture will thicken a bit. Cook the compote on medium low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Keep the compote on low until you are ready to serve.

 

Mocha Poundcake Croutons
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • ½ – prepared and cooled pound cake loaf
  • baking spray

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cut up the pound cake in to 1-2 inch squares.
  3. Lay the pound cake pieces on a sprayed baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Flip cake squares over and bake another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and cool slightly. You may notice that the cake croutons seem a bit soft when you pull them out of the oven. They will crisp up as they cool.
  6. Serve the berry compote warm with some vanilla ice cream and the yummy chocolate croutons.
  7. Enjoy!


Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

It’s been something like 100 degrees here every day this week. Every single day with no break. Yes, I sit in air conditioning all day. I don’t have it all that bad, but it’s disgusting the moment you walk outside.

When I was pregnant with my older daughter,  I lived on popsicles. We went through box after box.

Last year, I came across this popsicle mold on a similarly hot day. It appeared on the perfect day. I have made popsicles a few times since, including these.

While not pregnant, I am still a big fan of popsicles. Today, I was in the mood for something fruity. I turned to pears and ginger because I love that combo. I’ve become a bit of a ginger addict when it comes to flavoring foods. That or garlic or both – and I don’t think garlic tastes good in popsicles.

I was so excited for these popsicles to freeze up so I could taste them. I wasn’t disappointed.


Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles
Ingredients:

5 pears, cored and cubed
1/2 stick butter, unsalted is better
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 tbsp. chopped ginger

In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped ginger. Keep it going until the butter starts to foam. 

Stir in the brown sugar. Let the brown sugar melt a bit.


Add in the rest of the ingredients.  Let the pears caramelize and get soft.


The pears will start to give off it’s own juices. This is good. This should take 5-10 minutes.


Let the mixture cool a bit. 


Transfer mixture to a bowl and blend using an immersion blender. You could also transfer to a standard blender.


Chill the blended mixture in the fridge for about half an hour.


Pour in to popsicle molds and freeze overnight.


Enjoy!




Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Jam Bars

In my constant need to use things up, I came across a lovely bottle of raspberry jam in the fridge. It sat open and largely unused. I remember purchasing it with good intentions. Probably at someone’s request. When I asked why it wasn’t used, I was informed that strawberry was the preferred jam flavor. Ah well, I tried. I like raspberries. Why not bake with it.

I decided to test out a gluten free raspberry bar recipe that I had been playing with. I sprinkled on some chocolate chips, since dark chocolate and raspberry always go well together.

Gluten Free Raspberry Jam Bars
Ingredients

1 cup almond meal
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 sticks of butter, cut up
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
zest of two lemons
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam

Chocolate Chips (about a handful)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, pulse the almond meal, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda and butter.

Pulse a few times. Add in the oats and lemon zest and pulse some more. Mixture should be crumbly but stick together a bit.

Butter a 9×13 baking pan.

Press 3/4 of the mixture in to the baking pan to form a crust.

Spread a light layer of the jam over the crust.

Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Not too many.

Sprinkle the rest of the dough mixture on top of that.

Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until the top has browned a bit.

Let cool for an hour before cutting.

Gluten Free Raspberry Jam Bars

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

One of the first cakes I ever made, that didn’t come from a box, was a coffee cake. It was snowing in New Jersey and we were stuck indoors. We decided to warm up the house with some baking. Being a non-baker, I had none of the ingredients. I crawled my way through the snow to the store at the foot of our housing development. I picked up whatever was needed and headed home to bake. That cake was awesome! Ten-and-a-half years later, and I still don’t bake too many cakes. I can handle cookies and brownies, but not cakes.

I had some plain yogurt that needed to be used up. I decided to pull out that wrinkled coffee cake recipe and adapt for what I had on hand. While I am not a cake fan, I love coffee cake. The cinnamon-sugar middle and topping…yum! I decided to up that yum factor with some chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with chocolate!

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt (can also use sour cream)
2 tbsp. half and half
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips




Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add in the vanilla, half and half and the yogurt.

In a smaller bowl, mix up the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients.

Spray a 9×13 baking pan and dust with flour.  
Spread half of the batter in to the pan. 
Sprinkle half of the topping ingredients over the batter.
Spread the rest of the batter over this.
Add the rest of the topping ingredients.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 or until done.
Cool for 30-45 minutes. Slice and serve.
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Enjoy!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Popsicles

I rarely succumb to impulse buys. Especially when the ads show up in my inbox. I will blame the heat. These 90+ degree days are doing something funky to me.  I keep getting emails advertising a variety of popsicle makers and popsicle stores. There’s even a popsicle food-truck! 


I haven’t been in to popsicles since I was pregnant with my older daughter. Popsicles were my crack. I am not a fan of most store-bought popsicles. I like the occasional Fudgsicle or pudding pop. Do pudding pops still exist even? Trader Joes and Whole Foods make some pretty tasty fruit juice popsicles.  When I am there though, it’s just not something I reach for. When my sisters and I were kids, we used to pour juice into dixie cups and then stash them in the freezer. Only to have my mom open the freezer to half-frozen cups of juice pouring on to her. My parents stopped buying dixie cups at some point. They did buy popsicles.  They weren’t evil. They just didn’t like the sticky mess all over the freezer. I get it now.

Anyhow, those emails worked.  Good marketing, Amazon! Good marketing, Williams Sonoma! You got me on an online popsicle search. They have these handy dandy electric popsicle makers now! I’ll admit, that appliance was tempting. I don’t need my popsicles to be ready in 5 minutes, though. I also don’t really need another big appliance. I want more than 3 popsicles at a time. The old-school plastic popsicle molds are great, but you end up losing the pieces.  I decided to buy this one. I like the familiar shape of the popsicle and I like to use the traditional wooden sticks. It’s very easy to use. Highly recommended. It also showed up in my inbox, on sale, on a 100 degree day. Once again – good job, Amazon! 

It showed up in my house 2 days later and I had to make something. I knew that coffee had to be the star of my first shot at popsicle making.  We had just cleaned our pantry and noticed three cans of sweetened condensed milk.  3 cans? I never use that stuff? Good thing those cans have a long shelf life.

When I was in college and high school, I used to spend the majority of my time (when not in class or work) at a local coffee shop. Cafe Wyrd was the best coffee shop around. I used to sit with my school books, a pack of American Spirits, and a big pot of coffee. Being that I was a regular there, the baristas used to push special drinks on me every so often. They introduced me to Vietnamese Iced Coffee. I could get hooked on that drink. If it weren’t for the fact that I was a poor college student at the time – I probably would have been hooked.  I am not usually a fan of sweet coffee, but that stuff was good and it stuck with me, in the back of my coffee addicted mind. It’s so easy to make.  A good espresso and some sweetened condensed milk over some ice. It’s perfect popsicle fodder! I didn’t even need a real recipe!

Vietnamese Ice Coffee Popsicles
Ingredients:
2 cups espresso
1 small can sweetened condensed milk

I brewed up some super strong espresso. About 2 cups.  I let it cool for a bit. I poured the sweetened condensed milk into a small mixing bowl. About 3/4 of that small can. Add in the cooled off espresso. Mixed it all up. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for about a half hour. The poured everything in to the molds.  Put the mold in the freezer for an hour. Stuck the sticks in when partially frozen. Let freeze overnight.  



This made for amazing popsicles! What’s my next popsicle flavor?


Chocolate Cookie Brownie Ice Cream

I screamed for ice cream!

I used to do many product reviews. Product reviews come with free stuff. Sometimes that stuff is worth it, like 409 cleaning spray, and sometimes the free stuff sucks, like crappy drugstore makeup. Some of my coworkers will remember the endless supply of microwave popcorn that I had to test, even though I can’t eat popcorn.The Cuisinart ice cream maker I received a few years ago, was definitely the upside of the whole product review era.

So this ice cream maker arrived from kitchen appliance heaven on my doorstep. I had some visions of making all sorts of cool ice cream flavors. Heck, I could be the next Ben or Jerry. The reality is that this little machine has been used maybe three times each year. We don’t even buy ice cream that much. Either we eat the tub too fast, or it just sits in the freezer gathering ice crystals.

I pulled the machine out of the abyss of my pantry the other day and put the bowl in the freezer so I could make some yummy ice cream this week. I bought the cream and some whole milk. I hadn’t really thought out the whole flavor thing though. I decided to wing it. I had some cookies and leftover brownies lying around. I figured that would be perfect for the stuff. I decided on chocolate “oreo” brownie ice cream with a touch of cinnamon to kick up the flavor.

The recipe is as follows:

Chocolate Cookie Brownie Ice Cream

2 cups heavy or light cream – icy cold
1 cup whole milk – icy cold
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 big squirts dark chocolate syrup
1.5 cups smushed up oreos/sandwich cookies
1.5 cups smushed up leftover brownies

In a mixing bowl, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, choco. syrup, and vanilla until blended.

Pour in to the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker.

Turn the machine on. Mix the creamy mixture for around 20 minutes. When you start to see it thicken, add in the mixins. Mix for another 5-7 minutes. It will be the consistence of Carvel or other soft serve ice cream. You can sample a bowl now if you would like. It is preferable to freeze. Enjoy!

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