Snickerdoodle Ice-Cream Sandwich

Food trucks seem to be the biggest rage in Seattle these days.  Down in South Lake Union, where the new Amazon campus is located, the food trucks have decided to set up camp.  My husband has been working in that area for almost 16 years – long before the Amazon Campus moved, and he has watched this neighborhood develop into a food lover’s paradise.  At some point, when I actually have time to take a long lunch someday, I am going to meet him down there and we are going to take a tour of the food trucks.  Supposedly they even have small bites, so you can really sample your way through.

As I mentioned in this post last year,  I always had a vision of an ice-cream sandwich shop, where you sell different types of cookies and different types of ice-cream, and it is up to you to choose.  Last summer we actually found a place in New York City that did just that…and I swear the word is spreading.  I heard that they now have an ice-cream truck in South Lake Union with the same idea.  I missed my calling…

So what is so great about these ice-cream sandwiches?  Well, they were made with the most delicious Martha Stewart Snickerdoodle cookies – which go with just about any ice-cream you can find.  We chose Cinnamon Ice-Cream, but seriously – what doesn’t go well with a Snickerdoodle cookie?  Since my idea for the make-your-own ice-cream sandwich store is foiled, I might as well let you in on my other secret.  This is the best make-ahead summer dessert you can find.  I usually make a big batch, and individually wrap each one.  I stick them in the freezer, and I am set – they are there when you need them.  Sometimes I make my own ice-cream, and sometimes I am short on time (or forget to put the ice-cream insert into the freezer) so I go with Dreyer’s Slow Churned – YUM!!!  So – this summer, why not open your own ice-cream shop?  Or if that is too much trouble, just make a batch of these.  Your friends will come over, and it will be just like you have your own ice-cream shop.  Or you can drive around and hand them out to all your friends…a food truck is born!

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Dreyers Ice-Cream, softened

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 24 (1 1/2-inch) balls; roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Match up similar sized cookies – take a scoop of ice-cream, and place it on one half.  Place the other cookie on top, and slowly press together.  Individually wrap in plastic or foil and stick in the freezer until ready to eat.

Makes about one dozen.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Snickerdoodle Ice-Cream Sandwich

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Coconut Brownie Sundaes

This is the story of my life in one sentence:  I can always do more…  Unfortunately this sentence plagues me day in and day out.  I don’t like to waste a minute of time, and what that means is I am constantly running from one thing to the next, leaving very little time in between.  If I feel like I have a little extra time, I take that time and run with it – and then that usually makes me late for the next task.  It is a curse, although on the other hand, I am extremely productive!  And tired.

The other week we were invited to our neighbor’s house for dinner, and was asked to bring dessert.  I really had all day to prepare something, but I wanted to get errands done, and pretty soon I had an hour left to prepare.  I looked in the refrigerator and saw that there was some extra creme of coconut in a container…and that got me thinking about this recipe I found in Bon Appetit ages ago, but never had an opportunity to make it – Coconut Caramel Sauce.  I quickly found the recipe, and decided to try it out – I also had vanilla ice-cream in the freezer, so I decided that ice-cream and caramel would make an excellent dessert.  When I looked at the recipe, it looked so simple, that I knew I would have a little extra time – and wouldn’t brownies just taste delicious with that ice-cream and caramel?  They are super quick, and ridiculously delicious – and the last time I made them, I remember thinking about how awesome they would be with caramel.

So – I got to work, and within an hour, both were ready and waiting.  The caramel was amazing – it was just perfect with those brownies and ice-cream, you would have thought I had been baking all day!!  So, I got lucky, and the problem is that when things work out so well, it gives me no incentive to change…but then again, I have been living my life this way for over 20 years, and as long as I can make brownies and home-made caramel sauce in under an hour, the future is looking brighter and brighter.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)*
  • Classic Fudge Brownies
  • 1 1/2 pints purchased French vanilla ice cream

* Sweetened cream of coconut is available in the liquor section of most supermarkets.

Preparation

Place sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy deep medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Boil until mixture turns dark amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add cream and sweetened cream of coconut (mixture will bubble vigorously). Whisk over low heat until caramel sauce is blended and smooth and any caramel bits dissolve. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm slightly over medium heat, stirring often, before using.

Scoop ice cream on top of a brownie. Spoon some of warm caramel sauce over.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Coconut Brownie Sundaes

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Pina Colada Sorbet

First day of school, and we made it…whew!  My older daughter started fourth grade today, and my younger one started kindergarten, what a milestone!  My older daughter was thrilled that she was given a low locker in the high school they moved her program into – and the cushion we brought in to put on the chair actually propped her up enough to reach the desk.  It’s the little things that count…  My younger one was ecstatic about her teacher, and the fact that I got to pack her a lunch today.  Even though her pre-school friends were split up into separate classrooms, she made a new friend today and was so proud.  Aside from the fact that the bus dropped my older daughter off an hour late, at least they picked her up this morning, which was more than other people could say.  All in all, it was a very good day.

Now, back to the weather, my favorite blog topic of late.  All summer we were waiting for the sun to come out, and in the last two weeks, we have not seen a cloud.  The schools are not air-conditioned, and those poor kids coming out of my younger daughter’s classroom, they all looked completely droopy by the end of the day.  The ice-cream man could have made a fortune coming by the school when the bell rang today.  Well, I didn’t have any ice-cream in the house – but this Pina Colada Sorbet from Cooking Light sure was perfect for a day like today.  The pineapple really made this sorbet, and I used very ripe, fresh stuff – as sweet as can be.  For a dairy-free dessert – this cannot be beat.  So – I asked both my girls today if they had any homework today – and they said, “No, but you do”…now I have to get back to the mountain of papers to fill out – lucky me!!  I thought they were the ones in school?

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup cream of coconut

Preparation

Place first 3 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth and sugar dissolves. Combine pureed pineapple mixture, coconut milk, and cream of coconut in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Pina Colada Sorbet

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Margarita Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Years ago I had an idea…I should open a store where I sell different types of cookies, and different flavors of ice-cream, and you can choose the top, bottom, and insides of your custom ice-cream sandwich.  I thought it was brilliant, but I wasn’t about to quit my day job, so it just ended up being a fantasy.  Over the years, I have seen glimpses of this idea come to fruition – but nothing exactly like it until my last trip to New York City.

New York City is a food lovers mecca – and I have to go every year to get my fix.  I love spending weeks figuring out exactly where we are going to eat, and carefully planning each meal.  This last trip went extremely well, I am not sure we had a bad dish all week – and we even stumbled upon some bonus places that we were not anticipating (Eataly being one that is not to be missed).  A week before we were leaving, I heard about The Meatball Shop – and even though I didn’t have a meal to spare – once I read about this place, I had to switch some things around.  We had to go…and we were so glad we did.  The meatballs were amazing, seriously, the best I have ever had – but get the dessert – exactly my store.  They had 6 different cookies, 6 different ice-creams, and you chose the top and bottom cookie, then your ice-cream – and you have created your very own creation.  For $4, it could not be beat.  The entire week we were thinking about how we could go back.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I really felt like they were thinking outside the box with this one.  I loved the salted sugar cookies along with the lime sherbet mixed with vanilla ice-cream – it was genius.  The flavors were perfect together, and if you closed your eyes, you thought you were drinking a margarita.  My daughter on the other hand, was not too excited when she bit into the cookie and realized that it was not just sugar on top, it was also salt.  She was not pleased.  But for adults who love that combination, it cannot be beat.  So – if you can’t get to NYC anytime soon, and you are craving a creative ice-cream sandwich, here is a great one for you – although it might just be too good for kids…they need to acquire the taste first.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 teaspoons grated lime rind, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 11 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, softened
  • 2 cups lime sherbet, softened

Preparation

Place butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, 1 tablespoon lime rind, and lime juice; beat 2 minutes or until well combined.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon table salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat just until combined.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 6-inch log. Wrap logs individually in plastic wrap; chill 3 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut each log into 16 (about 1/3-inch-thick) slices, and place 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the cookies evenly with remaining 2 teaspoons lime rind, turbinado sugar, and sea salt. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on pans on a wire rack. Remove from baking sheets, and cool completely on wire rack.

Place vanilla ice cream and sherbet in a medium bowl; lightly fold and swirl together. Scoop 1/4 cup ice cream mixture onto bottom of one cookie, and top with one cookie. Cover each sandwich with plastic wrap; freeze 4 hours or until firm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Margarita Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Mango-Coconut Sherbet

My family goes a little nuts over mango.  Ok, yes, I have my own obsessions that are slight oddly:  fennel, cucumbers in cocktails, cream cheese frosting – but mango?  Definitely not one of my must haves in life.  I actually love the flavor of mango – I just hate cutting them up.  I hate that strangely shaped pit – and I also hate it when you cut the mango too close to the pit, and the mango gets a little fibrous – almost hairy.

For a while I was getting mango in our CSA basket, and I dreaded the day I actually had to slice them open.  I swear my girls (even my husband) would circle like vultures, trying to get as much mango as they possibly could – making it almost a competition between the three of them.  I always had to tell them to go sit down and let me slice in peace – the last thing I wanted was to slice one of their hands instead.  I finally stopped getting them, it was getting too dangerous.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I have to say, I do love a good mango sorbet.  The fact that this had coconut milk in it made it that much more interesting to me.  I pretty much love anything with coconut milk – yes, I guess another one of my obsessions.  I had to buy some mango to make this, but I told my family that these were off-limits.  They waited patiently all week for them to get ripe, and for me to make the sherbet.  Well, I think it was worth the wait – this was pretty spectacular.  I swear I could have just stopped before putting the mixture in the ice-cream machine – it was so smooth and delicious – tasted just like a mango smoothie – but the final product was excellent.  I served it two ways – with shredded coconut on top, and with grated lime peel.  Both were delicious.  If you are looking for a light dessert this summer, definitely mark this one down.  If I ever happen to have some spare mango lying around, I know exactly what to do with it – right, who am I kidding?

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed peeled ripe mango
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Preparation

Combine cubed mango, sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and coconut milk in a blender; process until mixture is smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions to soft-serve consistency. Spoon sherbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 2 hours or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with coconut.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Mango-Coconut Sherbet

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Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I am seeing a lot of creativity lately with respect to ice cream – especially ice cream trucks.  I have to admit, there is something about hearing the noise of the ice cream truck that does something to children.  I wish I could get them to listen to me like they listen for the music from that truck. 

Recently I have noticed a different type of ice cream truck – the kind with home-made ice cream inside, or what people are calling “artisanal ice cream.”  All the flavors use fresh ingredients, and there are definitely some unusual ones.  I do love fresh ingredients, but I also love the classics – like Baskin Robbin’s Mint Chip.  In my opinion, Baskin Robbins has the best mint chip ice cream around.  I love the tiny bits of chocolate pieces in their mint chip – you get a mouthful in every bite.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light for Fresh Mint Ice Cream – and the first thing I thought about was adding tiny bits of chocolate.  I couldn’t wait.  This was another ice milk recipe, but I was up for the challenge.  The fresh mint flavor was very different from Baskin Robbins – I actually could taste real mint!  The chocolate bits were the perfect addition.  The bonus was that there was no cream in this recipe, and the ice cream was still very creamy – with some brownies on the side, this was a winner.

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1  cup  half-and-half
  • 1  (1-ounce) package fresh mint sprigs
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 2  large egg yolks
  • 3 ounces finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • Small fresh mint leaves (optional)

Preparation

Combine milk, half-and-half, and mint sprigs in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat milk mixture to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing slightly with a wooden spoon; discard solids. Return liquid to pan.

Place sugar, salt, and egg yolks in a bowl; stir with a whisk until pale. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour egg yolk mixture into pan with remaining milk mixture; cook over medium-low heat until a thermometer registers 160° (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until custard cools completely, stirring occasionally. Mix in chopped chocolate.  Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Food fads come and go – it is fun to watch people go nuts over certain “popular” foods.  Molly Moon’s Ice Cream opened up a couple of years ago with a bang, and people are still lined up outside – waiting to try the artisan ice-cream inside.  Just the other night we drove by at around 6:30pm – the line was around the corner, and it was freezing outside.  Whoever said that ice-cream was only good when it’s warm outside certainly didn’t live in Seattle.

When I first learned about Molly Moon’s – it was the salted caramel ice-cream that people were raving about.  Of course I had to try it, and I understood exactly why people were going nuts.  The salted caramel ice-cream was unlike anything I had ever had before – it was ultra creamy, sweet and delicious, with a deep caramel flavor – yet the salt added this extra dimension that I did not expect.  It was almost like dipping a pretzel into your bowl of caramel sauce – and boy was it incredible.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and I immediately put my ice-cream bucket into the freezer to prepare.  I couldn’t wait to try this.  The only problem was (and I don’t often critique other people’s pictures, since I am by no means an expert) the picture actually didn’t look that good.  The ice-cream looked very icy, and not so creamy.  If you have read other posts, you know that I can’t pass up a good challenge.  So – I attempted to make the recipe, and the goal was to make it look and taste as creamy as possible.  I think I succeeded.  It was fantastic.   And the fact that it used mostly 2% milk made it even better – doesn’t that mean it is actually good for you?  I will keep telling myself that, as I go grab another scoop.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4  cups  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  heavy cream
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/2  teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  flake salt (optional)

Preparation

Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Place egg yolks in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add half of hot milk to yolks, stirring constantly. Return yolk mixture to pan.

Combine sugar, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Gradually add caramel mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to low heat; cook until a thermometer registers 160°. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until completely cooled, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop about 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 10 dishes; sprinkle evenly with flake salt (optional).

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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