Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

I have the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer and I also have two mint plants on my deck (orange-mint and chocolate-mint).
This recipe utilized both perfectly.
While the ice cream didn't thicken in the ice cream maker as much as I expected, but after some quality time in the freezer it hardened up just fine and was pretty damn delicious.

yield: ~1 quart ice cream

2C 2% milk
1C half-and-half
20 fresh mint leaves (I used chocolate-mint leaves)
¾C turbinado sugar
dash of salt
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Make sure the freezer bowl for the ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
  2. Combine milk, half-and-half, and mint leaves in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges (~180°), but do not let it boil.
  4. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes to let the mint steep.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, fish out the mint leaves and discard them.
  6. In a new bowl, combine sugar, salt, and egg yolks; stir with a whisk until the mixture is pale.
  7. Gradually add egg mixture to the milk mixture, while stirring constantly with a whisk.
  8. Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes (or to 160°), stirring constantly.
  9. Pour the mixture into a bowl, stir in vanilla extract.
  10. Place the bowl in the fridge until the mixture cools completely, stirring occasionally.
  11. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  12. To harden the ice cream a little more, pour into a freezer-safe container and stick it in the freezer for a few hours.
  13. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't think you can go wrong with a chocolate chip cookie recipe, but this particular recipe goes very very right.
yield: ~48 cookies

2C minus 2 tbs cake flour
1 ⅔C bread flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 ½ sticks salted butter
1 ¼C brown sugar
1C + 2 tbs sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ lbs bittersweet chocolate chips or disks
sea salt

  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
  6. Drop in chocolate pieces and carefully incorporate them.
  7. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°.
  9. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. 
  10. Scoop 1½ tablespoon mounds of dough onto baking sheet.
  11. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  12. Bake until golden brown but still soft, 10-12 minutes.
  13. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto a cooling rack.
  14. Enjoy! 

Potato Pizza Crust

We love pizza in our house and I am constantly on the hunt for new recipes.
This recipe resulted in a tasty, but not fully sturdy pizza crust alternative.
yield: 9" pizza crust

2C grated raw potatoes, firmly packed
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
¼C grated onion
vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Spray a 9" pie pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place row potatoes in a colander and salt; let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Squeeze out water from potatoes
  5. Mix potatoes, egg, and onion in a small bowl.
  6. Pat into pie pan, building up the sides.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and then brush with oil to help crispen the crust.
  8. Bake for 20 additional minutes.
  9. Add pizza sauce and toppings. (Sauce makes this crust less sturdy than if you use sliced tomatoes).
  10. Bake for ~10 minutes, until cheese is golden.
  11. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting.
  12. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

For as much as I love peanut butter, I have never been a fan of peanut butter cookies.
But, this recipe for soft and chewy peanut butter cookies was a huge hit at a BBQ last weekend.
yield: ~28 cookies

½C salted butter, room temperature
½C brown sugar
¼C sugar
1 egg, room temperature
¾C creamy peanut butter 
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼C all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven in 350°.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed.
  3. Mix in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla; scrape down sides as needed.
  4. Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour, until just mixed.
  5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Roll about 1½ tablespoons of dough into a ball.
  7. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet or silpat.
  8. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and may appear not fully cooked.
  9. Press fork down slightly on each cookie.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack.
  11. Enjoy!

Berry Cobbler

Last month, I went berry picking for the first time ever and then went on a hunt for some recipes to take advantage of our haul.
I opted for this recipe and it was delicious....particularly when paired with vanilla bean ice cream!
for berry filling
2lbs mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and black raspberries)
3 tbs lemon juice
½C sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

for cobbler topping
2 ¼C all-purpose flour
½C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 tbs chilled, salted butter, cut into ½" pieces
1 egg
¾C heavy cream
3 tbs sugar

  1. for berry filling: Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Lightly butter a 9"x13" baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the berry filling ingredients; toss to coat the berries evenly.
  4. Pour berry mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly.
  5. for cobbler topping: In another bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Scatter the butter pieces over the top of the mixture and use a pastry blender (or 2 knives, or your hands) cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream.
  8. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring and tossing with a fork until the topping mixture holds together.
  9. Place large scoops of the topping evenly over the berries, leaving 1" border uncovered around the edge of the dish.
  10. Sprinkle sugar over the top.
  11. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  12. Bake until the top is golden brown and the berry filling is bubbling, about 35 minutes.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  14. Enjoy! 

Oven Fries

I've tried to make fries at home, in the oven, before and they were sad and soggy.
This recipe was a success -- and made me feel a little bit better about eating french fries.
3 large potatoes, cut into ¼" matchsticks
2 tbs canola oil

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil and ½ tsp salt.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a silpat (or spray with cooking spray).
  4. Spread potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Bake until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the fries with a spatula and season with salt.
  7. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet & cream cheese frosting are a wonderful pair.
Red velvet & white chocolate cream cheese frosting is even better.
I paired this cupcake recipe with the frosting from my pumpkin streusel cupcakes.
yield: 24 cupcakes

for cake
1 ½C sugar
2 eggs
1 ½C canola oil
1C sour cream
2 tbs red food coloring
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½C all-purpose flour
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

for white chocolate cream cheese frosting
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼C butter, room temperature
1C white chocolate chips
2C powdered sugar

  1. for cake: Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix sugar and eggs on medium speed.
  5. Slowly incorporate oil, sour cream, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
  6. On low speed, add flour mixture slowly.
  7. Beat until just combined.
  8. Fill cupcake liners half way.
  9. Bake 23-26 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cupcakes cool completely.
  11. for frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  12. Melt white chocolate over double boiler and add to the cream cheese mixture.
  13. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
  14. Turn mixer to low speed and slowly add in powdered sugar.
  15. Turn speed up to medium and beat for 5 minutes.
  16. Let cool for 10 minutes before piping on to cupcakes.
  17. Enjoy!