Category: Dessert

Grilled Buttermilk Bread

Grilled Buttermilk Bread
With a partial quart of buttermilk in the fridge teetering on its expiration date, I knew I had to act fast. My freezer is over-stocked with more waffles than my family could ever consume, so I had to come up with something else. Layer cake? Cupcakes? But I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to commit to a frosted baking project.

I settled on an easy quick bread. Once I cut the loaf and had a few nibbles, I knew it needed something else. I fired up the grill and in minutes I had grilled buttermilk bread. Each slice was warm, toasted and striped with grate marks. I topped the bread with whipped cream and berries, but any summer fruit will work.
Grilled Buttermilk Bread
Grilled Buttermilk Bread
Loosely adapted from The Kitchn

Serves 10-12

Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For serving: whipped cream, berries, stone fruit, basil, mint

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the melted butter until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing. When the loaf is cool enough to handle, slice it.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Briefly grill each slice of bread for about 30 seconds per side until lightly grill-marked.

Top with whipped cream, fruit and basil or mint before serving.

Black and White Ice Cream Sandwiches

Black and White Ice Cream Sandwiches
What’s your favorite summer sandwich? Mine is comprised of a thick layer of ice cream squashed between two cookies. Nothing beats an ice cream sandwich! They are the best way to use leftover homemade cookies, if you manage to save some, for that pint of ice cream stashed deep in the back of the freezer. I usually cut them into quarters once they are frozen, so they last a bit last longer.

For these black and white ice cream sandwiches, I baked thin chocolate cookies in rounds. Of course, I could have cut them into rectangles, but that required a ruler and too much precision for my laidback, summer vibe. I did take the time to freeze a layer of chocolate followed by a stripe of vanilla ice cream. I ended up with a lot of leftover two-tone ice cream scraps, but those marbled extras didn’t go to waste.
Black and White Ice Cream Sandwiches
Black & White Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from Bon Appetit July 2017

Makes 12 2-1/2-inch round sandwiches

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pints chocolate ice cream
2 pints vanilla ice cream

For the cookies, combine the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and flour in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until pale, about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick disk and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. (The dough can be made up to 2 days in advance).

For the ice cream, line a 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan with two sheets of plastic wrap. Let the chocolate ice cream soften for 5-10 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to a large bowl and whisk until smooth like thick cake batter. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Let the ice cream freeze until firm, about 20-30 minutes before repeating the same process with the vanilla ice cream. Cover and freeze until solid, about 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick. Use a 2-1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out 24 cookies, rerolling the scraps as needed. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, spacing them 1-inch apart. Prick the tops of the cookies with the tines of a fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

To assemble the sandwiches, turn over half the cookies. Use the 2-1/2 inch round cookie cutter to carefully cut out the ice cream. (Save the extra ice cream for another use). Wipe off the cookie cutter each time to avoid smearing the ice cream layers. Use a spatula to place an ice cream disc on each of the turned over cookies. Place another cookie on top right side up. Work quickly to limit ice cream melting. Freeze 2 hours before covering with plastic wrap and freezing for an additional 8 hours.

Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream

Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
My ice cream consumption skyrockets in the summer. Hands down, it’s my dessert of choice. There’s an ice cream shop in our neighborhood that’s had a steady line outside the door for the last month or so. I like to alternate the indulgent, classic frozen treat with one that’s homemade and healthier like this vegan blueberry crumble ice cream. With berries at their peak, I ditched my usual chocolate dessert to do something different.

I started by making a simple blueberry compote followed by a cinnamon-spiked toasty oat crumble sweetened with a little coconut sugar. Next I pureed frozen banana chunks with almond milk in the food processor until the mixture was smooth and creamy. Instead of just stirring everything together, I layered the banana base, compote and crumble in layers and dragged a knife through a few times to create a subtle swirl.
Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Vegan Blueberry Crumble Ice Cream
Makes about 1 pint

4 large bananas
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup almond milk

Cut the bananas into chunks and freeze until firm.

Combine the blueberries, water and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the berries release their juices and the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, coconut sugar, salt and coconut oil. Pat the mixture into a thin layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and fragrant. Cool before crumbling.

Place the bananas and almond milk in a food processor and puree until smooth and creamy. Layer the banana base, blueberry compote and about half the crumble in a freezer-proof container. Gently drag a knife through the layers to swirl. Freeze until firm. Serve topped with the remaining crumble.

Cocoa Mascarpone Bars

Cocoa Mascarpone Bars
Bars might be my favorite kind of cookie to make. Whipping up the batter takes no time at all, and then there is no fuss rolling out dough or using cookie cutters. Plus, the more lumpy and bumpy they look, the better. Once baked up nice and thick, they couldn’t be any easier to cut into squares and share. If I am trying to feed a crowd, I slice them even smaller, so they go farther.

There isn’t a brownie I’ve met that I don’t love. I have to control myself not to bake them every time I have the need for chocolate! These cocoa mascarpone bars were a departure since they were a cross between a blondie and an almost cake-like brownie. A combination of vanilla and almond extract made them fragrant and nutty. I loved their light, almost weightless crumb.
Cocoa Mascarpone Bars
Cocoa Mascarpone Bars
Adapted from Food52

Makes 16 bars

Non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, hot water and vegetable oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and brown sugar followed by the egg, vanilla extract and mascarpone until fully combined. Fold in the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Spread 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan. Stir the cocoa mixture into the remaining batter and spread into the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean. Cool before cutting into 16 squares.

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