Tagged: vanilla

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.

Cookies and Cream Cake

Cookies and Cream Cake
I think of chocolate cake and white frosting for birthdays. Growing up my mom would order this cake combination from Servatii, a bakery in my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. She always had them personalized with a happy birthday message to my brother or me. Those cakes are partially responsible for why I have such a sweet tooth and an extreme fondness for anything chocolate.

Last week we had a birthday to celebrate, so I baked two chocolate layers and whipped up a big batch of vanilla buttercream. Knowing my piping and decorating skills, I skipped writing and all frosting flourishes. Instead I relied on chocolate crumbs for this cookies and cream cake. After the celebration, the cake didn’t last long, and it made me wonder why I need a birthday to bake a fancy cake.
Cookies and Cream Cake
Cookies and Cream Cake
Adapted from My Name is Yeh

For cake
Nonstick cooking spray
1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup boiling water

For frosting
4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
5-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/2 tablespoons milk
15-20 chocolate sandwich cookies

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients followed by the boiling water. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes before removing them and cooling completely on a wire rack. Peel off and discard the parchment.

For the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed and slowly add the sugar followed by the salt, vanilla extract and milk. Increase the speed and mix for a few minutes until smooth and fully combined.

Put the cookies in a food processor or blender and grind into crumbs.

To put together the cake, use a serrated knife to trim the tops of the cakes if they are uneven. Using an offset spatula, frost the top of one of the layers and stack the other one on top. Frost the top of the cake followed by the sides. Press the cookie crumbs into the frosting to decorate the cake.

Marble Pound Cake

Marble Pound Cake
Growing up, one of the homemade desserts I asked my mom for the most was a pistachio marble bundt cake. She found the recipe inside a pudding box, and I still have the wrapper. It’s been on my to-do list to come up with a from-scratch version that skips the cake mix and instant pudding, but I’m a little intimidated that it won’t live up to the original.

I’m a sucker for any dessert that’s a combination of chocolate and vanilla. Why should I have to choose? Last week I baked a simple marble pound cake in a loaf pan. It came together in no time like a quick bread, but then I had to wait for it to cool before I could see the pattern the flavors created. Each slice had its own unique swoops and swirls.
Marble Pound Cake
Marble Pound Cake
Adapted from Food & Wine March 2003

Makes 1 loaf

Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus 3 tablespoons melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Confectioners’ sugar before dusting

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

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and cocoa powder until smooth.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the room temperature butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and milk until fully combined. Fold in the dry ingredients. Stir 1 cup of the batter into the cocoa powder mixture.

Spread half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spoon the chocolate batter on top and then cover with the remaining batter. Use a knife to cut swirls into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 40-45 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil while baking.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Churro Waffle Sundaes

Churro Waffle SundaesI shouldn’t admit how many ice cream cones I’ve consumed in the last few weeks. It’s A LOT, way more than my share. I am using these hot summer days as my excuse. While I never would turn down a frozen treat, even on the most frigid dark day in January, the bulk of my ice cream eating happens in June, July and August, when I keep things simple with a single scoop in a cone, usually chocolate chip or plain old vanilla.

Sundaes are not something I order at an ice cream shop because they seem too indulgent, but I broke my unwritten rule at home. I made mini churro waffle sundaes topped with cinnamon sugar and homemade magic shell (just coconut oil and chocolate). The waffle, with its pastry-like batter, turned out much puffier and lighter than the standard breakfast version. It was like eating a cinnamon-dusted, ice cream-filled éclair in each bite.

Churro Waffle SundaeChurro Waffle Sundaes
Loosely adapted from Sunset

Makes 8

1 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Vanilla ice cream
Homemade magic shell

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted and the edges are bubbling. Whisk in the flour until there are no lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and whisk in the eggs one at a time. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and granulated sugar. Set aside.

Preheat a waffle iron and grease with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon 1/4-cup-fulls of batter into the center of each of the 4 waffle iron squares. Close the lid and cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Dust the waffles with cinnamon sugar.

To serve, top each waffle with ice cream, magic shell and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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