Browsing Tag


Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream

August 22, 2011

This weekend, something so amazing came out of my ice cream maker that I can hardly believe it was me who made it. Chocolate and peanut butter are a killer combination in every form, but chocolate and peanut butter together in cheesecake ice cream form? Absolutely killer.

I could keep rambling about how the subtle chocolate flavor compliments the creamy peanut butter perfectly. Or comment on how the cream cheese adds a perfect bit of tang and makes for the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

Or I could just encourage you to make some for yourself and actually taste what I’m talking about.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Go forth and make ice cream! What are you waiting for?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home

*2 cups 2% chocolate milk
*1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
*2/3 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/4 cups heavy cream
*4 oz. cream cheese, softened
*1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)

*In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the chocolate milk and the corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
*In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining chocolate milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for four minutes, stirring frequently. (I had issues with the mixture boiling over a bit, so watch carefully and remove from the heat for a second or two, if necessary)
*After four minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the corn starch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and continue to boil for one to two minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly. (A good test: it’s ready when it thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon.)
*Remove from heat and whisk in the cream cheese and peanut butter. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Whisk in the heavy cream. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve and into a bowl.
*Place mixture in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours or until mixture is completely chilled.
*Transfer chilled mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store mixture in an airtight container in the freezer.

Happy Cooking!


The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

August 19, 2011

I don’t like to over-promise on a recipe, and I’m not fond of people who exaggerate. This post title claims that this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. And it’s neither an over-promise nor an exaggeration. This is the real-deal, the most amazing cookie I’ve ever made, and a big hit in our house.

I’ve owned a copy of Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard for almost a year now. It’s a beautiful book filled with tantalizing recipes. Unfortunately, I have an endless stack of cookbooks that I have yet to dig into, this being one of them. That is, until last week. I was in a major baking mood last week, so when the hankering for a chocolate chip cookie hit me I went ruffling through my cookbooks in search of a new recipe.

Desserts By The Yard did not disappoint, my friends. Sherry is a seasoned and acclaimed pastry chef, and after trying her recipe for chocolate chip cookies I do not doubt why. They were perfect. Like seriously divine. The perfect mix of soft, chewy and dense, chock-full of chocolate and ever so slightly crispy around the edges.

I know that I’ve shared recipes for chocolate chip cookies on this site before, all of them delicious in their own right, but I think I’m done searching for that perfect recipe. Because, you see, these cookies are it.

Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour and had equally wonderful results) 
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
*Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
*Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside. 
*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
*Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump-free, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. 
*Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
*On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate and mix in. 
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2-inches apart. Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking, for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment off the baking sheets onto a work surface. Cool the baking sheets between batches. Allow the cookies to cool for at least five minutes before serving. 
Have a great weekend!

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

February 28, 2011

I had to work this weekend, and although I love my job, working on a Saturday really isn’t my thing. Unless, of course, you are working on the set of a photo shoot and get to take a bunch of swag, like chocolate and cereal, with you. That helps to make working on a Saturday not so bad.

Baking with chocolate isn’t something I do frequently because chocolate is expensive and I find it hard to justify buying something expensive that I don’t really need. But let’s face it, we all have that drawer in our homes that has a half a bag of chocolate chips, and another quarter bag of white chocolate chips, and so on.

And so, after Saturday’s photo shoot, I came home with three half bags of chocolate to add to my already growing stash. What’s a girl to make when she has a whole bunch of mismatched chocolate and cereal on her hands? Chocolate Dumpster Cookies, of course! Upon first glance, you might think I made a typo. Only a quarter cup of flour is no mistake. It’s quite amazing, actually, that these cookies come together and taste as delicious as they do. Except when you combine chocolate, nuts, more chocolate and some yummy cereal it’s not really hard to believe they’re gooey, dense and 100% divine.

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
*2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
*1/3 cup butter
*3 large eggs
*1 cup sugar
*1/4 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 1/3 cups Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (or other cereal of choice)
*2/3 cup rolled oats
*1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
*6 oz. white chocolate chips
*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks

*Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchmen paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
*In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and the butter. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. Then, add in the flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt and beat until just combined.
*Stir in cereal, oats, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks by hand until well combined.
*Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet and enjoy!

Happy Baking!


Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

February 21, 2011
This weekend, Joey and I had a date to celebrate the fact that he passed a very important work-related certification exam. Naturally, I thought baking a cake was in order and had intended to share with you a cake and frosting recipe. However, the cake was a tad on the dry side and not yet ready to share. The frosting, on the other hand, was fabulous. 
It was thick, dense, and ultimately rich in the very best sense. And I was so delighted with how easy it was to work with when frosting a cake. The smooth, shiny, velvety texture made cake decorating a breeze. I would, however, offer this bit of advice: this frosting is best eaten on the day you frost the cake. After a day it loses its luster just a bit. Though it didn’t really stop me. 
And now for a public service announcement: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this year, go and do so this week. Though I felt decently healthy on Friday and was on the mend from my recent sickness, I woke up Saturday morning with chills, intense body aches, and major chest congestion. The doctor’s diagnosis on Saturday was Influenza B, and I spent the rest of the weekend in a ball on the couch. It was no fun and a flu shot could have saved me a bunch of pain and discomfort. 
Take care of yourselves and have a happy Monday!
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Adapted just slightly from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
*12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*16 oz. milk chocolate chips
*1 pint sour cream
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/4 cup milk
*Heat semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat 1 to 2 minutes on low heat until smooth. Add in milk and beat an additional 30 seconds. 
*Spoon over cake and spread into an even layer. 
Happy baking!

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies

December 13, 2010

I’m thinking of turning Monday mornings into a time for weekly wedding updates. Everyone okay with that? Mmmkay good.

What’s become very evident to me over the past week and a few days is that I’m a very decisive bride. One who doesn’t dilly-dally over decisions in the least bit. And since Joey and I didn’t want a long engagement, it works out well.

Decisions Made:
*Date: July 9!
*Ceremony and reception locations: Check!
*Dress and veil: Check and Check!

In other news, I made you some cookies. Ugly ones at that. But just because they are ugly doesn’t mean they don’t taste amazingly delicious and deserve to be given a chance. Seriously, these cookies are pure deliciousness. They’re chewy, thin and crispy around the edges with a slight caramel wafer appeal. And for anyone who loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, these will pull at your heart-strings like none other.

Mint Hot Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2010 
(Printable Recipe)

*2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup mint-flavored hot chocolate powder
*3/4 tsp. baking powder
*1/2 tsp. salt
*2 sticks butter, softened
*1 cup sugar
*1 large egg
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 cup chopped peppermint patties

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 
*Whisk together flour, hot chocolate powder, baking powder and salt.
*With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture, beating until just combined, followed by the peppermint patties.
*Form dough into 1-inch circles. Place on baking sheets and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 9 minutes per batch. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!


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