Chocolate topped ice cream treats

For those of you who love an ice cream treat, but just can’t have a whole bowl, here is a great way to portion out a delicious dessert.  I scoop out Edy’s Vanilla ice cream into eight large cookie balls with my cookie scoop.  Freeze them on a tray and then make a quick ganache topping.  This time I melted 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate with 4 ounces unsalted butter (or 6 ounces to be able to dip the ice cream balls) and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup in a double boiler on the stove top.  When the ganache is melted and ready, working quickly, pour over the ice cream balls or dip the ice cream into the ganache.

The treats could be topped with sea salt, sprinkles, or chopped nuts.  Return to the freezer immediately until just ready to serve.  They must chill at least 30 minutes to set for presentation.

Snowman dessert

Living in Michigan during the winter months encourages a love for all things cold and snowy.  We enjoyed these cute snowman desserts over the holiday, but they could be enjoyed all winter long.  Children would love these cute little snowman and they are super easy to construct.

The only ingredients are: vanilla ice cream, whipped cream in a can, mini chocolate chips, red Twizzlers, slivered almonds, butterscotch chips, large marshmallows, maraschino cherries with stems, and red decors.

I made the marshmallow heads in advance and kept them in the refrigerator.  I used the mini chocolate chips for the eyes, the slivered almond for the nose, the red decors for the mouth–using a bit of white icing to attach.  I cut the Twizzlers in advance and blotted the cherries to make certain they did not have any extra cherry juice for the finished product.

The butterscotch chips are used for the buttons and the whipped cream is used at the base of the snowman to resemble snow and finish the look on the plate.  Quite simple and cute for the winter months.

Other ideas for the body parts could include: candy canes for the arms, dried cranberries for the eyes, other small candies for buttons.

Happiness comes with the right scoop

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People often tell me that they don’t enjoy cooking or being in the kitchen at all. Sometimes I think it is because they are busy people and just don’t have the time to relax and enjoy the process of making a nice meal.

Another reason could be not having the proper tools, which seem to make the process easy and sometimes even fun.  Over the years I have collected many tools, some of which do the same thing.  As an example, I have several types of ice cream scoops.  Different engineers have decided the best way to scoop ice cream, whether it be to use an ice cream spade or different sizes of stainless steel scoops.

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Since manufacturers have changed the size of ice cream containers within the past few years, some of these scoops do not work as well as they may have in the past.  Recently, I was sent a stainless scoop to try and review for my blog.

And, I had a great first experience with this ice cream scoop design with rock hard ice cream. By warming the stainless portion in warm water, the scoop moves through the cold ice cream very easily.

My new scoop is well made and not flimsy. It is solid and built to last. The hand grip is padded for comfort and helps with the scooping process.

The size is perfect for a variety of ice cream products. It is neither too wide nor too long for ease of use with smaller ice cream containers, especially for my home-made ice cream container.

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Past ice cream scoops have had flaws (too flat, too wide, too long, too thick), but this product seems to have overcome all of them.  If you need to update your ice cream scoop, this might be the answer for you too.

For more information on this scoop, please follow this link:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PTSTST2

Homemade ice cream without a machine !

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIs your freezer jammed with items ready to cook for the holiday season?  Are you looking for a place to chill your ice cream bowl before making a holiday dessert?

Well..I found a delicious recipe from Martha Stewart’s One Pot cookbook.  It was recently released and I have already made many recipes which are nothing short of fantastic.  I will be posting many of them on the blog, so stay tuned for some great time-saving recipes.

This coffee chocolate chip ice cream is made in a large bowl, and mixed with a hand mixer.  Then it is frozen for at least 12 hours and then is ready to serve to guests.  It is creamy, smooth, and oh so tasty.  Here is a recipe for when you don’t have access to your ice cream machine or when you just did not think far enough ahead to have the bowl frozen for use.

To make the recipe, find these ingredients first:  1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, coarse salt, 2 cups heavy cream and 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate–chopped.

In a large bowl, combine the vanilla and coffee powder.  Stir until dissolved.  Then stir in the condensed milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

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With an electric mixer on high, beat the cream until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.  Next, fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.  Fold in the chocolate.  Transfer to an ice cream freezer container.  Cover.  Freeze for at least 12 hours. I froze mine overnight.  Let stand a few minutes prior to scooping.

 

Yum. Yum. Yum.

mocha ice cream

right from the start, i need to explain that is this best coffee ice cream i have ever tasted.  and, since i am not really a big fan of coffee ice cream, i think that is a huge testimonial.  this recipe comes from one of the nicest online kitchen and cooking supply shops that i recommend.  King Arthur flour not only has wonderful baking ingredients, but also offers wonderful recipes within their catalogs and on their website.  i even subscribe to their newsletter which is mailed six times per year, and is filled with great photographs and suggested recipes, often using their baking ingredients.

locate them at www.kingarthurflour.com and sign up for their mail order catalogs.  i promise you will not be disappointed.

the ice cream in this recipe has a delicious chocolate flavor, and is ultra creamy.  one of the reasons that i prefer to make my own ice cream is my choice of ingredients.  this chocolate mocha flavor does not have any eggs, which many ice cream recipes require.  and, the flavor is spectacular.

to make the mocha ice cream:  whisk 1 cup of cold half and half, with 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose baking cocoa.

i purchased the espresso powder at Williams Sonoma, but it is also available at King Arthur flour.  once these ingredients are well mixed, add 2 cups of cold whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  blend well.

then, add the ingredients to the ice cream maker and process for 23 minutes, then, add, 8 chopped famous Nabisco chocolate wafers or Oreos.  i used the famous chocolate cookies.

i add them slowly to the ice cream while it continues to blend for another couple of minutes.  remove the ice cream from the machine and store in a stainless steel tin, allowing to firm up in the freezer for a couple of hours prior to serving.

this ice cream is perfect served alone or alongside any fall cake or even angel food cake.

this recipe is a real keeper !