Archive | December, 2014

Gingersnap Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

22 Dec

December 22, 2014

I’m really excited about this post, as there are too many good things all at once!

Who doesn’t like cookies this time of year? And it’s never too cold to have ice cream, right? Which is why I combined gingersnap cookies with a decadent double chocolate homemade ice cream.

2014-12-14 05.35.372014-12-14 05.37.52To get into the holiday spirit, I decided to make some gingersnap cookies. You wouldn’t think gingersnaps are the most appetizing cookies, because after all, it’s ginger. Sure enough, the ginger adds a spicy aftertaste, giving these cookies a little kick. I used my fun leaf cookie cutters that I bought last Christmas season and halfway through cutting the cookies, I had an idea of saving some of the dough to make ice cream sandwiches.

The combination of ginger and chocolate may sound weird, but it’s actually quite tasty. Try it!

2014-12-14 05.52.322014-12-14 05.41.34Gingersnap Cookies, from Miette’s book
10 oz AP flour
2 ½ oz whole-wheat flour
½ tsp salt
2T ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground white pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
scant ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
8 oz unsalted butter
5 oz lightly brown sugar
2T honey
4T molasses
2 oz finely minced candied ginger (I omitted this)
2 tsp fresh ginger puree (I omitted this, and used another 1 tsp ground ginger)

Y= about 50 leaf-shaped cookies and 5-2×2 inch sandwich cookies.

Directions:

  1. Sift flours and all the spices together. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the honey and molasses. Mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing in between each addition.
  5. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Use cookie cutter of your choice to cut shapes out. If making ice cream sandwiches, use a square cutter to cut pieces out.
  7. Optional: before baking, sprinkle granulated or cane sugar on cookies.
  8. Bake at 350F 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cut-outs

 

Double-Chocolate Ice Cream, from Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book
1 ½ C milk
1 ½ C heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
½ C sugar
2 T cocoa powder
pinch of salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine milk and 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan. Heat on medium until bubbles form.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, cocoa, salt and remaining cream.
  3. Place chocolate in a second bowl and set aside.
  4. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and whisk ½ cup of the heated mixture into the egg mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, cook on medium heat, while stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the hot custard over the chocolate and stir to melt.
  7. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl.
  8. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  9. Chill the mixture by placing the bowl into an ice bath.
  10. Once cooled, press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. Churn the custard in an ice-cream maker. Place ice cream in a clean container. Allow it to firm up in the freezer.
  12. Sandwich ice cream between gingersnap cookies. Wrap ice cream sandwiches individually and place in freezer if saving it for later.

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Happy Holidays!

Chocolate Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)

13 Dec

December 13, 2014

Another dessert I made for last week’s holiday party were cream puffs, also known as profiteroles. These are a type of pate a choux dough, a light and airy dough that is tender on the outside, airy on the inside. I filled them with chocolate whipped cream, but pastry cream can also be used. I love making these because they’re not overly sweet- most of the sweetness comes from the filling. Since I was crunch for time I simply whipped up some heavy cream, flavored it with cocoa powder, sweetened it slightly with powdered sugar for the filling.

A great thing about profiteroles is that they can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer, unfilled, if you don’t use them all at once. The leftovers come in handy when you are in need of a last-minute dessert. Simply take them out the freezer, pop them in the oven for about 5 minutes to slightly toast, allow them to cool completely and fill.

Profiteroles
8oz butter
1 C milk
1 C water
¾ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 C AP flour
6-8 eggs

Y= 62 1.5-inch profiteroles

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together sugar, salt, flour. Set aside.
  2. Crack eggs in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, melt butter on medium heat.
  4. Add the milk and water. Let mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture.
  6. Using a wooden spatula, quickly stir the mixture to incorporate everything, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Continue to stir; be careful to not let the bottom burn.
  7. Stir until the batter looks ‘dried-out’, about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a mixer bowl. Using a paddle attachment, paddle on medium speed to cool.
  9. Carefully add eggs, one at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate. (I ended up using only 6 eggs. Tip: if the batter looks dry, add the last two eggs).
  10. Using a piping bag, fitted with an Ateco 807 round tip, pipe 1.5-inch rounds on parchment-lined sheet pans
  11. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 340F and bake for another 15 minutes.
  12. Remove profiteroles from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  13. Once cooled, use an Ateco 820 star tip to make holes at the bottom of the profiteroles. At this point, profiteroles can be stored in the freezer for future use.

2014-12-06 03.04.582014-12-06 03.08.43Chocolate Whipped Cream
1 cup of heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
2-3 T cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar together.
  2. Add cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon at a time. Adjust as needed for more or less chocolate flavor.
  3. Once heavy cream reaches a medium peak and is no longer runny, put into a piping bag with an Ateco 801 round tip.
  4. Fill profiteroles from the bottom, where the holes were made, with the chocolate whipped cream.
  5. Optional: dust the outer shell with powdered sugar, or drizzle with melted chocolate.

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Apple-Persimmon Pie

7 Dec

December 7th, 2014

I spent the past week prepping a few items in preparation for a holiday party that took place last night. I made what I could during the week and baked whatever would keep in the refrigerator a few days before. One of the five items that I made was an apple-persimmon pie, similar to the hand pies I made a few weeks ago. In fact, I used the same pie dough and the same filling recipe as the hand pies, except instead of making them individually bite-sized, I used my lovely 9-in pie pan.

The filling can be prepared ahead of time and will keep in the refrigerator. The persimmon and apple pieces did not oxidize and turn brown since lemon juice was added. For this recipe, there is no exact number of fruits you should use. You can just eye-ball the amount of each type of fruit to use. I just started cutting the fruits until I got enough filling to fill my pie pan. If you want the persimmons to stand out more, use more persimmons. Or if you like the taste of apples, use more apples. Needless to say, the combination of both fruits in the pie was a big hit with the crowd. I felt extremely satisfied when the pie was completely gone by the end of the night.

Pie Dough:
12oz flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
7T cold water
1T cider vinegar

Y= enough to line and cover one 9-inch pie pan

Directions:

  1. In a food processor with the dough attachment, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly.
  2. Add the water and vinegar mixture in thirds, pulsing in between.
  3. Finish mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface. Divide dough in two pieces. Wrap, refrigerate and allow dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  4. At this point, you can also freeze the dough.
  5. Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface. Transfer the rolled out dough to the pie pan by carefully rolling it onto your rolling pin and laying it in the pie pan. Press the dough into the pan.

Apple-Persimmon Pie Filling:
4-5 large apples; peeled and diced into small pieces
12-15 persimmons, depending on the size; peeled and diced into small pieces
¾ cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla powder

Note: If you don’t have enough filling to completely fill the pie pan, feel free to use more persimmons or apples.

Directions:

  1. Place diced apples and persimmons in a bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. If not using immediately, place filling in a container and refrigerate.2014-12-06 00.02.04-22014-12-06 03.32.41

Assemble:
1T butter, cubed
1 egg for egg wash

  1. Pour pie filling in the lined pan and spread it out evenly.
  2. Place cubed butter pieces randomly on top of the filling.
  3. Carefully roll out the second half of the dough. Place on top of filling. Trim off any excess dough along the edges and seal.
  4. Make a few slits in the center of the pie.
  5. Egg wash the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Optional: If you have extra dough, use fun leaf cutters to make decorative pieces.
  7. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until browned. Halfway through baking, I placed foil along the edges since it was browning faster than the center of the pie.

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