Monday, August 6, 2012

Reese's Cup Cookies

I have this friend. She likes these cookies. And by like, I mean she eats entire batches.
Entire batches.
This weekend — when she was in town — I made them. And she ate them. The entire batch.

This is why I love my friends.

{Reese's Cup Cookies}
Adapted from Real Simple

1-1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crisco
3/4 brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12-oz package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together baking soda, salt, crisco, brown sugar, sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, then fold in Reese's Cups.
Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet and bake until light brown around teh edges, 8-9 minutes.

I guess if I only got these cookies once a year, I'd eat 12 in a row too.
Seriously though.
Try to eat just one.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chocolate Ice Cream

I've always had this not-so-secret ambition to open my own ice cream shop. It will double as a coffee shop and book store and local hangout. It will be full of delicious smells and comfy chairs and everyone will leave with an ice cream cone in one hand and a latte in the other.

Until then, when the only items in your freezer are 5 quarts of ice cream and a bottle of vodka you know it's time to do something about it. Minus the vodka.

So, it's time to perfect my ice cream. Time for decadent, creamy ice cream, time for amazing flavors, time for the best ice cream ever.

And for my first revamped ice cream, we'll go with a classic — Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate.

{Chocolate Ice Cream}
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
1-1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1-3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk egg yokes just until broken. In a large heatproof saucepan, stir together cocoa, 3 tablespoons sugar and 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Slowly add in 1/4 cup of the milk and stir. When hot, add in chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Add in milk, cream and salt. Bring to a near simmer over medium-high heat (remove when mixture swells slightly and bubbles appear around the edges of the mixture).
Remove from heat. Using a ladle, spoon 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yokes, stirring constantly. Then do the same with another 1/2 cup of the cream mixture. This will keep the eggs from scrambling as they are cooked. Then, while constantly stirring the cream mixture with a spatula, add the egg mixture to the cream mixture.
Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
Chill the mixture thoroughly. Just before freezing, stir in vanilla extract. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.

For the true chocolate lover, this makes a beautiful, rich and creamy chocolate ice cream with emphasis on the chocolate, as it should be. And boy is it smoooooth. While this method involves a lot of steps, it's totally worth it for the end result! Try it. Eat it. Love it.

My favorite way to eat this (besides spoonfuls from the container, of course) is topped with butter toasted almonds, hot fudge and a dash of sea salt.