Friday, August 31, 2012

Lesson #164: Raspberry Ice Cream with Mini-Chocolate Chips

Over the last few weeks, I feel like I've been rushing to make all my favorite summer flavors into ice cream. This recipe is for an ultra-creamy vanilla ice cream with spoonfuls of raspberry jam and mini-chocolate chips mixed in. It's definitely a great end-of-the-summer combination!

As you can tell from the photo, I took it while the ice cream was freshly churned and I didn't get too many of the chocolate chips in the picture. Trust me- they are there! :) This ice cream was so good that I quickly snapped a few pictures, put away my camera, and enjoyed the ice cream outside.

LESSON LEARNED: It's easy to take any good ice cream base and mix in your favorite flavors!

Recipe for Raspberry Ice Cream with Mini-Chocolate Chips

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lesson #163: Chocolate S'mores Cookies

Because it's nearing the end of summer, I couldn't resist making one of my favorite summertime treats into a bite sized cookie. In fact, at the beginning of summer, I made another version of these cookies! :)

This time I swapped out some of the flour for unsweetened cocoa powder and added a ton of mini marshmallow bits. I rolled out the dough into bite sized balls and took a whole container of cookies with me during my first week of classes. They were quickly gobbled up by my intro to psychology students!

LESSON LEARNED: I never get tired of the combination of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker!

Recipe for Chocolate S'mores Cookies

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lesson #162: Peach Cobbler Scones

This is a YUMMY breakfast treat! Ultra-fluffy buttermilk biscuit dough is wrapped around sliced peaches and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar. It's the perfect way to use up extra peaches at the end of the season.

LESSON LEARNED: You can freeze these unbaked scones. Simply pop them into the oven still frozen and add a few minutes to the bake time.

Recipe for Peach Cobbler Scones

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lesson #161: Peach Crumble Pie

I haven't made a peach pie since these vanilla bean peach pies last year, so I decided it was definitely time to bake a peach pie again. I really have a dislike towards runny, undercooked peach pie fillings, so I turned to a pie book I checked out from the library for help. In this peach pie recipe, the thickener is quick-cooking tapioca. I don't normally have this item in my baking pantry, so I had to go in search of it, but it really did the trick! The peach pie filling was perfectly set by the time it finished baking. :)

LESSON LEARNED: Use peaches which are ripe, but still firm. They are much easier to slice!

Recipe for Peach Crumble Pie

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lesson #160: Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I've been on an ice cream making kick lately! I guess the ice cream I made for the fair a few weeks ago inspired me to get out my ice cream maker and try a few new recipes. I made a half batch of this ice cream because I thought that Justin would not like the flavor and I didn't (sigh!) want to be forced to eat the whole thing. I was wrong, however, because Justin ate just as much of it as I did. Guess I'll have to get busy making another flavor :)

This ice cream is super creamy with bits of chocolate chip cookie dough studded throughout. The ice cream base combines both brown butter, brown sugar, and molasses to replicate the taste of cookie dough. I thought it was FABULOUS!

LESSON LEARNED: Mix in the bits of cookie dough at the very end of churning so they don't sink to the bottom of the ice cream maker!

Recipe for Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lesson #159: Cherry Crumble Pie

I was perusing the library last week and I happened upon a cookbook entitled "Perfect Pies". It's written by Michele Stuart who owns a pie bakery and won a bunch of national awards for her pies. So far I've baked two of her pies and I'm completely in love with the book!

The first recipe I tried is for a cherry crumble pie. It combines fresh cherries over a flaky, buttery crust and topped with a brown sugar & cinnamon crumble. Really - it's like half cherry pie and half cherry crumble. We ate a few slices and then I had to give some away so we won't eat the whole thing! Trust me - you won't be disappointed with this pie :)

LESSON LEARNED: If the crumble topping isn't your thing, double the pie dough recipe and make a double-crust pie.

Recipe for Cherry Crumble Pie

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lesson #158: Homemade Hamburger Buns

One day last week I wanted to have hamburgers for dinner, but we had no buns and I really didn't want to run to the store. Instead, I decided to make my own. I was sure glad that I did!

They may look a little misshapen (I guess I need more practice!), but the buns were light, fluffy and a bit buttery tasting. They were also sturdy enough to hold up to a nice-sized beef burger once I toasted the buns.

LESSON LEARNED: This recipe makes 8 buns. If you don't need all of them, bake as directed and freeze for later.

Recipe for Homemade Hamburger Buns

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lesson #157: Buckeye Ice Cream

Candy buckeyes are pretty a typical candy in Ohio households - especially during the holidays. For anyone that is unfamiliar with the candy, they are creamy peanut butter balls partially dipped in chocolate to resemble, well, buckeyes.

A few weeks ago for our county fair, I decided to enter a Buckeye ice cream into the novelty ice cream category. Since the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate is usually a favorite and given the fact that I live in Ohio, I thought this ice cream would be popular. I did win a ribbon for my ice cream so I guess I was right!

I loved the fact that the ice cream was super smooth & creamy with a strong peanut butter flavor. The richness of the peanut butter was cut with chunks of dark chocolate. The people who tasted this ice cream told me it definitely reminded them of the candy version.

LESSON LEARNED: Use your favorite type of chocolate in this recipe - I used dark, but milk chocolate would be equally good!

Recipe for Buckeye Ice Cream

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lesson #156: Triple Berry Pie

Eating freshly picked berries is one of my favorite summer desserts. I love them heaped in a bowl with a spoonful of yogurt for breakfast and mixed into my ice cream. If I'm going to cook them, they are amazing in a flaky, buttery pie.

This pie contains blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. The color is absolutely gorgeous! It was the perfect end to a lunch I shared with a friend!

LESSON LEARNED: Mix up the combination of berries in this pie to suit your tastes (and what's currently in season!).

Recipe for Triple Berry Pie

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lesson #155: County Fair & Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream

I haven't posted any new recipes in a while, but that's only because I've been super busy. I've spent the last week at our local county fair! My brother runs a few concession trailers at the fair, so I've spent the week making soft-serve ice cream cones and root beer floats :)

In addition to working at the booth, I also entered a few baking/cooking projects. Check out my ribbons:

Pretty exciting, huh? Here's the breakdown on what I won:
1st place: Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream
1st place: Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
1st place: Buckeye Ice Cream
1st place: BBQ Pork Sandwich with Apple Slaw
2nd place: White Bread (I made this recipe with no cinnamon swirl)
2nd place: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Last Sunday was the special ice cream day at the fair. Since we LOVE homemade ice cream in our house, I decided to enter all four categories of ice creams (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and novelty). We could watch the local county people judge the ice creams, then they announced the winners, and you could sample all the ice creams. I think that sampling was my favorite part!

I tried a new strawberry ice cream recipe which was chock full of fresh strawberries and amazingly creamy. The chair of the culinary committee told me that she liked it so much she was going to try a variation of the recipe herself (substituting raspberries for strawberries and adding dark chocolate chunks.....sounds good to me!).

Here's a picture of a spoonful of strawberry ice cream right after I churned it and packed it up to go to the fair. We've already made a second batch at home :)

LESSON LEARNED: Use the freshest strawberries you can find for the recipe. It will make a big difference!

Recipe for Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream

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