Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lesson #187: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I was driving by Chick-fil-a last week and I saw an advertisement for their Peppermint Milk Shake. I had two thoughts: that sounds really yummy and I think that I've made a version of that ice cream last year. Of course, I had to get a milk shake for research purposes :)

I came home and found an ice cream recipe that I posted last year and modified it to add bits of milk chocolate throughout. That was a good idea! This is a cooked custard based ice cream with candy canes steeped into the custard. During the last few minutes of churning I added crushed candy canes and chopped milk chocolate. DELISH!

LESSON LEARNED: Don't add any food coloring to this ice cream. As it sits in the freezer, it becomes "pinkish".

Recipe for Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lesson #186: Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels

Last week I had a crazing for one of those buttery, hot, soft pretzels you can get at the mall. Since I wasn't going to make a special trip to the mall, I decided to look around the internet to find a good soft pretzel recipe. I knew I could trust a source like King Arthur flour, so I went ahead and tried this recipe. The finished product tasted just as good (maybe even a little better!) and saved me a trip to the mall. Here's the finished product with some step-by-step photos along the way.

 First, add all the ingredients to the bottom of a mixing bowl.

Knead with the mixer or by hand until the dough looks smooth.

 Place the dough in a zip-lock bag.

 Let it rise until doubled.

Divide the dough into 8 sections.

 Roll each into a log and let sit for a few minutes.

 Stretch out the dough and twist into a pretzel shape.

Give the pretzels a two minute bath in a baking soda/water mixture. This is what helps them brown.

Sprinkle generously with salt before baking.

Bake until golden brown and brush with lots of butter while warm.

Wait a few minutes and enjoy! I took a break from grading papers and read a magazine!

LESSON LEARNED: These pretzels are best served warm. Especially straight from the oven

Recipe for Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lesson #185: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy fudge. Not surprisingly, I like to make my own!

This sweet treat is ULTRA creamy and smooth with just the right balance of chocolate & peanut butter. I took some to share with my students this week. A few people remarked they could eat a whole container of this fudge. I replied, "Me too!  That's why I brought it to my classes!"

LESSON LEARNED: You need a candy thermometer for this recipe. If you don't cook the fudge to the right temperature, it will not set correctly.

Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lesson #184: Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow

I've just started to think about holiday baking and this recipe was first on my list. I love the simplicity of this recipe. It requires no baking and takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. The hardest part of the recipe is crushing the candy canes or mints.

The recipe is only 4 ingredients: Chex cereal, white chocolate, candy canes/mints, powdered sugar. It requires a little melting, mixing, and shaking and -viola - you have a wonderful dessert!  

LESSON LEARNED: Package up little bags of this mix to give to your friends.

Recipe for Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow
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