Saturday, June 25, 2011

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

I couldn't wait to try this recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream when Jamie of My Baking Addiction shared it as a guest post over at goodLife {eats}. The thought of the tart key lime pie flavor made my mouth water and pucker all at once. I'm so glad I gave this recipe a try; this is hands down the easiest ice cream recipe I've ever made. You simply whisk a few ingredients together, chill, then let the mixture freeze in your ice cream maker. How easy is that?

This would be the perfect simple dessert for summer entertaining. The cold, tart ice cream would make a lovely finish to a cookout on a hot summer's day. You could prepare the ice cream ahead of time and keep it in the freezer before serving, or prepare the base and keep it chilled, then churn the ice cream just before serving for a delightful soft-serve consistency.

I can't wait to make this ice cream again and try sandwiching it between two homemade graham crackers for the perfect summer ice cream sandwich. I found this recipe pretty tart, so I'd definitely suggest starting with a less key lime juice, tasting, and adding more to your preference if you like things a bit sweeter. If you're a fan of Key Lime Pie, you've got to give this recipe a try! You'll be amazed at how quickly it comes together and how vibrant the resulting flavors are. This is definitely one to keep around for summer entertaining.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

via My Baking Addiction at goodLife {eats}
serves 6

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup bottled key lime juice (such as Nellie and Joe's)
1/2 cup heavy cream
dash of salt
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
6 graham crackers, coarsely crushed, divided
key lime wedges, for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Stir in 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham cracker crumbs. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired, and serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream

I have been wanting to try this Chocolate Malt Ice Cream for a couple of months now since seeing Darla's mouthwatering post on Bakingdom. I purchased a copy of David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop (where the original version of this recipe resides) in January and made a mental bookmark to try several recipes. Unfortunately I was without a working ice cream maker for months, so when I got a new ice cream maker for my birthday I was eager to finally give this recipe a try.

I'm so glad I put this recipe at the top of my list of frozen desserts to try. This ice cream was rich and creamy with a lovely, mild chocolate malt flavor. I enjoyed it the most fresh out of my new ice cream maker with it's divinely velvety texture. The addition of chopped malted milk balls gave a nice crunch and texture to the ice cream, but I honestly found them a bit distracting from the creaminess of the ice cream. I was really in love with the creaminess of this ice cream and was incredibly impressed with my new Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker.

For a couple of years I made due with a very simple ice cream maker I purchased in a garage sale for $2. While it mostly worked, now having used the fantastic Cuisinart model, I now fully understand where my old maker was lacking. I'm a big fan of very soft, slightly melted ice cream and the texture of the ice cream right after churning in my new maker is absolutely dreamy. I have a long list of ice creams and sorbets I plan to try over the coming months. I recently made a Key Lime Pie Ice Cream that I'm sure I'll be sharing with you all soon.

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream
via Bakingdom, adapted from The Perfect Scoop
makes about 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup malted milk powder
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 egg yolks
2 cups malted milk balls, roughly chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, malt powder, and vanilla; place a mesh strainer on top and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Once hot, whisk in the cocoa powder. Remove from heat.
In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. In a very slow, steady stream, whisk half of the half-and-half mixture into the eggs. Be sure to whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Once combined, whisk in the remaining half-and-half mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a spatula constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Pour the egg mixture through the mesh strainer into the cream mixture. Whisk until combined, then stir over an ice bath until cooled. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold the malted milk balls into the ice cream as you remove it from your ice cream maker.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Band Was Altogether

My 24th birthday was this past Friday and my niece and nephew, knowing how much I had adored the hermit crabs I had in the past, brought me two sparkly shelled crabs for my birthday. I named them Ziggy and Lady Stardust (because of their sparkly shells and, well, because who doesn't love a good Bowie reference), and until this afternoon they had been hanging out in the tub in our guest bathroom. Today I went our for lunch with a friend and afterward we stopped into a pet store so I could purchase some sand for Ziggy and Lady's tank as well as a few other accessories and essentials for their new home.

I decided to give their tank a bit of a land and sea feel with a sandy area with coral and their water dishes (one with plain water and a deeper dish with salt water for soaking), as well as an area covered in coconut fibers and a little hollowed out log for hiding. I spoiled them with two food dishes, one for dried shrimp and the other for dried fruit. I also feed them fresh fruit and vegetables at least a few times a week.

I tend to shy away from the look of a lot of traditional hermit crab accessories sold which are often obnoxiously neon in color. I prefer a more au naturale look for my crabitat.

If Ziggy and Lady are anything like my past hermit crabs, the clean separation of the two areas probably won't last long. With my other crabs, I would often wake up to find they had completely redecorated their tank! They love to move things around and make a mess of things. For now I like the style and set up of their tank, though I'd love to find a branch of some sort to position on an angle in the back right corner (behind the log) of the tank for the crabs to climb on.

Ziggy and Lady didn't waste any time getting acclimated to their new space. Lady hid behind the sponges in her water dish the entire time I took these photos, so I didn't get a great picture of her. Maybe I'll share some more photos of them later when they're feeling playful.

Ziggy did let me take a few pictures of him though. I hope they enjoy their new home! In the least, it's a step up from the bathtub and there's plenty to do and see, drink and eat. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted. Honestly, this year has been a busy one and the days, weeks, and months are just flying by! I haven't been baking nearly as much as I would have liked the past few months, and when I have gotten the chance to bake something yummy I never seem to find a moment to take a photo of my creations before they're gobbled up. I deeply miss blogging and it seems I have some very sweet readers who miss me as well! I hope to remedy my lack of posts soon.

With my lack of baking lately and having been busy with other adventures, I've been thinking about including more non-food and jewelry related posts here on the blog. I have been tackling a few projects around the house that I thought might be fun to share here, and I've recently rediscovered my passion for makeup, beauty, and fashion and am curious about sharing some posts of that sort as well. I've always been kind of apprehensive about posting on such a wide range of topics because I know a lot of my readers are only interested in food-related posts. Personally some of my favorite blogs cover a wide range of topics and I'm curious to know how my readers would react to a variety of other topics.

I made these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies last night for a mostly-weekly movie night the hubby and I host for a small group of friends. This was my first time making White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies and I was surprised to find so few recipes available for them. After searching around online and in a few cookbooks I own, I decided to try this recipe from Handle the Heat as it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes. These were quick and simple to throw together and they baked up beautifully. I used a tablespoon and a half cookie scoop and the recipe yielded just shy of 3 dozen cookies, the perfect amount for everyone to freely indulge during our movie while leaving plenty leftover for the hubby to take to work the next day. These were very well received and I'll definitely be keeping this recipe on hand for the next time I want to make these cookies.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
via Handle the Heat
makes 2-3 dozen

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Adjust an oven rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined. Mix in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until incorporated.

Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into even balls and lay them on the baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 16 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
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