Milky Way Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

I have a bit of an obsession with cooking magazines, subscribing to at least a dozen.  Besides Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated, one of my favorites is the Food Network Magazine.  In the July/August edition, they featured winning recipes from Austin’s Annual Ice Cream Festival.  They all looked delicious with fun ingredients like cream soda, bacon, candy bars and cinnamon oil.  It was hard to choose which to make first.  Well, maybe not too hard since there was a chocolate ice cream in the bunch.  You know I had to start there.

My kids had stayed at their Gramma’s for the night and wouldn’t be home until dinnertime.  I thought I would surprise them with this chocolate ice cream made from Milky Way bars. Fun right?  You melt the Milky Ways down with condensed milk, adding milk and half and half to create the base.  Now the recipe says that chocolate syrup is optional.   But, adding more chocolate to a recipe should never be optional.  Add it. 😀 After churning the base in an ice cream maker, the texture reminds me of a Wendy’s Frosty.  It kind of tastes like one too, but with a hint of caramel.

This recipe uses only 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk.  Ugh. I hate to waste food. Although I would have loved to just eat it right from the can, I thought better of it, and decided to look for a recipe.  On the Eagle Brand website, I found a recipe for hot fudge sauce. I figured if I make half a recipe, I could use half a can of milk and have a delicious sauce for my ice cream. Perfect.

Now what kid wouldn’t want to come home to a big glass filled with Milky Way flavored ice cream, topped with hot fudge sauce and more Milky Way pieces on top?  I’m gonna go with none. 😀

Milky Way Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

4 oz Milky Way candy bars, chopped   (two 2 oz bars)

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

1/2 cup chocolate syrup  optional

Melt the candy bars and condensed milk in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not let the bowl touch the water).  Stir until smooth.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Whisk in the milk, half-and-half and chocolate syrup. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.  I ran my base through a sieve because I saw a few small pieces of unmelted nougat.

Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer directions.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.  I found it really to take overnight for a firmer texture.

Source:  Food Network Magazine (Collin Hazlet)

Hot Fudge Sauce (this is 1/2 of the original recipe)

1/2 cup (3 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 (7 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk, butter and water in medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Beat smooth with wire whisk. Stir in vanilla.

Serve warm over ice cream or as fruit dipping sauce. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator; reheat to serve.

To Reheat: Combine desired amount of sauce with small amount of water in small heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until heated through.

Source:  Eagle Brand

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Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I have to admit that I love those Lofthouse cookies at the grocery store.   You know the ones.  The soft sugar cookies with thick frosting and sprinkles to coordinate with each holiday.  So delicious.  Even with all the baking I do, I have a hard time resisting them.  But, I think next time it will be a little bit easier.  Why?  Because I have found some cookies that blow those out of the water.  I came across a recipe for sugar cookies in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook that were described as tasting like the grocery store cookies only better with the addition of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  How could they not be better?

I must warn you that these cookies are a bit time consuming because of all the steps: making the dough, refrigeration, roll and cut the dough, bake them, make the frosting and frost them.  But, each step is easy and the end result is oh so very worth it.   Upon tasting them, both my son and husband exclaimed oh my god, which was barely discernible with their mouths stuffed with cookies.  My daughter said they were the best thing I ever made.  Now, these three are some very tough critics.  If they say they are good, you can believe it.  But really, what’s not to like?  This is a super soft, not too sweet sugar cookie, smeared with cookie dough frosting and generously topped with chocolate chips.  Sounds (and tastes) pretty perfect to me. 😀

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 24 cookies

For the cookies:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature  Use the sticks- easier to measure and less messy

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups all-purpose flour (or more as needed)

For the frosting:

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be soft but not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.  I put the dough on Saran wrap and shaped it into a disk to make it easier to roll later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thick. I had to use a small bit of flour.  Cut it into 3-inch circles (I used a biscuit cutter) and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny and bottoms are just barely golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in flour and salt, followed by vanilla. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  I had to add more cream to thin it out a bit. 

With an offset spatula, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie. You can be generous with the frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing lightly so chips adhere to frosting. Refrigerated in an airtight container, frosted cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

A few weeks ago, I was looking through Baking For All Occasions for a recipe to use up my ripe bananas.  I found one for banana streusel snack cake and I also found this recipe for chocolate chip cookie cake.  I made sure to bookmark it, because I just had to make it!  And soon! This is a really easy recipe, that to me, is more like a blondie than a cake.  Cake? Blondie?  It really makes no difference what you call it.  Bottom line is, it’s delicious.  I didn’t add the nuts because my husband is allergic, but this would be a great base for a variety of different mix-ins.  M & Ms, mini peanut butter cups, and those new mini Rolos- all of them would be a fabulous addition.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Yield: 13×9 pan of bars

2 1/3 cups (300g) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (130g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional  (I omitted)
½ teaspoon baking soda
8oz (225g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (340g) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (115g) chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, or a combination

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Have ready a 13 x 9 x 2in baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle, combine the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon (if using) and baking soda and mix on lowest speed just until blended. Add the butter and continue to mix on low just until small, moist crumbs form (they are larger than crumbs that don’t clump together) that look like streusel, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until the mixture begins to form a cohesive dough. Increase the speed to medium just as you add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and beat just until they are incorporated into the dough, 20-30 seconds.

Spoon dollops of the thick dough evenly over the bottom of the baking pan, and then spread the dough over the pan with a rubber spatula.  To distribute the dough evenly, lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and pat it evenly with your fingertips.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and feels more solid than soft when pressed in the center, 37-40 minutes. My cake was ready in 30 minutes, so start checking at about 25 minutes.  Be careful not to overbake; it will firm as it cools.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cook in the pan for 30 to 35 minutes.

Slip a thin metal spatula between the still warm cake and the pan and run the spatula carefully along the entire perimeter of the pan.  Lift the pan, tilt it slightly, and tap it on the counter to help release the cake.  Invert a large wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the pan.  Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack.  Let cool completely.

If serving within 2 days, wrap the cake tightly in foil and store at room temperature.  For longer storage, you can store in the freezer for up to 1 month.  Thaw in the wrapping at room temperature for 3 hours.

Source: Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker

Oatmeal Carmelitas

I was going through my baking cabinet and I found a bag of caramels that I bought last Halloween to make candy apples, but I never got around to it.  I was about to toss them, but then I saw the expiration date was March 22nd, so they were still good.  So, I wanted to use them right away.  I found this recipe for Oatmeal Carmelitas and I decided it would be the perfect way to salvage the caramels.   These bars have a butterscotch flavored oatmeal crust, with a chocolate chip and gooey caramel center, topped with oatmeal crumbs.  They sound difficult to make because of the three layers.  But, really they aren’t because the crumb mixture serves double duty as crust and crumb topping.  Actually, the hardest thing about making these bars was unwrapping all the caramels.  😀 But, I enlisted the help of my daughter Sammie and together we made a quick job of it.  When the bars are hot from the oven, while they don’t slice well, they are delicious with all the melted chocolate and gooey caramel.  What a great topping this would be for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!   But, if you can be patient and wait for them to cool, the center will set and they cut into nice bars.  I suggest eating these cookies over a plate or napkin because with all that topping, crumbs go everywhere.  But, I think that is part of their charm.  With two sticks of butter, these may not be the healthiest bar.  But, they do have a good deal of oatmeal.  Doesn’t that make them at least a tiny bit healthy?  I think so. 😀

Oatmeal Carmelitas

Yield : 13 x9 pan  ~ 24 one inch bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

11/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 (14-ounce) bag Kraft soft caramel candies, unwrapped (about 50)

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips  I added about 1/4 cup extra

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)   I omitted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or use nonstick baking spray). I lined with foil with an overhang and then sprayed it. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Slowly add the flour mixture and blend until incorporated. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the oats. The mixture will be crumbly. Transfer half (about 3 cups) of the mixture to the baking dish. Use your fingers to gently press and spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes to set.

While the first layer is baking, place the caramels and milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Remove the crust from the oven. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans (if desired) evenly over the top. Carefully pour the caramel mixture on top of the chocolate chips and nuts, and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the bars are set. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Source: Sugar, Sugar:  Every Recipe Has a Story

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