Four years ago I made homemade pizza for the first time, meaning- I made the dough from scratch. That pizza was just ok. But I kept trying and four years later, homemade pizza now falls into the category of easy weeknight meals in our house and doesn’t involve a screaming match or two (permitted I have some dough already stowed in the freezer). I now love making pizza at home, and sometimes actually [Read more...]
Warm, muggy summer weather generally means that your oven gets to take a quick vacation from baking up favorite recipes. Instead, ice cream and s’mores find themselves in heavy rotation — which seems to be fine by most everyone. However, I’ve sort of become obsessed with biscotti recently.
It all started when I had the classic Anise Almond version from a favorite coffee shop a few weeks ago. One bite, and I was suddenly on the hunt for the perfect recipe. A few experiments plus one impulse greenmarket purchase later, these emerged from my oven. The lavender is floral, but in no way overwhelming. I think that these will become fast friends with your afternoon iced coffee.
Toasted Hazelnut Lavender Biscotti
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon culinary lavender
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons sanding sugar
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat oven to 35o°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toast hazelnuts: Place hazelnuts on a second, unlined baking sheet, and bake about 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Promptly wrap in a tea towel to let them steam. After a few minutes, rub hazelnuts together within the towel to release the skins. Discard skins and set hazelnuts aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. Stir in lavender and extracts, followed by flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in toasted hazelnuts.
Divide the dough in half, and form into two 2-inch wide logs (wetting your hands will prevent sticking). Next, mix up the sugar and lemon zest for the topping. Moisten the tops of biscotti logs with water, and sprinkle on the lemon sugar.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until top is set and the bottom is golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before cutting into slices. Bake biscotti slices, cut side up, for 8 minutes. Flip and bake for 8 more minutes, then cool on a baking sheet.
The last few weekends I’ve been savoring my stack of Bon Appétit magazines from the past few months, folding over pages, revisiting recipes, and selecting two to three new things to make. It’s been great. This weekend included some zucchini fritters, these little apricot cakes (recipe to come!), and this ridiculously fun sundae. A few of you had expressed concern over the use of corn syrup in previous ice cream recipes so, as promised, here is a beautiful ice cream recipe sans corn syrup! I even subbed out corn syrup with honey in the caramel corn and it worked perfectly. I can’t help but look at these photos and feel like the little bowls should be toted off to a five year old’s birthday celebration. The pink, the sprinkles, the sticky sweet caramel corn- it would make for a killer party. Here’s to a great week! Hope your Monday is fab.
Popcorn Crunch Sundae slightly adapted from Bon Appétit
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- 1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub with butter or spray with nonstick spray and set aside. Combine popcorn and peanuts in a large mixing bowl.
Bring sugar, honey, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add butter and salt, stir until melted. Continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring often until caramel is a deep amber color (10-12 minutes).
Working quickly pour caramel over popcorn mixture and toss with a heatproof spatula to coat. Transfer popcorn to prepared baking sheet, spread out a bit, and let cool. Once cooled, break into pieces.
True Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes 3 1/2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole mix
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar (divided)
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp vanilla extract).
Combine milk, cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape in vanilla seeds, add in pod. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. If using a vanilla bean, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Whisk eggs yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until light and pale, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the cream mixture. Whisk yolk mixture into remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, 2-3 minutes. Strain custard into a medium bowl set over ice water; let cool, stirring occasionally. Process custard in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions (I have a Cuisinart and it churns for roughly 18-20 minutes). Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and freeze until firm-at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.
Oh heeeyyyy Friday. I’m glad you’re here! While NYC has been experiencing a horrible heatwave, Brandon and I have been in Maine, enjoying the first portion of our “work-cation.” Back in the spring we decided to rent our apartment out for a portion of July and then go work remotely in a more desirable (read less muggy) location. We initially had high hopes for San Fran but that proved to be a bit cost prohibitive, so we ended up in Portland, Maine. But we’re super happy here! The weather is gorgeous, the seafood is incredible, and even though we’re following a regular work schedule it feels relaxing and fun to be living life in a new place. We’ve already put your recommendations to good use and have eaten at several of the restaurants you mentioned. Suffice it to say, we’ve been eating well! You guys know your food.
We’ll be spending our entire weekend lounging at the beach and consuming as much lobster as possible, but if you’re in cooking mode, I highly recommend this Watermelon Lemonade sorbet. I made a batch for a girls night a few weeks back. It literally tastes like watermelon flavored lemonade- the perfect thing to cool off with! Have a fabulous weekend. xx
Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet sightly adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 1/2 cups of puréed watermelon (about 4 cups chopped)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
Measure out about 4 cups chopped watermelon. Purée in food processors until smooth. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the purée (I threw my extra in a smoothie), and place in a medium sized bowl.
Combine the lemon juice, sugar, and corn syrup in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Whisk the lemon juice mixture into the watermelon purée. Cover and let chill in fridge overnight or for 3-4 hours until very cold. Once cold, pour sorbet mixture into the chilled base of your ice cream maker. Spin until it is just the consistently of very softly whipped cream (mine took about 20 minutes). Pack the sorbet in a storage container. Press a sheet of parchment paper or saran wrap directly to the surface and seal with an air tight lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until very firm.
Apple Crisp if one of my absolute favorite desserts to make and eat during the fall (just after this caramel apple pie). The counterpart in summer? Peach crisp. I mostly prefer my peaches un-messed around with, but I can’t resist them showered with a buttery brown sugar topping, and eaten warm with vanilla bean ice cream. I mean… who could??
I love the simplicity of this particular recipe- and the fact that you don’t need to peel the peaches! When I’m not feeling up to a pie but I need a dessert for entertaining, crisps are ideal because you can prep everything ahead of time, throw it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it, and then pop it in the oven just as you sit down to dinner. These guys would make the perfect ending to a July 4th feast!
Classic Peach Crisp adapted from Anne Burrell
Makes 4 5oz ramekin servings
- 5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into small chunks
- zest of half a lemon, juice of half a lemon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter diced
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 T white sugar
- pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, and place ramekin dishes on top. Note: If you don’t have ramekins you can make the crumble in an 8×8 inch baking dish.
Gently toss together the peaches, lemon juice and zest, flour, white and brown sugars, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add in the butter and using your hands, pinch the butter into smaller pieces (the size of peas), combining with the dry mixture as you go.
Divide the peach mixture among the four ramekins, then top with the crumble mixture (Note: I often end up with more crumble than I need for my crisps- especially when using individual ramekins. I think the amount here is just right, but if it feels like too much- use your best judgement). Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
The best part of summer is arguably the treats that come with it. Ice cream and popsicles, along with berry buckles, pies and tarts are all in frequent rotation.
What summer treat have you enjoyed most recently? Lately, my nightly indulgence has been a scoop of coconut milk ice cream topped with crushed graham crackers and dark chocolate chips — so simple, but so good! Here are a few of the summer desserts on our ‘to make immediately’ list.
I’ve been on a major coconut product kick, as made clear by my instagram feed. I now make all my granola with coconut oil, we’ve started throwing a dollop of coconut milk into our smoothies instead of using yogurt, and this weekend marked my first foray into coconut milk ice cream. This seemed like a no brainer to me. I mean, is it just me or it is really hard to believe coconut milk is dairy free when you first open a can? It’s so rich and thick! Of course you’d make ice cream with it. This recipe is incredibly simple and yields great results. The coconut milk churned just like regular ice cream, and once frozen became the farthest thing from your typical vegan dessert. A key thing to note is that the ice cream doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor, like you would think. So if you’re not a coconut lover, I’m gonna venture to say you’ll still like it- especially if you add the coffee. This hot fudge sauce is not vegan, but you could easily forego it and mess around with other chocolate based ice cream mix ins. But if you aren’t vegan, you better be making this hot fudge sauce.
Here’s to a great week and the first CC ice cream recipe of the season! We’ve got so many good posts across the next few days and an especially exciting announcement on Thursday. Let’s do this!
Coffee Coconut Milk Ice Cream from The Minimalist Baker
- 2 15 oz cans full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup regular sugar
- 3/4 strong brewed coffee
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine coconut milk, coffee and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until well combined – about 5 minutes.Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to let cool completely in the fridge – at least 6 hours, overnight being preferable.Transfer to ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer instructions (I let mine churn for about 20 minutes, at which point it was done). Pour into tupperware container, smooth out top, and press plastic wrap directly to the ice cream. Cover with tupperware lid. Let harden for several hours in freezer. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Top with hot fudge, sprinkles, etc!
Hot Fudge Sauce adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Yields 2 1/2 cups
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee (optional)
Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and coffee and serve warm over ice cream.
Happy Friday! Did you guys catch the holiday baking feature I put together for the Everygirl? I made a gingerbread poundcake with peppermint frosting for their holiday week, which is chock full of great recipes, gift guides, and gorgeous outfit ideas from some of my fave ladies from around the web. This cake is such a show stopper, but really simple to make. Definitely worthy of a holiday féte! Head on over to their site to snag the recipe and lots more holiday inspiration.
Earlier this week I was feeling really bogged down by stress and a couple of big looming projects. I was flooded with these feelings of- “I can’t get it all done fast enough.” Those feelings relate less to my day to day work, and more so to my career and feeling like I can’t get all the major things done as fast as I’d like. But when all of that stress came to a head mid-week, a close friend reminded me that really anything big in our lives or careers is made up of a lot of small steps. Instead of thinking about how am I going to get this whole massive thing done, focus on the first steps to accomplishing something, and recognize that’s just part of the process. And along those same lines, remember that we should look to others for inspiration, but we can’t put ourselves on their timeline.
So with that I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I’ve got a few more holiday-esque shoots I’ll be working on to share with you in the coming weeks. Stay warm! xx