It has been way too long since I've been able to sit down and add some new recipes. Life has been a bit crazy, but hopefully we can get back into the rhythm of posting some of our favorites.
We celebrate L's birthday party with her friends during the first part of December. For her dessert she wanted peppermint ice cream chocolate cookie sandwiches. Done. I love peppermint ice cream and who doesn't like chocolate?
The best part is everything can be made ahead of time. And since I am also making 10 gingerbread houses for her friends to decorate ahead of time is a necessity.
Chocolate Cookies: bake and freeze the cookies before you try to add in the ice cream
10 ounces bittersweet, chopped
1⁄2 cup + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the chopped chocolate in top of a double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over the water and cool melted chocolate for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. In another medium bowl use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter until crumbly. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is light, pale, and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat just until blended. Fold in the dry ingredients and then the chocolate chips.
Drop chocolate cookie batter by 1⁄4 cupfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, until tops are evenly cracked but cookies are not yet firm to touch, about 16 minutes. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets. Using metal spatula, carefully transfer 4 cookies to each of 4 large resealable plastic bags, arranging in single layer. Freeze cookies overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)
Makes 16 cookies.
Peppermint Ice Cream:
Ice Cream Base:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
Pinch of table salt
In a medium saucepan mix, 1 cup of the cream, the whole milk, granulated sugar and salt. Warm over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. About 3-4 minutes.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Place a smaller bowl, filled with the remaining cup of cream, into the ice bath.
In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks.
When there are tiny bubbles around the edge of the pan, pour half of the cream mixture, in a steady stream, into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Pour the egg mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens slightly. The custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and hold a line drawn through it with a finger. If using an instant-read thermometer, the temperature should be between 175-180°F.
Strain the custard into the cold cream until it has cooled to below 70°F. While it is cooling you can you can break up the candy canes. (I use about a half of a box of the small candy canes you find in the grocery stores around christmas, but use your best judgement and taste as you go. I unwrap the candy canes and put them in a plastic ziplock bag rolling over them with a rolling pin until there are tiny bits of candy.)
Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours to overnight. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
Fold the broken candy canes into the just churned ice cream, transfer to an air-tight container and freeze until firm.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place half of the cookies on the baking sheets. Take out the ice cream and place one scoop of ice cream onto each of the cookies. Working quickly place the cookie tops onto the ice cream and press down lightly. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and place back into the freezer. I leave the ice cream sandwiches on the trays until I am ready to serve them but you could also place them in freezer bags.
Makes 8 ice cream sandwiches.