Peanut Butter Cookie Dough-Pretzel Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough-Pretzel Ice Cream

The first time I looked through the Milk Bar cookbook, one of the recipes that caught my eye was the pretzel ice cream. I tend to be attracted to unusual-flavored recipes, and I knew that was one I wanted to make. I wanted to use it as a base for another recipe, but I wasn’t sure what.

Fast forward about two years: I started thinking about that ice cream again, and what I wanted to do with it. Pretzels and peanut butter is a fantastic combination, so I decided to use that as a jumping off point. My first idea was to make sandwiches, with the pretzel ice cream slathered in between peanut butter cookies, but I didn’t really feel like baking up a batch of cookies. And then it hit me—what if I just made peanut butter cookie dough, and then swirled it throughout the ice cream? What I ended up with was a perfect salty-sweet treat, and one of the best ice creams I’ve made so far.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough-Pretzel Ice Cream

Notes:

The ice cream recipe yielded about half of what the recipe said it would (about a pint, rather than a quart), so the peanut butter ended up overpowering the pretzel flavor just a little more than I would’ve liked. So next time I would either cut down on the amount of cookie dough added to the ice cream or (more likely) make a double batch of the pretzel ice cream.

For my kosher readers: I used Kolatin brand unflavored gelatin in the ice cream base. This works just like regular non-kosher gelatin. I have no idea if any other type of kosher gelatin would work in its place.

Peanut  Butter Cookie Dough-Pretzel Ice Cream

For the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough:

1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the Pretzel ice Cream:

6 cups small pretzel twists

2 cups whole milk

3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin (see note above)

2 tablespoons cold water

1/2 cup glucose syrup

2 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Make the cookie dough:

1. Combine the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in a bowl. Cream with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the salt, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix well. With the mixer on low speed, add in the flour until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

2. Place marble-sized chunks of dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use.

Make the ice cream:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F.

2. Spread the pretzels out on a large sheet pan. Toast for 15 minutes, until the pretzels slightly darken in color. Cool completely.

3. Place the pretzels into a large bowl and pour the milk over them. Stir for 2 minutes.

4. Strain the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Discard the pretzels.

5. Bloom the gelatin: Put the 2 tablespoons of cold water into a small bowl or cup, and evenly sprinkle the powdered gelatin over it. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Warm a little of the pretzel milk in a saucepan. Add the gelatin, and whisk to dissolve. Add the remaining pretzel milk, glucose syrup, brown sugar, cream cheese, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until all the ingredients are fully incorporated (I kept the saucepan over low heat while I did this, to help everything dissolve easily).

7. Pour the mixture into a bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until very cold.

8. Process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Pour into a bowl or containers and stir in the cookie dough chunks. Cover well, and freeze until firm.

Makes about 1 quart

Ice cream base from Momofuku Milk Bar, by Christina Tosi
Cookie dough adapted from this recipe

What We Ate: The 1st night of Chanukah & Thanksgiving, 2013

How was everybody’s holiday? It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving 2013 is already over, and that we are already onto the second day of Chanukah! Where does time go???

I decided that since both of these meals took place within about 24 hours time, I will combine them into one post. Here we go:

1st night of Chanukah:

Chanukah

When planning what to have for dinner I knew that I wanted something easy (because, hello, it was going to be the night before Thanksgiving!), but I also wanted to do something fun. I vetoed latkes for the first night (I’m going to save the mess from frying for a night that’s not the night before Thanksgiving!). I decided to do finger foods that could be made earlier in the afternoon, and we’d eat it picnic-style on the living room floor in front of the menorah.

Spiced Sweet Potato Gelt with Orange Honey Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

The first thing I made, which is what gave me the idea of doing that type of dinner, are these Spiced Sweet Potato “Gelt” with Orange Honey Sour Cream Dipping Sauce. I loved how easy these were to make, and I way more of them than I should have!

Baked Zucchini Coins with Tomato Sauce

In keeping with the “gelt” theme, I also made these Baked Zucchini Coins with Tomato Sauce. These were a little more time-consuming to make, because of the triple dipping you need to do, but they were very worth it because they were delicious.

Onion, Mushroom & Goat Cheese Mini Frittatas

The last thing I made were these Onion, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Mini Frittatas. They are made in muffin tins, making them a perfect size for picking up and eating, no forks necessary. The tomato sauce from the zucchini coins was also incredible with these.

I set it all out in a side table in the living room, and after we lit the menorah we filled up our plates, sat down, and watched the candles flickering.

Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving 2013

It was just the five of us again for Thanksgiving this year, so my goal was to have a variety of foods, but keep the prep simple and not have too many leftovers . I made several new recipes this year, many of which are from fellow bloggers. I think the meal I ended up with was perfect!

Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs

I knew I didn’t want to roast a whole turkey. Last year I made a roast turkey breast, but this year I decided to go with turkey legs. When I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Glazed Turkey Legs, full of wonderful fall flavors, I knew that it would be perfect. The glaze was wonderful! The only problem I had was that mine took a lot longer to cook, but that could be due to the size of the legs that I used. (You can see how many times I cut into them to check doneness—must get a meat thermometer!)

Bourbon-Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Due to my insane love of vanilla, I added this Bourbon-Vanilla Cranberry Sauce to my menu the same day it was posted! So simple to make, and so delicious!

Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole

I wanted to make some sort of sweet potato dish, but I did not want anything that involved marshmallows! I went with this Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole, which I thought was wonderful.

Grandma's Saltine Stuffing/Dressing

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving to me if I didn’t make my grandma’s saltine stuffing (dressing). I know it probably sounds weird to most of you, but I love the stuff! This year, I couldn’t resist baking it in a cast iron skillet!

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard & Parsley

The final recipe for our main course was Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard & Parsley from It’s All Good. This has become my favorite way of serving cauliflower. Try it, it’s outstanding! (Recipe below)

Amaretto Apple Crisp

For dessert I made this wonderful Amaretto Apple Crisp that I served warm with vanilla soy ice cream from Trader Joe’s. Why store-bought ice cream , when I so obviously love to make my own? Well, we keep kosher, which means no dairy at a meat meal. T.J.’s does non-dairy ice cream very well, so I don’t mind relying on the when I need to.

Thanksgiving 2013

And that’s that! Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend (and Chanukah, if you celebrate it)!

Thanksgiving 2013

I’m very obviously way more into the sides than the turkey! 😉

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas, Mustard, & Parsley

1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed & drained, and dried with a kitchen towel

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse Sea Salt

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon seeded mustard (I use country-style Dijon)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1. Place a rack in the middle of your oven, and preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Combine the chickpeas and the cauliflower florets on a large sheet pan, and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. roast for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is soft.

3. In a small measuring cup or bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, the 2 mustards, the vinegar, a big pinch of salt, and a few big grinds of pepper. Pour over the still-warm chickpeas and cauliflower, add the parsley, and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

From It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

You know how some cookbooks are not just full of great recipes, but they are also really great to read? Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple is like that. It’s a baking book written by two American guys who own a bakery in London, and it’s one of my favorite books to just pull off the shelf and look through. It’s also great for when you finish all the books you borrowed from the library, and you have nothing else to read, and you must read something before going to sleep. (I’m not the only one who does that, right?!)  Not only is it filled with the most incredible-sounding recipes (most of which I want to make), but the photographs are gorgeous and the writing is actually entertaining and fun to read. I’d to thank my friend Shannon with all my heart for introducing me to this book!

Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Despite owning the book for quite a while, this is the first thing that I’ve actually made from it. I was flipping through it a while back, and decided that I must make the cranberry cupcakes this fall. After waiting for what seems like forever, fresh cranberries are finally available and I was able to bake them up. I have to say, both the flavor and the texture of these was spot on. Even with a whole bag of cranberries these weren’t too tart, just fruity. And they weren’t dry at all (dry cupcakes are pretty much the worst thing ever).

I know that pies and cookies tend to be the traditional baked goods for this time of year, so if you don’t want to break with tradition,  you could make these for somebody who has a birthday during the holidays. Or turn them into mini cupcakes to put onto a dessert buffet for a larger party. Or make them just because.

Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Cranberry Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

For the cupcakes:

2 cups (340 g) fresh or frozen cranberries (1 12-ounce package)

2 1/2 cups (380 g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 /2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

4 large eggs

2 cups (450 g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240 ml) grapeseed oil (or other flavorless oil)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1 cup (225 g) sour cream

1. preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Place the cranberries in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and pulse about 6 or 7 times, until finely chopped. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

4. Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 2 to 4 minutes, until the mixture thickens and lightens. Stop sometime in the middle to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure there are no eggs hanging out at the bottom of the bowl not being mixed in. Turn the mixer to low, add the oil, vanilla, and orange zest, and mix until combined. Keep the mixer on low speed, and alternate the flour mixture and the sour cream in 3 to 4 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until only just combined; you should still see some streaks of flour throughout.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold the cranberries into the batter with your rubber spatula. This will also finish mixing the batter, without over-mixing it.

6. Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, fill each liner with batter until about 2/3 full.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through to ensure even baking. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown.

8. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the orange buttercream:

3 cups (525 g) confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup (175 g) unsalted butter, softened

1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until almost combined. Add the softened butter, a little at a time, and then increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 5 to 6 minutes, until light and fluffy.

2. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

Makes somewhere between 26 and 28 regular-sized cupcakes.

From Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple, by David Muniz and David Lesniak

Only one recipe in and I’m so happy I added this book to my baking/desserts cookbook collection, because it’s pretty darn awesome!

cookbooks

Potato-Apple Latkes with Cinnamon Sour Cream

Potato-Apple Latkes with Cinnamon Sour Cream

I was so excited when, months ago, I found out that Thanksgiving was going to fall out during Chanukah this year. My first thought was that latkes were definitely going to be the potato side dish this year, and I was going to make a cranberry-applesauce to put on top of them, and it was going to be so. much. fun!

Except that for the past month or so Thanksgivukkah has been ALL over the internet. And guess what? I’m already tired of it. And it doesn’t even happen for another two and a half weeks.  It’s kinda like how pumpkin recipes started showing up everywhere on September 1st, and by the time October rolled around I was so over pumpkin recipes. Yeah, too much of a good thing can sometimes just be too much.

Potato-Apple Latkes with Cinnamon Sour Cream

So, I may or may not be serving latkes on Thanksgiving; I haven’t decided yet. However, I probably won’t be making a big deal about the whole Thanksgiving and Chanukah colliding thing. But if you are looking for a recipe for latkes to serve for Thanksgiving or Chanukah (or both), here’s a great one to try. They’re a little bit savory, a little bit sweet, and a whole lot delicious!

Potato-Apple Latkes with Cinnamon Sour Cream

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and shredded (6 cups)

2 medium Gala apples, shredded (2 cups)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Grapeseed oil, for frying (or use any neutral-flavored oil)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Demerara (raw) sugar, for garnish

1. Combine the potatoes, apples, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a colander. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes, pressing down every so often with the back of a large spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2. Pour the potato mixture into a large bowl, and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the thyme, and black pepper. Don’t be stingy with the black pepper; you want a nice amount of it to play against the apples and the sugar. Add the flour, and mix well.

3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat the bottom of the pan with oil. In batches, add the latke mixture to the pan by 1/3-cupfuls, and cook for several minutes on each side, until golden brown. Keep a careful eye on them. If the darken too quickly, lower the heat a bit, because you don’t want the outside to burn before the inside it cooked (I used a cast iron skillet and had to lower the temperature a bit, because the pan gets really hot!). Add more oil to the pan as needed.

4. Remove the latkes from the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain. You can keep latkes warm on a sheet pan in a 200°F oven while you prepare the next batch.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and cinnamon.

5. Place the latkes on a platter, top each with a dollop of the cinnamon sour cream, sprinkle with a bit of demerara sugar, and serve.

Makes about a dozen latkes, depending on how tightly you pack the measuring cup.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

This recipe came about because I had leftover squash purée that needed to be used up. It would’ve been easy to just throw it into the freezer to use at a later date (meaning: throw it in the freezer, forget all about it, and then throw it out when it’s completely freezer burned), but I was determined to figure out a way to use it up. And not only did I do that, but the result tasted even better than i thought it would!

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom GaletteDelicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

Delicata, Chard & Mushroom Galette

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/3 cup ice water

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups delicata squash purée (see below)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) chard (I used red, but any kind will do), washed well and mostly dried

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Egg wash:

1 egg yolk whisked with one teaspoon water

Make the crust:

Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, vinegar, and water. Pour the sour cream mixture into the food processor, and pulse just until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or up to 2 days.

Make the filling:

1. Combine the squash purée, salt and pepper to taste (I used lots of pepper, because I knew the topping would be on the sweet side), and thyme in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Prepare the chard: cut along both sides of the stem, to remove the stem. Cut the stem into slices (about 1/4-inch thick), and set aside in a bowl. Slice the leaves (also about a 1/4-inch thick), and place into another bowl.

3.  In a large skillet (i used my 10-inch cast iron), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook it for a few minutes until softened, stirring often. Add the chard stems and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the mushrooms, a few large pinches of kosher salt, and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms cook down and any water evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and stir for 1 minute, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the dried cranberries.

Assemble and bake the galette:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough to a 16-inch circle (dust the top of the dough and your rolling pin with flour to keep it from sticking). (Don’t worry if your circle isn’t perfect.) Carefully slide the parchment with the dough onto a large baking sheet.

2. Spread the squash purée over the dough, stopping about 2 inches before the border. Top with the mushroom-chard mixture, and the sprinkle with the feta. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pleating to make it fit. Brush with the egg wash.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. I served this warm, but I imagine it would taste good at room temperature, too.

Delicata Squash Purée:

I used leftover purée for this, so I don’t really know how many delicata squashes you need to make 1 1/2 cups of purée (sorry!), but I think 3 would probably be more than enough. All you do is cut the squashes in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in a 375°F oven for about 40 minutes (until completely soft and slightly browned). Let the squashes cool off, then remove the skin, place the flesh into a blender with a bit of water, and then purée. Simple as that!

I recommend making the purée in advance and refrigerating, because it thickens up slightly when cold, which makes it easier to spread on the dough without making a mess.

makes 1 12-inch galette

Dough recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman