I think Ohio must have been working on perfecting ice cream for the past several years. Because every time I go to see my sister or friends in Ohio, I am eating it at Jeni’s or Graeter’s or one of the myriads of other delicious ice cream stores. One of the favorites from Graeter’s is their black raspberry chocolate chip, so when I started to make ice cream this summer, I was searching for copycat recipes and found this one from the Last Ingredient website. I also had not yet made a recipe using egg yolks and decided it was time to do that. This one was okay, but not great. The flavor tastes fine, but the consistency of it didn’t scoop as nicely as other recipes I had made. I’m not convinced I want to stick with egg-based ice creams when the cream cheese base has worked so well for me.
Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Makes about 1-1/2 quarts
10 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen (partially thawed)
10 ounces blackberries, fresh or frozen (partially thawed)
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate
Puree the raspberries and blackberries in a blender.
Pour the milk into a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer the heavy cream, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk half the cream mixture into the egg yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the cream mixture followed by the berry puree through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the milk. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Cool the mixture over an ice bath and refrigerate until cooled completely.
Churn in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Freeze the ice cream in an airtight container and allow it to harden before serving.
Last week I was asked to bring in treats for one of the staffs who had won an award earlier in the year. The students asked for something ooey-gooey-caramel-chocolatey. I was a little bit befuddled about what to make because I wasn’t feeling inspired. However, when I was home with my family over Easter, I explored an old standby cookbook: Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran cookbook. In it, I came across this recipe for the Midnight Munchers, labeled as a Senior Choir favorite. And, I’m a sucker for anything that’s a favorite, so this recipe looked promising. The cookie bottom portion was thicker than I expected and the middle frosting layer was thinner than expected, but I think they turned out well. I haven’t heard negative comments from the students, at least.
1 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 can ready-to-spread caramel pecan frosting
1 c sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1/3 c milk
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, cream brown sugar and 1/2 c margarine together. Blend in vanilla and eggs; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well. Divide dough into two parts. Stir chocolate into half of dough. Drop each dough by large tablespoonfuls randomly into greased 9×13 pan. Spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Spread filling over bars. Freeze bars for about 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 5 Tbsp margarine and milk. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chips until melted and smooth. Pour topping over bars. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator.
Being from the Midwest, there is no doubt that the weather is a frequent discussion item. We joke, but ti’s pretty easy to talk about rain, or the need for rain, or how the crops are doing, or if snow is expected, among other things. One such type of weather is the blizzard. For those of you unfamiliar with the blizzard, it’s a combination of snowfall and wind in a way that makes visibility challenging, and often times resulting in the cancellation of classes, church, or community gatherings. So, when I came across this recipe for Blizzard Bars in the From Minnesota with Love cookbook, I knew I wanted to make it.
1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
4 c rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz chocolate chips
3/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all bar ingredients until crumbly; press into 15x10x1 inch pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes; cool. Heat frosting ingredients in double boiler over hot water until chips are melted. Spread over bars; cut into squares.
Do you ever find yourself making recipes that are good? Like, really good? As in, I’m going to eat this for dessert, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and then make it again in the same week because it was so good? A friend of mine was traveling through town last month and he stayed with me for a few days. I had some leftover milk bread and made us fresh milk bread to have with some curried squash soup, so I needed to use up the milk bread. I once again turned to the Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook and found this recipe for chocolate bread pudding. So, we ate it. And when it was gone, we walked up to the Lincoln Wine Bar for dinner one night (a delicious oyster mushroom, goat cheese, and chile pizza), and as we talked about going home to watch the World Series, we were laughing about how much we wished we had the bread pudding leftover at home. I jokingly mentioned that if we could find some chocolate chips, we could probably make some more — so I texted a neighbor to see if they had chocolate chips — it was a no go. Then we walked to the pharmacy in town. They didn’t have chocolate chips — but they did have m&ms. So, we melted them down and made round two of the bread pudding. It was so good. I know it’s the time of season when we use stale bread for Thanksgiving dressing, but if you’re looking for a different type of dessert, you probably can’t go wrong with this deliciousness.
Chocolate Bread Pudding
1/2 loaf unsliced homemade-type bread, cut into 1-inch squares (about 4-5 cups)
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/4 c whole milk
3/4 lb chocolate, shaved or chocolate chips
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
Put the bread cubes into a large bowl. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cream and milk to a boil, turn off the heat, and stir in the chocolate until it has melted. Pour this over the bread and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes so that the bread absorbs the mixture. Beat the eggs and sugar with the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour over the bread, tossing gently. Dump the bread mixture into a large, greased 2-quart pan or an 8×8 inch cake pan. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the inside is still soft and moist. The pudding should seem underbaked. Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.
I’ve been eyeing this recipe for awhile now and looking for the time I wanted to execute it. Even better, the idea of mixing together a dessert in a food processor was too exciting to not try and do, so one weekend morning I decided to take the plunge. This is another fall recipe I’ve pulled from the Savoring the Seasons cookbook that I love so much.
The bar flavor turned out really tasty. I think presentation has a little to be desired, but I’m sure that will improve on the second or third time around making them.
This week our students are all returning to campus and on Monday we will start classes. You read that right. We start classes on Labor Day. Not the day after. In fact, this is the second campus on which I’ve worked where classes have been regularly held on this particular holiday. I admit, though, that I have been anticipating the return of students since the start of August. Actually, since the last week of July. I had a friend over that week who mentioned casually that it seemed as though I was awake later than normal, and when I talked through why that might be, the only logical conclusion was that the start of the academic year was upon us and my mind has started to be thinking, thinking, thinking.
The other reality of this is that I have not slept well since the end of the academic year when a series of events transpired that led me to visit campus in the middle of the night on more than one occasion. I found myself driving through campus between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each day. I am hopeful we can enter into this year with a refreshed point of view, and am doing what I can to help create some community on-campus.
In early August, our campus participated in Iowa Private College Week, a week when students can travel to various private colleges in Iowa, where each campus holds open houses each morning AND afternoon. This means that staff, faculty, and alums of campus, have put in long hours of presentations and helping students to know why they should choose our campus. Which they should. But, that’s for another time. I love seeing our folks share great messages with students during this time to highlight how the campus might be a good fit for them. Ultimately, while I want us to make our class and do all the things that from the business side are important, I also really want us to admit and bring in students who can be successful and thrive.
To thank our staff for their hard work during this week, I decided to bring in some treats to our Admissions staff, reminding them how much we appreciate their work. I took a look through some cookbooks and came across this intriguing recipe for Pineapple Chocolate Bars in the Catholic Daughters Cookbook. I’ve been not having dessert, as I recently mentioned, but the folks who ate these indicated they tasted yummy!
Today I needed to make a cake for a funeral. It’s not often that someone my age passes away, but she was clearly a beloved member of the community. When the call came for salads and desserts from the church, I knew I needed to contribute something. I looked through a few cookbooks for things with ingredients I had on hand and some ingredients I needed to purchase and came across a recipe for a Chocolate-Pecan Sheet Cake in The Good Neighbor Cookbook. Since the cookbook is designed to have food for individuals to take to their neighbors, it seemed like the appropriate recipe to take as a comfort food item to the funeral.