Chocolate Thin Mint Ice Cream

thin mint

Shockingly, we still had a box of Thin Mints sitting in our kitchen cupboard. I don’t know how it has lasted since Girl Scout cookie season in March. I would like to credit it to my strong self-control (yeah right…), but most likely I have just been preoccupied with other sweets. We decided to put our ice cream maker to use once again and make this chocolate treat. With the cookies melted into the batter, the mint flavor can be tasted throughout the creamy dessert, not just from the crushed pieces. Chocolate and mint is the perfect combination for a post-dinner treat. I like to think it helps sooth the stomach… maybe not, but it is delicious :)

IMG_0032

Chocolate Thin Mint Ice Cream

Yields 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 box Thin Mints, divided
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add cocoa powder and whisk until no lumps remain. Gradually add whole milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly. Finely chop 10 Thin Mints and stir into dairy mixture. Pour into saucepan.
  2. Heat dairy mixture on medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches 180°F. Remove from heat and mix in chocolate chips, stirring until fully melted. Add salt to taste, then pour into a medium-sized bowl. Cover with cling wrap, pushing it all the way down so that it touches the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. When fully chilled, churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Roughly chop remaining Thin Mints. When only a few minutes remain, add chopped cookies. Transfer ice cream to air tight container and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Or serve immediately if you like it softer, similar to the consistency of a Blizzard. Enjoy!

IMG_0010

Tuesday Trends: 4th of July

It’s officially time for fireworks, sunshine and barbecues! The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays because it’s the epitome of summer complete with outdoor celebrations with friends and family, patriotic treats and red, white and blue fashion. Below are a few links that have inspired me to plan a fun, festive day!

4th cookies

{My 4th of July sugar cookie bars topped with red, white and blue}

4th cake

{American Flag Cake from FOOD52}

4th fashion

{4th of July fashion inspiration on Pinterest}

4th candles

{Patriotic Glitter Candles from A Pumpkin and a Princess}

4th decor

{Independence Day decor inspired by The Golden Sycamore}

 

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_2801

It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie, but I decided to sprinkle on some sea salt to create that salty, sweet flavor and it was a hit. I made them for a pool party that we went to this weekend and I was happy to take home an empty container – success!

IMG_2789

I have tried numerous recipes on my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but my mom suggested that I try this foolproof recipe. The cookies stay thick and fluffy because of the cornstarch, which is exactly what I was going for! Flat, crispy cookies are not my idea of a mouthwatering sweet treat. It’s safe to say that I found my new go-to recipe!

IMG_2788

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop a tablespoon of dough onto baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The tops will not brown, but don’t cook longer than 10-11 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Raspberry Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

20140203-221638.jpg

Spread the love with these heart-shaped raspberry sea salt shortbread cookies this Valentine’s Day. The raspberry sea salt creates a sweet and salty treat that your special someone is sure to love! I think it would also be fun to sprinkle it on some chocolates or caramels to add a pretty, pink touch!

20140203-221624.jpg

Ingredients

{For cookies}

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

{For raspberry filling}

  • 2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh raspberry puree (blend 1/2 cup of raspberries until smooth)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. whipping cream

{For raspberry sea salt}

  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. raspberry puree

Directions

{For the cookies}

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
  3. Place dough on a floured surface and use floured rolling pin to roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into hearts by using small hear-shaped cookie cutter with scalloped edges. Place hearts on cookie sheet and chill in fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
  4. Bake for 17 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. Let cool before frosting.

{For raspberry filling}

  1. Place white chocolate in microwaveable bowl and melt in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add raspberry puree and vanilla and continue to beat. Slowly add melted chocolate and powdered sugar. Add in the whipping cream to create a lighter consistency. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Place filling in a piping bag (or Ziploc bag). Cut off the tip and use to fill the cookies.
{For raspberry sea salt}
  1. Place sea salt and raspberry puree in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix them together, until salt turns pink and there are no clumps. Sprinkle a small amount on each cookie.

20140203-221601.jpg

Salted Brown Butter Cookies

20131222-163205.jpg

Santa won’t want to go back up the chimney once he tries these salted brown butter cookies! The brown butter adds a delicious twist to the simple sugar cookie. They are sure to be the stand-out treat at a cookie exchange, too!

Ingredients

Cookies:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Icing:

1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar
4 tsp. meringue powder (found at Michael’s)
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until butter has a nutty aroma and golden brown color. Pour into bowl and chill until almost firm, about 30 min.

Whisk together flour and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together chilled butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, salt and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.

Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out one disk of dough between two large sheets of wax paper until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are golden. Repeat until all dough is used. Transfer to wire rack

To make icing, beat together all ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and beat until icing holds stiff peaks, about 4 minutes.

Transfer icing to large Ziplock bag and squeeze out excess air. Cut 1/8-inch opening in bottom corner of bag and pipe icing onto cookies. Let dry for 1 hour before storing.

20131222-163513.jpg

Snowball Cookies

20131209-191836.jpg

Every holiday season, my mom bakes her amazing “Snowball” cookies. They are so simple, yet so delicious. Since I won’t be home for Christmas this year, she had all of my favorite Christmas cookies ready for me when I came home last weekend. It wouldn’t feel like the most wonderful time of year without these seasonal sweets! I wanted to spread the Christmas cheer, so below is the recipe for these festive cookies. They also make great gifts, especially when served on a festive plate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (sometimes less, add slowly to see how dough is coming together)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cups chopped nuts (optional)
  • Small bowl of sifted powdered sugar for coating the cookies

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except the powdered sugar for coating) until dough forms. Roll into balls and place onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. While warm, roll balls in the bowl of sifted powdered sugar and then repeat when they are a little cooler since the first coat will most likely dissolve. Enjoy, but leave some for Santa :)

Happy Holidays! 

Foodie Fest: A Taste of Heaven

20131020-145426.jpgAs a foodie, I was very excited to work at the Las Vegas Foodie Fest last weekend! The festival included over 30 food trucks with White Castle’s Crave Mobile being the star of the show. The line was crazy for these savory sliders. There were also additional food vendors, classic carnival rides and even a boutique on wheels! Some of the most unique treats included sushi burritos, red velvet pancake bites, gourmet grilled cheese and pumpkin spice shave ice.20131020-145508.jpg

Since I love dessert (especially cupcakes!), I was most excited about The Cookie Bar and Sin City Cupcakes. The Twisted Krispie from The Cookie Bar, pictured above, looked like a tasty, unique treat! I tried the classic chocolate chip cookie, which definitely satisfied my sweet tooth.

20131020-145456.jpgIt was a gorgeous fall night in Vegas. The rides looked so pretty as the sun was setting. 20131020-145413.jpg

20131020-145404.jpgNeedless to say, it was definitely paradise for a foodie like myself. Just another reason why I love my job.

 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Salted Caramel and Nutella Filling

20130825-111423

My boyfriend and I both love salted caramel-flavored desserts. We bought salted caramel gelato at the grocery store and it was gone in less than a week. You just can’t beat that sweet, yet buttery and salty flavor. Since I also love chocolate, I wanted to combine these two favorite ingredients and create a caramel, chocolate cookie. Why not go all out and throw Nutella in there, too? I normally like to share my baked goods with friends or co-workers, but these didn’t leave the house. That good.

20130825-111358.jpg

Ingredients

For the cookie:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • Sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

For the salted caramel filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Take off heat and stir in brown sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and salt until combined. Stir in baking soda and flour. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Place in fridge while making salted caramel.
  • Now for the caramel filling: measure butter and cream, set aside. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, mix sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, turn heat up to high. Then tilt and swirl pan while mixture boils. It will start to caramelize and turn a golden-yellow color. Take off heat and add in butter. Stir in cream. Mix in vanilla and salt. Set aside to let harden while you begin forming cookies.
  • Scoop one heaped tablespoon of dough onto cookie sheet. Create thumbprint-sized indentation in middle. Fill with 1/2 tsp. of Nutella then top with warm caramel. Place about 1/2 tsp. flattened dough on top and seal edges. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat until you run out of dough. (Makes about 15 cookies)
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until dough isn’t gooey. (Well, not too gooey. I like under-baked cookies)
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool. Enjoy warm or cooled :)

20130825-111417.jpg

Mom’s Macaroons

20130405-163251.jpg

I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but these sweet, chewy treats are too tasty to pass up! I love the chocolate side… shocking, right?! My mom makes these chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons every year for Easter and they are always a crowd pleaser. Below is her recipe. Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 oz.) bags sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted (or 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips)

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except the chocolate!!) until thoroughly combined.
  • Press dough into a soup spoon or small ice cream scoop and release onto baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes then remove from oven and let cool.
  • Dip one side of each cookie in melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.

Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

20130331-220009.jpg

Normally I’m the baker of the family, but my sister made these tasty treats for Easter this year! The shortbread cookie with cheesecake filling is a great combo! Here is her recipe:

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the cookie dough:

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

To prepare cheesecake filling:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat until smooth. 
  3. Mix in egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To prepare cookie dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk until combined and creamy.
  3. Gradually mix in flour until combined.
  4. Roll dough into balls (about the size of a leveled tablespoon) and place on baking sheets. Make an indentation in the center of each ball using the handle end of a thick wooden spoon, lightly dipped in flour.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remark the indentation using the spoon our your thumb. Continue baking for about 7 more minutes (or until the edges are slightly golden).
  6. Remove from oven and fill the indentations with one teaspoon of cheesecake filling. Bake for 7 more minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. When cool, chill cookies in the refrigerator before serving.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

pb choc chip cookies gf

These cookies are perfect if you have a gluten-free diet! Even if you don’t, they are an amazing way to satisfy a cookie craving!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips (as many or as little as you want!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together peanut butter and next four ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Then add chocolate chips.
  • Eat some dough (preferably before adding the egg, but I’m always willing to take that risk) — gotta make sure it tastes good, right?! ;)
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool
  • Enjoy! Eat some while they’re hot because they just melt in your mouth!