Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

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With summer in full swing, I’ve been seeing a lot of ice cream recipes circulating around Pinterest. This ice cream sandwich trick has popped up a few times and I decided to give it a try after reading about Lauren Conrad’s successful attempt on her website. I used my sea salt chocolate chip cookie recipe (minus the sea salt) to make the cookies and bought a variety of mini ice cream cartons for the filling. Instead of using pints and large cookies, which other recipes called for, I decided to use the personal-sized cartons and small chocolate chip cookies to create a more manageable serving size. It was a simple, sweet treat and just the right amount!

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How to:

  1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and use a sharp knife to make an incision at the top of the carton where the cardboard overlaps, dragging it vertically to the bottom. This will make it easier to peel off the wrapping when the ice cream is cut into discs.
  2. Next, cut horizontally to create a one-inch-thick disk of ice cream, then peel off the cardboard.
  3. Place on top of one cookie, then top with another to create the sandwich. To ensure it stays frozen, return to freezer and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Repeat and enjoy :)

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It’s important to keep the ice cream in the freezer until you are ready to begin cutting, working with one carton at a time. The softer the ice cream, the harder it is to cut into disks. Also, the ice cream will naturally melt while you are working with it, so it helps to freeze the assembled sandwiches before eating them in order to keep their shape and not become a sticky mess. Overall, I would agree that this trick works, but it’s not as easy and perfect as Pinterest makes it seem.

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{Pictured above: salted caramel, vanilla bean and chocolate chip cookie dough}

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

20131117-212016It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie. From the sweet smell of the kitchen as they bake to the melty, gooey texture when they’re fresh out of the oven, there’s a reason why this basic cookie is a dessert staple. Since I currently have a salted caramel addiction, I decided to add a little twist to this simple sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 15 unwrapped caramels, each cut into 6 pieces
  • sea salt

How-to:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir until dough forms. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  3.  Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of chilled dough and press in a few caramel pieces. Roll into ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat until dough is gone. {Helpful hint: try to not place caramel pieces on bottom of the ball because it will stick to the baking sheet}
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges are set and lightly browned. Do not over-bake them! Even if the centers don’t look done, they will firm up. I figured this out the hard way. Sprinkle hot cookies with sea salt. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Salted Caramel and Nutella Filling

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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.

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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 :)

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Celebrating 100 Posts With Almost 100 Cupcakes!

Get ready for a cupcake overload! Last weekend I went to the Las Vegas Cupcake Bake-Off. Basically it was my idea of Heaven: as many cupcakes as you can eat, cocktails and country music. There were about 50 vendors competing in the bake-off. Each of them had a themed display that highlighted their unique flavors. Although we didn’t get to sample all of their flavors, Gigi’s cupcakes provided as many mini cupcakes as you can eat! I tried most of them, obviously. The salted caramel was my favorite!

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Below are some of my favorite displays.

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The Great Gatsby meets cupcakes.
I loved this 1920’s-themed display. The teenaged baker even donned 20s apparel and a cute feathered headband. If I were a cupcake I like to think this would be me. Sweet, classy, pretty and sophisticated.

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Bonjour, delicious cupcake!
This Parisian-inspired display with strawberry macaron cupcakes was another favorite of mine. It makes me feel like I’m sitting at a dainty table on the sidewalks of Paris while enjoying this fashionable treat. Maybe there is a little dog, too. Yep, I think that completes the idealistic picture in my mind.

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Sweet and salty.
Love churros? Then you will love this cupcake! With cinnamon cake, cinnamon buttercream, a mini churro and decorative salted caramel, this tasty treat has to be amazing!

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Cupcake Lane.
Take a trip through Candy Land with these delicate desserts! The vanilla funfetti cake is topped with cotton candy buttercream, a cotton candy puff and homemade candy. Doesn’t get much sweeter than that!

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The perfect picnic… for dessert!
Thought that was a juicy burger and buttery corn on the cob? Think again. The corn on the cob is a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream, topped with jelly beans and a yellow starburst for the butter. This is my kind of BBQ!

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I mustache you a question...
How could you not like the looks of this cupcake?! This chocolate-y delight is topped with a decorative mustache, which is right on trend with the mustache merchandise that is appearing everywhere.

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Drop it like it’s hot.
A few bakers displayed their cupcakes in cocktail glasses, which is such a cute idea! I could drink this raspberry lemon drop cupcake right up!

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You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

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Love the retro kitchen theme! 

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Mugs of hot cocoa are so yesterday.
I’m loving this Kahlua hot chocolate cupcake with marshmallow buttercream! Can I just curl up by a fireplace and watch the snow fall outside the window with one of these in my hand?

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Let’s take shots!
Of chocolate liqueur, that is. Can’t forget pretzels, the traditional bar snack. This is one thought-out cupcake!

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A little sweet, a little salty, a lot of flavor!
With a caramel cake, peanut butter and caramel filling topped with chocolate icing and a chocolate-dipped pretzel, this cupcake is definitely a palette-pleaser.

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Most interesting flavor goes to… Shrimp?
The cornbread cupcake is topped with shrimp. Not sure how I feel about that combination.

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Fiesta con cupcakes!
No need for a margarita when you have this chocolate chipotle bacon cupcake to spice up a party.

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Luck of the Irish.
Whether it’s St. Patty’s Day or you just enjoy this dark bar, a Guinness cupcake is best served in a glass!

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Holy, Cannoli! 

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Paradise found.
I’ll take a beach and/or a cupcake any day.

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Viva Las Cupcakes!
It wouldn’t be the Las Vegas Bake-Off without a slot machine. I’ll take chocolate chips over poker chips any day!

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Stylin’ shoe-cakes.
Dress up your cupcake with a cookie heel!

{Hope you enjoyed this calorie-free tour!}