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Chocolate-Covered Banana Cake with Strawberries and Cream Cheese Frosting

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]With Easter approaching, I’ve teamed up with Driscoll’s Berries to create a fabulously festive cake fit for spring celebrations. I was inspired by some of my favorite flavors in banana split desserts – bananas, strawberries and chocolate! I baked up a banana cake adapted from my summer banana snack cake, filled the cake with fresh […]


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Brown Eyed Baker

Oatmeal Cream Pies

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Oatmeal Cream Pies | browneyedbaker.com

I have been a Little Debbie devotee since I was a teenager. I talked all about it when I made the Hostess Choco-Bliss Chocolate Snack Cakes, but to make a long story short, high school pretty much made up for all of the junk food that my mom kept out of the house when we were kids. I fell especially in love with Little Debbie; I found it incredibly hard to turn down Zebra Cakes, Nutty Bars, Swiss Cake Rolls or Oatmeal Creme Pies. With the exception of the occasional Swiss Cake Roll, I don’t think that I’ve had any of those treats since high school or college.

I’ve been a bit obsessed with homemade versions of childhood favorite for some time now, and I was way overdue for tackling oatmeal cream pies. This isn’t what I would call a “copycat” recipe (check out Jaclyn’s version for a great one!), as this is simply a combination of super soft and chewy oatmeal cookies sandwiched with a fluffy cream cheese filling.

Oatmeal Cream Pies | browneyedbaker.com

Normally, I love big, thick cookies. Go big or go home is my typical cookie motto. However, when we’re talking about sandwich cookies, then I want my cookies as thin as possible so I can maximize the amount of filling per bite. I know, I’m crazy. I’m the same way about cake. I prefer very thin cake layers so I get more frosting per bite. What can I say? I’m all about the filling and frostings!

Oatmeal Cream Pies | browneyedbaker.com

The cookies will be very soft when you take them out of the oven. That’s okay, that’s how they’re supposed to be, and that’s what makes them super-soft to eat even days later.

These cream pies were one of the most sought-after desserts I’ve made in some time. Totally addicting! My Chief Culinary Consultant and I kept breaking cookies in half because we “didn’t want a whole cookie”.

Multiple times. In a short amount of time. You do the math.

Oatmeal Cream Pies | browneyedbaker.com

If you’re over store-bought treats, you owe it to yourself to make these!

One year ago: Banana-Macadamia Nut Muffins
Two years ago: Strawberries and Cream Angel Food Cake Roll
Three years ago: Italian Pasta Salad
Four years ago: Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich
Five years ago: Banana Cream Pie

Yield: 15 to 18 cookie sandwiches

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 to 14 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

A simple recipe for soft and chewy oatmeal cookies with a cream cheese filling.

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place racks in upper-third and lower-third of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and molasses on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. With a rubber spatula, stir in the oats. Drop the dough in 2-tablespoonful mounds 2-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set at the edges and slightly soft in the middle, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

6. Assemble the Cream Pies: Spread the filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich them with the remaining cookies. Store cookies in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment paper between layers, refrigerated for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Everyday Food)

Brown Eyed Baker

Double Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

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1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, then dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1½ cups of the sugar. In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg yolks.

3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar; continue to beat until stiff peaks form, about 30 more seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

4. Add the flour mixture to the now-empty mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour in the butter mixture and mix until almost incorporated (a few streaks of dry flour should remain), about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium-low speed until smooth and fully incorporated, 10 to 15 more seconds.

5. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then, add the remaining egg whites and gently fold them into the batter until no white streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Lightly tape the pans against the counter 2 or 3 times to pop any air bubbles.

6. Bake until the cake layers begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the cakes from the sides of the pans with a small knife, then invert onto greased wire racks. Peel off the parchment, turn right-side-up and cool completely, about 1½ hours.

7. Assemble the Ice Cream Cake: Spray a 9×3-inch round cake pan (or springform/cheesecake pan) with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment. Then cut two strips of parchment that are 3 inches wide by 14 inches long. Line the sides of the pan with the parchment strips, overlapping them slightly. Spray a bit of nonstick spray where the ends overlap to help them adhere.

8. If the cooled cake has a domed top, trim off the domed portion with a long serrated knife to achieve a level surface. Place one of the cake layers in the bottom of the prepared cake pan for the base of your ice cream cake. (There will likely be some space between the sides of the pan and the cake, so try centering the cake as best you can.)

9. If you are using homemade ice cream, churn the ice cream base according to your machine’s instructions and transfer it directly from the machine into the cake pan. If your ice cream has been stored in the freezer (or if you’re using store-bought), allow it to soften in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, until it’s slightly softened and spreadable. Use an offset spatula to nudge the ice cream all the way to the sides of the pan, filling any gaps or holes, including any space between the cake and the pan. Rap the filled cake pan sharply on the counter a few times to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface and smooth the top.

10. Place the second cake layer over the ice cream, centering it on top. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put the assembled cake in the freezer and freeze overnight.

11. Make the Fudge Frosting: Combine the powdered sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate chips and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

12. When ready, pour the chocolate topping evenly over the top cake layer, spreading with an offset spatula if necessary. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

13. To Serve: At least 1 hour (and no more than 12 hours) before serving, unmold the cake. To release the cake from the pan, invert the cake onto a plate or cardboard round the same size and wrap a hot kitchen towel around the cake pan, keeping it there for 30 seconds, or until the cake loosens, and slide the pan off. Remove the parchment (and bottom of pan if using a springform). Top with a serving plate and turn the cake right side up. Return to the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

14. Remove the cake from the freezer 5 minutes before serving to soften it slightly. A hot, dry knife will yield the cleanest cuts. Dip your knife in a glass of hot water, wipe it clean with a towel, and cut a slice. Repeat between every slice.

Brown Eyed Baker

Sweet Potato Scones with Maple Cream Glaze

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Sweet Potato Scones with Maple Cream Glaze by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

The very first time I had a scone, I fell madly in love… and I fell hard. What’s not to love about a wonderfully tender not-quite-biscuit creation that can be filled and topped with as many different ingredients as your imagination can muster? The blank canvas that a scone provides is a fantastic opportunity to unleash your kitchen creativity. The very first scones that I made were dark chocolate chip cream scones (still my mom’s most favorite recipe on this site), and since then I have played around with at least a dozen different types of scones, loving each and every one for their unique flavors and textures.

When I saw a recipe for sweet potato scones, I immediately wanted to taste them. While I’m usually drawn to recipes for sweet scones (or ones loaded with bacon and cheese), these sounded so different that I was completely intrigued. Not sure what to expect, I just dug right into the recipe, and was rewarded with some of the most fantastic scones I’ve made to date. Tender, a little flaky and not too terribly sweet, the sweet potato flavor is mild and fabulous.

Sweet Potato Scones with Maple Cream Glaze by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

By using the trifecta of butter, cream and buttermilk, you end up with scones that are almost a cross between scone and biscuit. They have those characteristic flaky layers of biscuits, while retaining the tender crumb of a traditional scone. These scones do take a little longer than usual to prepare due to baking and cooling the sweet potatoes, but the effort is well worth it, and could be done up to a day ahead of time.

Sweet Potato Scones with Maple Cream Glaze by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

These would be a wonderful addition to any fall or Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch that you have planned, and, cut into smaller rounds, could be a fantastic roll replacement at the Thanksgiving dinner table. You definitely don’t want to forget the maple cream icing – I could eat that stuff with a spoon! I also think these would be fabulous brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugared pecans before baking.

What is your favorite sweet potato dish?

Sweet Potato Scones with Maple Cream Glaze by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
Two years ago: Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Ice Cream
Three years ago: How To Make Perfect Pie Crust
Four years ago: Fallen Chocolate Cakes

Yield: 12 scones

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Light and tender, these Sweet Potato Scones are perfect for a fall brunch or a surprise side dish for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

For the Scones:
¾ pound sweet potatoes (about 3 small)
4 cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup granulated sugar
4½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon-size pieces
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup buttermilk

For the Maple Cream Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

1. Make the Scones: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork and bake on the prepared pan until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.

3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl, and lightly mash with a fork. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until cool, at least 20 minutes.

4. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until the dough is crumbly and contains lumps the size of small peas.

6. Add the cooled sweet potatoes and ¼ cup of the heavy cream and lightly stir into the flour mixture. Add the remaining ¼ cup cream and the buttermilk and stir until just mixed. Do not overwork the dough.

7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it a few times until it comes together into a cohesive mass. Lightly coat your hands with flour and gently pat the dough into ¾-inch-thick rectangle (mine was about 11×9 inches in size). Cut the dough into 6 squares, then cut each square on the diagonal to make triangle-shaped scones.

8. Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the scones are a light golden brown. Immediately transfer the scones to a wire rack.

9. Make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream and salt, until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the warm scones. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature. The scones are best eaten the same day they are made, but can be stored, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Brown Eyed Baker

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

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Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

It’s about that time, isn’t it? The time during the summer when zucchini plants are absolutely exploding in gardens everywhere. Zucchinis seem to multiply like rabbits from day-to-day. One day you go out and pick five zucchini, don’t see a trace of any others, and by the next morning there are four more full-size zucchini ready to be plucked. If you’ve ever had a garden, you know the joys that come from eating produce that was grown right outside your window. You also know that by the middle of August, you start running out of people to gift with zucchini and tomatoes. That means it’s time to bake!

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I have more than a few zucchini recipes on the site already, but now that my mom’s garden is heading into overdrive, it’s a good time to start cranking out a few new recipes. I spied this carrot-zucchini bar recipe awhile back on Pinterest and saved it for the summer, when I knew I would have garden-fresh zucchini at my fingertips. These bars taste like a cross between carrot cake and zucchini bread; topped with an easy cream cheese icing, they make a perfect snack or dessert.

Do you have standby zucchini recipes for when the garden goes crazy?!

Carrot-Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Icing by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Blackberry Gin Fizz Float
Two years ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Yeast Bread Recipes
Three years ago: Chocolate Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Four years ago: Italian Wedding Soup
Five years ago: Pain Ordinaire Careme
Six years ago: Italian Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

An easy recipe for Carrot-Zucchini bars; a great way to use up extra zucchini from the garden!

Ingredients:

For the Bars:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup chopped walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Make the Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until no flour remains. Fold in the carrots, zucchini and walnuts.

4. Spread the batter into an ungreased 9×13-inch pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Spread evenly over the cooled bars. The bars can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes:

  • The ginger flavor in these is fairly pronounced, so if you don’t like ginger feel free to omit it or substitute cinnamon. You can also use walnuts in place of the pecans, or really any other nut that you like.

Brown Eyed Baker

Apricot Cream Cheese Babka

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For the Dough:
1¾ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
Pinch of salt
1 egg, at room temperature
⅓ cup whole milk, lukewarm
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Apricot Filling:
1½ cups dried apricots
½ cup orange juice
⅓ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the Streusel:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4½ teaspoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Egg Wash:
1 egg
Pinch of salt

1. Make the Dough: Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir on medium-low speed for a minute or so to combine. Add the egg, milk, vanilla and butter and mix on medium speed until a smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area until doubled in volume (about 1 hour). While the dough rests, make the fillings and streusel.

2. Make the Apricot Filling: Combine the dried apricots, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots soften and the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until a puree forms. Set aside at room temperature.

3. Make the Cream Cheese Filling: In a medium bowl, stir the cream cheese and sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth and lump-free. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and salt, and stir to combine. Set aside at room temperature.

4. Make the Streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars and salt. Add the butter and mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together into large, coarse crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

5. Assemble the Babka: Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan; set aside.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10×24-inch rectangle, with the long edge facing you. Spread the apricot filling evenly over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border along all of the edges. Spread the cream cheese filling over the apricot filling.

apricot-cream-cheese-babka-prep1

7. Starting with the bottom edge, roll the dough into the middle of the rectangle, then do the same with the top edge so that the two rolls meet in the center. Visualize the long cylinder divided into three equal lengths. Fold the left third over onto the middle third. Then, fold the right third over the middle third. Pick up the dough and turn it over so the seam is on the bottom. Then, holding each end, gently twist it in the middle and place it in the prepared pan.

apricot-cream-cheese-babka-prep2

8. Whisk together the egg and salt for the egg wash and brush it over the babka. Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in a draft-free area until it is doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the babka once again with the egg wash and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top, pressing lightly so the crumbs adhere to the babka. Bake until the top is a deep golden brown, about 50 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan set on a wire rack for 25 minutes, then unmold the bread from the pan (some of the streusel may fall off) and place on the wire rack to cool completely. The bread will keep, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Brown Eyed Baker

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve talked a few times about how most of my ice cream experiences growing up were largely a product of the local soft serve stand. The thing is, soft serve isn’t exactly ice cream. That, combined with the fact that my mom kept ice cream out of the house the majority of the time, meant that I was a bit older before I started discovering all of the different flavor possibilities associated with “real” ice cream, not just the vanilla, chocolate or swirls of soft serve. I remember going to the beach with my family when I was around 14 years old; on more than one occasion we’d walk down to the ice cream shop near where we were staying. I fell in love. Chocolate chip cookie dough… in ice cream?! It was a dream come true. My mom may not have kept the freezer stocked with ice cream, but she did allow us to lick the beaters. Cookie dough was some amazing stuff, and there it was… floating in rich, creamy vanilla ice cream. My teenage mind was blown.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is my go-to if nothing else at the ice cream shop sounds particularly interesting. I’m rarely disappointed. That being said, there has been the occasional cone that seems particularly lacking in the cookie dough department. That will never, ever be a problem with homemade cookie dough ice cream. You have my word.

Last summer, I made chocolate-chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream at the request of my Chief Culinary Consultant, but I couldn’t go very long without churning out a vanilla version. For as much as I love chocolate, I’ve always been a vanilla-first ice cream kind of girl. I made this ice cream using an adaptation of my favorite vanilla ice cream and absolutely loaded it with chunks of (eggless!) chocolate chip cookie dough.

I have years of ice cream eating to catch up on, so I’ll be hovering near the freezer with a spoon while you churn up this recipe!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Bacon, Egg & Hash Brown Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, and Rocky Road Chocolate Bark
Two years ago: Top 10 List: Favorite Side Dishes, Homemade Peanut Butter Cups, and Jalapeño Popper Dip
Three years ago: How to Make Perfect Homemade Popcorn
Four years ago: Brown Sugar Bacon Buttermilk Waffles
Five years ago: Fettuccine Alfredo with Fresh Pasta
Six years ago: Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake

Yield: About 1½ quarts

Prep Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours

Creamy vanilla ice cream loaded with chunks of (eggless) chocolate chip cookie dough.

Ingredients:

For the Ice Cream:
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Prepare the Ice Cream Base: Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat to medium. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Once the milk mixture begins to simmer around the edges, slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

3. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.

4. Prepare the Cookie Dough: Combine the butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream, vanilla and salt, and mix for another minute or so, until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing just until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

5. Churn the Ice Cream: Just before churning the ice cream, scoop the cookie dough into ½-teaspoon to 1 teaspoon-sized balls and place on a plate or parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished churning, fold in the chunks of cookie dough and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Brown Eyed Baker

Peanut Butter Lover’s Ice Cream

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Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Now, you know I am one of the world’s biggest peanut butter lovers. I put peanut butter on nearly everything, and make no apologies for it. I’ve loved peanut butter since I was a kid; so much so, that I even had a peanut butter and jelly sleeping bag. Given my affinity for the stuff, it’s hard to believe that I never experienced peanut butter ice cream until I went away to college. The main dining hall at my college had an ice cream freezer where you could scoop your own ice cream on the way out. Once of the ice creams was peanut butter swirl, which was was peanut butter ice cream with an unbelievable peanut butter swirl in the middle. That ice cream played a pivotal role in my packing on the freshman fifteen, but I couldn’t quit it if I tried.

How it has taken me nearly five years of having an ice cream maker to make straight-up peanut butter ice cream is beyond me. The important thing, however, is that I did it and that it is absolutely, positively amazing. If you love peanut butter, this ice cream is for you.

Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

To make this ice cream, I used my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe, omitted the vanilla bean and added peanut butter, then swirled in more melted peanut butter as I transferred the ice cream to its container. Basically, this is a peanut butter lover’s dream. It’s like eating big spoonfuls of smooth, creamy, cold peanut butter. I certainly mean that in the best way possible.

While I think this is definitely peanut butter ice cream in the purest form possible, you could throw even more layers of flavors in here if you’d like. You could add a fudge swirl, peanut butter cups, or any number of other add-ins. You could also scoop this into a bowl, drizzle on some hot fudge and top with whipped cream. I’ve been eating it by the spoonful from the container. I’m not here to judge how you eat your ice cream.

Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

It may have been a long time coming, but this peanut butter ice cream was absolutely worth the wait.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter ice cream?

Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Rainbow Ribbon Jello
Two years ago: Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw
Three years ago: Quiche Lorraine Pizza
Four years ago: Eggplant Lasagna Tart with Parmesan-Basil Crust
Five years ago: Beef Wellington

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

A rich, creamy peanut butter ice cream is spiked with peanut butter swirls.

Ingredients:

For the Ice Cream:
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Peanut Butter Swirl:
½ cup creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled slightly

Directions:

1. Warm the milk, sugar, peanut butter, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has melted. Continue cooking until the mixture comes to a slight simmer, bubbling around the edges of the pan.

2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

4. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.

5. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, drop dollops of the melted peanut butter over each layer of ice cream. Once all of the ice cream and peanut butter has been placed in the container, use a butter knife to gently swirl the mixture. Store the ice cream in the freezer.

Brown Eyed Baker

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

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Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Summer just would not be summer without ridiculous amounts of ice cream. My mom never routinely kept ice cream at home, so getting an ice cream cone was definitely a treat to be savored. Growing up, there was a little soft serve stand on a corner in our little town and we made frequent visits once the weather got warm. It was a crowded hangout after little league games, where everyone knew everyone. My order was always the same – a chocolate and vanilla twist with chocolate sprinkles. It’s still what I prefer to this day.

While I can keep my own freezer stocked with as much as ice cream as I like nowadays, I typically fill it with homemade creations and only a chosen few store-bought pints. I have a few favorites, but I really enjoy experimenting with new flavors. This toasted coconut ice cream was made on a bit of a whim; as it turns out, that whim was a magical decision. This is one of the best homemade ice creams I have ever made.

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

There are multiple layers of flavor in this ice cream, which gives it tremendous depth and such a smooth flavor. Unsweetened coconut is toasted and then steeped in a cream, milk and sugar mixture. Once it’s time to strain the mixture and discard the coconut, the creamy base has been infused with a wonderfully nutty coconut flavor. Once the custard base is churned, a small amount of toasted sweetened coconut is mixed into the ice cream, along with chunks of dark chocolate.

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I recently found huge 1-pound hunks of Callebaut chocolate in dark, milk, white and unsweetened in the bulk section of my favorite grocery store. Needless to say, I snatched up all of them in a matter of two seconds. I LOVE this chocolate; it’s so rich and creamy. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it!

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

The pure, intense flavor of coconut in this ice cream is almost unbelievable. It’s such a clean flavor, yet so robust. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m in absolute love with this ice cream. The coconut flavor paired with the dark chocolate is an ideal combination. If you want to go the Almond Joy route, all you need to do is throw in some almonds!

Whether it’s a traditional soft-serve swirl or a homemade concoction, I hope you’ve been filling your summer with some yummy ice cream!

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Cheddar, Jalapeño & Chive Biscuits and Homemade Klondike Bars
Two years ago: Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats
Four years ago: Tin Roof Ice Cream
Five years ago: American Sandwich Bread
Six years ago: Egg Muffins

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 8 hours

Ice cream infused with toasted coconut, with more toasted coconut and dark chocolate mixed into the final product.

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
1¼ cups 2% milk
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut, toasted
5 egg yolks
¼ cup sweetened dried shredded coconut, toasted
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated (or substitute ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips)

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat; when the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, stir in the unsweetened dried shredded coconut. Allow the mixture to begin to bubble again, then remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for 20 minutes.

2. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on the coconut to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the coconut and pour the infused cream back into the saucepan.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them up, then whisk in the remaining sugar; set aside.

4. Place the cream mixture over medium-high heat until it barely begins to simmer, then reduce the heat to medium.

5. Ladle out a scoop of the hot cream mixture and, whisking constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat with another ladleful of the hot cream mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan and gradually pour the egg mixture from the bowl into the saucepan.

6. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with the rubber spatula, until it thickens and coats the back of the spatula (it should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer), about 1 to 2 minutes longer.

7. Strain the hot mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl into an ice water bath and stir occasionally until the mixture has cooled. Cover and refrigerate until it has thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

8. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the sweetened dried shredded coconut and dark chocolate chunks during the last minute or so of churning. Place in a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer.

Brown Eyed Baker

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

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Fresh Peach Ice Cream Recipe on Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that I eat a lot more candy-filled and chocolate ice cream than I do fruit-based ice creams. However, sometimes there’s nothing better on a sweltering summer day than a few scoops of fresh strawberry or peach ice cream. A few years ago, I made a really fabulous strawberry ice cream, and a couple of months later I added peach to my to-do list. We’ll ignore the fact that it’s been three years and celebrate the fact that it’s made, right?! Peach ice cream just screams summer, and since we’re smack dab in the middle of the season, it seemed like the perfect time to finally churn it up.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream Recipe on Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I mashed together a few different recipes to pull this one together, but it’s primarily a riff on my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe. To accent the creamy vanilla, I macerated chopped peaches in sugar and lemon juice overnight, then whisked the resulting juice into the custard base before churning. When the ice cream is almost done freezing, all of the chopped peaches get thrown in. The sweet peach juice flavors the ice cream in a wonderfully subtle way; that, along with the chunks of peaches throughout makes it feel like spoonfuls of summer in every bite.

While I’ll always gravitate toward the ice creams loaded with chunky candy add-ins, I am in absolute love with how refreshing this ice cream tastes. I’ll be eating it all through the dog days of summer!

Fresh Peach Ice Cream Recipe on Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Banana Split Ice Cream Cake and Homemade Butterscotch Sauce
Two years ago: S’mores Cupcakes
Three years ago: Snickerdoodle Blondies
Four years ago: Chocolate Ice Cream
Five years ago: Hearty Whole Wheat Bread
Six years ago: Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion Scones

Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

A wonderfully creamy ice cream loaded with fresh peaches and natural peach juice.

Ingredients:

1½ to 2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped finely into tiny pieces
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
4½ teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Combine the peaches, ½ cup of the sugar and the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. Warm the milk, remaining ¼ cup sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

5. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.

6. When ready to churn the ice cream, place a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl with the custard and pour the peaches into the sieve, allowing the accumulated juice to strain into the custard. Whisk the juice into the custard and set the peaches aside. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the peaches when the churning is about three-quarters complete. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer.

Brown Eyed Baker

Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

My baking motivations come from a myriad of different sources. Sometimes I’ve had a recipe bookmarked for months… sometimes I see something on Pinterest that I want to make immediately… sometimes something in a magazine makes a light bulb go off… and sometimes I have grandparents coming over for lunch and four way, way overripe bananas sitting on my counter. Thus, banana cake!

Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

In an effort to put together a casual dessert for lunch with my grandparents and also use up my quickly-going-bad bananas, I though that an easy snack-style cake would be a great choice. I typically turn to banana bread when I need to put browning bananas to good use, and was looking forward to having another easy banana baked good in my rotation for such occasions.

Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This cake turned out exactly how I’d hoped; it’s easy to make, comes together quickly, incredibly moist and, most importantly, delicious. Originally, I wasn’t going to include a frosting, but I just couldn’t help myself. I love frosting, especially cream cheese frosting. If you’re a fellow frosting lover, I think you’ll find this to be amazing. My mom, my grandpap and I all gave it a big two thumbs up. If you’re a little more ambivalent about frosting, you might consider scaling it back; both my grandma and Chief Culinary Consultant thought the frosting could have maybe been halved. (What!? Who are these people?! How are they related to me?!)

Do you have a favorite recipe you turn to when there is a plethora of browning bananas on your counter?

Banana Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Homemade Pineapple Ice Cream Topping
Two years ago: Lego Batman Birthday Cake
Three years ago: S’mores Whoopie Pies
Four years ago: Bananas Foster Banana Bread
Five years ago: Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Yield: About 12 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

An easy recipe for Banana Cake, covered in cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until completely combined. Add both eggs and beat to combine, then add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until combined. Use a rubber spatula to give the batter one last mix, then pour into the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the Cream Cheese Frosting: With an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and salt on medium speed. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until it has all been combined. Add the vanilla extract, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.

6. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake, cut into squares and serve. Leftovers should be covered with plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container and kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Brown Eyed Baker

Chocolate Italian Cream Soda

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Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This past weekend was rolling right along… we celebrated my grandpap’s birthday on Saturday, and on Sunday my Chief Culinary Consultant’s parents came over because his dad was helping him with some garage projects. While they guys were working in the garage, his mom and I put together a recipe she had brought over for stuffed chicken breasts. We were getting ready to eat and I was cutting the twine off the chicken breasts. I was on the last one when an ominous slip of the hand sent me to MedExpress faster than you can say “ouch”. Five stitches and a tetanus shot later, I was back home.

Needless to say, absolutely nothing happened in my kitchen yesterday, but my awesome Chief Culinary Consultant ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things, including ingredients to make chocolate-flavored Italian cream sodas. They were the perfect little pick-me-up I needed after a long day of doing nothing but sitting on the couch with my laptop, watching Wimbledon, Barefoot Contessa and flipping through magazines.

I love how easy these sodas are to make; if you have 5 minutes, you can stir up one of these bad boys! The best part is the flavor possibilities are pretty much endless. Torani sells dozens of different flavors of syrup, and you could even use your own homemade syrups. I, however, was definitely in need of a chocolate fix!

Here’s how to make them:

Take a glass filled with ice and pour in your club soda…

Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Then drizzle in the chocolate syrup…

Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Then the half-and-half. I love how the white swirls in there!

Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Stir it up and sip away!

Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This tastes like a bubbly chocolate milk, which means that the kid in you is going to absolutely love it!

It’s the perfect drink to share with someone who has taken such good care of you for the last couple of days, and who even helped pull your hair into a ponytail. ♥

Italian Cream Soda Recipe by Brown Eyed Baker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: S’mores Ice Cream
Two years ago: Dried Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream

Yield: 1 drink

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

An easy recipe for Chocolate Italian Cream Soda.

Ingredients:

Ice
½ cup club soda
3 tablespoons Torani chocolate syrup (or flavor of your choice)
2 tablespoons half-and-half
Whipped cream for topping (optional)

Directions:

1. Fill a glass three-quarters full of ice.

2. Pour the club soda into the glass, followed by the chocolate syrup and the half-and-half. Stir it up, top with whipped cream if you’d like, and enjoy!

Brown Eyed Baker