Sweets

Gingerbread Men IMG_0148 - Copy

Sure, you can use Google to cyber stalk that guy you met on Tinder or try and find Kim’s unedited ass.  Or, you can use Google to find recipes, such as Gingerbread Men.  Then you can eat them all until they go straight to your own ass!

I used the recipe for “They Most Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies” found on this site, http://www.food.com/recipe/the-most-wonderful-gingerbread-cookies-80156.  They turned out great, although I recommend only cooking them for 5 minutes if you like prefer them soft.

IMG_0155 - CopyMadison and I top ours with icing made from I cup confectioners sugar and a tablespoon of milk.  Vigorously stir the two ingredients together until it becomes a smooth paste.  Then, take the icing and pour it into a small Ziploc bag and cut a tiny sliver from the corner.  Now your ready to decorate! We used Christmas sprinkles and gold sugar.

IMG_0176 - CopyIMG_0189 - CopyIf you ask me, perfect little ginger bread men that all look the same are BORING. Take some creative imitative here and make the characters all have a personality of their own. Here are some of our little guys, and girls!

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I think Santa will be very happy when he finds these by the fireplace.


 

 

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Sammies

Fingers Crossed Cookie

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….. Have I caught your attention yet? Homemade creamy blueberry vanilla ice cream between two cakey, yet crisp peanut butter cookies. Did I mention its no-churn ice cream?

The inspiration behind this dessert comes from my best friend, and college roommate Marebear.  Two very important things I have learned about Mary over the years. 1: She wants a soft serve vanilla ice cream machine at her wedding 2: She makes the quintessential pb&j sandwich, the peanut butter to jelly ratio is childhood perfection. And I know, she would appreciate this ice cream sandwich.

What you will need: Ice Cream

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • blueberry pie filling
  • pure vanilla extract

So I will be honest, I did not know one could make ice cream with out a fancy ice cream churner or by remaking the science experiment from middle school with a coffee can and salt? … was it? Anyway, surfing the web had proved me wrong. The trick here is sweetened condensed milk. Thank you Martha Stewart. [ http://www.marthastewart.com/355960/no-churn-vanilla-ice-cream ].

IMG_7136Start by combining your sweetened condensed milk, blueberries, and vanilla. I would suggest you use any fresh fruit in here ( fresh strawberries would be incredible.) However, a can a blueberry pie filling was in the cabinet.  So, I drained the some of the berries with water first to keep the integrity of the off-white mixture. Otherwise, it would turn entirely blue.

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Now, whip your cold heavy cream in a chilled bowl on medium high heat until it about doubles in volume.  You should be able to lift your spatula with standing peaks of whipped goodness on the ends.  Add your sweeten condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream and lightly fold in until everything is incorporated.

Next, pour your luscious mixture into a dish, pan, bowl… whatever you have laying around really!  Then, take your blueberry pie filling and freckle it all about the creamy concoction. Then begin to swirl!

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Lovely. Now pop this piece of heaven into the freezer, covered, for about 6 hours.. or until it is firm and ready to scoop! Tah Dahhhhhh!

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Now, for the cookies this is your standard peanut butter cookie recipe… it’s so very simple and just stuck in my head over the years… because what college student doesn’t have a jar of peanut butter the dunk their fingers into?

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 butter [softened]
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt

Now I know, your not supposed to mess around with baking measurements. However, if you don’t have brown sugar handy, use all white! Want to add more nuts or some chocolate chips, go ahead!

Start by beating together the sugar, egg, and butter.  Just enough to combine it.. people get whipping happy and it makes the cookie fluffy and airy, no bueno.  Then add your dry ingredients and mix until combine. This should form into a ball of dough. I know your supposed to cover and chill it in the fridge.. but I want to eat these damn cookies now. So, take them roll them into balls, golf ball size, and place them on your cookie tray.  BUT WAIT! I like to dazzle and delight my balls by throwing them into the sugar jar. Give them a nice shake, ( get your heads outta the gutter!) Then, place them on your cookie tray, about an inch apart.

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IMG_7287Then, just give them the classic scoring with a fork, you know, the crisscross marking. Pop them into the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you want thin, crisp cookies put them in at 475.  They key here for me is to not over cook. They firm up as they sit. Its easier to bite into and ice cream sammie when the cookie collapses into the ice cream, like a perfect marriage.  Now, assemble!

 

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And there you have it folks, vanilla blueberry peanut butter ice cream sandwiches.  Creamy vanilla ice cream with bursts of blueberries, sandwiched between a buttery, sugar dusted cookie. Take a bite! Let the cream melt down to your elbows an the crumbs stick to your face, I won’t judge you.

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Cookies and Cream Cake

Ok, so I missed national chocolate cake day on Monday because I was still thinking up this one in my noggin. Now, I have a confession to make… I’m not a fan of cake.  It’s unpredictable, and overall just too sweet!  And that is why I came up with this one; Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cookies ‘n Cream Mousse and Fresh Strawberries.  Not only is this cake a beaut, but it’s perfectly sweet and creamy with with a lovely pop of freshness from the summer-like strawberries.

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What you will need:

  • Chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 12 chocolate wafer and cream cookies
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese ( softened )
  • 4 tbsp butter ( softened )
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries

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To make this easier on yourself, prep your cake and berries the night before. Simply slice your berries , sprinkle in about a tablespoon of sugar,pop them into the fridge.

No offense cake, but you are not the star of this show, it’s the whipped cookies n cream mousse we’re all interested in.  So, just buy some boxed chocolate cake mix! (noone will know). What I did for my four cake layers was quarter the mix by pouring a cup full of cake batter into each cake pan.  Of course, you can just split the batter in half, bake them, and slice them in half with a serrated knife. But, I wanted these to turn out just perfectly so I took the extra time.  I prepared the cake the night before, wrapped up all the layers separately, and then kept them cool in the fridge.  If you want to do this all in a day, just make sure the cake is COMPLETELY cooled, or it will create a huge mess with your cream.

Onto the star of the show!!  First, take the chocolate wafer and cream cookies, put them in a plastic sealed bag, and crush them up! Use your hands, a rolling pin, a ladle… take out some aggression however you please!

Now, this is a cake that calls for many bowls. In your first bowl, take one package of vanilla instant pudding , add the milk, and whisk it up. Set aside.  In the second bowl, add two cups of cold heavy whipping cream, and just whip it up! You should have stiff peaks at the end of your whisks when it is ready. In the third bowl, add cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.  Make sure the cream cheese and butter are a room temperature, then whip them all together.

Next, add the crushed cookies and mix until blended.

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Now it is time to bring this bowls all together into heavenly cookies’ n cream bliss.  First, gently fold the vanilla pudding into the whipped cream.  You want to keep the integrity and lightness of the cream. When the mixture is full incorporated, place dollops of your chocolate cookie cream into the pudding/cream mixture and also gently fold in.  Continuing folding until all the ingredients are mixed together perfectly.

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Start with a layer of chocolate cake and scatter your macerated strawberries about it.  Then carefully place a generous heaping of the whipped custard cream on top of the strawberries and spread your cream outward with an offset spatula.  Continue three more times.

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At this moment you must use your will power.. put down the fork and put this billowing tower of chocolate, cream, and sugared berries into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.  The cookies in the mousse will absorb the cream while becoming rich and cake like.  This a one special cake that you will want to share with the people you love, and remember, Valentines Day is just around the corner!

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Whipped Cookie Dough FrostingIMG_8884

Ok, so I had a very busy day  dancing around the kitchen baking cupcakes followed by a huge pasta dinner with lots of bread. Therefore, I am now plopped on the couch… eating cupcakes. Comment for the recipe!

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