Samoa Ice Cream

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I don’t have much to say about this ice cream, except “WOW!” Like seriously, wow. This ice cream is amazing and dangerous, and I shouldn’t be allowed to have all of it in my freezer.

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In my quest to turn Girl Scout cookies into even more amazing desserts, I started out with the Thin Mint Cheesecake last week. (Thin Mints are my second fave GS cookie, with my first being the Samoa/Caramel Delight!) I thought about making cupcakes or cookies, but these ideas felt a little too played out…

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So then ice cream popped into my head! It’s been a while since I’ve made ice cream, and spring is coming, so why not?! (Though I do love ice cream in the winter more than in the summer, but I’m strange like that… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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This ice cream starts off with a brown butter custard base, which is swirled with coconut caramel sauce and a fudge ripple. Yes, it’s a little complicated.ย When I was dreaming up this ice cream, I texted my other Emily (my go-to friend when dreaming up crazy things), worried that I was over-complicating the recipe. I thought about changing out the fudge ripple for chocolate chunks to simplify it. But when is anything worth doing easy?? ๐Ÿ˜›

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So, if you do want to simplify the recipe, you can use semisweet chocolate chunks instead of the fudge ripple. The ice cream will end up with much more caramel and coconut though, and I can’t guarantee it will be as good as this version!

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One thing to note is that this recipe makes enough of the caramel coconut sauce and fudge ripple for two batches of ice cream. So if you eat all the first batch, you can make another! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!

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Guinness Marshmallows

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Oh my gosh, it’s hard to believe that we’re almost half-way through March! I’m already making St. Paddy’s Day food and planning for Pi Day. To make time feel like it’s moving even faster, the clocks sprung forward an hour this weekend!

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But it’s finally starting to feel like Spring here in DC! The added hour of evening daylight is hard to get used to at first, but it definitely helps shake off the winter blues. Now, Iย LOVEย Winter – the snow, the cold, the boots and chunky sweaters – but the beginning of Spring always feels so magical and hopeful.

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Pretty soon, it’s going to be time to start planting (we still have at least 1 more frost in DC) out in my little porch garden. But before the bounty of Spring, I’m still in Winter-baking mode, which means chocolate, citrus, and things I can bake without my usual trip to the Farmer’s Market to pick up fresh fruit.

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So last week, I busted out the candy-making equipment and my stash of Guinness. (I have to hide a few bottles or else they disappear when friends come over. ๐Ÿ˜› ) And I whipped up a batch of Guinness Marshmallows, working off my original Homemade Marshmallow recipe from Alton Brown.

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These marshmallows use what [I think] is theย perfectย amount of Guinness: 8 ounces out of an 11-ounce bottle, leaving a little bit to sip while the syrup is cooking! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The mallows are then coated with a bit of cocoa powder to bring out the malt in the Guinness. The marshmallows are cooked the same as vanilla mallows, but the heat needs to be reduced as the syrup cooks. So they’ll take a few more minutes to make because the bubbles in the Guinness can cause a catastrophic boil-over! (Trust me, I speak from experience…)

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!

Thin Mint Cheesecake

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It’s Girl Scout cookie time!! Which means I brought home a bag full of Samoas (Caramel Delights) and Thin Mints last week… I may have over-ordered on cookies, but I never felt like I had enough Samoas last year after my last box mysteriously disappeared. (I probably ate them and just forgot… Whoops!) But this year I’m prepared, and a few boxes will be going into the freezer for later. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’ve been wanting to make things out of Girl Scout cookies for a while, but other things always seemed to hit at the same time (Pancake Tuesday, St. Paddy’s Day, etc.). But this year, I’m making two things using my two favorite Girl Scout cookies! The first is this Thin Mint Cheesecake, which has a crust made from an entire box of Thin Mints, minus the 2 that I nibbled while I was baking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Instead of making an entire chocolate-peppermint cheesecake, I decided to divide the batter. I didn’t want a heavy cheesecake, as cheesecake is already rich and dense. So about two-thirds of the batter was dyed light green and flavored with just peppermint. The rest of the cheesecake batter was amped up with melted chocolate and swirled ย into the peppermint batter.

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And wow, this cheesecake is amazing! I brought it to a party on Friday night, and it was devoured. Thankfully, I cut two pieces from the cheesecake to take photos, and saved them for the boyfriend and I to enjoy later! And those were the perfect after-dinner treat last night! ๐Ÿ™‚

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!

Port Wine Panna Cotta with Blood Orange Gelรฉe

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Sometimes I come up with a recipe so good that I’m not sure if I want to share it. Since I may want to parlay all of this into an eventual cookbook, bakery, or restaurant, I’m frequently torn about publishing recipes I’ve developed. This is one of those times…

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Because this is what the boyfriend refers to as “the best dessert I’ve ever made”…

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This year, the boyfriend and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a really nice dinner out. I made reservations almost a month in advance at a new restaurant near our house that been getting a lot of hype and good reviews. With that, and our planned mini-vacation to Baltimore next weekend, we agreed on no gifts.

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But, since cake is my gift and I need to make something for the blog anyways, I wanted to come up with a fun dessert to surprise him! So I decided to try out my first panna cotta, one of the boyfriend’s favorite desserts.

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Panna cotta is really the perfect dessert. It’s inexpensive, can show off seasonal fruits, and holds very well in the refrigerator. ย But what’s really great about this panna cotta is that it’s relatively easy to make, not too sweet (a big plus for him since I have a massive sweet tooth!), and comes out beautiful! It also used up the blood oranges sitting on top of my fridge. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I decided to make the panna cotta in a wine goblet, tilted while it set (see the picture above!), strictly for presentation purposes. If you have small tumblers, you can use those or custard cups or champagne flutes. Presentation is all up to you!

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!

Super Bowl Cake Pops!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve published a post about decorating. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in general! Sadly, I caught the flu sometime around New Year’s Eve and was confined to my bed and couch for almost 10 days. And when I finally returned to work, I was in crazy-deadline mode (and still am!) and didn’t do anything besides work and sleep. So I haven’t touched my oven in weeks, and that makes me really sad…

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So I decided to whip up something FUN! And next weekend’s Super Bowl seemed like the perfect excuse. One thing to note is that I’m not particularlyย in to sports, except maybe a little bit of hockey. (Can’t deny my Canadian roots, eh?) I knew who was playing the Super Bowl because it’s hard not to with Facebook and other social media, but I needed to look up the team colors on Google.

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One thing that’s great about cake pops, is that you can make them using leftover cake, cake scraps, or freshly baked cake. So grab your favorite white or yellow cake recipe (or use a box mix for an easy shortcut), and let’s get started! Click below for the step-by-step directions. Thanks for reading! And GO [insert sports team name of your choosing]! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Rum Balls

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Ever since I was a kid, holidays centered around two things: family time and food! Both my grandmothers are great cooks and bakers, so holidays were always full of amazing food. Christmas Eve was spent at my mom’s parents’ house, where we would have our big family dinner and open presents at midnight, as is tradition in my Norwegian family.

(It was also tradition for the kids to play or color while the adults played Monopoly or cards. I even remember one Christmas where a particularly heated game of Monopoly kept the parents shooing us away until almost 2am!)

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Christmas morning, as the early-riser in the house, I would wake up the rest of the family with great excitement. After breakfast and presents, we’d head over to my dad’s parents’ house. More food and tons of baked goods would always greet us at my grandmother’s house. And one of my favorites, which was really only made during the holidays, was my grandmother’s rum balls!

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For anyone not familiar with rum balls, they are a dense, sweet unbaked cookie. Flavored with chocolate and rum, they are similar to a truffle. Traditional rum balls are usually coated in chocolate sprinkles, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder. But my grandmother modified the recipe slightly and decided to coat the balls in sanding sugar, giving the rum balls a sweet crunchy coating!

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Assembling the rum ball dough is pretty simple. The time-consuming part is rolling and coating all the balls, which is why I suppose my grandmother usually recruited my sister and me to help. The best part about helping though, besides getting to pinch a few rum balls, was licking the chocolate off of our hands! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This year, I tracked down the recipe from my grandmother and made up a batch of rum balls to share with my friends. And they were devoured so quickly that I made a second batch last night to keep for myself and the boyfriend. Now I just have to resist grabbing one each time I open the fridge… ๐Ÿ˜›

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!

Candy Cane Marshmallows

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There’s a lot to be said about homemade marshmallows. But it can all be mostly summed up in one word: YUM! Homemade marshmallows are scores better than store-bought and are surprisingly simple to make.

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The marshmallows start out with unflavored gelatin and a sugar syrup that’s been cooked to firm-ball stage. The syrup is added to the bloomed gelatin and whipped until light and fluffy. Then flavoring is added, which can range from vanilla to fruity to nutty.

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The marshmallows then “cure” for a few hours, before they are cut in to bite-size pieces. But they can also be swirled with food coloring, layered with different colors or flavors, and piped in fun designs (like Peeps!).

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For the holidays this year, I wanted to make up a batch of peppermint marshmallows. I started off with a batch of white marshmallows with a red swirl, but I wasn’t too impressed. So I decided to layer the marshmallows in red and white and coat them in crushed candy canes!

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The result is delightfully fluffy and minty marshmallows, with a little crunch from the crushed candy canes! They are great on their own but can also be added to hot chocolate for a wonderful hint of peppermint. The marshmallows will keep in an air-tight container for about 3 weeks, if they last that long!

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Serve these marshmallows at your holiday party, or wrap them up in cellophane bags tied with red and white ribbon for holiday gift giving. I know that, to keep myself from gobbling them all up, I’ll assemble some marshmallows in to pretty gift bags for holidays! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Click below for the recipe. If you have a question, feel free to ask in the comments. And thanks for reading! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Download the recipe!