Baked Sunday Mornings: Malted Vanilla Milkshakes

20130706-230258.jpg

I was excited to make these because I LOVE vanilla malts. I love all things malt in general, really–who am I kidding?

20130706-230417.jpg

I do love Whoppers, and that is what I used. Whole Foods carries these amazing chocolate peanut butter malted milk balls that I wanted to use, I was just too lazy to make the extra trip. (I was already at Target)

20130706-231033.jpg

I love my KitchenAid ice cream attachment and I have made lots of different types: custard bases, infused cereal milk, eggless stovetop method…but I wanted to try vegan ice cream because my husband is sensitive to dairy and feels yucky after eating my yummy homemade confections. There is no sadder thing for a baker than to hurt people with their treats! I thought it would be a pain, or wouldn’t taste that good but I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I did a quick google search and realized it was way easier than I could have imagined to whip up a quick non-dairy treat using coconut milk as the base.

I had a can on hand so the first time I tried it, I just tossed it in the fridge and let it chill overnight. That’s right! If you pre-chill the coconut milk then all you need to do to make vanilla ice cream instantly is to mix it up with a sweetener and some vanilla. If you want to get more creative, that’s easy to do as well. I know having to chill my base before freezing can be kind of a drag.

The next morning I added 2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste (obsessed with it!) and sugar to taste. (I used about 1/4 cup I think) There are lots of alternative sweeteners that would work great, but that’s what I grabbed.

I was amazed at how delicious and creamy it was so when it came time to make these shakes I did the same thing but used three cans and right before it was the perfect consistency I added the Whoppers directly to the ice cream maker to finish freezing.

When it was all set I blended with a bit of almond milk in the food processor to make the ice cream into shakes and garnished with more Whoppers.

Holy moly it was good!!

20130706-231917.jpg

And the best part was that I had ice cream leftovers for later!!!

Head on over and see how my fellow bakers ice cream makers fared!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Banana Mousse Parfait

20130622-225227.jpg

The banana mousse we made this time was quick, easy and yummy. A great treat for the summer.

I really lagged on making it because I wasn’t sure whether I was going to use vanilla bean paste (would have to purchase) or substitute regular vanilla extract ( had on hand.)

In the end I decided to buy the vanilla bean paste because it came in a good-sized ( 4oz.) jar so I will definitely use it for when I want that iconic vanilla bean-speckled appearance. (scones, ice cream)

I waited so long to make this that my original bananas got a little too ripe:

20130622-225717.jpg

Oops!

20130622-225811.jpg

I used my shiny new food processor instead of my old cranky blender to blend the bananas, milk, sugar and vanilla bean paste. The heavy cream whipped up fast in the stand mixer–I chilled the bowl over night. Folding in the whipped cream was quick and the finished product was swirly and speckle-y–very pretty.

20130622-230025.jpg

I keep pint glasses in the deep freeze for summertime iced tea and lemonade so I used four of those for the mousse. I was curious to see what it tasted like on it’s own so I just put the mousse by itself in the glasses and chilled for most of the evening.

20130622-230215.jpg

I let my boys (judges of all desserts in our house) each have one after dinner. My Monkey wanted cookies on top of his:

20130622-230324.jpg

20130622-230345.jpg

But the other two boys ate theirs as is:

20130622-230429.jpg

Everyone really liked it!

20130622-230506.jpg

20130622-230522.jpg

This was a good, quick way to make an ice-cream like dessert without dragging out the ice cream attachment. The flavors were perfectly balanced and it wasn’t too sweet.

It would also be great frozen into popsicles, which is what I think I will do next time.

Go over and see what everyone else did with the recipe!!

Next up: (for July 7) Malted Vanilla Milkshakes–yum!!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Cream Cheese Chocolate Snacking Cookies

20130607-222012.jpg

It’s a miracle these cookies ended up in the oven– the dough was so smooth and tasty on it’s own. Almost like pudding.

And if you know me at all, you know that chocolate pudding is one of my huge weaknesses.

20130607-222158.jpg

But they did get baked and I was very happy with the final product. Soft and chewy cookie, perfect size. They taste even better as they cool. I used a medium scoop and got about 30 cookies.

20130607-222347.jpg

We have friends coming over for dinner tonight and my sweetie suggested I make homemade chocolate malt ice cream sandwiches for the dessert.

I was planning on making these cookies for them but loved CCCSCs so much that I made a second batch of dough just for the sandwiches. (without chocolate chips)

The original batch of cookies I am definitely keeping for snacking. 🙂

I had a ladies’ clothing swap to go to and took a bag of cookies with me. Otherwise I know I would have single-handedly eaten them all!

20130607-223016.jpg

Since I had to throw out more than half of my Mississippi Mud Pie, I was happy to share the cookies with friends. We made a valiant effort, but it was just too much pie for two people to handle. A batch of cookies is much easier to finish off!

I’ll include the outcome of the ice cream sandwiches in a separate post, it was my first time making chocolate malt ice cream and I can’t wait to let you know how it turned out!

In the meantime head over and see how my Baked Sunday Mornings friends’ cookies turned out!

Next up: (in two weeks) Banana Mousse Parfaits! Can’t Wait!

Baked Sunday Mornings Next Up: Cream Cheese Chocolate Snacking Cookies

20130604-111604.jpg

I wrote my last Baked Sunday Mornings post in a hurry. I didn’t write it before I went out of town and was too tired on Saturday when I returned. I wrote it before work on Sunday and forgot to mention what we were baking next!

20130604-112530.jpg

We are working from the Baked Elements book and this weeks’ recipe is cream cheese chocolate snacking cookies.

The name is funny to me because in my world every cookie is great for snacking, but I am especially excited about this recipe because I don’t believe I’ve ever put cream cheese in a cookie before. Also, it has the word chocolate in it so I’m in!

I also have to admit that I do not yet own the Elements book, so in between work appointments I am going to stop by the book store and grab it. I saw from another blogger that these cookies are hard to photograph…and the pictures are not my strong point in the first place, so I’ll have to look for a cute plate or something while I’m out!

What’s going on in your kitchen this week?

Baked Sunday Mornings: Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

20130518-163502.jpg

I was looking forward to making these all week. I had plans to surprise my honey with breakfast before I had to go to work for a bit.

My plans were thrown off first by my sweetie getting sick mid-week, then by a surprising and very weird tragedy that happened to my extended family on Friday.

I almost didn’t make these at all.

20130518-163710.jpg

I’m so glad I did take the time out for this project, I was a complete nervous wreck and pretty much just pacing around my house.

Cooking soothes my soul.

I had to slow down and breathe to measure, whisk and mix. Midway through the process (which I was taking my time with since Baby G was down for a nap) I felt stress and tension melt away.

As each element of the recipe came together I felt my thoughts slowing down for the first time all day.

I decide to give making my own butter a try, something I have always wanted to do but had put off because I thought it would be a pain.

20130518-164057.jpg

It was so hard to keep mixing the heavy cream after it became gorgeous, perfect whipped cream. I had already added vanilla and some lemon simple syrup (leftover from the candied lemon peel I made for the Lemon Drop cake) and it was heavenly. I bit the bullet and kept mixing.

I was surprised to hear sloshing in the mixing bowl!

20130518-164447.jpg

It made exactly one cup of buttermilk, enough for the griddlecakes!

20130518-164402.jpg

The cakes cooked up quickly and beautifully. The edges crisped up but the centers were fluffy and not at all gritty or heavy like I was imagining. They were perfect. Even my poor sick husband enjoyed them.

20130518-164630.jpg

I topped them with chopped pecans and maple syrup. The recipe made about ten, I used slightly more batter than 1/4 cup.

We at half of them and I’m freezing the other half for school day breakfast for my littles.

I would definitely make these again! (Even though some sizzling hot butter jumped out of the pan and burned my hand when I was cooking the last griddle cake!)

20130518-185001.jpg

Head on over for the recipe and to see how everyone else fared!

Baked Sunday Mornings: Alfajores

20130511-213813.jpg

I have never eaten an alfajor before, so I was excited to give these a shot. The preparation of the dough was pretty straightforward except there were two things that initially threw me.

1. One cup of corn starch! I’ve never used a cookie that uses corn starch I don’t think, especially not a full cup. But I sifted that right in there, interested in what it would do to the cookies.

2. Rum. Although I saw on a blog that you could optionally use apple cider. Those things seem quite different to me. I didn’t have rum or regular old cider hanging around but I did have some apple ale. I was drinking some as I baked so I just tossed a couple of tablespoons in there. I have no idea if that hurt anything or not, but I couldn’t taste it in either the dough or the finished cookie.

I took the dough out after chilling and rolled it out between two sheets of unfloured parchment paper. That didn’t work too well since the dough was a bit sticky. A bit of flour fixed that right up and they rolled out perfectly.

I was a little worried that I was rolling them too thin, but it seemed that I was getting the proper amount of cookies so I just went with it. Re-rolling the scraps was easy and the dough didn’t seem to be negatively affected by it. (i.e: changing texture)

I had never made dulce de leche before and definitely wanted to give it a shot. I ended up microwaving it instead of using the oven or stovetop method mostly because I recently got a new microwave. It was easy and at the end of the suggested cook time the filling seemed to be the right texture although the color was not a deep amber but more of a light golden brown.

I’m torn as to what to do next time. I may buy a can just to compare taste and texture but I may also try the oven method. I normally value making everything from scratch but dumping some sweetened condensed milk into a bowl and putting it in the microwave is not exactly upping my baking game.

I had planned on filling them the same night I baked them but I got interrupted when baby G woke up needing me. I covered the cookies and tossed the dulce de leche in the fridge.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed when I went to bed. I tasted the warm cookies and they seemed ok–a hint of lemon from the added zest but I was convinced they were going to harden up overnight and become brittle and crispy.

I do not like crispy cookies.

20130511-233224.jpg

When I got up this morning I warmed the filling for a couple of minutes to bring it back up to room temp and started filling the cookies. The dulce de leche was a great consistency: slightly sticky but easy to spread and it went exactly where I wanted it to when I pressed the cookies together.

For some reason I had expected it to be somewhat drippy or hard to manage but it wasn’t at all. The only problem I had was that I filled them with wild abandon on the first half of the cookies then realized I wasn’t going to have enough for all of them and had to greatly reduce the amount of filling I put in the rest of the cookies.

20130511-233550.jpg

I sprinkled a bit of sea salt over the top of the caramel before putting the top half of the cookie on. There was a bit of salt added to the sweetened condensed milk to make the dulce de leche but I love a small burst of salt mixed with creamy sweet caramel.

It was quick to fill them all and I topped them with a dusting of sifted confectioners’ sugar. They were really pretty cookies: not super fancy since I used a plain round cookie cutter but still very tempting on the plate.

I was completely blown away when I tasted them. First you taste the candy sweetness of the powdered sugar followed by the faint lovely lemon flavor of the cookie and then the slightly salty creamy- sweet caramel. The cookie is amazingly not crunchy or crumbly at all!! It is perfectly soft and delicate but it holds up to the dulce de leche perfectly.

20130511-233500.jpg

I am trying hard not to eat all of the 32 cookies I made but these are the most surprisingly addictive cookies I’ve made!

20130511-233328.jpg

Next up: cornmeal griddle cakes! Go over and see what everyone else made today!!