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Hello?  Anyone there?  If you are, I apologize for my 3 month-long blog silence.  I can’t even feign being super busy this spring (speaking of, what spring?), as I was only taking one class this semester.  And boy, was that SO nice.  But not nice enough to make me want to spend the next 4 years getting my grad degree.  We’ll stick with 2.5 or so, if possible.  That’s slow enough as it is!

Anyway, thanks for sticking around, blogging friends.  As you can see, my poor blog wasn’t a high priority for me this winter/spring.  I have been making and eating some amazing meals, but I haven’t been chronicling them enough, or at all.  I got an ice cream attachment for my mixer, and oh man, the world of homemade ice cream is a really amazing (and fattening) one.  Sadly it’s the one baked good/dessert that I can’t just send to work with Brad and be done with.  We actually eat the ice cream ourselves, and all of it at that!

This recipe, oh this recipe.  So this was one of the more involved ice creams I have made (although there has been talk of trying to make coffee oreo with homemade oeros.  I’ve done both, but separately), and it’s SO delicious.  I honestly don’t remember if I have had tin roof ice cream (or sundaes) before, but the flavor combination is pretty awesome.  Vanilla ice cream (and not that yellowy crap you might find at the grocery store, this has beans in it), homemade fudge ripple (again, another favorite), and chocolate covered peanuts.

I’ve gotten it down where I will make the base one evening, chill it overnight, churn it the next evening (or day, depending), and then chill that overnight, so that I have some really delicious and firm ice cream.  I still do love to go to the beach (Revere, don’t judge) to get ice cream at my favorite shop Twist & Shake (the owner is pretty awesome).  But nothing beats the homemade stuff.

I promise I am going to try to come around more often, I really will.

Tin Roof Ice Cream

Source: Brown Eyed Baker

¾ cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1½ cups heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup Chocolate-Covered Peanuts (recipe follows)
Fudge Ripple (recipe follows)

1. Warm the milk, sugar, salt and ½ cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. With a sharp paring knife, scrape the flavorful seeds from the vanilla bean and add them, along with the pod, to the hot milk mixture. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Rewarm the vanilla-infused mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream to cool. Remove the vanilla bean, wipe it clean of any egg bits, and add it back to the custard. Stir in the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

4. When ready to churn the ice cream, remove the vanilla bean (it can be rinsed and reused). Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is freezing, chop the peanuts into bite-sized peanuts.

5. Fold the peanut pieces into the frozen ice cream as you remove it from the machine, and layer it with Fudge Ripple.


Chocolate-Covered Peanuts

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

1. Put the pieces of chocolate in an absolutely dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. In the meantime, stretch a piece of plastic wrap over a dinner plate.

2. Once the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the peanuts, coating them with the chocolate. Spread the mixture on the plastic-lined plate and chil.

Mixing them in: Use a chef’s knife to chop the chocolate-covered block of peanuts into bite-sized pieces, then mix them into 1 quart of ice cream as you remove it from the machine.

Storage: Chocolate-Covered Peanuts can be stored for several months in an air-tight container, refrigerated at room temperature.


Fudge Ripple

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup water
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges.

2. Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1  minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator before using.

Mixing it in: The Fudge Ripple should be thoroughly chilled, as it’s easiest to use when very cold. Just before you remove the ice cream from the machine, spoon some of the Fudge Ripple onto the bottom of the storage container. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, layer generous spoonfuls of the sauce between layers of ice cream. Avoid stirring the Fudge Ripple, as it will make the ice cream muddy looking.

Storage: Fudge Ripple can be stored for up to 2 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.

My fabulous friend Kelley, of My Achy Bakey Heart, recently celebrated her  24th birthday.  I keep her around to both make myself feel young, and also old, since I just celebrated my 27th birthday last month.

Anyway, Kelley and I share a love of books, as we met via book club.  We also share a love of certain vampires (yes, I read the Twilight series, but I love the Sookie Stackhouse books much, much more), and we will often get together to watch True Blood.  For a while I had to use her for her HBO, until I moved and we got it when we re-signed up for cable.

A week or so ago I bribed her to come watch with me, offering dinner and baked goods.  I decided to make these cupcakes, as I wanted to make something new.  I happen to own Amy Sedaris’ entertaining book I like you : Hospitality under the influence AND I happened to get it for Kelley for her birthday.  I had never actually made anything from it, and I figured that why not start now.

For those of you who haven’t read this book, or even looked through it, you should.  It’s got some amazing photos and ideas, and it’s very much out of the 70’s.  I also happen to be a big fan of strangers with candy, as well as her brother’s memoirs, so of course I wanted it as soon as I saw it.  You will too, if you seek it out.

Now, onto the recipe.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk
Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting I had leftover frosting in a can, so I cheated, but used lots of food coloring for fun

Now for her fabulous instructions: Turn oven on to 375 degrees F.

Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth. Pour in sugar and beat well. Add 2 eggs. I like to crack the eggs on the side of the bowl while it is moving, which can be really stupid. I like to take chances. Yes, I have had to throw away my batter because I lost eggshells in the mix. Yes, it was a waste of food and yes, I know how expensive butter is, but what can I say? I’m a daredevil. Mix well. Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Beat until it looks like it is supposed to and pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Should produce 24 cupcakes; I get 18 because I’m doing something wrong, although my cupcakes were voted second best in the city by New York Magazine.

Frost with Amy Sedaris’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

I guess saying “going away” isn’t the exact right term, Kyla is just leaving our office for newer, exciting things.  We’re going to miss her, but she has a fabulous opportunity that she has been offered.  And being the “Betty Crocker” of my office, I naturally asked her if she wanted some treats for her last day.  Her one request was vanilla cupcakes, with my choice in frosting, except for anything with peanut butter.  Well, that seems simple enough, but then at the same time the opportunities are endless.

Somewhere along the way I had read about chocolate cream cheese icing.  This was a new and exciting world to me, as I LOVE cream cheese frosting (but dislike carrot cake, so when I discovered red velvet cake, oh boy was I in heaven), but had never thought to flavor it.  Let me say, it’s my new favorite thing ever.  The flavor isn’t overpowering, you can still taste the cream cheese deliciousness without it being too strong of a chocolate flavor.  The cupcake recipe I used I found on the food network’s site, and it is supposedly from Magnolia Bakery in New York.

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (for this I used 2 3/4 cups regular flower and added 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. baking soda)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk (low fat works just fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

The icing recipe I found on cupcake project, and it made just the right amount for 24 cupcakes.  I always hate when you make icing and end up throwing out half of it because the recipe makes far too much.  This one is so simple, and really good.

1 8 oz package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature
5 C sifted powdered sugar (You can decrease this amount if you don’t care about it being as stiff for piping)
1/2 C cocoa powder (sifted)

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder.

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