Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites

IMG_2533“Did you MAKE these?!” my father asked with his mouth full, turning the the half-eaten object in his hand from side to side with an expression of glee.

“Um, yes.” I replied.

“What is IN them?”

“Dad, they’re banana slices dipped in chocolate. And frozen. That’s it.”

“Really?!”

“Really.”

“You could sell these at [name of expensive restaurant in our town] for lots and lots of money. Seriously, serve them up on a fancy platter and no one would ever know the difference.”

“Haha.”

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All jokes aside, these frozen chocolate banana bites have serious show-stopping potential, despite their short list of ingredients and the minimal effort involved in making them. All I did was melt together some dark chocolate chips with a little peanut butter (because in my world, where there is chocolate, peanut butter must follow), dunk banana slices in the mixture, and sprinkle a little shredded coconut over the tops. Then I froze them. Thirty minutes later I had a Tupperware full of delicious chocolatey treats that my family couldn’t believe I had created all by myself. Of course in reality it was probably the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, practically kinda sorta.IMG_2540

These really are some of the easiest treats I’ve ever made, but they taste so fantastic! According to my (questionably hyperbolic) father, they just might be “the best” things I’ve ever made. The frozen banana tastes remarkably similar to vanilla ice cream, tucked inside a shell of dark chocolate with just a hint of peanut butter. The coconut sprinkled on top was the icing on the cake for our family, but if you aren’t a coconut fan (oh, the horror!) just leave it off. Although you probably didn’t need me to tell you that, you intelligent people you.

So basically, in a matter of 15 minutes you can be popping these babies in the freezer. No sink full of dirty dishes, no oven heating up your house, no excessive amount of time suddenly robbed from your day. And you get a ton of frozen chocolate banana bites out of it. You’re welcome!IMG_2556

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites

2 bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch disks

1 cup chocolate chips

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter*

Shredded coconut, for sprinkling

Directions:

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one). Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Working quickly, use a fork to dip each banana slice in the melted chocolate and coat it entirely, then transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. When all the banana slices are covered in chocolate, sprinkle with shredded coconut if desired.

Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened, and then transfer the banana bites to an airtight container. Enjoy these straight out of the freezer!

*If needed, you can omit the peanut butter and melt a teaspoon of butter or coconut oil along with the chocolate instead.

 

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Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Sandwiches

IMG_0308Sorry but not sorry about the ice cream sandwich deja vu on the blog…I know I just recently posted these (amazing!) Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, but they were such a huge hit that I couldn’t help but experiment with a new type of ice cream sandwich. I mean, really. The only thing better than a fresh, soft, homemade cookie is TWO fresh, soft, homemade cookies sandwiching a thick layer of ice cream. Perfect for a summer night treat!

After much brainstorming, I came up with this combination for ice cream sandwiches: thick & chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chunks and walnut bits, layered with homemade roasted banana ice cream. I call them Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Sandwiches after the iconic banana/chocolate/nut trio. Sometimes Way too often, things are better in my head than in real life, but not with these babies! Ohhhh no. The flavors, the textures, they all play off each other in these little sandwiches to create one of the most delicious desserts I’ve made in quite a while (yes, I know I say that all the time)!

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The oatmeal cookies are just what I had hoped for: chewy in the centers, slightly crispy around the edges, and chock-full of oats, chocolate chunks, and chopped walnuts. And the ice cream….oh, the ice cream. This is review for those of you who’ve read my last few posts, but this roasted banana ice cream is no joke. It begins with roasting bananas in a bit of butter and brown sugar until they’re soft and starting to caramelize, and ends with blending them up into a creamy ice cream mixture that is then churned and frozen.

While the cookies and ice cream are fabulous by themselves, put them together and you’ve got something on a whole other level. These ice cream sandwiches are certainly something to indulge in, but that just makes them all the more special. They’ve even been deemed by one of my brother’s friends as THE best ice cream sandwiches ever. Worth a try, right? 😉

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Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yield: about 15-20 ice cream sandwiches

1 batch Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 batch Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Directions:

Freeze the cookies for 30 minutes or until hard. Let the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then, working quickly, place a scoop of ice cream (I used about 2 tablespoons) onto the flat side of a cookie. Place another cookie on top, pressing down gently until the ice cream reaches the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies. I like to cut up squares of plastic wrap ahead of time, then wrap up each finished ice cream sandwich individually and place in the freezer as I go.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

IMG_4743 I always have been and always will be a banana-lover. Yes, yes, I know that many people will tell you that bananas are starchy fruits that are quite high in sugar, and some nutritionists practically consider them taboo, but they just have too many good things going on to be removed from your (or at least my!) diet. Slightly under-ripe bananas actually have a much lower glycemic index than ripe ones (meaning that they digest more slowly and won’t cause as much of a blood-sugar spike) and are full of probiotics. While super ripe bananas have more quickly-absorbed sugar, they also are rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants. Basically, you win either way. (And no, I promise that a. this isn’t going to become a nutrition blog, and b. I am not being compensated by any banana company or anything of the sort to say a bunch of wonderful things. I just really love bananas.)

And that’s not all! Bananas are also a great source of electrolytes (I almost always have half a banana after a long run), mashed banana is a great substitute for oil/butter/etc. in many recipes, bananas’ natural sweetness lends itself to baked goods (meaning that you can cut down the refined sugar when creating a recipe with bananas) and they also give baked goods a soft, moist texture. Not to mention their delicious flavor! IMG_4744 Now that we’ve established that I really really love bananas, let’s bake with them! Roasted Banana Ice Cream is on the menu for today, and it’s one of the most delicious ice creams I’ve ever made. The roasting bananas made my kitchen smell like bananas foster, and the resulting ice cream was perfectly thick, smooth, and full of caramely-banana flavor. It comes together much more easily than custard-based homemade ice cream, and has a considerably less sugar and fat than many ice cream recipes due to the sweet, thickening bananas. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is healthy ice cream, but that’s not really the point when it comes to ice cream. At least not in my opinion.

Celebrate the first month of summer with a bowl of Roasted Banana Ice Cream! It would be amazing drizzled with caramel sauce, hot fudge, melted peanut butter (omg), or chopped nuts. Or in another delicious form, which may be coming soon to Emma’s Baking Addiction (hint, hint…). I need to roast bananas more often, because when I do, amazing things happen. Happy eating! IMG_4745   Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Yield: about 1 quart

3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small chunks

1 & 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the banana slices in an 8″x8″ baking pan and toss them with the brown sugar and butter pieces. Roast uncovered for 25-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the banana slices are lightly browned and caramelized.

Place the bananas (and all the syrupy mixture from the pan) into a blender or food processor. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl or large (4-cup) measuring cup and chill for at least 8 hours. Then pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Serve immediately (at a soft-serve consistency) or freeze the ice cream until firm.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from The Perfect Scoop)

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

IMG_6441I’m baaaack! Anyone still out there? I know my little break for college turned into a nearly 9-month sabbatical, but I’m home for the summer and ready to be back in the kitchen! It’s been quite the year. I won’t go into all the cliches of going through the overwhelming, emotional roller coaster ride of freshman year, becoming better acquainted with myself and learning that it is possible to exist outside of familiarity and build a new little home-away-from-home….cause this is a baking blog, people! Hah. But it’s true. I’m sure I’ll figure out ways to slip in a few little personal stories here and there between recipes…I always seem to. 🙂

So, ready for the food part? Today’s recipe is for Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Vanilla-Cinnamon Ice Cream. Phew…I’m practically out of breath just typing it! But seriously, these are SO delicious. About a million steps up from the standard chocolate-chip-cookie-vanilla-ice-cream sandwiches you can buy at the store. Cause there’s BROWNED BUTTER, folks! And we all know that browned butter makes everything a million times better. Fact.

While I was at college (yep, we’re already going there!), the food was…not exactly top-notch. My school was definitely better than some, in terms of fresh fruit & veggies, gluten-free/vegetarian options, variety…but we’re still talking A LOT of salad bar creations and turkey sandwiches throughout the year. Since I don’t eat mammals (easiest way to describe my part-vegetarianism), there weren’t always a lot of choices, especially since I wanted to avoid the greasier options. The salad bar was decent, and I usually loaded up my plate of greens with fresh veggies, chickpeas or black beans, corn, cubed chicken breast and walnuts, but that doesn’t exactly scream flavor. 

By the time school was out, I was desperate for some homemade food made with actual spices and seasonings other than massive amounts of MSG and salt. And now that I’m home, even the simplest meals taste so amazing! Last night I threw together a quick quinoa bowl with roasted veggies and peanut sauce, and it was soooo good. I’ll never take fresh ginger and garlic for granted again.

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Now, here’s the part where I manage to tie my super-long tangent into the real recipe. The moral of this story is that sometimes flavor is just too good to pass up, even if it takes more work. For instance, these ice cream sandwich cookies take quite a bit of time between the browning and re-solidifying of butter, chilling of dough, baking of cookies, softening of ice cream, and re-freezing of cookies and ice cream, but IT IS WORTH IT. I wrote it in caps, so you know I mean it. Browned butter, as you may know, is my life. It adds such a nutty, almost caramel-like depth of flavor to whatever it’s used in, and is so easy to make. I mean, all it is is butter! I love to use it in cookies, especially when paired with dark brown sugar (which gives a hint of molasses undertones). Since this recipe, which is one of my favorites for CC cookies, uses softened butter rather than melted, I just chilled the browned butter until it was re-solidified. Yes, it takes time, but remember…FLAVOR!

I couldn’t just make chocolate chip cookies, especially for the recipe that resurfaced my blog from the depths of neglect. That’s why I added the browned butter. But I couldn’t just stop there, so I decided to sandwich the cookies with vanilla ice cream. But I couldn’t just leave it at that. So I changed it to CINNAMON vanilla ice cream which, when paired with the nutty browned butter flavor, makes for one phenomenal ice cream sandwich. A far cry from anything in my college’s cafeteria, that’s for sure! Adding cinnamon to the vanilla ice cream does add another step, and I guessss you could just use regular vanilla ice cream (or store-bought cinnamon ice cream, if you can find it!), but again….FLAVOR is worth the time. At least for my flavor-deprived-college-student tastebuds.

The end result was, as I hoped, totally worth the effort. None of the steps were hard in the least, and these ice cream sandwiches are the best I’ve ever had. Thick, chewy, browned butter chocolate chip cookies sandwiching a disc of creamy vanilla-cinnamon ice cream. They’re about as far from bland as you can get. Oh, how it’s good to be home!

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Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches 

Yield: about 24 cookies, or 12 ice cream sandwiches

For the cookies:

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For assembling:

1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:

Up to a day ahead of time, allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes. When it is at a soft-serve consistency, add in 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and stir to combine. Spoon the ice cream into a 9×13 inch glass pan and freeze for at least 2 hours, or until firm. (If you want to save time, you can skip this step and just have plain vanilla ice cream.)

For the cookies, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Let the butter cook, whisking constantly, until it becomes golden-brown and fragrant. (This will take about 5 minutes, but watch it closely!) As soon as the butter is golden-brown, pour it into a shallow bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours, or until it is solidified but still soft. If the butter gets too cold, allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes or until slightly softened. (Again, you can skip this step and just use softened butter, but the browned butter flavor is seriously worth the time!)

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the browned butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla until well-incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet (I like to use a wooden spoon for this, rather than a mixer). Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to bake, turn on the oven to 350 degrees F and let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Then form the dough into golf-ball-sized balls (about 1.5 tablespoons) and place onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are set and the edges are slightly golden-brown. They may look slightly underdone, but this is okay–they will continue baking as they cool and will remain soft and chewy!

Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

When the ice cream is firm and the cookies are very cold, take the cookies and ice cream out of the freezer. Place one cookie, face-down, on a square of plastic wrap. Using the bottom of a small glass (about 3 inches in diameter), cut a circle into the ice cream and transfer it onto the cookie. Place a second cookie on top and press slightly. Wrap up the sandwich in the plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Repeat with remaining cookies. Eat immediately or keep frozen. If the ice cream sandwiches have been frozen for several hours, 5-10 minutes at room temperature will make them easier to eat.

(Cookie recipe adapted from Anna Olson on Food Network)

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Lemon Sorbet

IMG_7845-EditFor many years, I always referred to sorbet as “sore-bet” rather than the correct pronunciation “sore-bay.” My dad called it “sore-bet,” my mom called it “sore-bet,” so naturally I thought it was “sore-bet.” Who was I, an innocent and easily corrupted little child, to know the difference? Sadly, “sorbet” is not the only word I’ve pronounced incorrectly for years, only to find out that I’ve been sounding like an idiot for way too long. Like when I used to talk about “ether-real” desserts (ethereal), “super-flouse” amounts of something (superfluous), and what to order for “horse-da-vores” (hors d’oeuvres). Classy.

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Luckily I’m not the only one who slaughters the English language once in a while. I recently informed my father, a middle school English teacher, that the word disheveled is pronounced “dish-heveled” rather than “diss-heevled.” Whoops-a-daisy. And I can’t tell you how many times in school I’ve heard classmates talk about the “coop” in Afghanistan when its government was taken over, or ask our Lit teacher what exactly a “hyper-bowl” is. *Face-palm*

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Now that we’ve gotten the pronunciation issue squared away nicely, I can present to you this fabulous recipe for Lemon SorbAY! Its tart, sweet, zesty, icy lemon freshness is the perfect refresher to end any summer meal. Or winter meal. Or fall meal or spring meal for that matter. With only FOUR ingredients (two of them coming from the same fruit and one of them being water) this is one of the simplest recipes out there. Just heat up a simple syrup of water and sugar, let it cool while squeezing and zesting some fresh, juicy lemons, stir it all together, pour it into an ice cream maker, freeze for a couple hours if desired, and voila! Fresh, homemade sorbet ready to be gobbled up at your earliest convenience.

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I realize that not everyone owns an ice cream maker, and I can’t vouch for the results of making this recipe without one, but I have to say that prior to freezing this recipe is nothing more than wonderful homemade lemonade. I would imagine that if you blended/food-processed the mixture with a handful of ice cubes you’d have a pretty stellar lemon slushy to feast on, too. But if you DO happen to own an ice cream maker, go the sorbet route. You won’t regret it. This cool, creamy, perfectly tart, and fruity sorbet beats anything I’ve ever bought in the frozen food aisle. It’s seriously ethereal, guys. Ether-real indeed. 😉

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Fresh Lemon Sorbet

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3-4 large lemons)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest (more or less to taste)

Directions:

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, uncovered. Pour the mixture (called a simple syrup) into a bowl and cool completely.

When the syrup is cool, stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to maker’s instructions. (Mine takes about 25-30 minutes.) Sorbet will be soft and slushy. Serve the sorbet immediately or transfer it to a container and freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Makes about 2 cups.

(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

Mint Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

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Growing up, my family regularly vacationed in the very area that we now live in, a group of islands in the Pacific Northwest. The summers before my 4th, 6th, and 9th birthdays were spent camping, kayaking, playing on the beach, and taking the ferry boat over to other harbors. When we ventured over to the island that I now live on, I remember being forced to walk an entire mile (half of which, my mother kindly reminds me, was spent in a stroller) in the blazing sun to the public library, taking actual showers (rather than standing under a bag of heated water in a hidden grove of trees in our camp site), and walking out onto the docks to gaze at all the impressive ships. Best of all though, was the ice cream cart. The ice cream cart, located mere feet from the ocean, always promised a cool, creamy treat at the end of a fun-filled day.

While I always opted for my favorite flavor, rainbow sherbet, I remember my dad consistently choosing mint chocolate chip. Although I loved the trio of flavors that my sherbet provided, sometimes I found myself wishing I’d gone with the mint chip. There’s something about the cool, fresh flavor of mint ice cream studded with decadent chocolate chips that has always held a special place in my heart. Although the mint-chocolate combo is divine, my favorite of the two components (being the mint ice cream and chocolate chips) has always been the mint. For many years I actually found myself wishing that it was easier to find plain old mint ice cream. No chocolate chips, just smooth, sweet, uninterrupted mint. Unfortunately in a chocolate-obsessed world, such an ice cream doesn’t seem to exist. However, sometime ago I discovered an alternative to mint chocolate chip ice cream that made me forget all about wishing for plain old mint: Mint Cookie Crunch.

Dreyer’s Mint Cookie Crunch is mint ice cream swirled with chocolate cookie crumbles. Much like a mint version of cookies and cream, another favorite of mine, this ice cream quickly became a new favorite. The less-intense chocolate flavor of the cookie crumbs seems to meld more nicely with the mint ice cream, not to mention the slight, pleasant crunch that the chocolate crumbs provide in contrast to the creamy ice cream. To sum it up, yum.

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The last day of June brought with it a heat wave that thrust our mild climate into temperatures in the high 80s. I’m sure this is far from impressive to those of you in parts of the country where it tops 100 degrees at the peak of the day, but to our unaccustomed little neck of the woods, anything above 75 is quite drastic. Suddenly it felt like summer for a change, and plans for swimming, beach-going, and barbecuing were in full swing. I had plans to do a little baking last week, but the idea of turning on the oven was less than appealing. Instead I turned to the classic hot-weather necessity–ice cream!

Be warned that this recipe is for real, rich, custard-based, ultra-creamy ice cream that cuts no corners when it comes to ingredients. We’re talking whole milk, heavy cream, and white sugar. You know, all the stuff that your taste buds love but that your skimpy summer clothes–and arteries–loathe. However, my motto has always been everything in moderation, and once in a while it’s okay to go whole-hog and just make the darn ice cream! Let me tell you right now, it’s worth it.

Being the real deal, this ice cream is made with a custard base. That may sound difficult, or time-consuming, or like way too much work, but it’s not! I promise. Nothing even comes to a boil, so there’s no worry about scorching or hardening or curdling or anything as long as you pay attention and stir. A candy thermometer is nice but not necessary–I like to use one just to make sure the mixture has reached a high enough temperature to kill any traces of salmonella in the egg yolks, but I’m a bit paranoid about stuff like that. Not paranoid enough to keep my fingers out of a bowl of cookie dough, but just enough to fret about whether or not my ice cream custard is 100% bacteria-free. It’s a fine line.

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Anyway, the entire ice cream base takes less than 10 minutes to make, and the rest is all chilling/freezing time! Easy-peasy. Though I highly recommend the Mint Cookie Crunch, this recipe is a perfect base for any type of ice cream you may fancy…throw in a scraped vanilla bean and ditch the peppermint extract for old-fashioned vanilla ice cream, stir in some strawberry puree at the end (again, minus the mint) for strawberry ice cream, or have fun experimenting with different flavors and extracts. With a bowl full of cream and sugar, it’s hard to go wrong.

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a cool scoop of ice cream now and then. Dig out your ice cream maker and churn up a batch of this spectacular Mint Cookie Crunch to enjoy on the next sweltering day. Or on a cool night. Or anything in between. I mean, is there really a wrong time for ice cream? I think not.

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Mint Cookie Crunch Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 & 1/2 cups whole milk*

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

1 & 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4-5 drops green food coloring, if desired

1 & 1/4 cup crushed Oreos, cream filling removed (about 15 cookies)

Directions:

Stir together the whole milk, sugar, and 1 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Mixture should be warm but not boiling.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining cup of cream into a large bowl. Place a mesh strainer on top and set the bowl aside.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks for about 2 minutes or until they are lightened in color. Whisk in 1 cup of the warm milk mixture, then gradually add in the rest, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. A candy thermometer should reach at least 170 degrees. Then pour the custard through the mesh strainer and stir it into the cream. Continue stirring the mixture until it has slightly cooled.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool completely, at least 2 hours. Then pour the custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the ice cream maker’s directions (usually about 30 minutes). Ice cream will be soft. Alternately spoon the ice cream and the crushed Oreos into a quart-sized container, beginning and ending with the ice cream.  Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm, then serve.

*For a lower-fat option, you can substitute some or all of the whole milk for 2%. Just note that the ice cream will be less creamy and a bit harder to scoop.

(Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite ways to end a summer night is with a cool scoop of creamy frozen yogurt.  I live on an island, and some of my favorite summer memories are of walking down the docks along the waterfront with an ice-cream cone in hand.  I always used to go out for frozen yogurt, but after making this recipe I may stick to homemade!  Who knew it could be so easy, so fast, and so delicious?

With all the fresh summer produce available, I’ve been trying to incorporate lots of fruits into my baking projects and this strawberry frozen yogurt fit the bill perfectly.  Made with only 4 ingredients, this frozen yogurt is unbelievably sweet, smooth, and creamy even though it is almost fat-free.  The strawberries are the star of the show, and combined with a hint of lemon juice and the slight tang of Greek yogurt you are in for a real treat!  I was surprised at how only a couple ingredients could result in something so good.  Even my brother, who usually gives only the grunt of approval for my baked goods, commented “Mmm….Hey, Emma.  This is really good!”  Yeah, it doesn’t sound like much, but my parents and I have been known to clap with glee when we get more than a 2-word response from him at any given time.  And an un-prompted response is almost unheard of.  So for those of you who do not live with a 17-year-old selectively-illiterate brother, that (6-word!) comment gives this frozen yogurt an equivalent of about 5 stars.  Stay cool on these  hot summer days by mixing up a batch of this quick and tasty strawberry frozen yogurt!

Note: The original recipe only makes about 1 quart, but it can easily be doubled.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt, such as Chobani

1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries.  Place berries into a large bowl and add sugar, stirring until sugar begins to dissolve and strawberries begin to release their juices.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries, yogurt, and lemon juice.  Blend until the mixture is smooth, and refrigerate for at least another hour.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to your maker’s instructions.  (I used a Cuisinart, and I let it churn for 20 minutes before freezing).  Enjoy!

(Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod, originally from The Perfect Scoop)