Ice Cream Sandwiches for a Heatwave! (Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies with Wildflower Honey Ice Cream, and many more!)

Ice cream sandwiches | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

There is a rule in my house, I am only allowed to complain about one MN season, and I have chosen winter. This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum this week when it is going on the 3rd day of 95°, with humidity to match. Do I give up bitching about winter in place of this, or just adopt an all ice cream diet? I have settled on the latter, because griping about winter is the only thing that gets me through it and I love ice cream, so this won’t be much of a sacrifice. I’ll eat it in a bowl, on a cone, in a shake, with or without malt, on top, underneath or inside a dessert (baked alaska), but one of my all time favorite ways to eat ice cream is between two cookies. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, ginger snap, graham crackers, honey tuile, chocolate meringue, and rosemary shortbread have all been made into ice cream sandwiches in my house.

Here is a recipe for my Oatmeal Rum Raisin Cookies which I paired up with Wildflower Honey Ice Cream. (I have also made this honey ice cream with 3/4 cup slightly crushed, lightly toasted, sunflower seeds and it is outrageous. A little something I picked up at the MN State Fair.) With this combo I can endure the heatwave. For the recipes and more ice cream sandwich combos… (more…)

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Lemon Champagne Mint Cocktails turned into Granita!

Lemon champagne mint granita | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

A couple weeks ago I mentioned on my Twitter page that I was competing with my neighbor in a cocktail pour-off. I couldn’t share my recipe then, because spying eyes from across the lawn could not be trusted. Truth be told, I was in over my head on this one and needed any advantage I could get. In the end my neighbor Kathy won with her refreshing and seasonal “Dirty Ramp-tinis.”  She pickled the ramps, then poured ice cold gin over them and drizzled a bit of the pickling juice into the glass. They were simple perfection. I bowed my head to her after the first sip. My creations were dessert to her cocktail appetizers. I, of course, went for something with a bit of sweetness, but also tart and refreshing. I have been known to enjoy my sparkling beverages in the form of cava, prosecco and champagne; it was bound to be featured it in the glass. I had candied kumquats in my cupboard and lemongrass in my crisper drawer, so a citrus theme was born. I made a Meyer lemon and lemongrass sorbet to float in the champagne. I came in second (it was just the two of us competing), but I think I could have won against anything other than the “Dirty Ramp-tinis.” I did get extra points for presentation; I used my grandmother’s glasses and the drink really was lovely.

As I was enjoying my “Lemongrass Champagne Fizz Cocktail” I was already planning to make these same ingredients into a simple granita. Granita is like the rugged cousin of the sorbet. It has large crystals of flavored ice that require nothing but a basic freezer to make. It is perfect for those without an ice cream maker or those, like me, who just forgot to freeze the one I do own. It also doesn’t require a precise recipe to freeze smooth, since part of its charm is the icy texture.

The Cake Decorating Giveaway is still open. Click to read more details on how to win a Cupcake decorating set!

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Poppy Seed Angel Food Cake with Açai Sorbet and Berries!

Last weekend I partnered with Cooks of Crocus Hill and Kare11 news to promote the Go Red For Woman Campaign. A wonderful organization committed to wiping out heart disease. I know it seems an odd message from a pastry chef, but actually I practice what I preach. I may not always bake or eat low fat meals, but I keep my portions to a reasonable size. And, as some of you know I’ve been dragging myself to kettlebell class. (Yes, despite the complaining I am getting stronger!)

I will never eliminate butter from my diet, but it isn’t always a necessity in making an outstanding dessert. This poppy seed angel food cake is 100% fat free. Not only that, it is full of egg whites which have lots of protein. I paired the cakes with Açai sorbet and a berry soup, both high in antioxidants and other vitamins. Seriously, this is nearly health food. Okay, I know there is still sugar and cake flour. I baked them in muffin tins so a single recipe makes up to 36 servings. Absolutely delicious and gorgeous, you’ll never miss the fat and you’ll be satisfied. If you are on a heart healthy diet you should not be made to suffer, nor should you give up dessert. For other Heart Healthy Desserts check out my Chocolate Poached Pears, English Breakfast Angel Food, Saffron Scented Pannacotta, Chocolate Biscotti and I’ll continue to come up with others. (more…)

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