We are finally moving to the properly hot part of summer, so, as such, it’s time to break out the ice cream and popsicle recipes! And hopefully, this will be the start of a series of recipes like the waffles have been. 

I’ve been super into key lime pie lately, so I went hell yes to the opportunity to make it in popsicle form. And plus, popsicle molds are something like $5 on Amazon, so I might actually need to get a few spare molds before the summer is out so I can have even more in rotation, or bigger batches. 

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Makes 6 popsicles, with a little extra leftover if you only have a set of 6 molds

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c milk
  • zest of 2 limes (about 2 t)
  • .75 c fresh lime juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • several vanilla wafers, crushed

Zest your limes till you have about 2 t lime zest (this should take about 2 limes), and then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vanilla wafers, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Then, pour into your molds, and let sit in the freezer for a mimimum of five hours, or until you’re ready to eat them. 

When you’re ready to eat them, crush some vanilla wafers in a bag with a hammer until you have good, even crushed crumbs. (Mine didn’t quite turn out quite perfect.) Take your popsicle, run it under warmish water to ease the mold off, and then dip each side in cookie crumbs, and enjoy your sweet, tart treat!

This just in: converting a recipe back from being vegan and gluten free is difficult sometimes. However, the resulting bread that I got out of this? Amazing, and definitely going into the regular rotation once persimmons are back in season. (If you want the original gluten free and vegan version, it’s linked below.)

Persimmon Spice Bread

Ingredients

Bread

  • 2.5 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • .5 c milk
  • .5 c vegetable oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1.5 c persimmon puree (you should be able to get this from about 4 large ripe persimmons)
  • 1 persimmon, sliced thin (I used about half of one)

Vanilla Glaze

  • .5 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Take your persimmons, skin them, and puree the fruit in the blender. Save half of one, and slice it into small slices. (If your persimmons are ripe enough, this will not be an issue. For Hachiyas, you want them super ripe, borderline soft. For Fuyus, you want them firm.)  Preheat your oven to 350. 

In a bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients, followed by the persimmon puree, then the milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla, until you have a coherent dough. Transfer the dough to your loaf pan, top with the persimmon slices from earlier, and bake for an hour at 350. 

While the bread bakes, whisk together your powdered sugar and vanilla to make the glaze. Once the bread has been removed from the oven, let cool for at least fifteen minutes before drizzling the glaze on top.

This is a recipe I’d been wanting to try a while back in… January, I want to say, and peaches came on a good sale, so I decided to try to make this. The yeast I used for this was a bit old, so it probably didn’t rise properly, so I’ll want to give this another shot again soon. Macreating the peaches, though? Incredibly good idea, and definitely a thing I want to do again, especially when the Japanese peaches come into season at Mitsuwa. This may not have been perfect, but it was still real damn good.

Salty Peach Vanilla Focaccia

Ingredients

Dough

  • .5 c milk, warmed to lukewarm (microwaved about 30-40 seconds)
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 t active dry yeast
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • half a stick (.25 c) unsalted butter, softened

Topping

  • 1 large peach (or 2 medium ones), pitted and sliced
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla bean paste
  • flaky sea salt

To start the dough, take the warmed milk, 2 t sugar, and active dry yeast, and mix together in a small bowl, until foamy. Whisk together the flour, 2 T sugar, and lemon zest, and then slowly add the egg and yeast starter, until you have a dry, kind of shaggy dough. Add the butter all in one go, and then work your dough together until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Cover your bowl, and then let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, until it’s roughly doubled in size. 

Meanwhile, while the dough rises, toss your peach slices with the maple syrup, dark brown sugar, and vanilla bean paste, and cover and set aside to macreate while your dough rises. 

After the dough has doubled, punch it down and spread it out on a baking sheet into a rectangleish shape (or as close as you can get to one). Pour the juices over the bread, and then press the peach slices into the dough. Cover with plastic, and then let rise again until doubled in size, roughly another 45 minutes. 

In the last ten minutes, preheat the oven to 400, and bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Sprinkle the bread with sea salt, and then enjoy your ridiculously good dessert bread!

I made these cookies because they sounded awesome on principle, and because back in December, the boy was finally okayed to have caffeine and sweets again, so this seemed like a nice way to combine the two. There’s an additional white chocolate dip with crushed candy canes for these, but these were ridiculously indulgent enough for now. I’ll try the dip another day. 

Peppermint Mocha Cookies
Makes appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (.5 c) butter, softened to room temperature
  • .5 c sugar
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t peppermint extract
  • 1 c flour
  • .5 c plus 2 T extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 package Starbucks Via Peppermint Mocha (or 1 T espresso powder if you have it)
  • 1 c mini or semi sweet chocolate chips (I used a type that included mint chips because winter and it fit the cookies)
  • (8 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped)
  • (3 candy canes, smashed)

In a large bowl, cream your butter with an electric mixer until smooth, and then add in your sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Then add your vanilla and peppermint extracts, and egg. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, Starbucks Via, and salt. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the larger bowl, until you have a nice coherent dough. Then, add in the chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and sticky. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap, and then chill it for three hours at minimum (up to 3 days, if you’re working real far ahead), to help the flavors develop and to make the dough easier to work with. 

Once you’re ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 375, and bring your cookies to room temperature to make them easier to work with (takes about 20 minutes if you left them in 3 hours, any longer and it’s closer to 30). Take bits of the dough and roll them into small balls, and place them on your baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, and then remove and let cool.

(If you decide to do the dip and candy cane coating, take your chopped white chocolate and put it in the microwave, melting in 30 second increments. Once your cookies are cooled, take your cookies, dip half them in the white chocolate, and then sprinkle the smashed candy canes on top of them. Let them sit on parchment paper of some kind to set, and place into the fridge to assist this. Once the white chocolate is set, remove and enjoy!)

What time is it? Catch up time!!

I’ve been cooking a fair bit at the new place, and I honestly just haven’t had time to post stuff lately. This is me attempting to play catchup for a good… three months or so. Whoops. 

I made these cookies back in December for the office cookie exchange. I wanted to try something simple, new, and unique. These sriracha candy canes fit the bill nicely. 😛 

Sriracha Candy Canes
Makes appx 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c) unsalted butter
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T sriracha
  • red food dye

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, and in another bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter and powdered sugar, and then slowly stir in the dry ingredients and mix until you’ve got a nice combined dough.

At this point, split the dough into two pieces.  Wrap one half in plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge to chill.  Add the sriracha and red food dye to the other, and mix until you have an even red dough. Wrap and chill this one as well until you’re ready to make your cookies (one hour minimum). 

Take your doughs out from the fridge, and preheat to 350 degrees once you’re ready to use them. Take small balls off of the sriracha and plain doughs, and roll them into thin, several inch long ropes. Then, place the ropes next to each other, and then twist together (see picture 3), curving the top down to look like a candy cane. Repeat until you run out of dough. 

Bake your candy canes for 12 minutes, and enjoy!

If you’re looking for an awesome dessert, this is it.  This babka is fantastic and rich, and as Deb points out, even if you think it looks not that pretty, that syrup makes everything look fantastic.  And plus, it gives you two loaves – one to share with friends, because you’re nice like that, and one to keep and eat for you.  Or maybe use for things like french toast.

(Better) Chocolate Babka
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4.5 c flour
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 t)
  • (zest of lemon or orange; didn’t add this this time)
  • 3 large eggs
  • .75 t sea salt
  • 2/3 c unsalted butter (just take 2 1/3 sections of a stick of butter)
  • (optional oil to grease)

Filling

  • 4 oz dark chocolate (equivalent to one baking bar)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • .5 c powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c special dark cocoa powder
  • cinnamon to taste

Syrup

  • 1/3 c water
  • 6 T sugar

Combine all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, zest) in a bowl, and mix together with your eggs and water until the dough comes together.  If you have a stand mixer to do this, great!  If not, you’re gonna be using a plastic spoon.  It might be a bit dry – if it doesn’t quite come together, don’t be scared to use some extra water.  Add in your salt and butter, and mix together until the dough is completely smooth (see picture 3).  This took about ten minutes of working the dough with my hands to have it come together perfectly – the dough should start pulling away from the sides of the bowl once it’s ready.  

Coat a bowl with oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, cover, and put in a fridge overnight (or half a day if you’re doing it same day).  The dough won’t quite double, but it will grow by at least half.

When you’re ready to assemble the babka, take your dough, let it warm up slightly, and split it in half and then roll one half out into a 12 by 10 rectangle.  After rolling out the dough, make your filling.  Melt your butter and dark chocolate over medium high heat (put your butter in first, and break the bar down into small chunks), and then stir in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until you have a nice paste, and remove from heat.  Take half the filling, scoop it out onto the rolled out dough, and use a rubber spatula to spread it out all over the dough, leaving a half inch border, like so:

image

To assemble the loaves, brush the furthest end from you with water (in this case the right end) and then roll into a long tight cigar, like so:

image

Seal the water dampened end onto the dough.  Cut off a half inch off each end of the log and then slice each loaf in half length wise, so that it looks like picture 6.  Lay them so that they’re laying long ways with the cut sides laying up, and pinch the two top ends together.  Lift one side over the other to form a nice twist so that the cut sides face up and fan out, making a nice S shape (see picture 7).  Repeat this with your other dough, and feel free to make a small little baby babka like I did with the dough ends.  Transfer into greased loaf pans (or a rectangular cake pan in my case), cover with a damp hand/tea towel, and let rise for an hour and a half.  Preaheat your oven to 375.

Once the hour and a half is up, put the loaves in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  You’ll know it’s done when you’re able to stick a fork or skewer into the middle of a loaf with no restistance (instead of it feeling rubbery/bouncy).

While the babka bakes, make your syrup by simmering together your water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  As soon as the babka is ready, take it out of the oven, drizzle the sugar syrup over the two loaves, and enjoy the fantastic.  The final pic is how your babka will look after you drizzle the syrup on it.  This was what was left of the babka less than twenty minutes later:

image

It’s good shit.

This. Is. Amazing. Brie on it’s own is always fantastic baked. Kahlua and brown sugar is a fantastic combination. Put these two together, and I’m pretty sure I transcended the mortal plane. You want to get someone in bed? This is your dish to make.

Kahlua Brown Sugar Baked Brie
Lasts 4 lunches as a dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 wheel brie (recipe suggested 19 oz, pretty sure this was closer to 8, I used President Brie, use whatever you can find close to home that you like)
  • 1 c Kahlua
  • 1 c dark brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 350. Slice the rind off the top of the brie wheel almost completely, but leave it just barely attached (see pic 1 for best approximation) of this. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melty. Remove from the oven, and pull off the rind. 

While your cheese is baking, mix together your Kahlua and brown sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for ten to fifteen minutes (ideally timed to the cheese being in the oven), until you’ve got a nice, thick syrup.

Pour the Kahlua syrup over the melted brie, and then enjoy the mouthgasm.