Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

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Guess whose back, back, back?

Back again, again, again?

It’s me.

I’m BACK. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I have so much I want to tell you. SO MUCH.

It’s been over six months. Do you know how many things have happened? Like a zillion and seven. That’s kind of a lot. And, also, totally one hundred percent an exaggeration. I’m a lot more boring than you may think.

But, really, I feel like a bag of popcorn you just put in the microwave. I keep popping with things I want to share, but I also totally don’t want to overwhelm you. Or, come off as that crazy lady that just keeps spewing [it feels somehow wrong to use that word on the baking blog…but, let’s just go with it!] random tidbits on her first post back in foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Just bear with me, okay?

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I should probably start with school. The blog hiatus was mostly caused by anatomy, microbiology, anatomy lab, microbiology lab, studying, ALL THE STUDYING, no time…mainly because of work and said studying, and my desire to occasionally get some sleep. And, then the semester ended, and the year ended, and everything was kind of merrr, and I just felt burnt out. There was no creative juices, no artsy-ness, and even though I wanted to be in the kitchen, I just didn’t go in there.

Why? I don’t really know. And, I’m sorry, I know I could definitely be more eloquent with my feelings, but at the end of the day, I just wasn’t feeling it. And, the longer I stayed away from baking the more awkward I felt about getting back into it. And, I know that probably makes absolutely no sense, but for me, it completely does.

I’m kind of an awkward turtle, guys. I just hope ya’ll love me enough to except that. But, serious time. I missed you. And, the blog. And, writing. And, baking. And, taking pictures. Anddddd, just everything about this. I’m back in school again this semester, but it’s definitely much more manageable than the last one. So, I’m ready to be back. And, I hope you’re ready to have me back.

Now, lets talk some ice cream.

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Guess who got an ice cream machine for her birthday?

Yup, this girl. Thanks to my best friend, I can now make ice cream on the regular. Which is pretty much the best thing ever. But, also, sort of a problem. I want to turn everything into ice cream.

EVERYTHING.

How does Cheez-it ice cream sound?

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And, because I want to make everythinggggg into ice cream, I couldn’t decide what to make first. See, weird, awkward turtle over here. No big deal. I figured I couldn’t shouldn’t eat the entire carton ALL by myself, so I asked around and got a suggestion for Peanut Butter, which I felt would be too plain for my come-back recipe, so I decided to add Nutella. Great decision, right?

RIGHT.

The base of the ice cream is a creamy peanut butter mixture that is extremely fluffy and mousse-like in texture. This isn’t one of those ice creams that will leave you wanting more peanut butter flavor. It tastes almost as if the entire jar of peanut butter magically turned itself into ice cream form. And, then of course, I had to swirl Nutella throughout the entire ice cream, because why not?

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Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Ice Cream
Serving size: about 1 quart

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
¼-1/3 cup Nutella

Directions:
Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together the peanut butter and sugar until smooth.
Slowly add in the milk, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low until the sugar has dissolved—don’t worry if it seems a little grainy, the ice cream maker will smooth it out.
Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (it should take about 15 to 20 minutes).
Once the ice cream is frozen, and has thickened, transfer it to an airtight container.
Add dollops of the Nutella, and using a butter knife swirl (don’t mix!) the Nutella throughout the ice cream. If the Nutella seems a little too thick for swirling, heat it up for a few seconds before adding it to the ice cream.
Ice cream can be served immediately as a soft serve or can be frozen for about 2-4 hours for a thicker, ice cream consistency.

NOTES:
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Recipe from She Wears Many Hats

 

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Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

It’s true.

I’m in love. Complete and utter love.

GUYS, I’ve never felt this way before.

Do you know about granita? ‘Cause it just walked into my life. And, I know this may be soon, but I’m never letting it go.

Never, ever, EVER.

I know, how clingy of me.

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I don’t know how I survived this long without knowing about it. It’s so simple. It’s so genius. It’s so damn delicious.

Quick lesson for those that may not know about it. It’s a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and flavoring of your choice. Think snow-cones here. Except, you don’t have to leave your house to get it. All you need is a freezer. Pretty simple huh?

But wait, it doesn’t stop there.

Think boozy snow-cones. Then think boozy shaved ice on top of ice cream.

Can you imagine anything better?

Neither can I.

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I really owe Honestly Yum a huge thank you. That’s how I met granita. When I saw the recipe for Red Wine Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream, I knew I had to make it. Except not with red wine. Fun fact: I’m not a red wine fan.

But, the good thing about granita is that it’s versatile. You can match any flavors you want and it’ll still taste good.

Now that’s a recipe that caters to your tastes. See, why I’m in love?

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

I’m really into mimosas. It’s my go-to drink at brunch. What’s not to love about them? A little a lot of bubbly, a little orange juice, and ta-da you have a drink. Except, I like my mimosas with pineapple juice. Please tell me you’ve tried it. It’s absolutely life changing.

Seriously, try it.

In fact, drink one while you wait for your granita to freeze up. That’s the one thing about making granita. There is a lot of waiting time. The whole process takes about 4 to 5 hours. Don’t let that be the reason you don’t make this though. It’s honestly one of the simplest and easiest recipes I’ve ever shared on the blog. And, as of now, it’s also my favorite recipe.

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

So, Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream. What does that mean exactly?

It means at the bottom you have a layer of vanilla ice cream, in the middle you have a layer of pineapple granita, and on the top you have a layer of champagne granita.

Oh, lets not forget the little pineapple wedge.

It’s trying to look nice for you.

How sweet, huh?

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

Pineapple Mimosa Granita with Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Honestly Yum

Ingredients:
Pineapple Granita
18 oz of pineapple juice (I used 2 pineapple juice cans from Trader Joe’s)

Champagne Granita
1/2 bottle champagne (I used a brut)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water

For Assembly
1 pint of vanilla ice cream
pineapple, for garnish

Directions:
Pineapple Granita
Pour pineapple juice in a shallow baking dish. Place in the freezer and after one hour scrape the ice crystals forming on the side of the pan with a fork towards the center. Repeat every hour until flaky (think shaved ice consistency). Should take about 3 to 4 hours total–it’ll vary based on your freezer.

Champagne Granita
Pour 1/2 bottle of champagne in a shallow baking dish. In a small pot, heat water and sugar, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Add sugar-water mixture to the baking dish and combine with the champagne. Place in the freezer and after one hour scrape the ice crystals forming on the side of the pan with a fork towards the center. Repeat every hour until flaky (again, think shaved ice consistency). Should take about 4 to 5 hours total.

Assembling Dessert
Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small glass and top with a heaping layer of the pineapple granita, followed by a heaping layer of champagne granita. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

In sum, pineapple + champagne + shaved ice + ice cream =

TRUE LOVE.

Pineapple Mimosa Granita

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

Pumpkin Ice Cream CupcakesI spent the last week in Seattle.

And, I’m fairly certain I fell in love.

I want to live there someday. It’s absolutely beautiful.

I’d never been to Seattle before, but it had always been a place I wanted to visit. Partly because I Love (yes, with a capital L) the rain. I’m a huge fan of cloudy days, cold weather, and jumping around in rain puddles (with rain boots on, of course). The other part, which you may have already guessed, is that Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks. And, we all know, how much I love my coffee.

I spent most of my time walking the streets in downtown Seattle. Window shopping with my mom. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee. Site seeing with my family. Jumping around in the fall leaves (don’t judge me…we don’t quite get all, or really any, of the fall changes in California. In fact, it’s still in the eighties where I live.). Watching the Seahawks’ fans proudly wear bright green and blue. And, eating more than my fair share of desserts.

There was one bakery, in particular, that I would gladly live in. It’s called Cupcake Royale, and it may just be the cutest little bakery I’ve ever seen. They have coffee, homemade ice cream, and adorably decorated cupcakes. Can you see why I want to live there?

They had Pumpkin Cardamom ice cream, which I obviously had to try, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it was. It had chunks of soft pumpkin bread swirled with a cardamom cream cheese ice cream that was literally like eating pumpkin pie in ice cream form. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. That ice cream was the inspiration for these Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes. And can I just say, these little bad boys taste pretty darn good.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes require a little bit more time and work than your normal cupcake, but trust me when I say, it’s soooo worth it. The cupcake portion, itself, is a graham cracker cupcake that is ridiculously moist and maintains that spicy graham cracker flavor that we all love. On top of the cupcake, is a thick layer of pumpkin ice cream, which is then covered in a cream cheese glaze. Finally, the cupcake is sprinkled generously with toasted pumpkin spice graham cracker crumbs. These cupcakes are a little messier than most (blame the delicious pumpkin ice cream), but I don’t think you’ll mind the sticky fingers after your first bite!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yields: About 22 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (about 13 graham cracker sheets) of graham cracker crumbs (I used honey graham crackers and a food processor to make my crumbs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Ice Cream Layer
1 quart pumpkin cream (I used Trader’s Joe Pumpkin Ice Cream)

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
5 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled
1-1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice

NOTE: I had extra crumb topping at the end, so maybe try using 3 sheets of graham crackers instead of 5 and add pumpkin spice based off of taste.

Directions:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Cream butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake tin. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely or put them in the freezer to speed up the process.

Ice Cream Layer
If you removed the cupcakes from the cupcake pan for cooling, return cupcakes to the pan once completely cooled.
Carefully and quickly spread a spoonful of pumpkin ice cream on top of the cupcakes—make sure to cover the whole cupcake and leave a little mound on the top of the cupcake so they aren’t flat.
If the ice cream becomes too soft to work with, return cupcakes and ice cream to the freezer until you can work again.
Freeze cupcakes for about 1-2 hours or until ice cream layer is frozen enough (I let mine sit over night).

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
Before making your cream cheese glaze, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin spice. Mix until well-combined.
Pour crumbs onto foiled cookie sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown—watch the crumbs carefully because they can quickly become burnt.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Once the ice cream layer has been set and the crumbs have been toasted make your glaze.
In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Assembly
Remove cupcakes from freezer and pour a heaping spoonful of cream cheese glaze over each cupcake—make sure to cover the whole thing.
Once the cupcakes have been glazed, sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the cupcake.
Place cupcakes back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, and then finalllllly you can eat them :)

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes