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Gingersnap Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

22 Dec

December 22, 2014

I’m really excited about this post, as there are too many good things all at once!

Who doesn’t like cookies this time of year? And it’s never too cold to have ice cream, right? Which is why I combined gingersnap cookies with a decadent double chocolate homemade ice cream.

2014-12-14 05.35.372014-12-14 05.37.52To get into the holiday spirit, I decided to make some gingersnap cookies. You wouldn’t think gingersnaps are the most appetizing cookies, because after all, it’s ginger. Sure enough, the ginger adds a spicy aftertaste, giving these cookies a little kick. I used my fun leaf cookie cutters that I bought last Christmas season and halfway through cutting the cookies, I had an idea of saving some of the dough to make ice cream sandwiches.

The combination of ginger and chocolate may sound weird, but it’s actually quite tasty. Try it!

2014-12-14 05.52.322014-12-14 05.41.34Gingersnap Cookies, from Miette’s book
10 oz AP flour
2 ½ oz whole-wheat flour
½ tsp salt
2T ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground white pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
scant ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
8 oz unsalted butter
5 oz lightly brown sugar
2T honey
4T molasses
2 oz finely minced candied ginger (I omitted this)
2 tsp fresh ginger puree (I omitted this, and used another 1 tsp ground ginger)

Y= about 50 leaf-shaped cookies and 5-2×2 inch sandwich cookies.


  1. Sift flours and all the spices together. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the honey and molasses. Mix to incorporate.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing in between each addition.
  5. Form the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Use cookie cutter of your choice to cut shapes out. If making ice cream sandwiches, use a square cutter to cut pieces out.
  7. Optional: before baking, sprinkle granulated or cane sugar on cookies.
  8. Bake at 350F 9-12 minutes, depending on size of cut-outs


Double-Chocolate Ice Cream, from Williams-Sonoma Ice Cream book
1 ½ C milk
1 ½ C heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
½ C sugar
2 T cocoa powder
pinch of salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine milk and 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan. Heat on medium until bubbles form.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, cocoa, salt and remaining cream.
  3. Place chocolate in a second bowl and set aside.
  4. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and whisk ½ cup of the heated mixture into the egg mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan, cook on medium heat, while stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the hot custard over the chocolate and stir to melt.
  7. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl.
  8. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  9. Chill the mixture by placing the bowl into an ice bath.
  10. Once cooled, press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. Churn the custard in an ice-cream maker. Place ice cream in a clean container. Allow it to firm up in the freezer.
  12. Sandwich ice cream between gingersnap cookies. Wrap ice cream sandwiches individually and place in freezer if saving it for later.

2014-12-14 05.58.162014-12-14 05.47.192014-12-14 05.45.45

Happy Holidays!

Classic Apple Pie

6 Jul

July 6th, 2014

Happy 4th of July Weekend! I had a nice, long, much-needed 4-day weekend of hanging out and doing random things around town. We spent a lot of time with our puppy, who turned 8-months today! To celebrate the actual holiday though, we hung out with a couple of friends over barbecue, drinks and of course, dessert. The gathering was a potluck, so I decided to make a pie to bring. The original plan was a peach pie since stone fruits are in season right now. Unfortunately, after a small mishap, plans changed; just as I was pulling the peach pie out of the oven, my sticky fingers dropped the pie dish and the entire thing flipped upside down onto the oven door! This was a first for me and it was quite devastating. Sadly enough, the pie was not salvageable.

So the back up plan was a classic apple pie. I could have scrambled and rushed to the market for more peaches, but I had plenty of apples already in the refrigerator, so I opted to make an apple pie instead. I love making this pie because it’s simple and you can’t go wrong with it. I mean, who doesn’t love an apple pie, right? This was served within two hours after it came out of the oven, and it was still warm. However, if you need to make it ahead of time, you can bake it, let it cool to room temperature, and slightly cover and leave it until the next day to serve.

The best part of apple pies, or any other pies, is having a slice with some vanilla ice cream!

2014-07-04 04.37.03Pie Dough:
12oz flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
7T cold water
1T cider vinegar
Y= enough to cover the bottom & top of a 9-inch pie pan

1. In a food processor with the dough attachment, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly.
2. Add the water and vinegar mixture in thirds, pulsing in between.
3. Finish mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface. Divide dough in two pieces. Wrap, refrigerate and allow dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
4. At this point, you can also freeze the dough.
5. Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface. Transfer the rolled out dough to the pie pan by carefully rolling it onto your rolling pin and laying it in the pie pan. Press the dough into the pan. Refrigerate pie pan to set the dough.

Apple Pie Filling:
10 apples (Gala); washed, dried, peeled, sliced
Juice of ½ a lemon
1C white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: ½ tsp vanilla powder
3T cornstarch

1. Toss sliced apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla together.
2. Add cornstarch. Mix to coat evenly.
3. Pour mixture into pie pan.
4. Carefully roll out the second half of the dough. Place on top of apples and seal edges.
5. Make a few slits in the center of the pie.
6. Egg wash the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Halfway through baking, I place a piece of foil over the top since I didn’t want the tops to get too dark.

2014-07-04 04.33.52 2014-07-04 04.42.57 2014-07-04 21.54.132014-07-04 22.02.26  Paired with leftover homemade vanilla ice cream!

Puff Pastry for Palmiers

25 Nov

November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m extremely happy that the holidays are here because I’ll be baking in full force. The past couple of days I have been making a few items in preparation for Thanksgiving, so be prepared to see a few updates. This post is a little long because I’m posting step-by-step pictures on how to make puff pastry for Palmiers, so sit back and enjoy!

I was extremely excited to make puff pastry at home because it’s quite versatile in the products you can make with the dough. It is a time-intensive dough because it requires rolling, folding and resting of the dough in order to create the light and flaky layers.

The biggest challenge of making puff pastry is trying to keep the butter from melting. Since you are handling the dough so much, the temperature from your hands will soften the butter quite quickly. The key is to work fast and to work on a cool surface. I have a granite countertop, which helps keep the dough cool. Also, if the dough is too soft to work with, just pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before handling it again.

My end goal was to make Palmiers with the puff pastry dough, which are sometimes called palm leaves or elephant ears. The dough is basically rolled in either sugar or cinnamon sugar and baked until crispy and golden brown. Some other products you can use puff pastry for is chicken pot pie, fruit galettes, and turnovers. Puff pastry is used a lot for savory items, which is why it’s so versatile.


125g cake flour

125g bread flour

1 tsp salt

125g-200g cold water

35g softened butter

250g cold butter


  1. Make the dough: mix all the dries together in a mixer bowl. Mix with paddle. Add the 35g of softened butter.
  2. Add water a little at a time until dough comes together. The dough should look shaggy at this point.

Continue reading below for picture instructions. Note: At any time the dough is sticking, generously flour the surface area.

  1. Remove dough from mixer bowl and finishing mixing by hand. Flatten dough into a square; wrap and refrigerate. Meanwhile, prepare the butter (not pictured): loosely wrap the 250g of butter in plastic and slightly pound with rolling pin to soften. Shape into a square, wrap and refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes.
  2. Roll out four flaps of the dough so that there is a center spot for the butter.
  3. Place chilled butter in the center of the dough. (Make sure flaps are large enough to cover the butter. If they are not big enough, roll flaps out a little more).
  4. Fold each flap up and over towards the center of the butter.
  5. The dough now encases the butter. Together, this is known as the paton.
  6. Roll out: turn paton so that the seam side is down. Flour surface area and carefully roll out the paton to a rectangle, about 1/8-in thick.
  7. Make one fold with one end of the rolled out paton.
  8. Make a second fold with the other end of the paton. At this point, the paton may be a little warm from all the handling. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. After the paton has chilled, repeat steps 5-8 again to make a second set of folds. After making the second set of fold, you can wrap and refrigerate or freeze the paton until the next day.
  9. Roll out the paton to a large square/rectangle so that it is fairly thin. (Another option is to cut the paton in half before rolling it out so that it is easier to handle). Once rolled out, cut the square in half. Place one half of the dough in the freezer or refrigerator so that you are working with one piece at a time.
  10. Lightly sprinkle/spray some water on the dough. Generously sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the surface. Carefully flip the dough over to cover the other side with cinnamon sugar.
  11. Fold the edges over to create a flap that is about 1-in wide.
  12. Fold the flap over again. This should leave a small gap in the center.
  13. Fold one flap over to the other flap so that the center gap is now sealed. It should now resemble a log. Give the log a good press to seal and tighten. At this point, wrap the log and place in freezer for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to cut later!
  14. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into thin slices. If the log is still too soft, let it sit longer in the freezer. As you are cutting the slices, make sure the folds do not open up.
  15. Place slices on parchment-lined sheet pan, about an inch apart, as they will puff and expand in the oven.  Bake at 370F for 9 minutes, then flip each Palmier over and bake another 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Whew! It’s a long process, isn’t it?! But it’s worth it because the Palmiers are delicious! Also note that for unused portion of the dough, you can freeze for a few days and make other products with it. I used all my dough for Palmiers and it actually yielded quite a bit!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Strawberry Cheesecake

12 Jul

July 12th, 2012

Recently, I realized how much I enjoyed cheesecake (in moderation, of course). Since it can be really rich, usually a few bites will do it for me. Plus, in my opinion, it’s quite versatile because there are endless flavor combinations. So over the 4th of July break, I decided on a vanilla cheesecake with slight lemon zest and topped it off with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries. The cheesecake freezes well so if you don’t finish the cake in one sitting, it can easily be saved for next time!

Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, I made a gingersnap cookie crust. I had gingersnap cookies around, which I turned into crumbs to make the crust. It gave a chewier texture and a slight spicy kick.

Gingersnap Crust:
250g crumbs
75g melted butter
25g sugar


  1. Mix melted butter, crumbs, and sugar until the mixture comes together.
  2. In a well greased 6-in cake pan, press crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Allow to completely cool.

335g cheesecake
90g sugar
35g sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon

  1. In a mixer bowl, paddle cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add sour cream and mix. Scrape down bowl if needed.
  3. Add one egg at a time. Mix in between.
  4. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  5. Pour into prepared crust.
  6. Bake at 275 F for about an hour, or until the cheesecake is firmly set. To prevent any cracks on the surface of the cheesecake I placed a pan with hot water at the lowest rack of the oven.
  7. To make the strawberry sauce, clean and cut strawberries into quarters. In a pot, bring strawberries and sugar to a boil. (The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you want the sauce to be. You can add more sugar as the strawberries cook). Continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Allow cheesecake to cool before topping with sauce and fresh strawberries.

Chocolate Rum Cupcakes

30 Oct

October 30th, 2011

Happy Halloween weekend!

In spirit of Halloween and for a work potluck tomorrow, I made these chocolatey cupcakes. They’re filled with a light chocolate mousse and glazed with a dark chocolate rum ganache. I also added a bit of Captain Morgan spiced rum to the cupcake batter, but the rum flavor is subtle since I was experimenting and only added a small amount.  Next time I’ll know to add a bit more rum for a kick.

To make these cupcakes more playful, I made these little ghosts as toppers (all edible!).  I hope they’re a hit tomorrow at work!

Happy Halloween and be safe!

Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake

Filled with chocolate mousse

Glazed with dark chocolate rum ganach

Topped with white fondant ghost

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