Michigan Sweet Corn
and Red Raspberry Ice Cream

Michigan Sweet Corn <br /> and Red Raspberry Ice Cream

In June, I ordered the recipe book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, from my favorite ice cream store based in Columbus, Ohio. The first recipe I tried was Salty Caramel, one of the top flavors I order when I’m in a Jeni’s store. The at-home version turned out very close to the original I love so much that I was excited to try more recipes from the book.

My second attempt was the Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry ice cream; a sweet corn ice cream base with black raspberry sauce swirled through. I’ve had this seasonal summer version in the Jeni’s shops before as well. It may sound odd to some, but trust me when I say that the sweet corn makes for great ice cream and you can really taste the milky sweetness of the corn.

I used fresh Michigan sweet corn, but was having trouble finding black raspberries so I opted to go with the traditional red raspberries. I knew that my version would lack the deep purple color, but the red raspberries would still give it a nice flavor.

The contrast of the slightly gooey, tart-sweet red raspberry sauce (it doesn’t fully freeze) with the creaminess and soft yellow color of the corn base is delicious. Even my husband, Josh, who rarely steers away from traditional flavors like chocolate, couldn’t get enough of this treat.

Michigan Sweet Corn
and Red Raspberry Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home,

for the Red Raspberry Sauce:

  • 2 c. red raspberries
  • 1 c. sugar

for the Sweet Corn Ice Cream:

  • 1 ear Michigan sweet corn, husked
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • Red Raspberry Sauce (see above)

Instructions:

Make the sauce:
Combine black raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until thick, about 8 minutes; strain and chill.

Make the ice cream:

  1. Prep:
    In a bowl, stir together 2 tbsp. of milk and the cornstarch and set aside. Slice kernels off cob of corn then ‘milk’ the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to push the liquid into the bowl; reserve kernels and juice. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  2. Cook:
    In a 4-qt saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn and juices and corn syrup, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove the solids. Return the mixture to the saucepan and slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Chill:
    Slowly whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag, seal the bag and submerge in the ice water for 30 minutes or until mixture is cold, adding more ice as needed.
  4. Freeze:
    Pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream maker and freeze following manufacturer’s instructions. Alternate layers of raspberry sauce and ice cream into an air-tight storage container, beginning and ending with the sauce; don’t mix. Press a sheet of parchment paper against the ice cream surface and seal. Freeze at least 4 hours.

 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio is famous for their creative gourmet flavors and use of high quality local ingredients. I am a huge fan of the selection and make a point of stopping there often while my husband and I are in town visiting family. I’ve even blogged about Jeni’s in the past. That’s why I was thrilled to see the release of their new cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, in mid-June. I pre-ordered a copy and received it a day before it’s ‘official’ in-store release.

Last weekend I attempted one of my top-five favorite Jeni’s flavors: Salty Caramel. I was a little intimidated because of a warning on the page about the technique used to create the caramel. I appreciate that they let me know that dry-heating the sugar (without any liquid) makes the process faster, but also more likely to burn the sugar so it requires a very close eye. Despite my reservations the recipe went smoothly thanks to the well written step-by-step instructions.

In general the Salty Caramel ice cream I made in my kitchen was very similar in taste to the shop version. It had rich buttery caramel overtones and subtle salty undertones that complement the sweetness perfectly. The only detail that I felt was missing from the book, were suggestions on the best types of storage containers. I used an air-tight plastic bowl with with fitted lid and I ran into a little bit of an icy texture on top after storing it in the freezer, even after letting it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving (as the book recommends). But, that has not stopped me from enjoying a dish of Salty Caramel goodness for the last several nights!

I was surprised that the book gave away so many of their signature recipes, but I’m also thrilled! I live three hours away from the closest Jeni’s so it’s not always easy to swing by for a scoop and the retailers in the area are a bit costly for a pint. Plus, the enjoyment of making it yourself cannot be replaced.

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

I have to thank my friend Kate in Chicago for kindly sending me a lovely care package of sourdough starter and for sharing this recipe. Thanks, Kate!

I had always wanted to use a sourdough starter for homemade bread, but never had before this. It can be a touch daunting for all the details on keeping the starter ‘fed’ before the day you intend to use it, but luckily Kate also sent me a great set of instructions to follow. You can find some helpful instructions on the King Arthur Flour website.

This loaf of sourdough filled with chunks of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate turned out to be delicious. I ate a slice for breakfast toasted with a touch of Bumble and Brown each morning the week I made the bread, though it’s also good without any extra fuss as well.

Check out the Chocolate Sourdough Bread recipe (and others) on Kate’s section of the Instructables website. You can use your own homemade sourdough starter, purchase some at the store, or, if your lucky like me get some from a friend.

Have you worked with sourdough starter before? What was your favorite recipe?

Peanut Butter Chili

Peanut Butter Chili

I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Chili on the Jonesing For blog. I was intrigued because I’ve made a lot of different chili recipes over the years, but none of them had contained peanut butter before.

Even though this is a vegetarian version (you could easily add meat if you choose), I thought I might sway my peanut-butter-loving, meat-eating husband with one of his favorite ingredients. He said he’d be up for giving it a try.

This vegetarian chili calls for dried beans (soaked overnight), onion, tomatoes, vegetable stock and spices. It was very simple to put together in the morning the day I served it for dinner. If you’re a vegetable lover with a big crock pot you might consider adding whatever additional veggies you have on hand.

The original recipe does stress the need for at least a 7-qt. crock pot, I only have a 4-qt. crock pot because it’s just the two of us. I thought that if I added the last of the vegetable broth midway through the cooking process after the rest had been partially absorbed by the other ingredients that it would work out alright. My version came out less hearty than the original with more of a soup-like consistency because of the smaller crock-pot and late addition of the last of the stock.

We still thought the recipe was plenty tasty though. I topped mine with reduced-fat sour cream and a little sharp cheddar for a creamy taste. We served it with a side of honey cornbread. My husband had anticipated a sweeter chili because of the peanut butter, but it actually added more of a nutty undertone when stirred in at the end jut before serving. Adding a bit of sugar to the chili might also compliment the flavors for PB traditionalists looking for that sweeter taste.

I will definitely make this one again, but I think I’ll have the recipe to work better with my smaller size slow cooker.

View the original recipe here.

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

For those of you hanging on by a thread to your New Year’s weight loss resolution I apologize in advance for this post. When I found this recipe on Annie’s Eats for Cookies and Cream Cupcakes (adapted from the Beantown Baker) I should have known they’d be dangerous. But I felt compelled to make them anyway. Who can resist cupcakes or Oreos, let alone a combination of the two? Well, to my credit, I did cut the recipe in half to make one dozen instead of two. That counts for something in the diet world right?

These were everything I’d dreamed they would be… soft, dense, great Oreo flavor. Even the frosting tasted like the creamy cookie center. I held back a bit on the frosting too and used skim milk instead of cream. It makes a lot, but you can use as much as you like. You only need a sprinkling of crumbs to make them look pretty.

Okay, if you’re ready, here’s the recipe below. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Oreo Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats who adapted the recipe from the Beantown Baker

For the cupcakes

  • 12 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
  • 1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5/6 cup sugar (just measure 1/2 c. plus 1/3 c.)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 10 whole Oreo cookies, quartered

For the frosting

  • 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. milk or cream

For the garnish

  • Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 12 Oreo cookie halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 paper cupcake liners in a standard muffin pan. Put an Oreo half in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in chopped Oreos until well incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Mix the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the milk and beat on low until incorporated, increase the speed to medium until the batter is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Frost the cupcakes when completely cooled.  Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Cherry Chipotle Oatmeal Cookies

I developed this recipe over the last couple of years based on my absolute favorite oatmeal raisin cookie recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, In the Sweet Kitchen : The Definitive Guide to the Baker’s Pantry by Regan Daley. This author’s oatmeal raisin cookie becomes the base for an ice cream sandwich in the end, but the cookies themselves are fabulous on their own.

I change up the raisins for the sweet-tart taste of dried cherries, also as a nod to one of our great Michigan towns, Traverse City, which is known for its great cherries (…and wine!). I also love a sweet and spicy contrast so I experimented with adding a bit over ground chipotle chili powder to give them a kick. For non-adventurous types, and when serving to kids, feel free to leave out the chipotle powder and you’ll still have a great cookie.

These cookies have a rich caramel flavor which contrasts nicely with the tart cherries and spicy chili powder. They have a golden brown crisp exterior and soft chewy interior. They also freeze very well for several months.

Cherry Chipotle Oatmeal Cookies

Inspired by In the Sweet Kitchen by Regan Daley

  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 c. tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tblsp. honey
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chili powder (or, to taste)
  • 3 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 2 c. dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and both sugars. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and honey and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold in until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in the oats and cherries. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in the center of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, rotate halfway through baking time. The cookies are done when they are deep golden brown and set around the edges but still puffy and soft in the center. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes about 4 dozen

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I’m surprised to say that I went on a bit of a baking kick this past weekend. Okay, I’m not really that surprised given my strong affinity for anything sweet, but with the holidays you would have thought I’d gotten my fill.

I made one of my favorite snack recipes, Pumpkin Crunch. It’s sort of a pumpkin seed granola with dried fruit and spices. I use dried cherries in this recipe in place of the cranberries. The house smells fabulous when the pepitas are roasting in the oven!

On Sunday I realized that I’d better make use of the last two very ripe bananas sitting on my counter or freeze them for later. I remembered seeing a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread in my October issue of Cooking Light magazine and I thought this would be a great way to finish off the last of my bananas.

I made some changes based on what I had available in the house. Their recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana, but I only had enough to fill one cup so I added 4 oz. of applesauce to keep it moist. I also used low-fat vanilla yogurt in place of the plain yogurt so the batter was likely a bit sweeter. I also left out the ground flax seed and peanuts chopped peanuts because I enjoy a soft texture without the added crunch in quick breads. I only keep skim milk on hand so I used that instead of the 1% called for in the glaze and it worked just fine.

Even with less mashed banana the bread had good strong banana flavor and moistness (I think the applesauce helped there). The peanut butter flavor really came through in the glaze and really put this one over the top. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Here’s my version of the recipe:

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Bread:

  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 4oz. applesauce
  • 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cooking spray

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Combine banana through eggs in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add both sugars and beat until blended. 3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool. 4. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread.