Monday, October 22, 2012

Espresso Ice Cream

My family loves ice cream. I love ice cream, specifically Hagen Daz Coffee and Chocolate ice cream.  I love to mix the two flavors and let it get nice and gooey together!  I recently stole borrowed an ice cream maker from my mom that belonged to my sister.  Hey after 3 years of marriage and her not claiming it at my mom’s house, in my book it was up for grabs! I totally scored! I found a recipe on Food Network for an Espresso Ice Cream by none other than The Barefoot Contessa! I had to try it.  I did modify the recipe to use instant espresso versus the ground espresso beans because I like my espresso ice cream smooth, left out the chocolate covered espresso beans and left out the liqueur! It worked perfectly.  The finished product really was close to the Hagen Daz I love! I knew this would be a keeper! Here is the recipe:
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee beans, **I used instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (recommended: Kahlua) **I left this out
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped **I left this out
Heat the half-and-half until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until mixed. Slowly add the hot half-and-half until combined. Wipe out the pan and pour the mixture back into the clean pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of the spoon.
Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the instant espresso and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled. I usually chill mine overnight.
Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions, I usually let mine go for 30-40 minutes. Once complete, spoon into a container, and allow to freeze for a few hours. Soften slightly before serving.
This will be a recipe you will keep forever and use over and over again, I know I will! This is one I love to take the Thyme to Savor...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies

My manager recently went to Cayucos for a short vacation and came across the Brown Butter Cookie Company.  How did I not know this place exsisted even though I have grown up on the central coast and have family in Cayucos?? She said these cookies were to die for and had to come home searching for the recipe and found a recipe.  She tried them that night and said they were almost just as good.  I had to have the recipe and I also tried them that night and fell IN LOVE with them. They are so easy and the combination of sweet and salty (for this salt lover) was absolutely amazing.
Here is the recipe…The dough tends to be very crumbly. Just try to squish it together the best you can. Also, be sure not to add ANY extra flour.
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • sea salt for sprinkling (preferably fleur de sel)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it starts to caramelize. It should smell nutty and you will see brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn the butter - in which case you will have to start over. Pour browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture until combined. Let cool to room temperature. Using a tablespoon or small scoop, measure the dough into your hand, roll into a ball and place onto cookie sheet. Once on the cookie sheet, slightly press the ball down.  Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press into top of cookies. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Don't overcook, or cookies will be too dry and crumbly.
These little babies are to die for and so good. Even without the sea salt (I have a husband and son that didn’t care for the salt), they were amazingly delicious! Try them soon, I know I will be making these for years to come. Whenever you do, take the Thyme to Savor…

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls!!

I {LOVE} The Pioneer Woman and have tried several of her recipes.  I recently have enjoyed watching her cooking show on The Food Network.  Last year around the holidays, they aired an episode that showcased PW making cinnamon rolls to give to neighbors and friends. The episode is still on my DVR.  I knew as I was watching, I NEEDED to try the cinnamon rolls one day.  So then one day I did. I failed to realize that they would make 50-70 rolls! Even the 9 cups or so of flour didn’t clue me into that fact. Clearly, I had the finished product in mind and want to just get there to taste them! I ended up baking up about 3 foil trays of about 9 rolls and put 4 trays in the freezer for another time! They were amazing cinnamon rolls, so soft, buttery, full of maple flavor and just so PW worthy and delicious.  I do have to say though, the amounts of butter and sugar were a little too excessive for my taste (and waistline) so I did modify the filling a bit. It was a lot of work and then waiting and then work and then waiting but it was easy stuff and SOOO worth it.  Here is my modified version of the recipe:
  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Melted Butter
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil.  Set aside and cool to warm.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup flour.  Stir thoroughly to combine.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl. I made my dough the night before and then made the rolls the following day.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan/bowl. On a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.  Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 3/4 cup of the sugar over the butter.  If you want to add more butter and/or sugar you can, the original recipe called for an extra cup of each but I thought this was plenty!!!
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight.  When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, log.

With a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices.  Be sure not to cut them too thick as they will rise.  One “log” will produce 20 to 25 rolls or more if cut smaller.  Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into disposable foil cake pans and swirl to coat.  Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking.  If you are planning to freeze any rolls, do not let them rise.  Cover them with foil and place into a ziplock bag and put in the freezer immediately.  Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown, but not overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt.  Add in the maple flavoring and whisk until very smooth.  The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable. ** I just made half of the recipe when I baked 3 trays and it was the perfect amount.**
Remove pans from the oven.  Immediately drizzle icing over the top.  Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

These are definitely on my holiday baking list for this year. I think my friends and family would love to have a nice pan of these! I promise, even though it is a lot of work, it is so worth it. I have found that if I make the dough the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and make the rolls the next day, the process does not seem so overwhelming! Make some for your family, for friends, or even just for yourself and remember to take the Thyme to Savor…