Friday, August 26, 2011

Sweet Treats

I have been a dessert making machine this week! I am not really sure what caused it but I think a little combo of too much time on pinterest combined with a husband who was studying equaled the desire to get in the kitchen and bake! Except, I didn't bake (well, once). I ended up making a semifreddo, which is a type of Italian ice cream, two bite smores, which involve a lot of melting, not so much  baking, and cake mix cookies, which of course do involve baking. I took all of this as my contribution to supper club last night and I'm happy to say that they were well received! I hope you have some free time to whip some of these up this weekend! If you do, let me know what you think!

You can find my cake mix cookie recipe here. I used the same recipe, except I used confetti cake mix instead of plain yellow and I used half white chocolate and half semi sweet chocolate chips. Delish.

Pistachio, Strawberry, and Vanilla SEMIFREDDO (from Bon Apetite Magazine)

1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
4 tbsp sugar, divided, plus 1/2 cup
1 cup whole milk, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup fresh strawberries (about 4 oz)
2 large eggs, at room temp
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
*this recipe takes a LONG time and I used nearly all of my pots, mixing bowls, and stirring spoons--just saying*

Line a metal loaf pan (approximately 9x5x3) with 2 layers of plastic wrap, leaving generous overhang on all sides.

Grind pistachios and 2 tbsp sugar in a food processor until very finely chopped.

Transfer pistachio mixture to a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup milk; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.

Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl; strain, discarding solids. Stir in almond extract; set aside.

Place remaining 1/2 cup milk in a separate small saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add bean and bring to simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over another medium bowl; strain, discarding solids, and chill.
Puree strawberries and 2 tbsp of sugar in food processor until smooth.

Set a fine mesh strainer over another medium bowl; strain, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids. Stir in vanilla extract and set aside.

Whisk eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium METAL bowl. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Beat egg mixture at high speed until it triples in volume and an instant read thermometer registers 170, about 3 minutes.  Remove bowl from over water and continue beating until thick and cool, about 3 minutes. 

There was much screaming involved in this step
Add one third of egg mixture to each of the pistachio, strawberry, and vanilla mixtures; fold each just to blend.
Beat cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Add one third of cream to each of the pistachio, strawberry, and vanilla mixtures; fold each just to blend.

Cover vanilla and strawberry mixtures separately; chill. Pour pistachio mixture into pan; smooth top. Cover; freeze until firm, about 45 minutes. Gently pour strawberry mixture over pistachio layer; smooth top. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.  Gently fold vanilla mixture to blend; pour over smooth top. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
Can be made 3 days ahead. Fold plastic wrap over, seal tightly and keep frozen.
Uncover semifreddo. Using plastic wrap as an aid, lift from pan. Invert onto a chilled platter; peel off plastic.

Slice crosswise with a heavy blade run under warm water.

Two Bite Smores
1 bag jumbo marshmallows (or as many as you want)
Graham crackers, broken into 4 rectangles, then break each rectangle in 1/2
chocolate, melted (I used left over chocolate fountain chocolate but chocolate chips, candy melts, or bark will work)

Melt a small amount of chocolate in a tall mug or glass for dipping. Dip the bottom of each marshmallow into the chocolate, then press onto Graham cracker square. (the chocolate is acting like glue). Put in freezer until adhered.

Melt more chocolate and using a fondue skewer or similar tool, dip marshmallow and graham cracker into chocolate, covering as much as you want. Place onto cookie sheet, freeze until firm. I stored mine in the fridge but they won't melt at room temp. ( I didn't take a completed picture because I didn't think mine turned out pretty enough. They were still delicious!)
I think I got this from How Sweet It Is but I can't be sure! Sorry! I know they are a take on Trader Joe's Smashing Smores.


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