Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream

With pumpkin spice latte season behind us we are fully in the throes of peppermint mochas. Although I love a good pumpkin spice anything as much as the next BWG, there’s something about a peppermint mocha that can’t be replaced by any other holiday beverage. Creamy, chocolatey, and pepperminty are three of my favorite dessert adjectives and adding espresso is rarely a mistake in my book. Armed with this information and my previously created peppermint crunch recipe, I set out to create the ice cream duplicate of my dreams.

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate ice cream, in some form or another, is a relative staple around here and I started with that basic recipe. The addition of espresso powder and pre-crushed peppermint candy took it from yes to yes and even writing this makes me wish I still had some in my freezer. Weekend plans, anyone?

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Although I love depth created by the brewed method found in my maple latte ice cream, using espresso powder here is not only easier, but it creates a more traditional mocha flavor. It’s also superbly easy to add more if you’d like to adjust the peppermint to coffee ratio a bit more in favor of the latter. Plus, the little speckles created from espresso and vanilla bean powders always speak to my aesthetic.

peppermint_mocha_ice_cream_5

I melted some of the candy into the base and stirred in the remainder for a little crunch. And honestly, because it looks more fun that way. As a general PSA, the pieces eventually dissolve even in the freezer, should you accidentally forget its in there for two months. Fortunately you can always just sprinkle on more and no one will be the wiser.

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

 

Treat yourself to a seasonal delight in a new form and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Or if you’re one of those people that doesn’t do ice cream when it’s cold, hang onto this recipe for summer and celebrate Christmas in July, just like JoAnn.

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups cream
1 cup half and half
5oz chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp espresso powder

1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy, divided1
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Directions

  1. Add chocolate, espresso powder, and sugar to a heatproof bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat cream and half and half until simmering. Immediately pour over chocolate mixture and whisk until chocolate is melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool on the counter about 10 minutes, or until not too hot to touch.
  3. Whisk in egg beaters, vanilla, extract, and 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least four hours. Place a lidded freezer-safe container in the freezer to chill.
  4. When the mixture is ready, churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of crushed peppermint candy during the last minute of churning.
  5. Immediately transfer ice cream to the pre-chilled bowl and sprinkle with remaining candy. Freeze at least 4 hours, or until ready to eat. Extra delicious with chocolate sauce or chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans!

Notes

I was lazy and bought it pre-crushed, but it’s a great way to use up any candy canes you have laying around!

Over time all the candy will dissolve into the ice cream even in the freezer. If, like me, you forget it’s in there and find in a while later, don’t be alarmed if there’s no solid pieces left!

Nut Butter Trio

Last year I borrowed a food processor a few times because I had been concerned I wouldn’t use it enough to make the storage space worth it. After the third time in as many weeks that particular hesitation seemed downright silly and I promptly put it on my Christmas wish list (thanks Mom!)

Nut Butter Trio {{Baking Bytes}}

My initial interests were hummus and pesto, which I made regularly throughout the summer and fall. Thoroughly sold on food processors, I adventured into the world of nut butters. Starting with an amazing one from my favorite cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow, I quickly caught the bug and tried other types as well. The recipes here are all small batches so you can test them out, but I usually double them now. (If you have extra, I am pretty sure your friends will help you out – mine always do.)

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The first one (top/right, in my photos) is a minor adaptation from the RFES cookbook. Vanilla and espresso come together in a sweet and creamy peanut butter that is perfect for your morning toast or an afternoon pick-me-up. The espresso kick means it pairs perfectly with coffee and a hint of vanilla never goes wrong. I especially liked it on banana or pumpkin bread, but found I preferred the regular version with apples.

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After peanuts I moved onto almonds (bottom/left). While I personally do not see the appeal of standard almond butter as a spread (unless you are allergic to peanuts), I do enjoy it in oatmeal and on yogurt parfaits on occasion. This iteration, however, is lovely on all your favorite morning carbs and especially so on oatmeal pancakes. Lightly sweetened and with plenty of poppyseed flavor, it’s a lovely twist on a peanut-free variety. For some springtime fun you could even add some lemon flavor via zest or infused olive oil to brighten the whole thing.

Nut Butter Trio {{Baking Bytes}}

Lastly, I gave walnuts a try (the dark one, clearly). The texture of this butter turned out a little grainier (although perhaps they just weren’t roasted/processed long enough) but the flavor is possibly my favorite. Hearty walnut balanced with a chai spice blend is a match made in fall heaven and definitely needs to grace your table soon. I make my own chai spice, but it is easily tailored to fit your preferences. I enjoyed this one on toast (obviously) and waffles; a light drizzle of maple syrup only adds to the experience.

Nut Butter Trio {{Baking Bytes}}

Whichever nut butter speaks to you the most, I hope you find a new favorite in this collection. There’s something for everyone here and I hope you use it as a starting point for all sorts of experimenting in the future. These butters would also make amazing gifts for the holiday season, a small 4oz jar of each flavor would be both adorable and delicious. (If you’re wondering about the super cute jars in my photos, they are upcycled Olivelle sea salt containers, so I’m not sure where to purchase them – sorry!)

Vanilla Espresso Peanut Butter

Modified from Run Fast, Eat Slow
Makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups roasted, salted peanuts

1 Tbsp brown sugar, to taste
1/2 Tbsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp chia seeds, optional
avocado or olive oil, optional1

Directions

  1. Add peanuts to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. This can take several minutes but the mixture should go from grainy to clumpy to a ball and finally, to creamy.
  2. Add in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla bean powder, and vanilla extract and blend until combined.
  3. If desired, add in avocado oil (for extra creaminess) and/or chia seeds (for a protein boost) and process again until incorporated.
  4. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Should keep at least one month.

Poppyseed Almond Butter

Makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups almonds2

1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp sugar, to taste
2-4 tsp poppyseeds, to taste
1 tsp salt

avocado or olive oil, optional1

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Do not burn!
  3. Let the nuts cool for about 10 minutes, then add to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. This can take several minutes but the mixture should go from grainy to clumpy to a ball and finally, to creamy.
  4. Add extract, sugar, poppyseeds, and salt, then blend again until completely incorporated.
  5. If a smoother texture is preferred, drizzle in avocado oil to taste.
  6. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Should keep at least one month.

Chai Walnut Butter

Makes about 1.5 cups

Ingredients

2 cups walnuts2

2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp chai spice
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

avocado or olive oil, optional1

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spread nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Do not burn!
  3. Let the nuts cool for about 10 minutes, then add to a food processor and process until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary. This can take several minutes but the mixture should go from grainy to clumpy to a ball and finally, to creamy.
  4. Add sugar, spice blend, vanilla, and salt, then blend again until completely incorporated.
  5. If a smoother texture is preferred, drizzle in avocado oil to taste.
  6. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Should keep at least one month.

Notes

Depending on how much fat/water is still in your nuts and how chunky you like your nut butters, you may not need any oil. I found I liked some of them (almond butter especially) with oil in it just to smooth it out, but it’s totally up to you! Also a great place to try an infused olive oil for a different punch of flavor.

You can certainly buy pre-roasted and salted nuts here, just skip the additional salt in the recipe. However, I found the ones I tried to be too heavily salted for my preferences. If you have access to roasted unsalted nuts then that’s even better!

Olive Oil Chocolate Chili Mousse

Here we are friends, we made it to the end of October. Winter hit fast and hard here so I hope your neck of the woods is fairing better. If so, please send some our way. In the interim, I am placating myself with copious amount of tea and grumbling.

Chocolate Chili Mousse {{Baking Bytes}}

In the interim, week five is the best week: dessert week! I made these recipe ages ago with a different oil but knew it’d also be perfect with the chili oil for that spicy sweet situation. Chocolate and chili can never go wrong and this dairy-free recipe is even easier than its ice cream counterpart. The original calls for bittersweet chocolate but if, like me, your preferred grocery store does not carry it, a combination of unsweetened and semisweet work beautifully.

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Fluffy, creamy, and oh so decadent, you’d never guess this mousse is made without heavy cream. It appears too thick at first but with a little patience it is just perfect closer to room temperature. That said, if you don’t mind the denser and slightly grainy temperature, by all means eat it straight out of the fridge. Smooth chocolate and spicy chili blend together in a flavorful and texturally pleasing delicacy, perfect for rounding out any meal.

Chocolate Chili Mousse {{Baking Bytes}}

This recipe uses beaten egg white for fluffiness but unlike a lot of egg white recipes, it makes use of the yolk too. I greatly appreciate not having a pile of yolks in the fridge to use up (although lemon curd is always a good idea) and love when recipes don’t leave you with odd leftovers. This mousse is super easy and beginner friendly, but does take a little patience when melting the chocolate and beating the egg whites. I promise it’s well worth your time.

Chocolate Chili Mousse {{Baking Bytes}}

It keeps well for several days, which makes it perfect for meal-prep and dinner parties (but set an alarm to take it out of the fridge!) You can also totally change up the flavor by substituting a different infused oil. I can vouch that Blood Orange is amazing (which is what I did the first time) but I am pretty sure most of the Olivelle lineup would be excellent, especially their new Vanilla Maple.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chili Mousse

Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped1
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped1

4 large room temperature eggs, separated

7 Tbsp Vera Cruz Chili Olive Oil
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 tsp + 1 pinch Vanilla Bean Sea Salt (or Habanero Heat for extra kick!)

Directions

  1. Set out six 6oz ramekins, jars, or bowls.
  2. Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove chocolate while it’s still a bit chunky and stir to melt completely. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk egg whites and pinch of salt in a clean bowl until it has firm peaks. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Use the same beaters to whisk until pale and thick. Mixture should have about doubled in volume.
  5. Gradually stream in melted chocolate to egg yolk mixture, and use a rubber scraper to fold in completely.
  6. Scoop out 1/3 of the egg whites and vigorously stir into the chocolate mixture until completely combined.
  7. Scoop out another 1/3 of the egg white and gently fold in until mostly combined. Repeat with the remaining egg white (leaving any liquid in the egg white bowl behind) and gently incorporate until there are not white streaks.
  8. Divide mousse evenly between ramekins or small bowls/jars. Serve immediately for fluffy mousse, or refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
  9. If you are not serving within a couple of hours, press small squares of plastic wrap onto the surface of the mousse and top with an airtight lid. For best texture, set out at room temperature 40 minutes prior to eating.

Notes

Or a total of 6oz bittersweet chocolate, my grocery store just doesn’t carry it.

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches & Maple Walnut Brussels Slaw

(Long post incoming, but I promise the recipes are worth it!)

Week four already! Is October going by crazy fast for anyone else? After spending the first half of month in Europe I am now in Iowa for work and boy is my body confused. Here’s hoping my sleep and my stomach get back on track soon.

This week is entree week. Pulled pork is one of my absolute favorite meals and Pinterest piqued my curiosity of substituting jackfruit for the meat. I’ve seen it multiple times over the last few years but never actually got around to trying it. This menu was the perfect opportunity to give it a shot since it nicely fits the theme and is inherently vegetarian and lactose-free.

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches {{Baking Bytes}}

I vaguely considered using fresh jackfruit until I saw the size of one and realized I didn’t want enough to feed the entire Mongol army. Feel free to go fresh if you like, or stick to canned if you want a slightly less exhausting adventure. Ensure you rinse your canned stuff thoroughly in order to remove as much of the “can” flavor as possible. I will fully admit canned jackfruit is not widely stocked nor cheap in my area, but it was definitely a fun recipe nonetheless.

Is it pork? No. Is it delicious? Yes. While it definitely won’t fool any meat eaters since the texture and flavor are both quite different, it’s still an awesome addition to your repertoire and a fun way to add a vegan option to a barbecue spread. And either way it was a perfect vessel for the most amazing barbecue sauce I’ve ever made.

Smoky Sweet BBQ Sauce {{Baking Bytes}}

Smoky, sweet, and just enough spice, this barbecue sauce is definitely my go-to recipe. My mom actually sent me this recipe like six months ago and I completely forgot about it until I was considering the menu for this series. I am so glad I finally gave it a try because I personally think my slightly adapted version is just perfect. Easy, smooth, and a perfect balance of smoke and spice without the overload of sugar store-bought varieties typically employ. It comes together in about five minutes and keeps in the fridge for quite a while, so if you try nothing else about this recipe, definitely give the sauce a go! I’ll definitely be using it on everything from burgers to meatloaf to actual pulled pork going forward.

The last piece in this delightful sandwich is the slaw. Pulled pork sandwiches are nearly always accompanied by some kind of coleslaw and I wanted to include that element here as well. Inspired by an existing Olivelle recipe of which I’ve already posted another version, this one is simple but a perfect sweet and crunchy  addition to the barbecue flavor. An equal mix of barrel aged white balsamic and their new vanilla maple olive oil blend into a light and sweet dressing that compliments the crisp sprouts and cabbage without competing with the barbecue sauce. I added some walnuts for extra crunch and that slight nutty flavor adds just a little interest to the whole experience.

Maple Walnut Brussels Sprouts Slaw {{Baking Bytes}}

Sandwiched between your favorite lightly toasted bun with a spread of (mayo), the jackfruit and slaw combine into a sweet and spicy experience that’s not only delicious, but also pretty healthy. It’s inherently vegetarian and can be easily made vegan by subbing or ditching the mayo, making it appropriate for a wide variety of diet preferences. It’s a lovely cozy fall meal but would also be awesome for those summer potlucks, so keep it handy all year long.

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches {{Baking Bytes}}

Whether you try one piece or the whole shebang, I hope you find a new go-to somewhere in the set!

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Smoky Sweet BBQ Sauce
6oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Smoked Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke, optional
2 Tbsp Sweet Smoked Chili Rub
1 Tbsp Applewood Smoked Sea Salt1
15 twists Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Peppercorns1
1/4 tsp ground chipotle or cayenne pepper, optional

Maple Walnut Brussels Sprouts Slaw
1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

3 Tbsp Barrel Aged White Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbsp Vanilla Maple Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Sea Salt

BBQ Jackfruit
2 Tbsp Caramelized Garlic Olive Oil
3 (14oz) cans young jackfruit in water2
2 Tbsp Sweet Smoked Chili Rub
1 cup smoky sweet barbecue sauce
3/4 cup water

for each sandwich
1 burger bun, toasted
1/2 cup bbq jackfruit
1/4 vanilla maple slaw
mayo (or your favorite vegan substitute), to taste
additional barbecue sauce, to taste

Directions

  1. For the sauce: Blend all sauce ingredients until well combined; store in a pint jar and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 6 weeks.
  2. For the slaw: In a medium bowl, mix together Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and walnuts.
  3. In a pint glass or mason jar, whisk together Barrel Aged White Balsamic, Vanilla Maple Olive Oil, and Vanilla Bean Sea Salt until completely combined.
  4. Stir dressing into Brussels mixture until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 5 days.
  5. For the bbq sandwiches: Drain and thoroughly rinse jackfruit, then pat dry. Set aside.
  6. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the olive oil until shimmering.
  7. Stir in jackfruit and Sweet Smoked Chili Rub and toss until well coated.
  8. Stir in barbecue sauce and water, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until jackfruit is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  9. Spread mayo on bottom half of a toasted bun; top with 1/2 cup jackfruit, 1/4 cup slaw, and additional barbecue sauce, to taste.
  10. Cover with the other half of the bun and enjoy immediately.

Notes

You can substitute plain salt and pepper with minimal taste difference, but the smoky versions add a lovely depth of flavor.

If you prefer meat, I harbor no judgement for substituting normal pulled pork!

Jalapeño Cornbread & Strawberry Jalapeño Lime Chia Jam

Week three, commence! This week brings a super fun cornbread and jam combination that’s been in my head since Olivelle released their Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar this summer. Strawberry and jalapeño are a really fun combination and cornbread is one of my favorite side dishes. I tweaked my go-to recipe to be lactose-free, included some extra flavors, and behold: a new happiness was born.

Jalapeño Cornbread and Jam {{Baking Bytes}}

Moist and with just the right amount of crumble, this cornbread is excellent on its own or smothered in your favorite condiment. It goes wonderfully with chili or barbecue and is perfect all year round. The jalapeño adds a lovely flavor with as much (or in my case, as little) heat as you like depending on how many seeds you remove. The hint of lime is a fun surprise and ties it into the chia jam with perfection.

Jalapeño Cornbread and Jam {{Baking Bytes}}

Chia jam is something that has intrigued me for awhile but I somehow never got around to making until just now. I realized one of my hesitations was the texture, but using a berry bypasses this since fruits like strawberry and blackberry already result in a more seedy texture than stone fruits.

Strawberry Jalapeño Lime Chia Jam {{Baking Bytes}}

Frozen strawberries from Oregon (mostly to appease M) are readily available and have tons of flavor. A splash of the balsamic and a spoonful of chia seeds and in less than ten minutes you have a truly excellent jam. The fun part about this one is you could easily substitute a different balsamic for a completely different flavor. The Barrel Aged for a more standard pairing, or perhaps Sweet Basil for a fun spring edition. The world is your oyster jam!

Jalapeño Cornbread and Jam {{Baking Bytes}}

Whip up a batch of cornbread and jam and they are sure to brighten any chilly day. Individually both excellent, together these recipes create that perfect sweet and spicy combination without a ton of extra sugar.

Jalapeño Cornbread and Jam {{Baking Bytes}}

But if you want to drizzle honey on top of the whole thing, you won’t be wrong.

Strawberry Jalapeño Lime Chia Jam

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup frozen strawberries1
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp Jalapeño Lime Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, simmer strawberries over medium until softened.
  2. Mash or puree berries to desired texture (I like mine chunky), then stir in chia and balsamic.
  3. Let cool briefly before serving; store leftovers in the fridge.

Notes

Why frozen? Unless you live in the Willamette Valley, the flavor is going to be better than fresh berries. Feel free to use fresh if you prefer though!

Jalapeño Honey Cornbread

Makes an 8×8″ baking dish

Ingredients

1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Lime Fresco Sea Saltoptional

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk (cow, almond, coconut)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil1
2 Tbsp honey, melted
2 Tbsp Jalapeño Lime White Balsamic Vinegar

1 jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for a milder flavor)2

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray or oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well combined.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry until just combined, then stir in jalapeño.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown along the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  6. Let cool briefly, then serve with jam.

Notes

1 For an extra limey flavor, substitute some or all Tahitian Lime Olive Oil.

For a legitimately spicy experience, don’t remove the seeds. I removed most of mine to keep the heat down and the flavor light.