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.)

nut_butters_4

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.

nut_butters_3

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!

Spicy Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Welcome to week two, friends. Continuing with the sweet and spicy theme, this time we’re pairing maple with a snazzy piri piri spice blend on some lovely roasted root vegetables perfect for cozy evenings.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

Sweet and spicy is my favorite combination and in my opinion nothing works quite so well on the sweet side as maple syrup. With its own robust flavor, maple is nicely complemented by a number of spicy additions, my own favorite being chipotle. I ventured slightly off my beaten path in favor of using Olivelle’s Piri Piri World Spice blend, featuring a number of different chili peppers and a hint of lemon. It packs quite a bit of heat which means the tin will last other wusses like me quite a long time.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

I actually made this recipe a bit differently the first time, and then promptly re-made it after the release of their Vanilla Maple Olive Oil at the end of September. I knew immediately it was perfect for this recipe and round two was even better than the first iteration. (I originally used Caramelized Garlic, which you can see in the round one pictures.)

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

You can use any firm vegetables here, but I chose a mixture of my favorite fall options. Acorn (or butternut) squash are prolific this time of year, and go well with both sweet and savory flavors. Sweet potatoes are a staple in my world and I rounded out the festive orange ensemble with carrot. Pumpkin would also work nicely to keep monochromatic medley, or for some contrasting color add Brussels sprouts as I did in my second batch.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

The maple flavor of the olive oil is not sweet, but has an amazing savory profile that works perfectly with the heat of the spice blend. I rounded mine out with a bit of Cumin Spice Sea Salt, to add just a bit more depth to the whole shebang.

For that hint of sweet and a boost of maple flavor, the roasted veggies are lightly drizzled with pure maple syrup and then popped in the oven for a few more minutes to let it caramelize a bit. I kept mine more on the spicy side than the sweet side, but for a more standard glazed carrot experience just up the maple syrup to two or more tablespoons. Sweet, spicy, and cozy, this recipe is definitely going to become a go-to on cold days.

spicy_maple_veggies_4

A perfect complement to any fall dinner, the sweet and spicy combination brings some warmth and fun to any meal. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving too, going beyond those traditional sugar-filled recipes and adding a little something extra to the table. On the off chance you have any leftovers, it’s also perfect atop a spinach salad or underneath a fried egg.

Spicy Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large carrots, peeled and diced1
1 small butternut or acorn squash, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced

2 Tbsp Vanilla Maple (or Caramelized Garlic) Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Piri Piri World Spice, to taste2
1/4 tsp Cumin Spice Sea Salt

1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all veggies in a medium bowl, and add olive oil and spice blend. Use a rubber scraper to toss until well coated.
  3. Spread veggies evenly on prepared baking sheet (save your bowl), and roast for 15-20 minutes, until just before done.
  4. Return veggies to the bowl and toss with maple syrup. Spread back onto the baking sheet and roast another 3-5 minutes to allow syrup to lightly caramelize.
  5. Serve promptly.

Notes

About 4-6 cups total veggies, so mix and match to your heart’s content.

For a mild experience, use 1/2 teaspoon, or if you like more heat, increase to 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream

Week four already! Is it just me or did the month fly by? For our last ice cream adventure in National Ice Cream Month, I’ve saved my favorite of this year’s collection.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

I had actually set out to make another recipe (which I may still revisit another time), but lost motivation with that one after coming across the pairing of rhubarb and cardamom. I am a huge cardamom fan (second only to cinnamon) and I love the twist it brings to otherwise classic desserts. Rhubarb pie and crisp are two of my favorite things, and I personally prefer the filling unadulterated by an accompanying fruit. Tart rhubarb and a side of ice cream are a match made in delicious heaven, so I decided to roll the whole thing into one. Inspired in name by the Rhubarbian cocktail at Nordic Brewworks, rhubarbamom crisp ice cream was born.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

An easy rhubarb cardamom compote is the major component of this particular ice cream. Smooth, tart, and just a little spicy, it would be just as great on toast or pancakes as it is swirled into this creamy dessert. It’s also an excellent way to use up last year’s rhubarb to make room for this year’s new crop.

I mixed my standard ice cream base with a generous amount of compote, choosing not to add additional sugar. This results in a lovely tart finish, but does have the side effect of the ice cream freezing rather harder than usual. You can definitely increase the sugar if you prefer a sweeter dessert or simply want to be able to enjoy the finished product straight out of the freezer.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

To accompany the creamy ice cream and tart compote, I baked a small batch of oatmeal crisp topping. Baked slightly crispier than you might prefer solo, it softens slightly amidst the ice cream into the perfect crunchy and creamy combination. It’s addicting on its own so do your best not to eat all straight off the pan while it cools.

rhubarbamo_crisp_ice_cream_4

After the ice cream churns, you’ll layer it into the container with extra compote and the crumbled topping before freezing. The pretty swirl and crispy oatmeal found in every bite are not only visually pleasing, but superbly delicious. If desired, top with a dollop of addition compote and crisp, and enjoy as the perfect end to a hot summer day.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups rhubarb cardamom compote, divided (below)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup sugar, optional1
1 cup oatmeal crisp topping (below)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, half and half, egg beaters, and 1 1/2 cups rhubarb cardamom compote. Taste, and add sugar if desired.
  2. Chill until completely cooled, at least four fours. Place a freezer-safe bowl into your freezer.
  3. Freeze mixture according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  4. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into your chilled container. Drizzle with a spoonful of additional rhubarb cardamom compote and 1/4 cup oatmeal crisp topping.
  5. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream, then freeze until firm.
  6. Soften on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

I personally did not add more sugar because I like my rhubarb desserts to be quite tart. If you prefer a sweeter experience or don’t want the ice cream to freeze quite so hard, add the extra amount.

Rhubarb Cardamom Compote

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

4 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
1 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6-10 cardamom pods, seeded
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Heat over medium, stirring often, until rhubarb is softened and breaks apart.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the compote until smooth.
  4. Let cool on the counter briefly, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

Words

Oatmeal Crisp Topping

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter, cold

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Use a box grater to grate cold butter directly into the bowl (or dice it by hand and add it).
  4. Mix together with your hands, mashing the butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Crumble onto prepared baking sheet, then bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Let cool completely, then crumble into an airtight container and store on the counter until ready to use.

Lavender Honey Chèvre Ice Cream

Happy July folks and welcome to round SIX of National Ice Cream Month! Crazy to think I’ve been doing this for so long but it’s honestly my favorite part of the blog year. I hope you’re ready for some new favorites because I’m pretty excited about this year’s lineup.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Week one makes use of one of my favorite delicately sweet flavors: lavender. Since discovering lavender creme brûlée at a since-closed local restaurant, I’ve used it across many ice cream flavors. This year I was searching for something lighter and a bit more subtle, and the prevalence of lavender, honey, and goat cheese combinations inspired me to create my own version here.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Subtly flavored with lavender (although you can pump that up to your heart’s content) gives this ice cream a light and summery feel. Partially sweetened with honey, it has that somewhat caramel-like note I personally think blends beautiful. I added a small amount of goat cheese for a little tang, reminiscent of cheesecake without feeling heavy.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

This ice cream is all that smooth and creamy goodness you’re craving with a light flavor that is fully capable on its own but I’m sure would also blend beautifully with your favorite blueberry dessert. I’ve yet to have both a blueberry pie and a batch of this ice cream ready at the same time, but one day I will test my hypothesis. If you get to it first, be sure to let me know your thoughts.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

 

Round out your holiday weekend with a slightly less traditional dessert, and get ready for more ice creams and salads headed your way.

Lavender Honey Chèvre Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
1-2 Tbsp culinary lavender1

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (ish)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chèvre (goat cheese)

1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Gently crush the lavender buds with a spoon (or a mortar and pestle, if you’re fancier than I am).
  2. In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium until it just starts to simmer, then remove from heat. Add lavender to the milk and allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes. Taste and when it starts to seem too strong, proceed to next step.
  3. Pour milk through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup to remove the lavender buds, pressing gently on the buds to release the most flavorful milk.
  4. Return to lavender milk to saucepan over medium heat and add enough heavy cream to bring the total to 3 cups.
  5. Add honey, sugar, and chèvre and whisk until smooth. (You can steep in some extra lavender at this point if it tastes too subtle.)
  6. Remove from the heat and whisk in egg and vanilla. Chill thoroughly, or overnight.
  7. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a cold freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional four hours, or overnight.
  8. A sprinkling of lavender buds makes a beautiful topping.

Notes

1 My lavender is losing its potency so I ended up at 5 tsp and should’ve used 6, but I would start with 4 tsp and see how you feel.