Cinnamon-Rum Ice Cream

It’s Sunday morning and after a cold rainy day yesterday and a very cool night, I’m caught somewhere between late summer and early fall. This is evidenced by several nectarines on my counter, quickly becoming over-ripe.
I’ve baked them into almost every muffin, cake, and pastry I can devise this week, so it seemed unwise to bake them into anything else this morning. (My waistline doth protest!)
But what if . . .

This is my favorite question, by the way. It’s how I begin every story and every new recipe.

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What if I let them stand on their own? Halve and pit, sprinkle with cinnamon and glaze with honey. Broil for a quick minute or two so they warm and singe. And then top with ice cream! What’s better than ice cream for breakfast?!
Unfortunately, Cotton Candy Ice Cream was the flavor of the week, according to my kids, and it is all I had in my freezer. Nasty.
Solution: make my own. But alas, I don’t have an ice cream maker.
Pffft. No worries. You don’t need one for this recipe.
Just a freezer, a blender, and a few hours.

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So from my late-summer-early-fall kitchen to yours: homemade Cinnamon-Rum Ice Cream, excellent over honey-glazed nectarines (or peaches).
This morning this is breakfast, but dessert is an excellent option as well.
Enjoy!

CINNAMON-RUM ICE CREAM

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2 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
a dash cinnamon
a dash of ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rum extract (or a teaspoon or two of the real thing!)

In a blender, combine the ingredients and whirl until frothy, and the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a metal bread-pan and freeze for 4-5 hours at least, preferably overnight.

Sour Cream and Buttermilk Banana Muffins with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

You know when you set out to do something super healthy in the kitchen and then it goes completely sideways? My mission: Greek Yogurt Banana Bread. The final outcome: Sour Cream and Buttermilk Banana Muffins (with chocolate chips) and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Oops.

Also, this brings up a very important question:
At what point does a muffin become a cupcake?
I would like an answer to this or I may not sleep tonight.

I can promise you though, every muffin/cupcake calorie accrued in these incredibly tasty healthy-turned-not-so-much treats earned me glowing smiles, shining eyes, and beaming praise from my people. So I’m going to say it was a successful mission. And hey, there are many different kinds of healthy. My heart was very healthy yesterday. Lots of hugs, sticky kisses, and frosting-bedecked cheeks to smooch. So it’s all good.

Enjoy!

SOUR CREAM AND BUTTERMILK BANANA MUFFINS WITH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (make your own!)
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips (white chocolate chips would be amazing too!)

In a large mixing bowl or using a stand mixer combine butter, vanilla, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, and buttermilk. Blend until smooth and all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add flour and chocolate chips and blend again. Scoop batter into greased (but un-lined) muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown around the edges and across the tops. Roughly 15 minutes, but adjust time accordingly as every oven is a little different.

Remove muffins from baking tin and allow to cool. While they are cooling, you can mix up the frosting.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

3/4 cup frosting
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups (or so) powdered/confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Soften butter and whip with vanilla. Add powered sugar using hand or stand mixer and adjust consistency of the frosting, alternating with cream and sugar, until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated and the frosting is to your liking.

Frost muffins/cupcakes generously and sprinkle with raw sugar crystals.

chocolate-chip almond cookies

Happy Monday friends!

I wanted to write a post that would bring you off the Easter sugar high nice and easy. And I think this recipe will help. Because cookies are magic like that. Like literal magic.
Say, (in theory of course) you have a screaming toddler who refuses to nap. Then, my friend, then you 1) Brew yourself another pot of coffee, and 2) Pose this question:
“Do you want to make cookies with me?”
Watch. Magic. Happen.
Theoretical child will transform in into something else—at least until she can consume several cookies, fresh from the oven.
You know . . . in theory.

The cookies themselves are magic-tasting. No theories involved.
I love almond because it reminds me of Christmas, which in turn reminds me of childhood, which in turn reminds me that magic truly does exist in the world because mine was full of it.

If you need a dose of magic today, either for yourself or a theoretical child, these cookies may just be the answer you’re looking for.

Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE-CHIP ALMOND COOKIES

3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c butter-flavored crisco
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoons almond flavoring
1/2 c cake flour
2 c flour

I have a giant stand mixer that makes mixing up anything a snap, but you can use a bowl and a hand mixer, or a bowl and some elbow grease just as easily.

In a large mixing bowl, begin by whipping the butter and crisco with the brown and white sugar until well combined. (I think crisco is nasty and I never use it SAVE in this recipe. It helps the baked cookie consistency stay soft and chewy). Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the batter and mix until completely combined. Then add the eggs and almond flavoring and whip again. The batter should be almost frothy. Sprinkle in the cake flour (softest flour on earth and makes for a very smooth, soft cookie crumb) and gently mix, adding the rest of the flour one cup at a time, and the chocolate morsels with the final cup of flour.

The batter will be quite thick and heavy, which is exactly what you want for thick chewy cookies. Spoon and clump the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place evenly on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 350-degree preheated oven. I like my cookies lightly gold around the edges and almost (but not quite) soft in the middle. You can bake them a little longer if you prefer your cookies crunchy.

Serve warm with a tall glass of milk!