Biscoff Ice Cream

It is one of the questions that I have never liked: what is the best gift you have ever recieved. I hate it because I never really had a good answer. I really loved this one doll I got when I was 5 or 6. She was a bigger doll that was more supposed to resemble a toddler than a baby. She was pretty great but this year, I got something better. And I now have an answer to the troubling question.

I got the Ice Cream Maker Attachment for my Kitchenaid!!

A couple of my close friends went together and bought it for my birthday. One of them bought it just after Boxing Day last year. My birthday was in July. Not only did she keep it a secret from me for over 6 months but she also had to trust her instinct that I would wait for it to go on sale again & not buy it myself before then! Amazon.ca has it for a great deal for the week after Christmas (it was $58) but the rest of the year it is around $90 (most places in Canada sell it for around $120). I had been saving the free Amazon cards I sometimes get at work for doing surveys to get it but was only at $45 so far. I figured I would be waiting until Boxing Day this year in order to get it but I didn’t have to wait!!!! They bought it for me!!! Best gift ever!

My first batch of ‘ice cream’ was Raspberry Frozen Yogurt. It was quite good but it isn’t the recipe I want to share as my first homemade ice cream! The one I want to share is the Biscoff spread Ice Cream. AMAZING. Beyond amazing really. I first heard about this Biscoff spread around the blogging world but immediately realized that it was definitely not something I could get in Canada. That is ok because I go to the States frequently. But I couldn’t find it still! Finally I found the Trader Joe’s version (Cookie Butter) and loved it immediately. I don’t think I used that first jar for anything besides eating it by the spoonful. I might have put some on pancakes. Otherwise, it was all by the spoonful. This stuff is amazing. Basically it is just a spice cookie pulverized to crumbs and mixed with a little coconut oil to make it into the texture of peanut butter (but there are no nuts in it). I don’t know how to emphasize how perfect this stuff is. Seriously. It is perfection. I did eventually find the original Biscoff version. It is also delicious (and what I used for the ice cream) but I think I like the TJ’s version best.

Ok, so I made ice cream with it. It was delicious. Creamy. Spicy. Perfection. If you have an ice cream maker, you need to try it. You will love it. My only regret is that I didn’t take pictures until it was almost gone so it had been in the freezer already a few days (homemade ice cream is really best the first few days… then it gets ice crystals. Maybe I just need a better container to store it in.)

Biscoff Speculoos (Cookie Butter) Ice Cream (adapted from here)

  • 1 cup Biscoff Spread + 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3-1/4 cups cold Half & Half (or 1 1/4 whole milk + 2 cups whipping cream)
  1. Using either your stand mixer or a bowl and beaters, cream together 1 cup Biscoff spread and sugar.
  2. With the mixer on low, start to add the half & half SLOWLY. I did it too quick and it didn’t blend as well as it could have.
  3. Pour the Biscoff mix into your ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. I churned my ice cream about 20 minutes on low.
  4. Scoop the ice cream into a airtight container and spoon the extra 2 Tb of Biscoff spread onto the top. Stir it up but don’t actually mix it fully in. The swirl is the BEST part!
  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours. My friend and I ate it within about 2 hours and it was still pretty soft. Still delicious though!

Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I know – it has been FOREVER since I last posted something. I will be better now. I really will! I don’t even have any real excuse – too much baking maybe? (In other words, I have done tons of baking but I have been to busy baking & then don’t feel like making effort to post?) Anyways, I am back now!

I don’t like nuts in my baking. But I loved these cookies. I don’t even normally like white chocolate mac nut cookies that much but seriously these were amazing. Chewy & perfect texture. The crunch from the nuts. And the sweet tasty white chocolate pieces. Yum!!

Speaking of Macadamia nuts makes me want to go to Hawaii. I don’t think I ever realized how delicious they are until I went to the Mauna Loa Factory there! Then I was in love. Then I found out that they have the highest amount of fat of all nuts. But if you are eating a cookie with in nuts in them anyways, you may as well have the BEST nuts in there! 🙂

Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from the back of the Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chip package!)

  • Image1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups or 1 pkg white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Macadamia nuts, chopped (I went with unsalted)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and then vanilla and beat.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to dough mix.
  5. Stir in white chips & nuts. Drop/scoop onto cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden and set around the edges. Allow to cool 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Delicious!

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Amazingly Delicious Carmelitas

Apparently I have been deprived. I had never heard about Carmelitas until about a month ago when I made a trip to Whole Foods with a good friend. We had both run a decent half marathon that day and so she was looking for a treat (I am pretty sure I had something at home that I was indulging in) and bought a Carmelita. I had never heard of such a creation. Even though she is a bit of a food addict, she actually shared a little with me. It was delicious. And I had to figure out how to make them.

However, I hadn’t made any effort to find a recipe when suddenly I saw them posted all over Pinterest. Since I had an upcoming night of food, laughter, gossip & good times with my gym friends planned, I figured it was time to try out a recipe.

Because one of the girls is limiting dairy & gluten, I actually made these gluten free and almost dairy free (they could be dairy free if you use caramel ice cream topping maybe but I don’t know how you could possibly make good caramel without cream or butter!) Basically I just used quinoa flour instead of regular flour and vegan ‘butter’ (Earth Balance) instead of butter. I have put both the regular & the allergen-free options & I am sure the regular would work beautifully.

I chose to use my homemade caramel but you could just buy caramel ice cream topping or melt together 1 pkg of caramel squares (like Kraft) with 1/2 cup cream in a saucepan. I recommend the homemade stuff though. It is the best. It is so delicious. And if you have some leftover, use it as an ice cream topper or just eat it by the spoonful! Or spread it on toast. Or pancakes. Or on a cake. Yum! So good!

I don’t normally like nuts in my desserts & considered leaving them out… but decided against and I was so glad that I did! The nuts add to the perfection of the texture and give such a delicious nuttiness that you definitely should add them!

These were FANTASTIC! I LOVED them and look forward to making them again!

Carmelitas – makes a 9×13″ pan – you decide how big you want them! The recipe can easily be halved and made in a 9×9″ pan

  • 2 cups quinoa flour – or regular all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter or regular unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup additional quick-cooking oats (if needed)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce (either homemade from here or caramel ice cream topping if you need dairy free or 32 caramel squares melted with 1/2 cup heavy cream)
  • 2 Tb butter (or vegan)
  • 2 1/2 Tb flour (quinoa or regular)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper (make sure there are pieces that come over the edges on two sides so it is easy to remove.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and softened butter (or vegan substitute) in the bowl of a mixer. Take half of it and press it into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove & cool slightly.
  3. If your mixture is not crumbly, add the extra oats to the 2nd half. I am not sure if mine wasn’t crumbly because I used vegan butter or if that is just how it ends up. I wanted my topping somewhat crumbly though so I added the extra oats. Add as much as you feel like you need.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips & chopped pecans over the crust.
  5. Melt the caramel enough that you can stir it and then add the additional butter & flour – this step doesn’t seem to be in the recipes that use the ice cream topping or the caramel squares.
  6. Pour the caramel over the chips & nuts and then top with the remaining crumb mixture.
  7. Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until the crust starts to brown.
  8. Allow to cool completely in the pan. With the homemade caramel, do not put it in the fridge as it will get too hard to cut.
  9. Use the parchment paper to pull the entire pan of carmelitas out of the pan and then cut & serve (I used a pizza cutter and it worked fantastically!)

Chocolate-dipped Rolled Sugar Cookies

Well it is time for the Hallmark-made holiday! Valentine’s Day yet again, or as I like to call it – Single’s Night at the Gym! I realize that there are many people who don’t celebrate V-day that are in committed relationships still at the gym on Feb 14 but I like to believe it is single’s night. And if it isn’t, why aren’t there single’s nights at the gym??

When I switched from an all women’s gym to a co-ed gym I thought that I would have more opportunities to meet people but instead I think the guys just get more annoyed because I use their equipment rather than staying on the women’s-only side. (They don’t realize that not only do we not have a proper power/squat rack but our free weights only go up to 30lbs.) So for ‘freaks’ like me that like to lift heavy, we are ‘stuck’ sharing the equipment with the meatheads or the groups of guys that seem to spend more time gossiping than actually working out. There are of course some that don’t fall in either of those categories but I just assume they also don’t fall into the ‘single’ category either so then my time spent in their area of the gym goes to waste for meeting purposes (of course it isn’t wasted entirely – I still get a great workout!)

Anyways, back to these cookies. I have made these cookies for years any time that I have wanted cutout cookies and the recipe always works out. They are soft and buttery and tasty without being overly sweet. It comes from allrecipes.com and it is simply called “The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies” and that it is!

Rolled Sugar Cookies (from allrecipes)

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. In the bowl of a mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Bead in eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and then add this to the butter/sugar/eggs mix.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate at least one hour or overnight
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Roll dough out on a WELL-FLOURED surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with desired cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets. Reroll dough when necessary.
  6. Bake 6-8 min (careful – if they are thin they will cook fast). Cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, you can either dip them in melted chocolate as I did or you could decorate them with royal icing or you could just eat them plain!

Chewy Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies: the pictures really don't do them justice

I have started making cookies for a department wide weekly seminar at work. After people have complained for years that the cookies are not to their liking (first they were too sweet and somewhat nauseating on an empty stomach then the next ones were too hard), I finally convinced them to let me make them. To me it was a great opportunity to test out the MANY cookie recipes that I have been wanting to try for years but have not out of fear of eating entire batches of cookies to myself.

So the person that helped me organize this is obsessed with peanut butter cookies. I don’t know a lot of people that would choose a plain peanut butter cookie as their favourite one but he would. Of course that meant that I had to find a perfect peanut butter recipe immediately. This recipe is delicious. Even as a lover of peanut butter I usually prefer my cookies with a little more to them but these are definitely the exception. They are super thick and chewy and have the perfect peanut butter’y richness to make them truly delicious! I need to make them again soon.

The 2nd week I didn’t make any peanut butter cookies – and I was warned.

So with my peanut butter cookie recipes nailed on the first try, now I just have to figure out how to not eat so much dough every week… it is a bad situation. Three batches of cookies each week = 3 times too much dough. Even worse is when I make ginger molasses cookies and the dough needs to sit overnight in the fridge. I ended up making the dough on Sunday and baking the cookies on Wednesday… so that meant the delicious dough sat in my fridge for 3 days… and was munched on somewhat regularly for 3 days. Bad situation. I admit it, I love ginger molasses cookies cookie dough. Shockingly I love it more than chocolate chip cookie dough.

Oh, wait this post was supposed to be about the peanut butter cookies, the dough talk got me thinking about how much I loved having that dough in the fridge. And how bad I may do on my upcoming half marathon because of the junk I have been eating! Coming back to peanut butter but related to the ginger molasses cookies – how many people would think that peanut butter ginger molasses cookies would be good? I have made them before and I think they are fabulous but I am not sure if they appeal to too many others…

Anyways, if you happen to notice a few extra cookie recipes on here in the next few months, now you know why!

Chewy Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies (uh oh, I don’t remember who’s blog I got these from! Sorry!)

  • Butter & Peanut Butter: Creamy & Dreamy

    1 cup peanut butter

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  •  3 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cream together peanut butter and butter with mixer. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla while continuing to beat.
  5. Add the flour mix while continuing to beat.
  6. Spoon/scoop out desired sized cookies. Dip a fork in cool water and use tines to add the familiar cross-hatched pattern.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes (depends on the size of your cookies!). Allow to cool at least 3 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to the cooling rack. Then ENJOY!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

I had some ideas earlier in the week as to what I was going to write here but I am blanking now. I know it was something unrelated to the recipe… everyone else goes on about random things on their food blogs that are unrelated so I figured I could start doing that too! But now I am in a bit of a weird mood and am blanking on what it was. So maybe I will just say that this recipe is delicious and you should make it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 milk
  • 1 Tb corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1/3 chocolate chips
  1. Beating the cooled syrup

    Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment.

  2. Bring sugar, brown sugar, cream, milk, corn syrup and salt to a boil in a 3-qt saucepan over medium. Stir occasionally with a spatula. Boil to 242 degrees, stir frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and flour.
  4. Pour the syrup into a 9×13″ pan (not the parchment lined one 8×8″ one!) and let sit at room temp about 20 minutes. The recipe said to let it cool to 110° but I accidently left it to 90 degrees. Oops. It still worked.
  5. Scrape the batter into a stand mixer. Beat on medium with the paddle attachment until fudge thickens and it holds its shape. This is about 3-5 minutes. Scrape into the 8×8″ pan & spread evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and press down lightly.
  7. Let cool completely. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge


Miscellaneous Stuff!

So I made a couple other things that I wanted to share with you… first my stellar Gingerbread house. Note the moose traipsing outside the house, the igloo on the other side, and a snowman building gingerbread man!

 

Next,  mini gingerbread cupcakes with mini gingerbread moose/men/trees. I should really post the cupcakes recipe because it is delicious! I love them but I am not posting anymore “out of season” recipes! (Besides the pictures aren’t all that stellar!)

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Gingerbread Cookies

And finally, what I call “Box-of-chocolate” cupcakes – I went to a Forrest Gump themed New Year’s Party. Each of the chocolate cupcakes is a different flavour and you “never-know-what-you’re-gonna-get”. There are ones baked with skor bits, M&Ms, white chocolate rainbow bits, mint chocolate, marshmallow, cinnamon, coconut and hazelnut baked in. All but the hazelnut ones (which have Nutella instead) are also filled with ganache. Then there are the peanut butter stuffed, ganache stuffed, and Nutella stuffed chocolate ones.

"Box-of-Chocolate" Cupcakes