Sunday, May 15, 2011

Breakfast for dessert?

I am a HUGE fan of breakfast- especially french toast! When I came across this recipe for Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream on, I had to try it! It is originally from Tracey's Culinary adventures.

I have to admit, when I read the directions, it seemed like alot of work. Much more complicated than the chocolate J-ello pudding ice cream I make on a regular basis (inspiration from the ice cream sold at Coldstone Creamery). But, I was up for a challenge (and a messy kitchen!).

It wasn't as complicated as it sounded... it actually went pretty smoothly. And it turned out DELICIOUS!!

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe below. This version calls for regular, thick-sliced bread. I happened to come across "french toast" bread at my local giant- it's the store brand, and it is delicious! I used that instead. I also used skim milk.

Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 slices firm white sandwich bread
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon molasses
1 cup heavy cream

Combine the milk and cinnamon sticks in a 2-qt saucepan. Bring the milk to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pan - allow to steep for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Cut 3 slices of the bread into 1/4-inch cubes and transfer them to a medium bowl. Pulse the remaining 2 slices of bread in your food processor to make bread crumbs. In a small bowl whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Drizzle about 3/4 of the mixture over the cubes of bread, tossing to coat them evenly. Transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets, spreading the cubes in a single layer. Add the bread crumbs to the remaining butter mixture and stir to coat. Spread on the second prepared baking sheet.

Bake the bread cubes and crumbs for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Stir occasionally and rotate the pans from top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Leave on the pans and set aside to cool. Once cool, transfer the bread crumbs to a heatproof bowl.

Bring the milk back to a boil and then pour it over the bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes, then pour the milk through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan. Press on the solids to extract as much milk as possible. Discard the solids afterward.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, molasses and a pinch of salt together. Bring the milk to a boil once again. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 170 and 175 F on an instant read thermometer).

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Fold in the bread cubes once churned, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Perhaps I was just being a little slow, but I was very confused by the instructions as to what exactly to do with the milk and bread crumbs. I had to ask my husband to read it and try to figure it out. The dilemma was that I put all of the bread- cubes and crumbs- on one baking sheet instead of two sperate sheets, like the recipe calls for. This is what stemmed my confusion. One part of the directions say "discard all solids" and then later in the directions it says to mix in the bread cubes. If I discarded all of the solids... there would be no more bread cubes to mix in!

To clarify: the milk goes poured over the bread CRUMBS, which then get discarded. The cubes are a seperate entity (and should be on a seperate sheet apparently) and just get mixed in at the end. Whew.... it took me a good 15 minutes of analyzing this before I gave up and asked my hubby! So, hopefully it's clarified for any of you that are confused!



Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Well, Yesterday was the day for mother's. I am not yet a mother, but I can celebrate my friends and family that are! And what a gorgeous day to do so :)

 My mother isn't big into family gatherings, she's quite a simple woman- a card and a phone call will suffice. I, on the other hand, would love to host a big lavish get together for every occasion (I say that now, however, after all of the prep and clean-up I may feel differently!). So, we went middle of the road and went over to my in-laws to spend some time with my lovely mother and father-in-law.

 I had to, of course, make dessert to bring along. A quaint little orchard near my in-laws sells these amazing fruit tarts and ever since I tried the first one, I've been trying to find one to match it... I'm still looking. But this is the one I tried yesterday:


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Fresh strawberries and blueberries


  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

The filling was great- fruit is fruit- the crust wasn't my favorite. I think I would prefer a confectioner's sugar version, like the one below:

  •  1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and sliced

 I'll have to try this one next time- I'll let you know how it turns out!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, I know I did! Enjoy the beautiful weather this week :)


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creativity on a Sunday

So my husband has come up with this idea... I was facing a dilemma regarding shipment of cupcakes from The Baking Bar and he said, "Well, what about inside out cupcakes? Put the filling in the middle.

He is not from Lancaster County, so he wasn't aware that he had essentially just described a whoppie pie, gob... whatever the term is that you use. However, he did have a good thought and I liked it. Especially since whoppie pies usually don't get that outrageous with flavors. I think the most creative combination I've seen is oatmeal pies with vanilla filling. So, inside-out cupcakes it is! Let me tell you... my brain has been reeling with ideas of flavor combinations!

Dark Chocolate cake with strawberry meringue buttercream

Graham cake with honey cinnamon frosting

Devil's Food with peanut butter frosting

White Chocolate with oreo frosting

I made my first combination today. Almond cakes with lemon infused vanilla frosting. Oh, they are so good! They are nice and light- so refreshing!

Lemon Frosting:
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
3 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Zest and juice from half a lemon

Mix butter until smooth. Add 1 1/4 c. confectioner's sugar, beat until combined. Add 3 Tbsp. milk and remaining confectioner's sugar. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and zest and juice from lemon. Beat until smooth.

This is a great summer baked good!

 Until next week,