Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frozen Hot Chocolate

I maybe a tea lover, but the first hot drink I fell madly in love with is Hot Chocolate!  Of course, during the summer that tends to be the last thing you want to drink... until I tried FROZEN Hot Chocolate!

Have you ever had the Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3?  Well if you havn't had the opportunity yet, next time you are in New York City or Las Vegas stop on by and get one!  It's positively amazing! My first time having it, was after I saw the movie Serendipity how cliche right?  I fell in love with that cafe and decided it was a must see on my next New York trip.  Little did I know, that the typical wait, is about 2 hours long.  it was worth it though, we got a big Frozen Hot Chocolate to share, and then ate some food as well.  It's fun food, full of exciting twist that you dont expect... and come prepared for a extra large portion, because this place is not made for dainty eaters! 

A couple weeks ago, I was in Las Vegas to fullfil a major check off my bucket list and see life Celien Dion in Concert at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Celien Dion was absolutely amazing live and to end the night of our fun girls trip, we went to Serendipity 3 and got dessert.  On my way out, I picked up this packet there, so that I could make it up at home for another girls night!  If you happen to stop by the store, I suggest picking one of these packages up for a breakdown chocolate moment, but if you dont have one available this is how we make it:

Frozen Hot Chocolate

1 Cup of Hot Chocolate Mix (I love Stephens Dark Chocolate)
1 Cup of Ice
1 Cup of Chocolate Ice Cream (or more if you like)
1/2 Cup of Milk (Whole Milk would make this taste really good, but I use at least 2%)

Whipping Cream
Chocolate shavings or Coco Powder

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until nice and smooth.  You may need to add more milk, just look for the right consistency.  You want it to be thick like a milk shake.  Pour into two cups, add whipping cream and chocolate shavings and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwiches

One of the greatest things about Summer is the good ol' Summer BBQ's.  I always get excited for the fresh grilled meats and veggies, summer salads, and of course desert! However, sometimes around July, I find that I start to get tired of the same foods over and over again.  So I thought for our last family and friend BBQ I would try something a little different for desert.  

I decided to make some great homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches.  The first sandwich is White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie with Coconut Pineapple ice cream.  Second, is a Snickerdoodle cookie with a Marion Berry Pie ice cream. Third is a classic Chocolate Chip cookie with Fudge Track ice cream.  Each cookie was a big hit in the end!
White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
10 ounces white chocolate (chips or bars cut in chunks)
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped into chunks

Heat oven to 375 F. In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Stir together flour, and the baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture,beating until well blended. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. (Edges are golden brown and center is set.) Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool completely.

I will be honest I have never made a White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie, so I searched the net and found this amazing recipe!
Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 C. Butter (at room temp.)
1 1/2 C. Sugar
2 Eggs (room temp.)
3 C. Flour
2 tsp. Cream of Tarter
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 t. Salt
For rolling the dough in:
4 t. Sugar
2 t. Cinnamon 
(you can also add nutmeg as well about 1/2 tsp.  I like it a lot in the fall!)

Makes 2 dozen.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add room temperature eggs one at a time beating until dough becomes lighter in color and fluffy. Put all your dry ingredients into a separate bowl and sift together with a fork.  Add a little at a time until dough comes together.  In a separate bowl, add cinnamon and sugar mixture together. Take a spoonful of dough, roll it into a ball, and then roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place on cookie sheet.  When finished Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let sit on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes to rest, and then place on cooling wrack.  

These cookies are amazing the first day, but after that snickerdoodle tend to dry out and become a crunchy cookie instead of a soft one.  If you are looking for a very soft snickerdoodle that will last a couple of days, add 2 tsp of Sour Cream, instead of Cream of Tarter.
For the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe, I used the same as the White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut recipe, and instead of adding White Chocolate Chips and nuts, I added Milk Chocolate Chips.  I'm sure everyone out there has an amazing Chocolate Chip recipe that they love to use, so use that one.  I'm still searching for the perfect one... and someday when I find it, I will post it!