Sunday, October 26, 2014

Browned Butter Ice Cream with Almond Brittle

With the wedding officially over, I'm now a happily married woman — which means I don't have to fit into that wedding dress ever again. Bring on the ice cream!

The brown butter base is creamy and nutty with flecks of browned butter solids dotted throughout. Then throw in the homemade almond brittle and it takes this ice cream to the next level — crunchy salty-sweet brittle packed full of almonds and layered throughout the ice cream.

{Browned Butter Ice Cream with Almond Brittle}
Inspired by Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Almond Brittle
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces (2 cups) slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Generously oil a large baking sheet. Stir together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Using a candy thermometer, add the butter and bring the mixture back to a boil, then cook until it reaches 300 degrees F. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the almonds and then the baking soda, working quickly.

Spread the mixture onto the oiled baking sheet in a 1/4 inch layer. Allow to cool completely.

Break almond brittle into pieces and put them in a large freezer bag. Use a rolling pin to smash the brittle to small pieces.

Browned Butter Ice Cream
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar, divided

Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with half of the sugar. In a heavy-bottomed pot, brown the butter over medium-high heat until butter solids begin to separate. Once browned, stir in cream, whole milk, salt and the other half of the sugar. Insert a thermometer. Cook at medium heat, stirring often, until mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat. Now it's time to temper the eggs mixture. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs don't scramble. Add another cup and whisk. Then, pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, stirring. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and pour the ice cream batter through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl. Place the bowl into the ice water, being careful not to allow any water into the mixture. Stir occasional. When cool, cover and put in the fridge to cool completely. Freeze in an ice cream freezer, then fold in the almond brittle. Enjoy!

Side note: This recipe makes a little extra almond brittle and it is delicious to eat just as it is. Make it. Do it. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sesame Almond Cherry Granola

While traveling through southeastern Utah and western Colorado last week, I was fed the best granola alongside my morning Americano at Steaming Bean Coffee Co. in Durango, Colorado. I fell for it, hard. First, let me say this little coffee shop was excellent — Mitch and I posted up in a sunny window seat where we look out on the town and enjoy our treats. We'd spent the morning taking a run around the quaint downtown and checking out the local guitar shops.  But back to the granola — it was crunchy and sweet and full of delicious nuts and sesame seeds. I had to recreate it for you, with a few additions.

{Sesame, Almond & Cherry Granola}
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch cardamom 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, walnuts, coconut, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Set the cherries aside.
3. Stir the olive oil mixture into oat mixture. Spread onto the lined baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for 30-35 minutes.
4. Let cool in pan, then stir in cherries. Serve with milk or yogurt, or snack on it plain!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three-Bean Beef Chili

It's April now, officially time for spring … but nobody told the weather gods here in Utah. It's another chilly, snow-covered day in the mountains. In my book, that means another good day for mouth-watering, heart-warming, sweat-inducing chili.

I like my chili full of tomato and packed with vegetables, with just the right amount of spice.

{Three-Bean Beef Chili}

1/2 pound to 1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 can (8-ounces) diced tomatoes
2 can (15-ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (15-ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15-ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15-ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
Grated cheddar cheese, jalapeƱos and sour cream (optional)

1. In a large nonstick pot or dutch oven, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and brown. Drain.

2. In a large nonstick pan, heat the rest of the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in pepper and zucchini and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add to ground beef.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve with fixings of choice.

The great thing about this chili is that you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Plus, it's even better the next day. Apply crushed red pepper liberally and enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

French Press Coffee

There are so many ways to get your coffee. You can brew it in a coffee pot, make a pour over, use a Chemex, pull an espresso, or head to your nearest coffee shop for a professionally crafted creation complete with latte art. All good options, all delicious ways to enjoy the joy that is coffee. But one of my favorite methods of preparing coffee has to be the french press: It's fast, it's easy and you end up with a dense, heavy, creamy cup bursting with flavor — every time. In our house, we call this weekend coffee.

{French Press Coffee}

What you'll need:
  • Coffee beans. Mine are dark-roasted Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters Tanzania Peaberry coffee beans I roasted myself
  • Water — I like a 1:10 coffee to water ratio for my french press. So if you have 50 grams of coffee, use 500 grams of water
  • French Press
  • Coffee Grinder
Yield: Two large mugs of amazing, full-bodied coffee

1. Bring the water to almost a boil in a tea kettle, aiming for 202 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grind your coffee beans to a coarse, even grind.
3. Fill the french press with warm water to warm the glass. Empty. Then, add the ground coffee to the french press.
4. Pour heated water onto the coffee; allow to bloom for 30 seconds to allow the carbon dioxide to release from the coffee. It will bubble.
5.  Stir. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes. When it has steeped, press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. If it's hard to press, that means your grind is too fine; if it goes down too easily, it means your grind is too coarse. Try to find the sweet spot.
6. Serve immediately. Add cream and sugar if desired.

Here's a step-by-step:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cookies & Chemex

So I can't stop making these insanely huge cookies, the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies I shared a few weeks back. Seriously, make them. You won't be disappointed.

I added in a Chemex and some awesome Pink Elephant Coffee. Yum.