Melted Ice Cream Bread

ice cream bread

Ever heard of melted ice cream bread? You take a pint of melted ice cream, mix it with 2 cups of self-rising flour and bake it into a quick bread. It sounds too good to be true, but the mixture bakes into a cross between quick bread and pound cake. And you can vary the…

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McConnell’s Ice Cream Review

McConnell's Ice Cream

If you like the idea of ice cream made with milk from happy cows, eggs from free roaming chickens and locally sourced fruit, check out McConnell’s Ice Cream. Founded in 1949 in Santa Barbara, this rich, indulgent “French Pot” ice cream is now being shipped around the country. Stores here in Chicago carry a variety…

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Loaves

sour cream coffee cake

Loaves of Sour Cream Coffee Cake are my contribution to this month’s Chicago Food Swap — my new favorite monthly event.

Giant Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

giant peanut butter

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been making the same things over and over. These past few days it’s been small batch big and flat chocolate chunk cookies like the ones they sell at a restaurant here called Summerhouse Santa Monica. I haven’t quite got their recipe down, but in the midst of experimenting…

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Blueberry Rustic Tart

blueberry crostata

There’s a joke at our house that a rustic tart is just a lazy version of pie. It doesn’t require a pie dish, the rolling and crimping process is fairly laid back, and perfect slices don’t require surgical precision. But lazy aspects aside, the beauty of a rustic tart is that it really showcases the…

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Chubby Chocolate Whopper Blobs

blobs

If you want “the best of the best” in chocolate cookies, this is the recipe for you. But there’s one caveat — you have to like nuts. Along with loads of rich dark chocolate, these are packed with a mixture of toasted walnuts and pecans, which add flavor and texture and give the cookies a…

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Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream

Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream

If you love coconut or cook for someone who does, this coconut pineapple ice cream is the perfect late summer dessert. Based on a recipe from James Villas, it calls for shredded or flaked coconut, crushed pineapple, a combination of milk and cream plus almond extract.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Brownies

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Brownies

Here’s my latest, greatest, fudge brownie recipe. It calls for beating the eggs thoroughly so you get brownies that are dense yet seemingly light at the same time and have a shiny top.

Giant Coconut Macaroons

Giant Coconut Macaroons

My favorite coconut macaroon recipes have always been Condensed Milk Macaroons and Chewy Chocolate Macaroons , but I have a new favorite — Giant Coconut Macaroons.

Almost Junior’s Cheesecake

juniors cheesecake

When I think of iconic cheesecakes, three come to mind — Eli’s, Lindy’s and Junior’s. Eli’s is from a Chicago cheesecake company, and I haven’t had any in a while and can’t remember the texture. Lindy’s is associated with an old restaurant in New York and is dense, creamy, and has a shortbread crust. As…

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Red Food Coloring Paste in Red Velvet

red gel for red food coloring

My favorite red velvet cake recipes call for a full bottle of red food coloring. At $3.00 a bottle, that’s pretty steep for a one-time use ingredient. On the other hand, red food coloring paste is more concentrated and a small bottle usually lasts for months. I’m not sure why it took me so long,…

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Favorite Red Velvet Cake

favorite red velvet cake

It’s hot here in Chicago and I should probably be making icebox pies, but instead I’m obsessed with red velvet again and wondering if my favorite recipe is still worthy. Of course to determine that I had to make my favorite red velvet cake again. Here’s a photo.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Coffee Extract

chocolate chunk cookies

I’ve been on the hunt for recipes using coffee extract, and this one turned up in a rather unlikely place — an old Paula Deen magazine. It’s for thin, chewy, sweet chocolate chip cookies and it calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of coffee extract.

Walnut Toffee Bars

walnut toffee bars

I baked these walnut toffee bars yesterday, and while walnuts were the feature ingredient, I think they might have been upstaged by the buttery crust. The flavor came courtesy of this Amish butter I found at Treasure Island. At $5.50 a pound, it’s a little more expensive than Land o’Lakes, but compared to similar European…

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ChefSteps Chocolate Chip Cookies

chefstepscookies2

You don’t need an excuse to try a new recipe, but here’s one anyway. A site called ChefSteps has taken a scientific approach to baking really good chocolate chip cookies.