Tag Archives: dessert

Recipe: Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

Y’all. (Why are only Southerners allowed to say this?)

We love blueberries and this ice cream is delicious.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

I appear to be in the minority here. That being, the minority of people who own ice cream makers and actually use them.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

There is a great blueberry farm in the Finger Lakes that we make a trip to whenever we are visiting my family. And we are serious about our blueberry picking. This summer we managed to bring home 45 pounds of blueberries.

I even dragged my poor parents out in the rain one morning and we got soaking wet. (Aren’t they kind to indulge their crazy daughter?)

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

Blueberry Ice Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (sorry!)
  • 2 tablespoons boysenberry syrup

(You can supplement whole milk for a 1% milk or heavy cream for light cream, but the texture will be slightly icier, and certain members of your household will notice.)

First, make the blueberry concentration:

  1. Toss 1 cup of blueberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a pot over medium heat
  2. Stir frequently and squish the blueberries with a spoon  to release the juices in the pot
  3. Let simmer until all sugar is dissolved
  4. Set aside and let cool

Next, make the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together milk and 3/4 cup of sugar in a bowl
  2. Gently stir in the heavy cream, 2 TB of boysenberry syrup and your blueberry concentration
  3. Pour into the ice cream freezer bowl and turn on your machine
  4. Let the machine run for 20-25 minutes
  5. You can eat it at this point if you like very soft ice cream! Otherwise put in an airtight container and stick it in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  6. ENJOY!!!

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

I’m sure this ice cream would taste delicious without the boysenberry syrup too. I added it at the last minute and it was a very delicious addition! We keep it on hand for pancakes and it is usually in the maple syrup section at the grocery store.

Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream Recipe | DesignLively.com

What’s your favorite flavor ice cream? I love to get Cake Batter ice cream!

Recipe Post: Pancake Cookies

Pancake Cookies for a Lumberjack themed birthday party

Earlier this spring we had a Lumberjack themed birthday party for my husband. I promised a tutorial on the pancakes cookies and had completely forgotten until a reader left me a friendly note requesting it.

The pancake cookies are extremely simple.

Warning – I am not a food photographer and made these at night! The light from my oven does not make for beautiful photographs. : ) Also, as I’ve said before I’m not a food blogger, most of my recipe tips do not have specific measurements. It’s just the way I cook. Sorry! It drives my husband crazy too.

The Cookie:

Pancake Cookies for a Lumberjack themed birthday party

Start with any cookie base of your preference. I started with a classic Betty Crocker sugar cookie, recipe. You could also try molasses or gingersnap. Anything that will give the cookies that pancake color.

To get the cookies to bake nice and flat, I rolled the cookie dough into a ball in my palm and then I squished it so it resembled a Peppermint Patty. Sorry, no photos for this step! My hands were covered in cookie dough!

I baked them according to the recipe and let them cool completely. If they look like they are getting too puffy in the oven while they are baking, give them a pat with a flat kitchen tool (like a flipper) to flatten them back out.

The Maple Syrup Frosting:

Pancake Cookies for a Lumberjack themed birthday party

To create the maple syrup I created a runny chocolate frosting.

In a double boiler, melt some chocolate chips (About 1/2 a bag) and a tb. butter. Add the butter at the very beginning before the chips are melted. Adding it later can make your melted chocolate get a weird texture.

In my mixer, I made a basic buttercream frosting recipe (modified from this recipe). Instead of vanilla extract I added real maple syrup. Then I added my melted chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly. Add tiny bits of water until the icing easily runs off a spoon.

At this point, things can get a little messy. I laid my cookies on wax paper for easy cleanup. Then proceed to spoon the runny chocolate frosting on top of them. The frosting should naturally pool in certain directions, giving you a maple syrup effect.

Due to the runny frosting, it will take longer than usual for the frosting to firm up. I wouldn’t recommend stacking them either because they frosting never sets to a hard frosting – I’m sure a better cook would be able to solve this problem.

Frosting Butter Pad

Pancake Cookies for a Lumberjack themed birthday party
For the pad of butter, I created a very thick frosting. Combine confectionery sugar and milk in a bowl with a fork. Continue to add confectioners’ sugar until you have a very thick, non-spreadable consistency (similar to Play-doh). Add a few drops of yellow food coloring and use the fork to spread the coloring throughout your mixture.

Scrap the frosting from a bowl on to a piece of waxed paper and fold it over so the frosting is in the middle. Use a rolling pin to flatten it out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Place in refrigerator.

After the yellow frosting has been in the refrigerator for sometime and feels very stiff take it out and cut into small 1″ x 1″ squares immediately. Don’t wait, it must be cold or else it will not cut smoothly. Place on top of the maple syrup frosting and there you go!

Pancake Cookies for a Lumberjack themed birthday party

Recipe: Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

For some reason it never occurs to me that grapes are an autumn fruit, but indeed they are.

Grapes are typically harvested between August and October.

When we were in the Finger Lakes over Labor Day weekend we went apple picking. We were quickly seduced by the delightfully strong and sweet aroma of the concord grapevines a few rows over.

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

Impulsively, I picked five pounds. Quite quickly too, the vines were lush with grapes.

I may have eaten a few Cleopatra-style.

These bad boys were plump and tasted like candy.

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

For the first two weeks I ate them plain. Yum!

Then I realized, there is NO way I’m going to eat my way through five pounds before these start to go bad. So I put my thinking cap on and… it immediately went to dessert.

Specifically, ice cream. Grape ice cream.

Berry ice cream is difficult to get right. We had delicious homemade blueberry ice cream at a local ice cream shoppe this summer, and it was so good – a real fruit concentrate makes all the difference. I was inspired.

First we hauled out the juicer. We own a beast of a Jack LaLanne juicer and it came in handy for this recipe! (There are other methods of boiling and straining through cheesecloth, but this was obviously much faster and easier.)

We juiced about 3 pounds of grapes, and we sent the skins through about 5 times before we felt like we got all the juices out.

The result was about three cups of unadulterated grape juice. We drank one cup over ice (yum!).

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

Sorry for the blah-lit photos. Most of our life happens after work. Aka, when there is no more natural light. : (

The other two cups of grape juice I put on the stove to boil. I slowly stirred in one cup of sugar. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Then I transferred it to a covered dish and left it in the fridge overnight to thicken.

The next day I started making the recipe for vanilla ice cream in my Cuisinart ice cream maker.

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

As the ice cream started to thicken I poured in 2 cups of the grape concentrate and let it stir until completed. The concentrate will make the ice cream slightly runnier than usual. You will want to let it firm up in the freezer.

The result was a creamy, light, grape ice cream!

And definitely not artificial “grape”. My husband said he thought I was crazy when I first started talking about making grape ice cream, since most grape-flavored things taste so fake, but he was pleasantly surprised.

Recipe for Homemade Concord Grape Ice Cream - DesignLively

If mine looks drippy it’s because I couldn’t wait any longer to try it 🙂

YUM! This will definitely be a repeated recipe next year.

Grape Concentrate Ingredients:
3 pounds concord grapes
1 cup sugar

Ice Cream Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Valentine’s Day Special!

One of my first jobs was working at a minor league baseball stadium making gourmet desserts.

I must have made thousands of chocolate covered strawberries in one summer! While that doesn’t mean I’m a “pro” I would certainly say it means I have a bit of experience.

To start, I wash and let the strawberries dry thoroughly. I do NOT hull them. Neither do I cut off any soft spots. The chocolate will cover any blemish!

The strawberries need to be completely dry. Chocolate will not stick to damp strawberries.

While the strawberries are drying, I melt 1/2 a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips in a double boiler.

Sometimes (when I’m too lazy to get my double boiler out) I just fill a pot with 2″ of water and put a glass bowl on top. I put the heat on LOW and let the chocolate chips melt together, stirring occasionally. Within 10 minutes your chips should be melting. I leave the heat on low. I don’t like to microwave my chocolate or heat it up quickly – the chocolate can turn quickly.

Next, I line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

To begin dipping, I stick a toothpick through the stem of the strawberry. This is where the tightest hold is on the berry and it will help stop the berry from falling off into the chocolate. This is why I prefer not to hull my strawberries. I think they are easier to dip, as well as easier to eat.

There are two ways to dip.

1. Kerplunk her down right in the center leaving about 1/8″ of red. (I like to see a little bit of red color.)

2. Flying V – Sweep the berry through on it’s side, and then the other side, leaving a little “v” in the middle.

Let it the excess chocolate drip off. I will also spin it around by the toothpick to help wick away excess chocolate. Then I put the berry down on the wax paper and pull the toothpick out. Once all your berries are dipped, put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.

To decorate my strawberries, I ended up using some frosting (I didn’t have any white chocolate left in my pantry – what I usually use).

I put two heaping spoonfuls of frosting in a ziploc bag with a few drops of red food coloring.

Then I gently smooshed it (yep, that’s a fancy culinary term right there) around in my hand until the frosting was all pink. I put the bag into the fridge and let it firm-up for a few minutes.

When the chocolate on the strawberries has hardened in the fridge, I take the cookie sheet and the frosting out. I snip off a teeny-tiny corner of the bag and go at it.

I decided to frosting a few plain strawberries too!

After I’ve finished frosting I put it all back in the fridge until I’m (erm… I mean we’re) ready to eat them!

NOM NOM NOM!