Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

I've always loved ice cream sandwiches.  I mean, who doesn't?  Oh, some people...  But those people probably stopped reading this blog months ago, so, yeah...

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

A little while ago I made the best ice cream I've ever made.  I'm serious. It was fantabulous.  (I promise this is the one and only time I’ll use that word on this site.)  

I first shared this ice cream with you when I made this black cherry hazelnut crisp, but when I started thinking about making ice cream sandwiches at home I knew this recipe would be making a second appearance. 

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Cinnamon ice cream.

She's spicy, she's creamy, she's the girl that will blow your mind with her subtle beauty, unending sweetness, and surprisingly spicy personality.  She also tastes exactly like a cinnamon roll.  Happiness is here.

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Last summer I made ice cream sandwiches.  I know, you don't remember them, and that is because they never made it onto the blog. 

After hours of testing and of making the biggest melted-ice cream mess ever, I gave up and walked away.  Then I walked right back because I had to do the dishes.  How annoying. 

I knew that I would revisit the concept, but it took a year before I could muster up the courage to give it another try.

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

My difficulties had lay in the cookie component.  Originally, I could not get a cookie that was hard enough to hold up to ice cream, yet soft enough to not become a solid rock when frozen.

I needed more chewy and less crispy.

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Happily, after two test runs, I finally met with an equation for the perfect ice cream sandwich cookie.

I took several steps to ensure that these cookies would be soft and chewy.  First, I used all brown sugar.  Typically, I would use a mixture of white and brown sugars, but in this case I wanted all the softness that the brown sugar would provide.  Secondly, I used a smaller amount of flour.  The portion was not incredibly reduced - just enough to make the cookies slightly less dense.  

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

I experimented using a mixture of baking power and baking soda, and then I tried using only baking soda.  I definitely preferred the baking soda version.  Baking power will make your cookies rather cakey, and though it worked well with the ice cream, it just was not the cookie that I had been dreaming of.  

However, with round two, I ate way too many.  

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Although, considering that it took many hours of scheming and tiring taste-testing in order to get them right, I think that celebrating is completely permissible. 

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Cold, creamy, spicy ice cream sandwiched between soft, chewy cookies with crunchy hazelnuts and dark, sweet cherries.

No, it's not your imagination, these sandwiches do have a bit of a Fall vibe, but I cannot help the fact that my palate is a bit eager to transition into the realm of cozy, spicy flavors in the most summery ways possible. 

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Success it sweet.  Literally.  

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches {Pedantic Foodie}

Get in there.  Summer was made for sticky fingers.  

Sincerely,

  Pedantic Foodie


 

Cherry Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

makes about one dozen sandwiches

for the cherry hazelnut cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoons fine salt 
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In the bowl of your stand-mixer beat butter for 1 minute.  Add brown sugar and beat for several minutes, scraping down the sides, until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg, cinnamon, and vanilla.    

In a large bowl whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet in four installments; beating well after each addition.  After all the dry ingredients have been added, fold in chopped hazelnuts and dried cherries.  

Portion the cookie dough into 1-ounce balls and place several inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers look slightly underdone.  Transfer the warm cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool fully before filling with ice cream.  

for the cinnamon ice cream

  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 5 egg yolks 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 

In a small saucepan combine milk, whipping cream, and cinnamon.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and remove from heat.  Add vanilla extract. 

In a small bowl whisk to combine egg yolks and sugar.  Slowly stream half of the warm milk mixture into the egg yolk while whisking constantly.  Pour the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan and return to heat. 

Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has thickened into a light custard then remove from heat and place in an ice bath.  

Stir often, until the mixture has thoroughly chilled.  You may have to change out the water once or twice.

Churn in ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer safe container and chill until set. 

assembly

  • plastic wrap
  • 24 freshly baked cherry hazelnut cookies
  • 1 batch cinnamon ice cream 

Use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop to portion the ice cream onto half of the cookies.  Gently top each with a second cookie and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to harden slightly.  Enjoy!

 

{Thirsty Friday} Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie

Once upon a time I was in Southeast Asia, and I discovered the luxury of eating multiple mangos every single day.  We had them for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks, and I gawked with envy as we bought three of the ripe, blushing fruits for less than a dollar.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie 10.jpg

Sadly, I couldn't take a mango tree back home with me, so I returned to my little section of the world where these beloved fruits come at a much higher price, but are nonetheless delicious.  Especially when we turn them into slushies…oh my goodness.

I'm out of control with the slushie game this Summer - it's not a cry for help as much as a request for more paper straws.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie

The silky texture of the mango is perfect for creating smooth, perfectly-thickened slushies that will whisk you away from your annoying long to-do list and to a personal island where every day is Friday and stress stops at the shore. 

Okay, maybe I can't promise all of that, but if you need some help cooling down after a stressful week, this slushie is your new best friend. 

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie

So here we go!  Frozen mango, ginger beer - the strong, spicy stuff, please, and rum extract - blended until silky smooth.

Maybe you turn your nose up to the thought of rum extract, but I kind of love it because it provides a whole lot of that rich, buttery, rum flavor while still keeping our slushie appropriate for early afternoon sipping and the youngest of palates.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie

This is our first layer.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie}

Next we combine tart lime juice with a simple mint syrup, sparkling water, and a good handful of ice, and let the blender do her thing.  

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie}

This is a layered slushie that doesn't layer perfectly because the mango Slushie is slightly less viscous than the mint limeade layer - but it's Friday and refreshment is more essential than perfectly even layers.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie}

The slushies are layered and garnishes are prepared.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie}

I love how vibrant and colorful food is during the Summer.  It's just so cheery.

Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie {Pedantic Foodie}

I hope your weekend is filled with relaxing afternoons and third and fourth refills.  

Happy Friday, friends!

Sincerely,

  Pedantic Foodie


Mango Rum & Mint Limeade Slushie

serves 4

for the mint syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn 

In a small bowl combine sugar and mint leaves.  Use the tines of a fork to press the mint into the sugar.  Allow to sit for about 15 minutes so that the oils from the mint can permeate the sugar. 

In a small saucepan combine mint sugar and water and place over medium high heat.  Stirring often, cook until the sugar has dissolved and a light syrup has come together, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the remaining components. 

for the mango rum slushie

  • 1 medium, ripe mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon imitation rum extract 
  • 1 cup ice 
  • 3/4 cup ginger beer

Spread the cubed mango out unto a baking sheet lined with parchment and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, until frozen solid. 

In the pitcher of your blender, combine frozen mango, rum extract, ice, and ginger beer.  Pulse until smooth. 

for the mint limeade slushie

  • mint syrup
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • 2 cups ice 
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water 

Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of your blender and pulse until smooth.  

assembly

  • fresh mint and lime wedges, for garnish

Layer the slushies in glass, adding the mango layer first and then the mint limeade.  Garnish with fresh mint and a slice of lime and serve immediately with cute straws and fun friends.  Enjoy!

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel

Sometimes I write ideas down in my little striped notebook and they get lost for a long time.  Amidst the pages of chocolatey, buttery scribblings that materialize into recipes, there are a few ideas that simply get lost in the shuffle.  Lost and forgotten, until I flip back through and realize my missed opportunity. 

Churros was one of those ideas that was forgotten, then remembered, then forgotten again, and then finally put on my summer bucket list in hopes that the threat of an unfinished list would be the motivation I needed.

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

As it happened, it was, and I made the churros.  I ate them in excess and then walked away somewhat unimpressed.  I mean, they were good, very good, but they were just...churros.  Cinnamony and crisp, but nothing spectacular.  I knew something needed to happen, and by something I mean caramel sauce and bananas.  Oh yes...

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

So I made tiny churros, which are surprisingly simple, by the way, and I covered them in sliced bananas and a rich, cinnamon caramel.  

Introducing Churro Bites!! 

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

The great thing (actually, the thing that is going to make you hate/fall in love with me) about these is that they are incredibly snackable.  You can just keep popping them into your mouth each time you walk through the kitchen.  You can and you will.  

It's okay, in a couple weeks we will be able to hide our churro bingeing shame underneath big, comfy sweaters. 

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

Another great thing about these churro bites is that you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry any day of the week (another thing that might make you hate me).  Churros are made from a pâté a choux, which is just a cooked mixture of butter, water, flour, salt, eggs, and sugar.  

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

The hardest part about this recipe is probably cleaning your stove after you are done frying.  Oil can be so rude.  Trust me though, these are worth the mess.

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel  {Pedantic Foodie}

Just look at that.  You’re welcome/I’m sorry.

Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel {Pedantic Foodie}

Fry on. 

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie


Churro Bites with Fresh Bananas & Cinnamon Caramel

makes about 24 churro bites

for the cinnamon caramel sauce

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons water 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water.  Place over medium heat and stir until the butter melts and the sugar begins to dissolve. 

Once the sugar has dissolved increase heat to medium high and boil for 5-7 minutes or until deep golden in color. Swirl the pan occasionally but DO NOT stir or scape down the sides.  Once the color is correct remove from heat and add cream, vanilla, and nutmeg.  Work carefully as the caramel will splatter. Return the pan to the burner and stir until the caramel is smooth and homogenous.  

for the pate choux

  • 8 ounces water 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter 
  • 4 ounces all-purpose flour 
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature 

In a small bowl whisk eggs; set aside.  

In a medium saucepan, combine water, granulated sugar, salt, and butter.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  When the butter has fully melted and the water is simmering, slowly add in flour, whisking constantly to form a thick paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly; about 3-5 minutes.  

Add eggs to the flour mixture, one at a time, whisking vigorously to loosen the paste and work the eggs in thoroughly.  When the mixture is smooth, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a wide star-tip.  

Form the churro bites by piping the pate choux out unto a piece of foil or parchment paper.  Pipe the dough in a circle until you have a 2 1/2 inch round.

frying and assembly

  • 1 quart vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 banana, sliced 

Fill a high-sided frying pan or dutch oven with oil, it should reach about 3 inches up the side of the pan.  Place over medium high heat and fit with a frying thermometer.  Bring oil to 350 degrees.  

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. 

Make a draining station by lining a baking sheet with paper towels and placing a cooling rack on top.

When the oil has reached 350 degrees, begin to gently drop the piped churros into the oil (you may need a spatula to remove the churros from the foil), frying 4-5 at a time.  Fry the churros for about 2-3 minutes on each side - until deep golden.  Be careful not to overcook the churros, they can burn quickly.  

Allow the churros to cool slightly on the cooling rack before tossing in the cinnamon sugar.  

Before serving, top each churro with a slice of banana and drizzle with caramel sauce.  The churros are best served warmed but they are also delicious at room temperature.  Just wait to add the bananas and caramel sauce until you are ready to serve.  

Enjoy!