Reese’s Ice Cream Cake

There is nothing I love more than peanut butter and chocolate combining their powers. I married a man who agrees with this sentiment, so when he asked for a Reese’s Ice Cream Cake for his birthday, I was more than happy to oblige.

I used this recipe as my foundation, and modified it to make this creamy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, delicious dessert. It’s perfect for birthdays or a Sunday afternoon treat, and can easily be made a day or two ahead of when you want to serve it.


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

You’ll need:

  • 1 8″x8″ peanut butter swirl brownies. Make ahead, as they’ll need time to cool
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (my fave is Breyer’s Natural Vanilla)
  • 1 12 oz. bag of mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped and chopped into quarters
  • 20 oreos
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Whipped cream

1. Make your brownies. Allow them to cool.

2. When they’re cool (or you can’t stand waiting any longer), pull your ice cream out of the freezer and allow it to soften on the counter. You want ice cream you can stir, but not melted ice cream. This will only take 20 or 30 minutes, less if it’s really warm in your house. While it’s softening, prepare the crust (steps 3 and 4), and unwrap and chop the peanut butter cups into quarters.

3. Put the oreos in a Ziploc bag, and smash them to smithereens using a meat tenderizer or a hammer.

20150405_1817134. Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by spraying the bottom and sides. In a bowl, mix the crushed oreos and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of the spring form pan to form your crust.

5. Slice the brownies into tiny squares, about 1/2 inch on each side. Add ice cream, brownies, and half of the chopped Reese’s cups into a large bowl. Use a spatula to fold it all together. The goal is to not crush the brownies or the Reese’s!

6. Once it’s is well mixed, scoop into the spring form pan and level the top. Cover with saran wrap so the wrap is touching the entire top of the cake. This will help prevent freezer burn.

7. Once you’re ready to serve, pipe whipped cream around the edges and sprinkle the remaining Reese’s cups in the middle.



Bacon Chocolate Bark

A couple of weeks ago, some friends sent out an invitation for a BaconFest. A party surrounding all things bacon. There were jalapeno poppers (with bacon), twice baked potatoes (with bacon), bacon wrapped dates, bacon no bake cookies, bacon dipped chocolate, bacon chocolate bark, and several other bacon inspired treats. It was all delicious!

??????????????????????Bacon Chocolate Bark

You’ll need:

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

I recommend splurging on good quality chocolate and bacon. You won’t regret it!

1. Cook your bacon on medium-low heat. Your goal is crunchy and crispy bacon, without burning it to a crisp. You don’t want chewy bacon in your chocolate bark. While it’s cooking, line a baking sheet with tin foil.

2. When your bacon is cooked, let it cool on some paper towel. While it’s cooling, melt your chocolate in the microwave. Pour all of the chips in a bowl. Microwave for a minute, and stir. Repeat until there are no more chocolate lumps.

3. Crumble the bacon up into small bits. Mix in 2/3 of the bacon with the chocolate, and spread it on the baking sheet. You want it about a 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the remainder of the bacon on top.

4. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s cooled all the way through, break it into chunks and serve.


Saturday Small Talk

What a week! Now that school is back in full swing, piano lessons picked up again, and the accompanying gigs are coming my way. This was a week of scheduling and to-do lists and organizing my life.

I’m so glad it’s the weekend.

I saw this triple chocolate mousse cake, and it was love at first sight. Can’t wait to try it.

Joy the Baker wrote this great piece on How to Read a Recipe. Even if you think you know everything about recipe reading, it’s a worthy read. I would recommend ignoring the first bit about “hurtling toward the holidays.” It’s still summer, RIGHT!?

One of my favorites, Shauna Niequist, posted in honor of her 12th wedding anniversary. Inspiring.

Beef stew with merlot. Mmmm….

Cake Pops

I hopped on the band wagon and made some cake pops. And it wasn’t too difficult!

First, let’s bake a chocolate cake. I recommend this recipe. I halved it, and had 3.5 dozen cake pops. Want to make them gluten free? Try black bean chocolate cake.

Once your cake is baked and cooled (feel free to speed the freezing by putting it in the fridge), crumble your cake, add cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter. Chill! You could leave it for a day or two in the fridge, if you’d like. It won’t hurt it a bit.

Roll them out into adorable little balls of cake goodness. If you have lollipop sticks, stick one in the top of each cake ball. If not, toothpicks work surprisingly well.

IMG_0318Slide the tray in the freezer, and leave it for 30-60 minutes. The goal is that the cake balls harden enough to dip.

Melt some chocolate! I used white chocolate, but you could use milk or dark chocolate as well. For simple melting (no double boiler!), put your chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals. Between each interval, stir, stir, stir. When it’s smooth, it’s done.

Take a few at a time out of the freezer, and dip each one in the chocolatey goodness. I recommend using a cooling rack to let them set. Then the chocolate on the top doesn’t flatten out from being set on a cookie sheet.

Garnish with sprinkles! And enjoy. Don’t refrigerate, as it will cause the cake pops to sweat.


Cookie Dough Truffles

Creating food is therapeutic. Put things in a bowl that wouldn’t taste good individually, mix them together, and end up with something decadent. It’s like magic. It does the soul good.

Love and Olive Oil has just published a cookbook. The blog world is going crazy about all of the delightful treats you can make thanks to her cookie dough recipes. Not to be left behind, these truffles had to be made!

Let’s not get scared here, truffles are not difficult. There are the basic steps:

  1. Make balls of filling
  2. Coat with a candy substance, often chocolate
  3. Embellish as your muse leads you

I found the recipe over on Bakerella, and added my own embellishment as I had some white chocolate burning a hole in my pantry.

Some things that I learned:

1. Freezing the cookie dough balls before you dip really helps! Take a few out of the freezer at a time.

2. A kabob stick makes a great dipping skewer. Just fill in the hole after you’re done!

3. Melting chocolate is easy. Use your microwave. Set it for 30 seconds, stir. If it isn’t smooth, set it for 30 more seconds. Continue until melted. If it starts to thicken while you’re dipping, just put it back in the microwave for a few more seconds. This goes for the white chocolate drizzle as well! Melt in a bowl, scoop into a plastic bag, and pipe by cutting a small corner off.

This recipe will be making a come back! These truffles will keep in the fridge for up to a week. I dare you to make them last that long.

Puppy Chow

Puppy chow has been a long time favorite in my world. My friend Darcy and I used to make it all the time in high school. When we went to college, it was a vacation tradition to make a batch of it together when we were home at the same time.

True to form, we made that happen this Thanksgiving.

Now, puppy chow is pretty easy. And we never follow a recipe. That makes it more fun. Here are the basic steps:

1. Melt one bag of chocolate chips on the stove over medium/low heat.
2. Add a scoop of peanut butter. However much you want. Somewhere between a half and one cup would be good. Also, add 2 Tbs. butter.
3. Pour mixture of chocolatey wonderfulness over one box of chex cereal.
4. Mix it up until all of the cereal pieces are pretty much coated.
5. Pour powdered sugar on top. Toss until coated.
6. Consume!

Oh happy day. Now that I’m back from Thanksgiving weekend, I intend to eat only vegetables. Ha.

I wanna know: What was your favorite part of your weekend?