Tag Archives: easy recipes

Homemade Chocolate Shell

Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate Shell has appeared on here a few times over the years, but always as a part of another recipe. I’ve used it to finish an ice cream cake, as a dip for truffles, and just as a drizzle, but we all know chocolate shell shines brightest on a scoop of ice cream. It’s high time that it gets its own post.Homemade Chocolate ShellChocolate shell is both entertainment and dessert. It goes on ice cream (or anything cold) like chocolate syrup and then magically transforms into a hard edible shell right in front of your eyes! It’s no wonder the popular store brand is marketed as Magic Shell.Homemade Chocolate ShellThe “magic” of chocolate shell was a mystery to me for years—how did they do that?! Turns out, mostly with ingredients and preservatives that I’d rather not ingest whenever I get a hankering for a bowl of ice cream with a snappy chocolate topping. Imagine my utter delight when I discovered Homemade Chocolate Shell could be made with just two easy-to-find, vegan ingredients!Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate ShellYes, all you need to make Homemade Chocolate Shell are four ounces of bittersweet chocolate and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt them together, stir until smooth, and then drizzle—or let’s be real, pour—it over a scoop (or three) of ice cream. Then watch as the glossy sauce magically turns into a matte shell in a matter of seconds! It works because coconut oil solidifies at 76F, but that’s way less fun than calling it magic.Homemade Chocolate ShellNot only is Homemade Chocolate Shell made of less-terrifying ingredients than the store bought stuff, it’s more delicious, too. You control the quality of ingredients here, and that goes double since there are only two of them. This batch was made with Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate and refined coconut oil because those are things that I like and keep on hand.

You may wonder, why refined coconut oil? The answer is simple: because it doesn’t taste like coconut. I like my Homemade Chocolate Shell to taste only of chocolate. That said, if you only have extra virgin coconut oil and don’t mind a little coconut flavor in your chocolate shell, it will work just fine.Homemade Chocolate ShellHands down, my second favorite part of eating Homemade Chocolate Shell is thwacking through it with the side of a spoon. There’s nothing quite like that satisfying snap and the shards of cold chocolate that melt in your mouth.

My first favorite part of eating Homemade Chocolate Shell? Actually eating it. Duh.Homemade Chocolate Shell

Homemade Chocolate Shell
makes about 3/4 cup

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined/high heat)

Combine chopped chocolate and coconut oil into a small bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Let cool 8-10 minutes for optimal pouring consistency (so it doesn’t melt off whatever it’s coating). Pour or drizzle over ice cream or use as a dip for other frozen treats.

Leftover chocolate shell will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Reheat by microwaving in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until pourable.Homemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate ShellHomemade Chocolate Shell

Peach Crisp

Peach CrispAs far back as I can remember, I’ve hated cooked peach desserts. For years, I turned my nose up at every single peachy thing under the sun. But then I started baking, and…you know how it’s sometimes easier to get kids to try new foods if you involve them in the cooking? Well, the same goes for adults who have an aversion to cooked peaches. For every peach pie, peach tart or peach upside-down cake that comes out of my kitchen, I become a little less averse. Add this Peach Crisp to that list and I guess it’s time to just admit to myself (and all of you?) that I am a person who likes peach things now.

There, I said it. Now I (we?) can move forward.Peach CrispMy take on Peach Crisp is pretty classic. Ripe peaches are tossed with sugar and just the tiniest hint of spice, then sprinkled with an oat and almond topping and baked until brown and bubbly and begging for a scoop of ice cream.Peach CrispPeach CrispPeach CrispPeach CrispThis is probably the easiest of all the peach desserts I’ve made—no peeling of peaches, no pastry, nothing that has to stay cold or be ruined forever. Just lightly-sweetened and spiced ripe peaches and a crisp topping so simple I have it memorized.Peach CrispPeach Crisp is one of those desserts that can be made on the fly. Where pies and tarts require you to prep ahead, the assembly of this homestyle dessert takes all of twenty minutes and bakes in thirty. The most difficult part is waiting another ten or so before digging in. The only thing that could ruin this dessert is burning your mouth on piping hot filling!Peach CrispI really can’t get enough of this dessert, y’all. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, crunchy and summery as all get-out! It keeps well for days, too. The crisp topping retains its texture remarkably well, even after your fourth day dipping into it in the fridge. It’s as good cold as it is hot, but either way, don’t skip the ice cream.Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp
makes one 8-inch dish, about 6 servings

Filling:
5-6 medium-large ripe yellow peaches (about 5 cups after slicing)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)

Topping:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Serving:
vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter. Set aside.

Pit peaches and slice into 1/4-inch slices–you should have about 5 cups pf slices. Place them in a medium mixing bowl and toss with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl (I just wipe out the one I used for the peaches), whisk together oats, flour, light brown sugar, sliced almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated and clumps form. Scatter topping onto the peaches.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and peaches are tender. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.Peach CrispPeach Crisp

Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Easiest Ever Mango SherbetI saw a two-ingredient sherbet recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it rocked my world. Did you know that sherbet could be made by blending a couple of frozen fresh mangoes with a can of sweetened condensed milk and freezing it? Because I did not. I had no idea! But indeed it can and you should make some immediately, if not sooner.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetSherbet is a frozen dessert made of fruit and dairy. It’s the best parts of ice cream and sorbet (no-dairy) blitzed into one cold, creamy, vibrant treat! Traditionally, you need an ice cream maker for sherbet, but this no-churn method works incredibly well if you (like me) don’t have one.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetYes, this really is as simple as it sounds—two ingredients, no-churn, easy easy easy. And you can make it with any fruit you want! Peaches, cherries, berries, pineapple, whatever. I went for mango because that’s what my little heart desired on the day I made this batch.

If you want to use fresh fruit, you’ll need to freeze it first. I’ve included a painstaking tutorial on how to slice a mango in the recipe, but the general gist is to cut whatever fruit you’re using (berries excepted) in 3/4”-ish pieces and freeze them until they’re…frozen. You can also just use bagged unsweetened frozen fruit (20-24 ounces), but there’s so much great fresh fruit right now that you may as well take advantage. With an ingredient list this short, quality is key. Easiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetAs far as actually making the sherbet, it’s as simple as blending the frozen mango with a can of sweetened condensed milk. You can eat it immediately, but I prefer to freeze it so that it’s scoopable.Easiest Ever Mango SherbetRegarding flavor, it’s exactly as you’d expect. The mango is super prominent and the sweetened condensed milk gives it a smooth, sweet finish. I was initially concerned that the natural water in the fruit would cause the sherbet to be icy, but sweetened condensed milk continues to be the no-churn MVP, always producing perfect creamy results. And I do mean perfect.Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Easiest Ever Mango Sherbet
makes about 1 quart

2 lbs fresh ripe whole mangos* (about 2 large mangos)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Stand one mango, stem end-down, on a cutting board, Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice down one side of the long, wide center pit. Slice down the other side of the pit. You should now have 2 halves and the center pit section.

Take one half and lay it flesh-side-up on the cutting board. Carefully (!!!) slice it in 3/4-1-inch intervals lengthwise, being sure not to slice through the skin. Then slice it in 3/4-1-inch intervals widthwise, again not slicing through the skin. Repeat with remaining mango half.

Use a spoon to scoop mango flesh onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your fingers to separate the pieces. Repeat process with remaining mango. Freeze mango on the baking sheet for 3-4 hours, or until frozen.

(Trim skin from pit pieces and eat the fruit off of them as a snack/cook’s treat.)

Combine frozen mango and sweetened condensed milk in a high-powered blender. Blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth and thick. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the carafe as necessary. You may eat the sherbet mixture immediately, but it will be soft.

For the scoopable texture pictured above, transfer sherbet mixture to a loaf pan or other vessel. Press a sheet of plastic wrap to the top and cover with aluminum foil. Freeze 4-6 hours before scooping and enjoying.

Mango Sherbet will keep covered in the freezer for up to a month.

Note:

You may make this with store-bought frozen mango. Use 20-24 ounces frozen mango chunks, and start the recipe at the paragraphs beginning “combine frozen mango and sweetened condensed milk.”Easiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango SherbetEasiest Ever Mango Sherbet

Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesWhen I posted Flourless Chocolate Cookies a couple months ago, my first thought was “these would be perfect for ice cream sandwiches.” Short story shorter, I was right.

Like all the best ice cream sandwich cookies, Flourless Chocolate Cookies are fairly flat and aren’t too hard or too soft. They also have this lovely, crinkly brownie-like quality, and are super easy to make and naturally gluten-free. Like I said, perfect.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches These cookies are on the sweeter side (confectioner’s sugar provides a lot of the structure), so I added a teaspoon of granulated espresso to the recipe to keep them from being cloying with ice cream. I also cut the size of the cookies in half for a dozen medium cookies instead of six large ones.

The assembly process begins by matching cookies, meaning determining which are the most compatible shapes. Mine all turned out fairly round, but there are always a couple that are a little oblong. Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesNext up, you’ll need to freeze the cookies for about 30 minutes. This helps the ice cream to stay on the solid side and the cookies from getting too soft during assembly. This step is not strictly necessary, but it is good insurance against ice cream sandwich frustration.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesEasy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesRegarding ice cream, use whatever flavor you want. I went with a mid-level nationwide brand’s vanilla here and it was fine—good, even—but I will go higher quality next time. Oh, and I’ll probably go with mint chocolate chip because it’s my favorite. The point is to use what you love and not settle for less. Cookies are an important part of ice cream sandwiches, but ice cream is the *most* important part.

There are many ways of getting ice cream into ice cream sandwiches—slicing it, pressing it into molds, etc.—but I like to use the very easy and imprecise method of measuring out roughly 1/4 cup (1 small scoop) and lightly smashing it on a cookie.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesEasy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesEasy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesFreeze the sandwiches before rolling them in your sprinkles of choice or chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips or candy bar pieces or crushed Oreos. Again, use what you love and don’t settle for less. <—good life advice? Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesThe last step is to freeze your ice cream sandwiches again for several hours or up to a day before digging in. Yes, you can eat them right after assembly, but the ice cream squidges out the sides and then you’re just eating two cookies with a translucent smear of ice cream and a weird smattering of sprinkles and then licking ice cream off a salad plate like a wild animal.

Maybe that’s just me.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesAnyway, freezing the completed ice cream sandwiches for a few hours allows the ice cream to adhere to the cookies so that the sandwiches become single entities. That’s something I really care about with my ice cream sandwiches. Considering how much I loathe the patriarchy, I sure do love to be able to eat things in a ladylike manner.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesI assure you, they’re worth the lengthy freezer time. The cookies never fully freeze, instead softening a tiny bit and getting extra chewy. And then there’s the ice cream and crunchy sprinkles. Like I said, perfect.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches
makes 6 medium-large ice cream sandwiches

For cookies:
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or dutch processed)
1 teaspoon granulated espresso
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large egg whites, room temperature

For assembly:
1 1/2-2 cups (about a pint) ice cream of choice
sprinkles of choice, optional
chopped nuts, optional
chopped candy bars, optional
crushed cookies, optional
miniature chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, espresso granules and salt. Add egg whites and whisk until smooth, glossy and a bit thick. If it seems dry during mixing, just keep going—it will get smooth. Let batter rest for 10 minutes–it will thicken slightly.

Drop batter in 1 tablespoon increments on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave them at least 3 inches apart. Bake 11-12 minutes, until puffed and crackly.

Let cool completely on their pan on a rack. Carefully peel parchment away from each cookie to release.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place cooled cookies on the prepared pan and freeze for 30 minutes.

Assemble the ice cream sandwiches. Match cookies by shape and size so that you have six pairs. Turn 6 cookies upside down. Place 1/4-1/3 cup ice cream (roughly 1 small scoop) on each upside down cookie and use the back of the scoop to lightly smash it so that there’s a small perimeter (1/4-1/2 inch) of bare cookie all the way around. Top with one of the bare cookies. Smash down lightly with the heel of your hand to adhere. Freeze for 1 hour.

Place sprinkles (or other toppings of choice) in a shallow bowl(s). Working with one ice cream sandwich at a time, dip the edge into the sprinkles and carefully rotate the sandwich until the entire perimeter is covered. Use a clean finger to brush off any toppings stuck to the cookies. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Ice cream sandwiches may be enjoyed immediately, but will not stay intact. For the most “stable” results, freeze for 4 hours before serving. For longer storage, double-wrap each ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to a month.Easy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesEasy Gluten-Free Ice Cream SandwichesEasy Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ginger Limeade

Ginger LimeadeIt feels weird to be posting Fourth of July recipes because of literally everything, but I’m doing it anyway. I mean, none of them are red, white and blue…this year.Ginger LimeadeGinger Limeade is a perfect summery option for this weekend or any weekend. Crisp and light with a zippy ginger finish, Ginger Limeade would be a great addition to your (socially distanced) Fourth of July. It’s simple to make and a bit more sophisticated than your average non-alcoholic summertime beverage. I love a spicy sip.Ginger LimeadeGinger LimeadeGinger LimeadeGinger LimeadeGinger Limeade starts with a homemade ginger simple syrup. It’s as easy as combining sugar, water and sliced fresh ginger in a 1:1:1 ratio, simmering it and letting it steep until completely cool. You can use this syrup to make homemade ginger sodas, put it in milkshakes, or liven up some iced tea.Ginger LimeadeGinger LimeadeToday we’re combining the syrup with an equal part (1 1/3 cup) of fresh lime juice and a few cups of cold water, then pouring it over ice and floating lime slices on top. Yum!Ginger LimeadeAs with most beverages, Ginger Limeade is easily customizable. I think the 1:1 ginger syrup to lime juice ratio allows both to shine, but feel free to adjust them up or down to your preference. If you want to jazz it up, use sparkling water instead of still.

Oh, and I haven’t tried it myself, but I have a sneaking suspicion that if you reduce the water to 1 1/2 cups, this mix would probably make for great popsicles! If you give this a shot, please let me know how it works.Ginger LimeadeGinger Limeade is the sort of thing you can sip during a cocktail hour, have by the pool, or pour into a large mason jar and take to the beach. Not to be Debbie Downer, but keep in mind that lime juice can burn your skin when exposed to sun. Yes, really.

I guess I just like to live on the edge.Ginger Limeade

Ginger Limeade
makes about 6 cups

Ginger Syrup:
1 5-7-inch piece fresh ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water

For Limeade:
1 batch ginger syrup
1 1/3 cups fresh lime juice
3-4 cups cold water

For serving:
ice
lime slices or wedges

On a cutting board, scrape the edge of a spoon across the ginger to peel. Discard peelings. Slice ginger as thinly as possible—you should have about 1 cup slices.

Combine ginger, sugar and water in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low and then let cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Cool the syrup with the ginger pieces. Once cool, strain ginger pieces out, pressing them to remove as much syrup as possible. You should have 1 1/4-1 1/3 cup ginger syrup. Discard ginger pieces or use for another purpose.

Make limeade. Combine ginger syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a large pitcher. Stir together, then add 3 cups of cold water. Stir again, taste, and add more water if desired.

Add ice cubes to a few glasses. Pour ginger limeade over ice and garnish with lime slices or wedges, if desired.

Ginger limeade is best the day it’s made, but keeps in the refrigerator for a few days.Ginger LimeadeGinger Limeade