No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream

 It was hot in Brooklyn this past weekend! Being from Texas, I’m conditioned to think that 90 degree days between May and September are borderline-comfortable, but with the humidity here, they’re absolutely brutal. And with that, I suppose that I’m officially a New Yorker now.

I’ve been keeping cool, thanks to my trusty air conditioning unit and a more-than-reasonable amount of homemade ice cream. As you might have noticed, I’ve gotten really into making ice cream lately. This is my third ice cream recipe since February, and not one of them requires a bulky machine or a frozen insert. No, this ice cream comes together with just a few ingredients, two bowls, an electric mixer, and a silicone spatula. With minimal effort (and eight hours of freezing), you’re rewarded with a seriously delicious way to cool down this summer. 

So far, I’ve posted recipes for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Banana Pudding ice creams made with a vanilla base, but I went for something different today: a smooth coffee ice cream base filled with crushed Oreos. This No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream is the perfect combination of two of my favorite flavors! It has a rich coffee flavor and tons of texture from the crushed cookies. 

So, how did I get all sorts of coffee goodness into the ice cream? Well, it was an adventure. I started with briefly simmering heavy cream with whole coffee beans, cooling it down, and trying to whip it–the keyword being “trying.” It resulted in a gluey, unusable mess. The second try wasn’t much better. I tried steeping barely warmed heavy cream with ground coffee before chilling and whipping, but the flavored cream didn’t whip up to much and made for a small amount of overwhelmingly bitter ice cream. 

As they say, the third time’s the charm. I repeated the process from the second attempt, but when it came time to whip, I added 1 1/2 cups of plain heavy cream to the steeped cream. This evened out the overwhelming flavor of the previous batch and, when combined with the crushed Oreos, resulted in eight cups of frozen cookie and coffee magic.

Oh, is this ice cream good. The base is smooth and creamy with just the right amount of coffee flavor, and the cookies soften slightly and give the ice cream a ton of texture. I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep this No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream on-hand all summer long 😊 

 No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream
makes about 8 cups

1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans (I used decaf)
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
18 Oreos, crushed

Combine ground coffee and 2 cups of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, just until bubbles start to form at the edges of the pan. Remove pan from heat, cover, and allow to steep for one hour.

Line a fine sieve with four layers of cheesecloth. Set sieve over a small mixing bowl. Pour cream-ground coffee through the line sieve. Dispose of ground coffee. Chill steeped cream until cold.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine steeped cream and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a separate large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip until stiff peaks form. Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Gently fold in crushed Oreos.

Transfer mixture to a 9×5″ loaf pan or other 8-cup vessel. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the ice cream mixture to keep ice crystals from forming. Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.

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Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream

 Peanut butter and Oreos are a match made in heaven. The salty-sweetness of peanut butter combined with dark chocolate wafers and creamy filling is straight-up amazing. Seriously, if you have never tried them together, I demand that you do so ASAP. And while there’s nothing quite like spreading peanut butter onto an Oreo, why not take this magical combination and make it into cupcakes?

Today, I’m bringing you just that–moist, fluffy cupcakes jam-packed with peanut butter and a buttercream frosting chock full of crushed Oreos. Oh yes, these are goooooooood. Like, I’ve-eaten-three-today-and-am-considering-another good. Almost too good to share. But I will, because having seventeen…make that fourteen…of these in my apartment is clearly a bad idea. 

These cupcakes are full of peanut butter flavor. There’s 2/3 cup of the good stuff mixed right into the batter. Yes, it takes that much. Peanut butter is one of those ingredients that can easily disappear in baked goods. If you don’t use a lot, you might as well just make vanilla cupcakes because that’s exactly how the final product will taste. I love vanilla cake, but when I want peanut butter, I. want. peanut butter.

Not only does the peanut butter serve to flavor the cupcakes, it also keeps everything moist along with a little bit of softened butter, a lot of dark brown sugar, and a couple of eggs. Where many peanut butter cupcakes are dry and crumbly, these stay soft and springy. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard fare: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, vanilla, and buttermilk. There’s also 1/4 cup of cornstarch to lighten the batter and keep the texture nice and soft. 

These cupcakes bake up to be gorgeous and golden with crackly tops. And oh, they smell ridiculously good. You’ll want to have two straight out of the oven, but you should wait because 1) you will burn your mouth, and 2) there’s Oreo Buttercream to be had! 

This frosting is pretty much everything I want in life. It’s light, fluffy, super creamy, and packed with crushed Oreos! And it couldn’t be simpler. Beat softened butter and confectioner’s sugar together until light and fluffy. I always add a pinch of salt too, just to keep the frosting from being overly sweet. Next comes some vanilla, followed by nearly a cup of crushed Oreos. There are twelve of the little sandwich cookies in this frosting! YAAAAAS. Add in a few tablespoons of heavy cream, and beat until everything is super fluffy, delicious, and ready for cake. Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with more Oreos. Because Oreos.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream are too good, you guys. Too good. The cake itself is moist, springy and packed with peanut butter, while the frosting is fluffy and full of that classic Oreo flavor. They’re perfect for birthdays, cookouts, or any occasion that demands cupcakes. Just make sure that you have people to share with. I’m still eyeing that fourth one. 

 Want more peanut butter and Oreos? Check out my homemade Oreo Peanut Butter!

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream
makes about 16-17 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup creamy-style peanut butter*
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk*

Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 Oreo cookies, finely crushed (a scant 1 cup of crumbs)
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream*

For Garnish:
16-17 Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and peanut butter until combined and fluffy. Beat in dark brown and granulated sugars, followed by eggs and vanilla. Mix in buttermilk. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing until combined.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full of the batter. Gently tap pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake cupcakes 21-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in a couple of cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Cool muffin pan completely before filling with any remaining batter.

Make the buttercream frosting. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in two installments, followed by salt and vanilla. Mix in crushed Oreos until well-dispersed. Beat in cream until your desired consistency has been reached. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with additional Oreos, if desired.

Cupcakes will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes:

1. Do not use natural-style peanut butter.

2. If you do not have buttermilk, you may make your own. Pour one teaspoon of white or Apple cider vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and pour in regular milk up to the 3/4 cup mark. Stir and let sit for five minutes before using. I do not recommend skim or fat-free milk.

3. Half & half or whole milk may be substituted in the frosting, although the final product will not be as rich and creamy as frosting made with heavy cream.