Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nutella Cheesecake Ice Cream, Two Ways

Ayup. Here is the promised Nutella Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe. I tried it two ways (one with the Nutella mixed in the cheesecake base, the other with the Nutella swirled in during the last couple of minutes of the freezing process), and they both turned out uh!mayzing. I couldn't decide which I liked better! So you benefit from the indecision.


Nutella Cheesecake Ice Cream

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (you can use Neufchatel if you want a slightly different texture and flavor)
1 1/2 cups cream
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 c lowfat milk
3/4 c Nutella
3 Graham crackers, chunked
3/4 c mini or regular chocolate chips and/or chopped hazelnuts (optional for the Nutella-as-part-of-the-base variation)

1. Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a saucepan, and then lower heat to a simmer.
2. Beat the cream cheese together with the sugar. (If you're doing the Nutella-as-part-of-the-base variation, here's where you add it in. Be sure to lick the spoon! OM NOM NOM! You can also reduce the sugar by about 1/4 of a cup if you want less sweet ice cream, and you can easily add a teaspoon of vanilla, if you like. It's up to you!)
3. Add the egg to the cream cheese and sugar and mix thoroughly.
4. Remove the milk from the heat and add it to the cream cheese mixture. Stir!
5. Place the new mixture back into the saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk (to minimize any boo!hiss! cream cheese lumps which may be lurking).
6. After a few minutes of stirring, pour the contents of the saucepan into a clean bowl.
7. Add the cream and stir until completely mixed. Sniff. It will smell fantastic.
8. Chill the mixture in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, however long you can wait, until completely cooled.
9. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream maker. In the last few minutes of freezing for the plain cheesecake base, add in the Nutella in small dollops, then the graham cracker chunks. Turn out into an airtight container and finish freezing. For the Nutella-as-part-of-the-base variation, add in the mini chocolate chips, optional hazelnut pieces, and graham cracker chunks in the last couple of minutes of freezing. Turn the soft ice cream out into an airtight container and finish freezing. Feel free to lick the bowl!

I hope you think it's as delicious as I do. If you don't, well, pfft. MORE FOR ME!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fruit Coconut Oatmeal Bars

Om nom nom.

Yeah, that's right. That's the sound of toothsome and very satisfying bars being eaten by the handful. These are sweet, decadent, and utterly delicious. They're easy to make vegan and to change up, flavor-wise, to meet any of your dietary or taste needs.

I got the recipe from, over here, but I made some changes and have experimented with a few different variations, namely blueberry lemon, raspberry, boysenberry, blackberry, and apricot (next time I'm gonna try pineapple. Booyah!). They're all fantastic. I don't think you can go wrong with these.

Anyway, here you go. The recipe I've fiddled with and been using is below.

Fruit Coconut Oatmeal Bars
1 c sweetened or unsweetened coconut ribbons (shredded coconut works well, too; it's what I've been using)
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c unpacked light brown sugar
2 T granulated sugar
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cinnamon
a dash of ground ginger
1/2 c cold salted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 c cold margarine, in pieces (I like Earth Balance)
a generous 1 1/4 c old-fashioned oats
3/4 to 1 c fruit jam or preserves (I tend to go on the 3/4 c side of it; more than that makes these too darned sweet)
1/4 to 1/3 c mini chocolate chips (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 9×13″ pan with lightly buttered parchment paper.

2. Dump the sugar, flour, spices, butter, and margarine in a food processor and blend until a dough forms. Dump the dough into a large bowl, add the oats and 3/4 c of the coconut, and knead until everything's combined.

3. Set aside about 2/3 cup of dough to use as a topping. Press the rest of the dough evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan, and spread the jam evenly over it. Sprinkle first the remaining coconut, the mini chocolate chips, and then the crumbled reserved dough over the jam.

4. Bake in the middle of the oven until it's tasty and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before lifting out and cutting into squares. They're very rich and sweet, so 1 to 1 1/2 inch squares is good. Make sure the bars are completely cooled before you try lifting them out and cutting them! If they're still warm, they'll crumble and flop all over the place, and you'll have to use them as an ice cream topping. OH NOES, THE HORROR. I know. Tell me about it!

5. Nom. Share! Enjoy.

Notes: You can easily make these vegan by replacing all the butter with margarine. I'm going to try a recipe using coconut butter and margarine and see how that goes. I'll let you know when I get around to it. You can also make these all-butter, but I find the all-butter version to be entirely too rich. Experimentation has led me to the butter-to-margarine ratio you see above, which I think yields the best taste and texture.

Also, if you want to do other flavors of jam, I recommend zesting a lemon into the dough for the blueberry and boysenberry versions. You can also use white chocolate chips or large dark chocolate chips instead of the mini chocolate chips. Or leave them out entirely, but I think they add depth to the flavor profile, so I'm a fan of leaving 'em in.