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Well okay, now I’ve done it. The other day I was complaining about how it’s not really hot here in SoCal, but every other state is complaining about it being boiling. Well this week where I work it’s been averaging 104 degrees outside. Eek. I appropriately scheduled this recipe.
This weekend I’m redeeming my birthday gift from Josh, a trip to the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco! I think I’m most excited to see Stevie Wonder, Metallica, Bloc Party, Beck, and Norah Jones, but there’s also a TON of food, wine, and beer.
We’ll be pretty busy Friday through Sunday, but we’ve also got all day on Monday to explore the city. I absolutely will not miss Bi-Rite Creamery. It was ranked one of the Top 10 places in the US to eat last year by Yelp and has a gazillion reviews. And hello, what better way to top off my Ice Cream Obsessed Summer 2012. I may have to buy their cookbook as a souvenir.
But for now, Jeni’s remains my favorite ice cream cookbook. Which leads me to these pistachio ice cream macarons.
This isn’t the quickest recipe. It’s definitely not something I’d expect you to throw together on a weeknight after work. However, if you break it down into the two components, it’s less intimidating. Start with the ice cream since that’s going to require time to freeze.
pistachio macaron ice cream sandwiches
serving size varies
- Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
- 2 cups whole milk
- 11 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pistachios in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 to 12 minutes, until fragrant. Grind in a food processor until the form a smooth paste.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, pistachio paste, and salt until smooth.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
Put the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil for 4 minutes. Take it off the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Bring back to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute, stirring with a spatula.
Whisk the hot milk mixture with the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and place into the ice bowl. Let it cool down and become cold, about 30 minutes. You can also put the entire bowl into the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
Pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker. While it’s on, add the almond extract. Freeze according to the manual. Pack the ice cream into pint containers or an airtight plastic container. Cut a piece of parchment paper a little bit larger than the container and place it directly on top of the ice cream mixture and cover with lid. This will seal out all the air. Freeze until firm.
- Pistachio Macarons:
- 8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted shelled pistachios
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup egg whites, from about 6 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- green food coloring (optional, I used neon)
Decide how many sandwiches you’d like. This recipe says it made 6 sandwiches, but I had enough batter to make many more, and decided to make mini ones. You’re going to use a guide to create the large sandwiches, and for the smaller ones I freehanded them, about 1 inch wide.
Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. To make normal sized sandwiches, trace a glass with about a 3-inch opening onto the parchment paper, leaving about an inch between them. Make sure you trace an even number.
In a food processor, grind the nuts with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until fine, like a flour. Add the rest of the powdered sugar (2 1/4 cups) and pulse until combined. If there are any chunks of nuts, strain the flour through a sieve to remove them.
Using a stand or electric mixer, whip the egg whites and salt until frothy. With the mixer still on, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to whip the meringue for 5 minutes, until it’s shiny. When the beaters are removed, medium-firm peaks should form.
With a rubber spatula, fold the nut flour into the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Add the food coloring.
If you have them, use a 1/4 inch tip in a pastry bag. If not, use a plastic bag and snip off a tiny bit of one corner when you’re ready to pipe. Fill the pastry bag. Starting in the center of the circles you traced, pipe in a spiral until you reach the edge (I think of snail shells).
The cookies need to air out for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. Halfway through, rotate them. When finished, they will rise a bit and look crisp. Cool the cookies completely, then freeze.
Assemble the sandwiches:
When the cookies are hard, pull the ice cream out of the freezer to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Scoop as much ice cream as you’d like onto the bottom of one cookie, top with another cookie, and gently press to make a sandwich.
You can make these as needed, or make them all at once. Just wrap the big guys in some plastic wrap and then put them all in an airtight container back in the freezer.
It’s no secret that I love baking. So it’s not much of a surprise that I love making birthday cakes, right?
I insisted on making Josh’s birthday cake. But he’s difficult and doesn’t like cake (of course). [Disclaimer: I call BS on this statement of his. He likes cupcakes. How can he not like cake?] So what better solution than to make ice cream cake? It was a perfect solution considering my ice cream making obsession.
So one day we brainstormed his perfect ice cream cake. And it went a little something like this: Brownie layer, ice cream layer, chocolate chip cookie bar layer (Josh: But only if it’s made from scratch. It has to be completely from scratch. Duh.), more ice cream, chocolate ganache.
This cake took a long time. I started making it six days before I planned to serve it. Partially because I was excited to start and also because my schedule was busy (preparing for the birthday dinner!). You might be able to pull this off in one day if you start really early (like 7 or 8 am early), but I’d really strongly suggest to give yourself 2 or 3 days to allow for all the freezing. You don’t want a melty mess because you tried to rush things.
Also, another quick note, since I started making ice cream I turned my freezer dial up to mega-super-ultra cold so that my ice cream maker bowl would be really cold. I dropped this cake on the way out the door with it. And there were no damages sustained. This is one ice cold hunk of dessert.
I made Mint Oreo truffles too. Just use the recipe from here with Mint Oreos instead of original!
We served this cake at Josh’s birthday, with a crowd of about 15 people and it was devoured. In minutes. It was a big hit and definitely worth all the time and effort. Plus, no one has ever made an ice cream for Josh from scratch before… Score!
josh’s ice cream cake
- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (you can do store bought if you don’t have an ice cream maker!)
- Half of this Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie recipe
- Brownie Layer:
- 10.25 oz pouch of brownie mix
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Parchment paper
- 9-inch springform pan
First, make the ice cream.
Then, using the removable base from your springform pan, trace two circles onto parchment paper and cut them out. Place the base back into the springform pan. Spray with nonstick spray. Place one of the parchment circles into the bottom of the pan and spray with nonstick spray.
Prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough according to the instructions. Spoon the dough into the springform pan and evenly spread it out to form a layer. Bake the cookie at 375 degrees until golden brown on the edges. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the side of the springform pan. Allow to cool completely, slide the cookie off the base (while keeping the parchment paper attached to the cookie), then place in the freezer.
Next, prepare the brownie batter according to the package directions. Divide the batter in half. Prepare the pan as you did before for the cookie — spray, add parchment paper circle, and spray again. Pour one half of the batter into the pan and spread to form an even layer. Bake at the temperature suggested on the package until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then place in the freezer. Keep the sides of your springform pan on. The brownie layer must be completely frozen before moving on to the next step.
When the brownie is frozen, take out one pint of your cookies and cream ice cream. Allow it to soften for 5 minutes, then spread in an even layer on top of the brownie. Remove the cookie layer from the freezer, and remove the parchment paper from the bottom. Place the cookie layer into the pan on top of the ice cream. Gently press down to adhere to the ice cream, then freeze for several hours.
Next, allow your second pint of ice cream to soften for 5 minutes. Take the cake out of the freezer, and evenly spread the ice cream across the cookie layer. Put back into the freezer to harden for several hours.
Finally, make the ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the whipping cream and butter on the stove and bring to just a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave it there for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk together to incorporate. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.
Place the ice cream cake on a wire rack set in a baking pan. Remove the sides of the springform pan.
Working quickly, pour the cooled ganache onto the center of the cake and let it drip down the sides. If it’s not dripping, place a spatula on the center of the cake and briskly move in circles to get the excess ganache in the center to drip off the sides. The cake will be very cold, so the ganache will start to freeze as it contacts the cake. Place the cake back in the freezer for a bit, just so the ganache can solidify.
When ready to serve, the cake should sit out for about 10 minutes or so to soften and be easier to cut through.
Note: This photo is actually the below recipe doubled. But you get the idea!
I’ve only had my ice cream maker attachment for a few months and I’ve already made this recipe several times. It’s so simple and a definite crowd pleaser! Take it another step and sandwich it between some chocolate chip cookies or make a sundae! It’d also be great with the mint Oreos. Yum…
cookies and cream ice cream
makes 2 pints
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 Reduced-Fat Oreos
Combine cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan, heat until sugar has dissolved.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until completely cool.
Break cookies into pieces. I like mine fairly big!
When the milk mixture has cooled, pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed by your ice cream maker manufacturer. When it’s five minutes from being done, put in half of the cookie pieces.
Working quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt too much, pour it into your containers, adding in the remaining cookies in layers. Freeze!
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