Baking

Mini Ice Cream “Cake” Pies

It was my roommate’s birthday recently, and all she wanted was to eat the garlic pizza crust I make and to go sing karaoke. She’s not one for desserts or sweets, with the exception of Oreos, ice cream, and Snickers. I figured I would just make the pizza crust and call it a day . . . until fate took over and I found this: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream “Cake” Pie. Omit the peanut butter cups, and it’s the perfect birthday dessert for my roommate. The concept is so simple I don’t know why this didn’t come to mind before.

Rather than use Oreos, which can cost an arm and a leg in the city, I used Trader Joe’s Joe-Joes. I can definitely tell a difference between the two cookies–Oreo cookies are crunchier–but they still passed the roommate test. I also halved and miniaturized the recipe, because a giant ice cream cake is just too much for two girls to consume by themselves. Four girls, no, two, yes. I ended up making six mini pies in a muffin tin, which was perfect for three nights of portion-controlled dessert.

The pies looked so sad with just crust and ice cream, so we broke out the caramel sauce and then topped them with an additional Joe-Joe. These little treats hit the spot, so much so that my roommate was thinking about them all day until she could eat another the next night. I’d say they were a success!

Baking

The Infamous Birthday Ice Cream Bomb

My suitemate has a very soft spot for ice cream. We were talking about what type of birthday cake she wanted, and she asked if I could make an ice cream cake. Of course, I replied, do you want something like Carvel’s? What’s Carvel’s, she asked. Oh dear. My heart stopped at that response and I had no idea what to say. How could she have never heard of a Carvel ice cream cake? Fudgie the Whale? I guess it’s not as prominent on the West Coast.

After this complete shock, I asked if she might like an ice cream bomb. I wasn’t as shocked that she’d never heard of this, so I tried to explain the concept. You layer ice cream and cake and anything you want in a bowl, and then you turn the giant frozen mound out onto a plate. This description resulted in her mouth hanging open in amazement because this proposed bomb was the perfect dessert for her. In the days leading up to its creation, she still didn’t completely understand what I was going to make, but she didn’t care as long as it had ice cream. I thought about what flavors to use, and settled on Half Baked, Starbuck’s Signature Hot Chocolate, and Trader Joe’s Mint Chocolate Chip. I also included a brownie base and fudge sauce between each layer of ice cream. It was going to be epic!

Building the bomb went fine, but freezing it was another matter entirely. My other suitemate and I had gone to Trader Joe’s earlier in the day, and because she and my roommate don’t really cook, the freezer was full to capacity. So much so that we had a hard time keeping the door closed because it would always pop open when we closed the fridge. I thought we had shifted things around well enough to get the bomb to fit, but at the unveiling I realized I was wrong. Evidently the door was left popped open, so the bomb had been slowly melting all day, but I didn’t find out until I tried to turn it out onto the plate. Complete disaster. It was fine for a second, but then I swear time slowed down as we just watched it collapse into itself. Cue four freaking out girls and a rush to throw everything out of the freezer to shove the exploded bomb back in.

In the brief time is was out of the freezer and then on the plate, it had melted all over the place and lost any shape it may have had. We were scared to open the freezer to check on it, in case it had spilled over even more. We had another problem because we had a ton of frozen items just sitting on our couch. Thankfully our RAs are fantastic and one of them let us put our things in her freezer.

We let the bomb stay in the freezer for the rest of the night and vowed to try again the next day. I managed to coerce it back into the bowl and into a semi-dome shape, but by then the different ice cream flavors had sort of mixed, so the layer effect was lost. We sang Happy Birthday and got ready to eat, but we found that the brownie had also frozen rock hard, so I could barely cut through it. Not to be deterred, the four of us cast aside our bowls and dug right in with our spoons. It was delicious!

We also made a birthday dinner, which consisted of: Butternut Squash Ravioli, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, Parmesan and Arugula Ravioli, a vegetable mix, artichoke hearts, and my creamy garlic bread. Despite how good dinner was, dessert definitely out shined it. You just can’t compete with five pints of ice cream and a giant brownie!

Baking

The Post of Chocolate DEATH!

During my time away from the blog I made a couple of things that, if made repeatedly, could result in a death by chocolate. They were too delicious and absolutely to die for!

These Cheesecake Brownies from Buns in my Oven were fantastic. I made them for dessert for dinner at a friend’s apartment. We each made something, and it was all really good. We gorged ourselves on pulled brisket, mashed potatoes, potato rolls, and my brownies–a good old homemade, stick to your ribs dinner that we were all seriously craving by the end of the semester.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of them before we dug in, but that just means I’ll have to make them again sometime.

My next dessert of death consisted of my go-to brownies with homemade ice cream.

The brownies were so moist and gooey that I hope I can replicate this same effect in the future. Rather than use semi-sweet chocolate chips like I usually use, I had a giant bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s that I chopped up and melted into the batter, and then I added more chunks before baking.

YUM!

For the ice cream, I found this super easy recipe on kevinandamanda.com. It didn’t even require an ice cream maker, rock salt, or any of that stuff! Color me a happy camper. I’m definitely going to be making this over and over and adding in tons of mix-ins. I should start thinking of combinations right now.

Doesn’t it look like pure FUDGE? Delicious death in a bowl, that’s all I have to say.