Sugar Cone Magic Shell

Ice cream is a basic necessity during the summer months. And with any good ice cream, you’ll need this sugar cone magic shell. 

Sugar Cone Magic Shell

When I was a kid, we used to go over into Burlington, New Jersey for different things – mainly trips to my aunt’s house. And often times, especially during the summer, we’d stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. To this day, I associate that drive with Dairy Queen, right there on the main drag into and out of Burlington. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Dairy Queen but man, I am basically always craving a dip top cone.

These days, it’s known better as magic shell. It’s a hard, shell-like topping on the ice cream flavor of your choice that is sweet, slightly crispy, melty and wonderful. As a kid, I’d always order the chocolate dip top – a vanilla cone with chocolate magic shell. But now, you can try a million different magic shell variations! I considered what flavor to make when I set out to make my magic shell and briefly considered chocolate pretzel. But I took my favorite childhood treat and made it into a more current, fun dessert by adding crushed up sugar cones into my magic shell. It’s getting the best of all worlds in one dessert.

Sugar Cone Magic Shell

For any magic shell, you’ll need coconut oil. Coconut oil is what gives it that hard shell. But from there, you can have fun! Chop up some pretzels, add in some peppermints, swirl in a little peanut butter. Do what makes you happy and what reminds you of being a carefree kid!

Sugar Cone Magic Shell 

Sugar Cone Magic Shell

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 sugar ice cream cones, crushed

Instructions

  1. Place the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.
  2. If not yet completely melted, place back in the microwave in 30 second increments until fully melted.
  3. Stir in the crushed cones. It is now ready to use.
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Cotton Candy Milkshakes

Cotton candy may be trendy, but it’s popular for good reason. This cotton candy milkshake is sweet, festive and fun. 

Cotton Candy Milkshakes

For years, Brian and I talked about opening up a little shop strictly dedicated to milkshakes. Then a friend got involved and we started throwing around the idea of having a milkshake truck instead. Something that could make milkshakes easily available on the spot for the masses. Obviously, it was just fun talk, not an actual idea we were hoping to accomplish. But I always thought if we ever really did do it, we’d call the place “Milkshake.” Just simple and fun.

If we ever opened up Milkshake., it would absolutely feature this cotton candy milkshake on the menu. I hesitated at first, cotton candy is so trendy. I hate falling into trends too heavily. But when I saw the cotton candy flavoring* at our local baking supply store, I couldn’t help myself. I went easy at first, testing it a little here and there. And then I cotton candied all the things. Whipped cream, cheesecake, ice cream, a million different desserts. This milkshake is the crowned jewel of my cotton candy escapades.

It’s easy to whip up, just some ice cream, milk, a little cotton candy flavoring and some blue food dye. The result is sweet, creamy, reminiscent of being at a carnival or fair. It screams summertime and parties and celebrating 

*The cotton candy flavoring was available in my local baking supply store but you can also order it online. It has no color to it, so I added some blue food dye just to give it a nice, festive appearance.

Cotton Candy Milkshakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 - 2 cups milk (depending on how thick you like milkshakes)
  • 2 tsp. cotton candy flavoring
  • blue food dye (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine ice cream, milk, cotton candy flavoring and food dye in a blender and blender until smooth and well mixed.
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Rustic Stone Fruit Pie – #RecipeRedux

Rustic stone fruit pie is a new twist on traditional pie – and lighter! Just in time for summer snacking without any added guilt. 

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie

It’s no secret I love pie. It’s what I ask for on birthdays, at parties and really, just any time. There’s something about a flaky crust and a luscious filling that does it for me.  The theme for this month’s Recipe Redux thrilled me, of course. Pie. Everything pie. The choices were almost overwhelming for me.

I knew instantly I wanted to do a rustic style pie. Have you ever tried one? It’s so much easier than rolling out your dough, laying it in the pie plate, perfecting a perfectly flat and beautiful crust on the bottom AND top layers. Rustic pie is meant to look messy, undone and, you know, rustic. You still have to roll out the dough but it doesn’t need to be anywhere near as precise as with a regular pie. Place your filling in the middle and then fold up the edges to capture all the glorious filling and you are set.

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie

I went with a stone fruit filling and lightened it up by cutting back on the sugars. Plums, white nectarines and peaches have such a great, naturally sweet flavor on their own, why mess with it by adding all this excess sweetness? It’s too much, too cloying. Just one tablespoon of sugar is all you need in this baby. If you’re looking to make life easier for yourself, grab a pre-made pie crust at the store. I won’t tell anyone. But if you are into doing everything yourself, I love using this recipe. It’s no-fail.

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie

 

Rustic Stone Fruit Pie – #RecipeRedux

Ingredients

  • 1 batch pie crust
  • 3 plums, peeled and sliced
  • 3 white nectarines, peeled and sliced
  • 1 peach, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Place sliced plums, nectarines and peaches in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar and flour over to then stir well. Place in the fridge for at least one hour but preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Roll out your pie crust to 1/4" thickness. Place the fruit mixture in the center of the pie.
  4. Take the sides of the pie crust and fold them up around the fruit. Carefully place the pie on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until crust is golden brown.
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Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting

Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting

Cake frosting can be a real topic of contention for some people. And frankly, it can be a challenge to get it just right. A classic buttercream may be too buttery for some – equated to “eating a stick of butter” if you ask people in my house.  Swiss meringue buttercream is always fluffy, light and delicious but not always worth the trouble and time it takes to actually make it. And other people are happier still just grabbing a can of frosting and slapping it on top of your cakes and desserts.

Whipped cream frosting is my favorite cake topping and not necessarily because of its flavor. Yes, whipped cream frosting is amazing and tastes like fluffy, sweet clouds. But the ease of it is what makes it so appealing. If you have a stand mixer or even a good, old-fashioned hand mixer and ten minutes, you have fresh, pillowy whipped cream. Making it into frosting is as simple as adding in something to stabilize it.

I know that might sound a little more complex than I originally mentioned but hear me out. If you were to slap some regular, just-whipped whipped cream on a cake, it would flatten in a heart beat. It just doesn’t have the heft to hold up to the cake layers. They’d crush it. So you need to add something to stabilize it, to keep it firm but still allow it to have that airy  texture that is so important in whipped cream frosting.

Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting

Enter gelatin. Until a year or so ago, I wasn’t really aware of gelatin and its place in the baking world. I equated it with jello and fruit flavors and didn’t give it much other thought. But it has so many, many other uses. Marshmallows, homemade fruit gelatin squares and here in this frosting, it acts as the stabilizer we so very desperately need.

The process of adding the gelatin to your frosting is simple. Combine it with some water and heat it up over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves into the water. Then just slowly drizzle it into your thickened heavy cream mixture. You’ll want to have the cream on its way to being whipped cream but not there yet. If you already have whipped cream, the gelatin will not incorporate properly and it will be gross – take my word for it. Once the cream is thicker – no longer a thin liquid consistency but not yet with soft peaks – drizzle in the liquid mixture with the mixer on low. It will incorporate into the cream and then we can get the frosting show back on the road. The results are a stabilized whipped cream frosting that will hold up under multiple layers of cake and sprinkles. It takes significantly less time than other frostings, tastes like heaven and is easy to tint into any color you choose. Perfect for any party cake!

Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 8 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • food coloring - optional

Instructions

  1. Place gelatin and water in a sauce pan and stir. Let it sit for a minute, then turn the heat to medium.
  2. Heat, stirring frequently, until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly but continue to stir frequently so it doesn't solidify.
  3. Place cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and turn to medium. Once the mixture becomes thick - not yet forming peaks - turn the mixer to low and drizzle in gelatin.
  4. Once the gelatin is incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat as normal, allowing stiff peaks to form.
  5. -Note, if you want to add in food coloring, do it after peaks have started to form.
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Spiced Iced Tea Popsicles

Spiced iced tea popsicles are the genius baby of something hot and something cold, perfect for the hot, lazy days of summer.

Spiced Iced Tea Pops

Maybe I’m a bit of a baby about this, but it bothers me that homemade popsicles are all the rage. They’re super trendy and even I’ve fallen into the trap, but with a decent amount of contempt about the situation. It all harkens back to my childhood, when my mom would make homemade popsicles all the time. They aren’t modern or trendy, popsicles are old school. She was making them way before they had adorable holders and kitschy flavors. Our popsicles had a little straw at the bottom, ideal for sucking out every single drop of golden popsicle juice. There weren’t fancy flavors, but they were refreshing and we loved them. 

Spiced Iced Tea Pops

So it did sort of pain me a little bit to make such a trendy popsicle. However, when Palais des Thes sent me a sample of their spiced tea, I HAD to make popsicles with it. The idea of making a cold, frosty popsicle with spicy, warm tea seemed like madness. Or brilliance. Probably both. I used their spice garden mix, which has a healthy dose of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. It’s like an even stronger, even better Chai tea. It was absolutely perfect for these popsicles. I’ve devoured them, every last one. Before I told anyone else I made them. I’m ok with my decision.

Spiced Iced Tea Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 can Palais des Thes spice garden tea blend
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pan, combine tea, water and sugar. Heat until boiling then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Once cool, divide the tea into four popsicle molds. Place in the freezer until completely frozen through.
  3. To serve, you may need to run the mold under hot water for a moment or two to loosen the popsicles.
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