Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Are you guys ready for a fun and easy sweet treat? I know you are!

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

One of my husband’s favorite desserts is cookie ice cream sandwiches and he’s always asking if we can make them. I’m always hesitant because I don’t usually feel like baking dozens of cookies and store bought cookies aren’t usually the right texture for optimal ice cream sandwich making. At least that’s what I thought until I found out about the new Otis Smunkmeyer cookies! Click here to find them in a store near you.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Their cookies are honestly delicious and are the perfect size and texture for cookie sandwiches. They also have “No Funky Stuff”, meaning they’re made without artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated oil. With cookie baking out of the picture, I have no excuse to not make cookie sandwiches at home. This is such an easy and fun dessert to make and the extras can easily be stored in the freezer for later enjoyment. This is also a great dessert to make with kids! They’re the perfect weekend or after school snack for those days when your kids particularly deserve it.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

What you need:

Otis Spunkmeyer Cookies

Ice cream

Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings

 

Some of my favorite toppings are snowcaps, crushed potato chips, toffee bits, coconut, sprinkles, and sea salt.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

First you’re going to make the sandwiches. Just put a scoop of ice cream in between two cookies and lightly press together. Place them back into the freezer until you get your dipping chocolate and toppings ready.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Empty a bag of chocolate chips into a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir for 30 seconds. Repeat this until the chocolate is melted and glossy.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dip half of the cookie sandwiches in the melted chocolate and then dip in your toppings. Place them on a cookie sheet and put them back into the freezer until the chocolate is set.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you have left over sandwiches you can store them in your freezer in ziplock bags or air tight containers.

Chocolate Dipped Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesBut wait, there’s more! WANT A CHANCE TO WIN $250 VISA GIFT CARD??  Otis Smunkmeyer and I have a challenge for you! We want to see your Otis Smunkmeyer recipe hacks. Show us what you can come up with using the new line of Otis Smunkmeyer “No Funky Stuff” products by posting a picture of your recipe and tagging us on social media (handles below). Be sure to use the hashtag #OtisSnackHack. Contest ends 9/28/2016, so hurry up and get your snack on!

Instagram: @melodrama & @OtisSmunkmeyer
Twitter: @melodramablog & @Otis_Spunkmeyer

 

This post was sponsored by my friends at Otis Spunkmeyer, but all opinions are my own.

Mixed Berry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

First of all, Happy Fourth of July weekend! I’m literally sitting on the beach right now as I type this but I just HAD to share the amazing strawberry and blueberry cornmeal skillet cake my husband made for breakfast this morning.

It was so good I forced him to write down the recipe for you guys because you need this in your life. It has crispy buttery edges and a nice tender middle with lots of tart berry flavor. It’s so easy to make, too! Ok blah blah blah enough talk. Here’s the recipe.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Stick of unsalted butter, melted, set aside 1 tablespoon for skillet
6 oz fresh blueberries
8 oz fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and the melted butter, reserving 1 tablespoon for the skillet. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined.
Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with the remaining butter. Pour the batter into the skillet; scatter the blueberries on top, and place the strawberry halves evenly over the blueberries. Sprinkle with as much sugar as you’d like, we used about 3 tablespoons.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is evenly browned. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Prosciutto, Fig Jam, Fontina, Provolone Grilled Cheese

Did you guys know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? And today is National Grilled Cheese Day?! To celebrate I teamed up with my pals at La Brea Bakery (who just so happen to hold a special grilled cheese night every Thursday night in LA during the month of April) to create my own perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s not to love about a grilled cheese sandwich? It’s buttery, grilled slices of bread filled with gooey, delicious, melted cheese! There are a lot of ways you can make a grilled cheese, from the classic American and white bread combo to a more artisan variety.

For this version I was inspired by a cheese and charcuterie board I sampled from once. I can’t remember where I had it, but I do remember it had prosciutto, Italian cheeses, figs, and crostini. The combo is out of this world and I figured it would make a great sandwich. Plus it goes well with wine so that’s a major bonus!

What you need:
Prosciutto
Provolone Cheese
Fontina Cheese
Fig Jam
A good hearty bread (like La Brea Bakery’s French Loaf)
Butter

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese
What you do:

Slice your bread into even slices and spread a layer of fig jam onto one side of each slice.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Next, layer 2-3 slices (depends on how gooey you want it) of each meat and cheese on the jam side of the bread and close it up.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Heat butter in a pan on medium heat until it’s sizzling. Put the sandwich in the pan and grill until each side is golden brown. Stay low and slow so the cheese has time to melt before the sandwich gets burned. If you need more melting time, go ahead and pop the pan into a 300 degree oven for a few minutes.

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Serve with an extra little dollop of fig jam (and wine) and enjoy!

Prosciutto Fig Jam Fontina Provolone Grilled Cheese

Chocolate Pots de Creme with Campari Whipped Cream

Alright, you guys, I’m not going to waste your time with a cute little intro to this recipe. It’s too good for words so I’m just going to say it’s delicious, easy to make, and totally perfect for any occasion. The creamy chocolate custard and the fluffy whipped cream are like a beautiful food love story.

Chocolate Pot de Creme with Campari Whipped CreamHere’s what you do.

Chocolate Pots de Creme
Ingredients
10 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the chocolate in a blender (Or in a large bowl if using an immersion blender). Whisk milk, 1 cup cream, egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Be careful not to over-whisk, you don’t want a lot of bubbles to form. Stir constantly with a spatula for 6 to 7 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula.

Immediately pour the milk mixture through a sieve over the chocolate in the blender (or in the bowl if using an immersion blender). Blend until combined and smooth. Divide the chocolate mixture amongst the vessels of your choice.

I like to use cocktail glasses because I think it looks very elegant and romantic, but you can use tea cups, ramekins, or small bowls.

Refrigerate for several hours until the chocolate is set and firm.

Lastly you need to finish it off with a dollop of whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and a chocolate truffle. You can make regular whipped cream but I threw some Campari in mine. It is me after all, and I think the bitterness of the Campari plays well with the sweetness of the dessert.

Campari Whipped Cream
Ingredients

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Campari

Whip with a whisk until fluffy.

Chocolate Pot de Creme with Campari Whipped Cream

Voila. Enjoy!

 

Autumnal Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf Recipe

You guys, today is my wedding anniversary and I woke up to the most delectable baked treat from my hobby baker husband. I’m a big fan of pumpkin loaf and bread, but honestly this is the best squash variety of loaf I’ve ever had. Any loaf for that matter. He’d been playing around with the idea for this recipe for awhile and I think he nailed it. It’s perfectly dense and moist with a nice crust and the right amount of sweetness. So naturally I will share it with you and take all of the credit.

But without further ado here’s the recipe.

Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf (No I didn’t stutter)

Butternut Squash Brown Butter Loaf Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 medium sized butternut squash, oven roasted, peeled (should yield about 2 cups)
2 sticks of butter, plus more for greasing pan

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In a different bowl beat the eggs with the butternut squash. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.

In a small sauce pan, brown the butter and stir it into the mixture until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 70 to 80 minutes and cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan.

Brown Butter Butternut Squash Loaf Recipe

Enjoy!

Homemade Peach Pie Custard Ice Cream

I love pie. I love pie with ice cream more. Sometimes I even like putting pie and ice cream in a blender and turning it into a milkshake. Well, this time I dumped pie into my ice cream maker and made PEACH PIE ICE CREAM. This is the perfect way to use left over pie, and you can experiment with different pie flavors, which I will be doing immediately. For the purpose of this demonstration, I will use peach pie.
Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via MelodramaI should note that this isn’t one of those “no churn” recipes, so you’ll need an ice cream maker. I use a small $60 Cuisinart machine and it works great.

What You’ll Need:
1/2 of a peach pie, refrigerated
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar, divided in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Beat the egg yolks and half of the sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick.

Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, whisk together milk, cream, the remaining half of the sugar, and salt in a saucepan until mixture to a slight boil.

Once the cream mixture reaches a slight boil, slowly pour and whisk in 1/3 of it into the egg mixture. Add the combined egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil or the eggs will over cook and scramble. This should take about 3-4 minutes.

Once the mixture is thickened, pour through a fine mesh strainer and bring to room temperature. You can let it sit on the countertop, or you can use an ice bath to cool it down faster. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Peach Pie Ice Cream RecipeMeanwhile, rough chop your pie into pieces and refrigerate until the ice cream base is ready.

Once the mixture is cold, pour it into your ice cream maker and let it churn to a soft serve consistency, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cold bowl and evenly fold in pie pieces. Transfer to an airtight ice cream container and freeze for about 2 hours.

YAY PEACH PIE ICE CREAM!

Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodrama The chunks of peaches are my favorite.Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodrama

No, just kidding, the chunks of pie crust are my favorite.Peach Pie Ice Cream Recipe via Melodama

Now grab yourself a pie, and all of the above mentioned dairy, and make yourself this ice cream immediately.

Boozy Cherry S’mores Brownie Bars

Today, the 10th of August, is apparently National S’mores Day. I had no idea until I woke up to social media rubbing gooey marshmallows and chocolate in my face. You bet your ass I jumped on that bandwagon immediately.

I didn’t want to just make basic s’mores though. I bounced some ideas off of my husband and we agreed on s’mores bars. I looked around at the ingredients I had around and spotted a jar of Moonshine Cherries. I love cherries and chocolate…and booze. This is how Boozy Cherry S’mores Brownie Bars were born.

What’s in them? Everything. Graham cracker crust, chocolate brownie filling, moonshine cherries, and roasted marshmallow topping.

Boozy Cherry Smores Brownie BarsYou can adapt the recipe to use your favorite graham cracker crust and brownie recipes, but here are the ones I used.

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 graham cracker crumbs, about 1 pack (12) graham crackers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Crush crackers into crumbs and then combine with sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until it reaches a wet sand consistency and press into bottom of 8×8 pan. Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees.

Brownie Filling

3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (about 14) Moonshine Cherries, halved 
1 package of jumbo marshmallows

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Press cherries into the batter in an even pattern. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. (Optional: Once brownies are done, brush top of brownies with moonshine cherry juice for an extra kick.)

Turn oven to broil, place jumbo marshmallows on top and broil until roasted.

Boozy Cherry S'mores Brownie Bars

Let cool to room temp before cutting.Boozy Cherry Smores Brownie Bars