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Entries in serious eats (119)

Tuesday
Jul132010

Cool and Sweet: Homemade Pudding Pops for Serious Eats

rowing up, in the 80's, I was pretty sure what made Jell-o Pudding Pops so delicious: every batch had been lovingly made by Bill Cosby, naturally.

Now that I'm older and (arguably) wiser, I know that the secret behind that singular texture and flavor isn't Bill's secret family recipe. But what I didn't know was that these sweet summertime treats are--seriously--the easiest thing ever to make.

Even better? At-home varieties also offer the freedom to showcase less-celebrated pudding flavors (butterscotch or rice pudding pop, anyone?), or to create your own new flavor by making two-tone pops in complementary flavors--I had great success with the chocolate-pistachio combination shown above.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Jun282010

Look to the Cookie Sandwich: Black and White Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Paul Simon once sang that "everything looks worse in black and white". Clearly, the guy had never sampled a black and white ice cream sandwich cookie. 

Now, technically the black and white cookie isn't a cookie at all, but a cake--a drop cake, to be exact. So you know what that means? This is basically a trinity of awesome: cakey cookies, sweet frosting, and creamy, rich ice cream. 

And due to its technical cake status, it's what I've decided to enter as my entry in the TLC Cake Crew's first challenge! Curious to hear more?

And once baked, cooled, and stacked, these babies make you remember what summer desserts are all about: pure, unadulterated joy.

In fact, there's only one thing about this black and white treat that might give you pause: if you choose to alternate the alignment of the frosting and ice cream flavors, which side do you eat first?

For the full entry and recipe (including cookies adapted from David Lebovitz's newest book, Ready for Dessert), visit Serious Eats! But for the reader's digest version, here are the instructions for assembly--have one scoop of vanilla, and one of chocolate ice cream, ready for each sandwich.

Assembly of Black and White Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

(makes about 12 sandwiches using the recipe linked above)

Get out your ice cream, and let it sit outside of the freezer for 10 minutes or so to soften a bit before assembling. I used a carton of Neapolitan ice cream so that I could grab spoonfuls right along the chocolate-vanilla line to sandwich between my cookies. Turn one of the unfrosted cookies so that the flat side is up; place a nice-sized scoop of vanilla-chocolate ice cream directly on top. Using a spoon, lightly flatten the top of the scoop to make room for the rounded bottom of the cookie that you'll be placing on top. Place the frosted cookie on top, and gently press down so that the sandwich comes together. Using a butter knife, gently smooth the sides of the ice cream so that it is flush with the edges of the cookie.

Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and store in the freezer for at least one hour to allow the ice cream to set. Enjoy immediately upon removing from the freezer.

Monday
Jun212010

A Midsummer Night's Creamsicles for Serious Eats

This week marks Midsummer, that magical part of the year where the days are long and, according to Shakespeare, the nights are made of magic.

And while Shakespeare is fine, creamsicles are divine--and so I present A Midsummer Night's Creamsicles, a homemade version of the classic treat which truly taste best when enjoyed in the summer months. This adaptation of the creamsicle couldn't be easier to make. While I can't guarantee that they'll inspire Shakespeare in the Park-style monologues, with their sweet vanilla ice cream center surrounded by a creamy-tart orange coating, I can say that they're decidedly dreamy.

Or as Shakespeare might say, "To sleep, perchance, to creamsicle."

For more, plus the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Jun142010

Seeing Red: Cocoa Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake for Serious Eats

So, today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. How are you celebrating?

My suggestion? Don your Strawberry Shortcake cartoon character tee from the 1980s, work up an appetite, and make a big batch of Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake.

The biscuits in this version take a flavor (and, if desired, color) cue from the classic Southern cake, making use of buttermilk, cocoa and red food coloring, which lends a subtle sweetness which works wonderfully with freshly made whipped cream and strawberries, and makes for a very pretty presentation.

Read more--and find the recipe--on Serious Eats!

Monday
May242010

Sweet Banana Manna: Banana Cream Pie in a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Crust for Serious Eats

Please, please stop using banana bread as the final resting place for your ripe bananas. Because there's a much sweeter option: namely, banana cream pie. In a chocolate peanut butter cookie crust.

This concoction combines the classic idea of combining rich, creamy banana pudding with cookies, but in a far more decadent way. Rather than the classic Nilla wafer pairing, this pie capitalizes on the fact that both peanut butter and chocolate taste excellent with bananas—and brings all these harmonious flavors together, in one delicious place.

When topped with a healthy dollop of whipped cream, this is not merely the stuff that dreams are made of, but the stuff of waking fantasy as well.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
May172010

Going Blonde: Blondie-Topped Brownies for Serious Eats

Blondies or brownies?

It's a delicious dilemma: they're both bar cookie classics, one rich in brown sugar, the other redolent of chocolate.

But why should you have to decide? Because they taste so much better when baked together, in layers.

How'd I do it? Well, since brownies generally have a longer bake time, I started out my pan with a batch of brownie batter which I put in the oven for 20 minutes while I put together the blondie batter. Since the half-baked brownies would have gotten messy had I spread the blondie batter on top, I simply spooned the batter as gently as I could right on top and put it back in the oven for about 25 more minutes; the oven's heat did a nice job of spreading the batter for a tasty two-layered treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
May102010

Taste the Magic: Magic Cookie Bar Pie for Serious Eats

Magic Cookie Bars are, as their name might imply, no ordinary treat. Starting with layer upon layer of unrelentingly rich layers of buttery graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips, and nuts, they get even better from a rich smothering in sweetened condensed milk.

With all that awesome, some might argue that a small serving is best. But I disagree, and to prove it, I've created it in a deliciously thick pie form.

Inspired by the construction of the delicious BakedBar from Baked in Brooklyn, I made my pie with a coconut-graham cracker crust which then got filled with the sweetened condensed milk slurry--the resulting confection attained a crust that was crispy, but the inside remains pleasingly gooey, making for a dessert that will likely displease your dentist, but will definitely make your mouth happy.

For more, plus a recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
May032010

Crumb With a Side of Cake: Behemoth Crumb Cake for Serious Eats

When it comes to crumb, I have a theory: if some is good, more is better.

This theory was proven when I discovered something called the Colossal Crumb Cake at New Jersey's Ocean Grove Bake Shoppe. Their version had a ratio of roughly 9 parts crumb to 1 part cake, and it was just as amazing as it sounds (theirs is the one pictured above).

Could it be possible to recreate this magic at home? Well, I certainly wanted to try. Starting with a recipe from Arthur Schwartz, a.k.a. The Food Maven, I tried to make it even better by halving the cake part and tripling the crumb part. The result? A hulking behemoth of crumb, anchored by a little sliver of cake.

For more, plus a recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Apr262010

Sweet Combo: Chocolate-Filled Pretzel Nuggets for Serious Eats on National Pretzel Day

Guess what? Today is National Pretzel Day. But how to celebrate?

On the one hand the answer is painfully obvious--eat pretzels. But what kind of pretzels? After all, there are so many options: hard or soft, knotted or in stick form? Smothered in mustard or covered in chocolate?

Well, here's a suggestion for those who like plenty of sweet with their salty: chocolate-filled pretzel nuggets. These pillow-like nuggets are sort of like Combos meet chocolate covered pretzel--that is to say, the pinnacle of sweet and salty pretzel perfection.

For more, plus the full recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Apr192010

Sweet Combination: Whoopie Pie Cupcakes, Inspired by Audrey

Whoopie pies are not the next cupcake...or are they?

At the recent CupcakeCamp Seattle event, one cupcake submission (by talented amateur baker Audrey M. of Seattle's Babeland) made my eyes go wider than any other: the whoopie pie cupcake. Here it was: cold, hard proof that both are improved when combined. Yes!

Needless to say it was love at first bite, and I rushed home to try and recreate the magic in my own kitchen. I whipped up a batch of whoopie pie batter (using butter instead of the traditional shortening) and baked about two-thirds of it in cupcake cups, and the rest as regular whoopie pie cookies, and then sandwiched it all together with a generous dab of fluffy frosting.

The conclusion? Whoopie pies and cupcakes are definitely better together.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

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