Easy Ice Cream Kit Kat Cake

I know, some of you are thinking ice cream?! As cold as it is? Is she nuts?! Well, uh..probably, but that’s not the point. The point is…my middle child had a birthday in January (she’s twelve!) and this is the cake she wanted.

She is also the reason behind the now infamous (at my house anyway) Kit Kat Candy Cake and last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Better Than $#% Cake (so.good.) This year, she wanted an ice cream cake – but not a traditional one with layers of cake and ice cream…she doesn’t allow her ice cream and cake to touch. *insert eye roll* Nope, this ‘cake’ is made entirely of ice cream. And candy of course. With some Oreos thrown in for good measure.

I have to admit, it was very good. It has also given me some great ideas for future ice cream cakes. It was also much easier than I thought it was going to be, which is always a plus. My only complaint is she didn’t want chocolate ice cream. Are we related? I’m not so sure. (I’m kidding daughter of mine. KissKiss LoveYouMeanIt). 

Don’t let the long list of “instructions” fool ya, it’s not difficult, I just added a lot of commentary in there. “Tips” if you will. You’re welcome or I’m sorry. Whichever fits.

Ice Cream Candy Cake 

  • 2 quarts of your ice cream of choice (We used mint chocolate chip and vanilla)
  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 c. milk
    Kit Kat candy bars (I used about 10 Kit Kat bars…which is 40 ‘sticks’)
  • toppings of choice (we used leftover Kit Kat bars, mini M’s, chocolate chips)
  • (optional) 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed enough to spread, for ‘frosting’
 
*You will also need a 9 inch springform pan*
  • Remove ice cream from freezer and let soften so that it is soft enough to remove from carton, but not completely melted (The more melted it is, the more the ice cream will ooze through the Kit Kat bars surrounding the cake. This isn’t a big deal, but just something I learned in the process. It can always be cleaned up afterwards, if you want it really “pretty” on the outside.)
  • While ice cream is softening, combine 24 Oreo cookies and the milk in a food processor (a blender would probably work for this as well). Set aside. This will form the bottom layer or “crust” for the ice cream cake.
  • Spray the springform pan with non-stick spray. Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper into the same size circle as the bottom of the pan. Line the pan with the paper, then line the Kit Kat bars (standing upright) around the inside of the pan. I find that working with the bars in pairs of two works best. Place bars as close as possible to each other, all facing out the same way. You may find that you need a single bar to close a gap. (Another tip I’ve learned along the way…if you are making Kit Kat cakes in the hot summer time, refrigerate the candy bars and remove from the fridge a few at a time. It makes handling them a little less messy.) 
  • Once Kit Kats are in place, press the Oreo crumb mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  • Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from freezer and spread one quart of ice cream evenly over the Oreo crust. I added some chopped Oreos over this bottom layer to kind of break it up. You could layer anything you wanted, or nothing at all…your choice! Place pan back in the freezer for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from freezer again, and spread the second quart of ice cream over the first, and freeze again for 10 minutes.
  • At this point you can either leave cake in the freezer for 8-10 hours to firmly set or you can add the thawed Cool Whip topping as a ‘frosting’, then freeze for 8-10 hours. Since we used vanilla ice cream on top, I didn’t add the Cool Whip.
  • Remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Add your toppings of choice, and remove the springform outer ring of pan. Slice and serve! 
*Tip – buy an extra Kit Kat bar or two in case you have a few broken sticks in your packs. Perk: you get to eat all the broken ones.

Loaded Chocolate Bourbon Fudge

Yes, this was another Christmas gift involving booze, but would also be fun for Valentine’s Day. And seriously, anytime you throw together chocolate and booze…it’s going to be a fun day.

Even though this is not my most beloved old-fashioned fudge, it was pretty darn good…I happen to love Jim. And Jack.  It’s also easy…no candy thermometer required! And before anyone asks, yes you can omit the alcohol.

The toppings are your choice as well. I used what I had on hand…Heath Toffee Chips, Mini Baking MM’s, mini Hershey kisses, chocolate drizzle…and I tried doing a white chocolate drizzle, but my chocolate seized up on me…I think it got some water in it. I was doing multiple things at once and that’s never good when dealing with melted chocolate!

Loaded Chocolate Bourbon Fudge

20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used Chocoley Chocolate, half milk and half dark chocolate)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons bourbon (I used 5 – Jim Beam and Rave Review! Culinary Blended Bourbon)
approx 1-1/2 cups of desired toppings
1/2 cup milk chocolate, melted

  • Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt the 20 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave or using the double boiler method (I almost always use the microwave, just remember to microwave it slowly. I heat for one minute, then stir, then heat for 15 seconds until mostly melted, stirring between each interval).
  • Once melted, stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract
  • Stir in bourbon 1 tablespoon at a time. The mixture will thicken, but continue stirring or folding with a sturdy spoon.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture in the prepared pan and place in fridge for 10 minutes to set.
  • Melt the 1/2 cup milk chocolate using desired method and spread a couple of tablespoons evenly over the top of the chilled fudge. Immediately sprinkle on desired toppings, gently pressing into the chocolate.
  • Use the remaining milk chocolate and drizzle it over the top. This will help keep all the good stuff from falling off when cutting.
  • Let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • I recommend cutting into small pieces (about an inch or so, because it is very rich!)
Recipe Source: How Sweet It Is
 
I also highly recommend that when cutting this, have it on a nice, flat, non-slip surface. Otherwise, half your fudge may end up on the floor. When it hits the floor, all of your toppings will pop off, fly all over the kitchen, creating havoc as you try to keep two dogs from eating the chocolate. Also, causing much swearing to occur and resulting in your friends getting half the amount of fudge that was intended. I’m just sayin’…it could happen. #thisismylife
 
Disclosure: I received both Chocoley Chocolate and Rave Reviews! Culinary Spirits as samples. This is not a paid post. 

Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)

When I was growing up, my Grandma always had some type of jello salad at family gatherings. I, being the picky, stubborn, petulant child that I was, would never eat the jello salad because I do not like jello. And it often had either marshmallows or fruit cocktail in it…and I didn’t like those either. Don’t you feel sorry for my parents? Anyway, jello salad consisted of jello, obvi, and fruits, nuts, etc. If it was formed or molded into a shape…it was called a jello mold. I’m telling you all this for no apparent reason just to say that for Thanksgiving I wanted to make a jello salad. My Grandma is no longer on this earth, but she is very much a part of me and I knew my mom would like it. I found a recipe that felt familiar and I liked from Taste of Home, but they have given it a much more sophisticated name…Cranberry Mousse.

But to me, it will always be jello salad. You can call it whatever you like, but I know something else we can call it – a keeper! It was delicious! Obviously my tastes have changed a little over the years, and even though I still don’t care for jello, this salad/mold/mousse has a lot of flavors and textures going on and I really enjoyed it. I also decided to lighten it up by swapping out the sour cream with Greek yogurt. The ending result was delish. If I do say so myself. Which I do. I think my Grandma would be proud!

This plastic mold actually came from my Grandma’s house, but you could use any pan you like (it doesn’t have to be in a mold, I just think it looks pretty!) I have a Christmas tree shaped baking pan that I want to try for Christmas. Yes, I plan on making this again! I think it’s perfect for the holidays with it’s bright color and I love the multitude of textures going on…you have cranberries, crushed pineapple, crunchy nuts, then the creamy yogurt/gelatin combo. And even better…it’s easy!

Cranberry Mousse (aka Jello Salad)

1 package (6 ounces) strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained (SAVE juice)
1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (16 ounces) Greek yogurt (I used Chobani, can also use sour cream)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • In a large heat proof bowl, pour in gelatin mix. Add boiling water and stir until jello mix has dissolved.
  • Add juice of drained pineapple.
  • Stir in can of cranberry sauce, gently breaking up the large chunks.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon peel and nutmeg. Stir to combine and chill until mixture begins to thicken. (Not fully set, just thick like pudding)
  • Remove from fridge and fold in yogurt, crushed pineapple and pecans.
  • Pour into desired serving bowl or a lightly sprayed mold (9-cup).
  • Chill until set, at least 2 hours. (I made mine the day before)
  • If using a mold, let mold sit at room temp for 20-30 mins., inverted onto serving plate. Gently remove from mold. It will soften as it warms, but not so soft that it loses shape.
Recipe Source: Taste of Home & my Grandmother
 
What kinds of foods are traditions at your house? Are there certain foods that always trigger memories for you? 
 
 
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Brown Butter Pecan Pie

How do you improve upon a classic? By browning the butter. It takes the awesomeness of butter and amps it up times ten. True story. I discovered what all the fuss about brown butter was quite by accident when making my most favorite Chicken and Dumpling Casserole. Best mistake I ever made in the kitchen. So, when my daughter wanted to make pecan pie for Thanksgiving, and she found a recipe using brown butter, I knew it would be a winner.

I was so right! I apologize for the less than stellar cell phone pics. Per usual, I had several things going on in the kitchen and the light…ugh. I do not like that it gets dark so early now! My mother declared this the best pecan pie she has ever eaten. And just in case you are not aware, my mom is always right.
This one got a little overdone…it wasn’t quite as full as the first. I would recommend using a deep dish pie crust, but we used two regular/standard crusts.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:5]

 *We like our pecan pie a little more on the done side, whereas some people like it very gooey and runny. So baking time is going to depend on personal preference. And if you are like us, just guessing and luck. I’m kidding. (Not really.)
Recipe Source: Gimme Some Oven
 
This was so good that I’m sure it will make another appearance at Christmas! (and to think I didn’t used to like pecan pie!)
 
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Thanksgiving Ideas – Desserts!

For some of us, dessert is the most important part of any meal. For others, it’s an afterthought…and for some, it’s whatever can be bought because you absolutely hate to bake. Whatever category you fall into, there should be something here for you! We love dessert around here, so there were lots of recipes to choose from and most of them are pretty easy to whip up.

Pumpkin Spice Cake – this is a “doctored” cake mix and is full of Fall flavor.
Brown Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake – a little more labor intensive but a change from traditional pumpkin pie
Pecan Pie Brownies – I think the name speaks for itself. Elevate your traditional pecan pie with a brownie base! These have gotten rave reviews in the past.
Fudgey Mocha Nut Pie – Another pecan and chocolate combo…this pie is rich and delicious. We will be making this or Chocolate Chess Pie this year.
Chocolate Chess Pie – a Southern tradition that makes an appearance every year.
Chocolate Oreo Chess Pie – We made this one last year. It was amazing. There is also a Chocolate Chip Cookie version a.k.a. Baltimore Bomb Pie. It’s the bomb alright!
If you are looking for something super quick and easy, I have a round up of “dump cakes“, as in ‘dump and go’, just a few ingredients but oh so good. The above Blueberry Dump Cake is one of my favorite desserts ever.
These German Chocolate Cake bars are one of the most popular recipes on my blog. Or you could go for the “real thing” …
German Chocolate Cake – the frosting is phenomenal.
A few other things that may come in handy – this 5-Minute Chocolate Frosting is delicious, and because my son is allergic to nuts and is super picky, I will be making cookies with my favorite thick and chewy cookie base. I’ll be adding fall colored M’s which he loves.
I also have some ‘special diet’ recipes – Dairy Free Chocolate Pie which is so good no one would ever know what it’s made of; Low Carb Chocolate Eclair Cake; low carb, gluten free “Thin Mints“; egg free Chocolate Cake (aka wacky cake). This is my “Allergy Friendly” Pinterest Board too.
As you can see, we usually do things a little different than the traditional pumpkin and pecan pie! Well, I should say in addition to the traditional pecan and pumpkin pie. You can’t have too many desserts!
Previous Thanksgiving Ideas posts
I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Thanksgiving Ideas – for the kids

Over the next few days I’m going to post some different Thanksgiving ideas since turkey day is almost here! Today is all about making the kiddies happy (and keeping them busy!)

Harvest Blessing Mix – fun for the kids to make, and to give as gifts. Each ingredients represents something..

Cornucopias‘ can be made out of store-bought ice cream cones, then filled with treats. I’ve done these on a few occasions, and tried a couple of different ways. They are kind of a pain, but super cute in the end. If you have a steamer/rice cooker, that is the easiest way to do it IMO, however, this method also works. This definitely requires an adult (but the kids can fill them!)
These are filled with Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix.

“Acorn” Cookies – no bake, just assemble and eat!


More edible cornucopias! No recipe, just Bugles chips with the ends dipped in white chocolate, then dipped in sprinkles and colored candy pieces (these are Sixlets). I made a Thanksgiving Snack Mix with them one year.

What do you do to keep the kids occupied while the turkey is cooking?!

   I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Bubble Up Apple Pie {4 ingredients!}

If you have been on Pinterest or have been following my blog a while, you are probably familiar with the “bubble up” casseroles. I have made several over the years, and I see new variations popping up all the time. It’s basically a casserole made with cut up biscuits and your choice of meats, cheeses, veggies, you name it. However, now I’ve discovered a dessert version *insert big smiley face*. Biscuits and sugar. Carbs on carbs. You know it’s gonna be good!

It’s not super pretty, but you could dress it up with a powdered sugar or cream cheese drizzle. I had every intention of doing that…but it just didn’t last that long. You could also serve it with some vanilla or butter pecan ice cream!

“Bubble Up” Apple Pie

1 (8-count) can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits, cut into 8ths (I used reduced fat)
1 (21 ounce) can Apple Pie filling (I used the ‘no sugar added’ variety)
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
 
*the original recipe called for 1 cup butterscotch chips, but I omitted*
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Open can of pie filling and take a sharp knife and stir around the can to slice up apples (just so they are not in big chunks).
  • Pour pie filling in a large bowl. Add biscuit pieces and apple pie spice. Stir.
  • Pour mixture into pan.
  • Top with chopped nuts, if using.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned and cooked through (check the center for doneness)
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly. Add glaze if desired. Serve warm or room temp.
recipe adapted from Plain Chicken
This was a quick and easy dessert to throw together on a week night. In my opinion, it’s best served the same day it’s made, but leftovers can be stored in the fridge and re-heated in the microwave. I’m seeing different flavor combinations in my future…cherry pie filling with chocolate chips for a Black Forest bubble up…blueberry with lemon glaze….and I’m sure I will think of more!
Speaking of more – other Bubble Up recipes I’ve tried….

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This cake is all kinds of fabulous. And dangerous to have around! Thankfully I had a brunch to take it to, which kept me from face planting into it’s cinnamon goodness.

It’s very easy to throw together, as it starts with a cake mix. I was able to make it the morning of, so it was still nice and warm when we cut into it. We had it for brunch, but add a scoop of ice cream and it could very easily be dessert!
Icing, cinnamon sugar topping and swirled throughout, fluffy cake…and it got several compliments. #win. Oh, and it’s easy to make #doublewin.

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt – I used a combination of both)
Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Icing:
 2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons half and half (or milk)
  •  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yellow cake mix, eggs, canola oil and sour cream until combined. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. 
  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle sugar mixture over cake batter then take a knife and swirl the mixture into the batter. You want some cinnamon sugar on top and some mixed into the cake.
  • Bake approx 40 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and cool 10-15 minutes before icing.
  • While cake is cooling, mix 2 cups powdered sugar and up to 4 tablespoons creamer, until desired consistency is reached. Pour over warm cake. 
Recipe Source: Keeper Worthy Recipes
 I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from Above,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage ChicLady Behind the Curtain (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest

Butter Pecan Ice Cream {Traditional & Paleo Versions} w/cookbook review

I know some people are already into sweater weather, but here, we are still running the A/C, ceiling fans, having outdoor barbeques and eating ice cream! Of course, I don’t know about you, but I will pretty much eat ice cream year round. That’s what blankets are for! Seriously, I couldn’t let it get too far into Fall without sharing this yummy, homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream. 

I have just two words for you….butter….and cream. Oh my. However, if you do not eat cream for whatever reason, do not fret…I have an equally decadent version for you too! Just hang with me a minute! 

I made this a few weeks ago for my Dad’s birthday. It’s one of his favorite ice cream flavors (along with pineapple) and it was actually my first time EVER trying Butter Pecan! I can’t believe I have been missing out all these years! I’m such a chocolate freak, that it never occurred to me that I might actually like this. It’s creamy and slightly buttery – so much more than just vanilla, which is what I have always thought it was. It tasted like frozen sweetened condensed milk with toasted pecans. I happen to L-O-V-E sweetened condensed milk. 
 

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

*This recipe makes 2 quarts

2/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • In a skillet over medium heat, toast pecans in butter until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl; set aside. 
  • In a saucepan, combine brown sugar with half and half , mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, once boiling, remove from heat. 
  • Temper the eggs by slowing adding in a 1/4 cup of  hot milk/sugar mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly. Once you have added about a cup of hot mixture and eggs are warm, add eggs/milk into saucepan, put back on the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Once it coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla, and pecans.
  • Allow mixture to cool (I place mine in the fridge overnight)
  • Once cooled, pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers’ directions.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Yes, this recipe is a little fussier than my usual, but it wasn’t difficult and the results were definitely worth it! This ice cream was nice and thick and creamy! Sweet cream and butter toasted pecans…yum.
Now, for you Paleo folks, I haven’t forgotten about you! I received this great little cookbook a while back and I was amazed at the variety of Paleo ice creams that you can easily make with just a few ingredients! It’s appropriately titled, Paleo Ice Cream and authored by Ben Hirshberg. So if you thought ice cream was a thing of the past since you went paleo, then think again! This book has 75 different recipes, ranging from the traditional – like this Butter Pecan or the unusual – like Cucumber Mint or the most fabulous sounding Maple Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream. It’s more than just ice cream too, I can’t wait to try the recipes for Brownies, Caramel and Cookie Dough – just to name a few. And yes, they are all paleo! My only slightly negative comment regarding the book is the lack of pictures. {What am I, five?!} What can I say, I like to see what I’m cooking is supposed to look like!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

*reprinted with permission from the cookbook Paleo Ice Cream
 
YIELD: About 1 quart

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
4 tablespoons honey

1⁄4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

1 1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk, honey, xanthan gum (if using), butter, and vanilla extract. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a heat-safe bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they reach a fluffy consistency. Add a small ladle of the warm mixture and stir until combined. Continue adding the warm mixture, one ladle at a time, until it’s completely mixed into the egg yolks. Don’t add too much of the warm mixture at once or you may end up with scrambled eggs!
3. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until completely chilled (about 8 hours or up to 2 days).
4. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Sprinkle in pecans just as your ice cream finishes hardening and enjoy! If you don’t plan on serving the ice cream immediately, transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze up to 1 week (or 2 months if you use xanthan gum and place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream). To serve, remove from freezer and let sit about 15 minutes, or until desired texture is reached.
 

Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

If you have not visited a Trader Joe’s grocery store, then you may not be familiar with their ‘Cowboy Bark’.

I have no idea why it’s named that, but I can tell you that it’s pretty darn awesome. It has that sweet and salty combo that I loooovveee. Luv. Lurve. Just imagine (or read on the above package) – dark chocolate, loaded with toffee, pretzels, chocolate sandwich cookies, peanuts, almonds and a little salt. Holla. (Anyone else watching Big Brother?!)
This is SO easy to make at home, and as you can see, the girls and I loaded our chocolate down with toppings. That’s the great thing about making this at home, you can be as generous with the toppings as you like. You can also substitute ingredients to whatever you like best or have on hand.
The only difference is that I used Oreo’s instead of Joe’s O’s and I used Heath Bar pieces instead of just plain toffee pieces, because, seriously…can you have too much chocolate?

Copycat Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

1 lb. dark chocolate (I used Chocoley Extra Dark Chocolate, it’s not bitter at all!)
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pretzel pieces
1/2 cup Heath toffee bits
1/2 cup chopped peanuts and almonds
sea salt, for sprinkling – too taste
*measurements are approximates – you may want more or less, and there was an awful lot of ‘sampling’ going on while my girls helped me make this!
  • Have your cookies, pretzels, toffee, and nuts chopped and ready for placement on the bark
  • Line a baking dish, plastic container or cookie sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap

*I used a plastic container that was a little too small and my bark came out a bit thicker than I wanted. I would recommend a cookie sheet, then you can spread it out to your desired thickness

  • Melt chocolate per instructions on bag/bar/etc.
  • Pour melted chocolate on parchment paper and spread to desired thickness.
  • While chocolate is hot, quickly add cookie and pretzel pieces. Then sprinkle on toffee, peanuts and a little sea salt.
  • Allow chocolate to set. (I placed mine in the fridge for a few minutes)
  • Break into pieces and enjoy your copycat creation!
Chocoley sent me a sampling of their products to try. No compensation was received for posting. 
 
 I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Tickle My Tastebuds TuesdaySowdering About in SeattleNaptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe Box, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeVMG206Anyonita Nibbles,Tasty Tuesdays (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the Curtain,Ginger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Project Inspire,Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Foodtastic FridaysJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better BakerThe Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday) Six Sisters’ StuffMade from Pinterest