Monday, November 29, 2021

Gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches

This is a sponsored post by Hudsonville Ice Cream, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

There are few desserts that symbolize the holiday season more than gingerbread cookies. I love the combination of warm, comforting spices. The only way to make these sweet treats even more festive is by pairing them with peppermint ice cream, specifically, Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream

The Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream is delightful on its own, but it’s truly heavenly when sandwiched between two gingerbread cookies. It’s all the flavors of the holiday season in one bite!

Gingerbread cookies are notoriously tricky to make. The dough is really sticky because of the molasses, and it’s hard to get just the right combination of spice, soft centers, and crisp edges. Fortunately, after many trials and errors, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for creating the best gingerbread cookies!

First, you must cream the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy, not just smooth. It should take about 4 to 5 minutes on medium speed. The butter will be pale and yellow, and it should look noticeably different. The purpose of creaming is to aerate the butter by beating it over and over again, and the tiny sugar crystals work to help the process. 

Properly creaming your butter creates cookies that are less dense, and it expands the volume of the dough, which results in more cookies!

It’s also imperative that you scrape your bowl throughout the mixing process. Scraping ensures that a thick film of butter and sugar doesn’t collect against the bowl. I always scrape before I add each additional ingredient to ensure a more uniform dough.

Getting the spice level just right in gingerbread cookies can be tricky. Too much spice and the cookies can taste bitter. Too little spice and you can’t taste anything at all. I tinkered with which spices to use and the amount. I found that using a combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice gave the cookies a complex flavor without being over-the-top.

Gingerbread cookie dough is nearly impossible to work with right after mixing because it’s so sticky. That’s why you must chill the dough before rolling it out. The dough is only manageable when it’s firm. The best way to do this is to divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, flatten into discs, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to roll out the dough, generously flour your work surface, your hands, and your rolling pin. I promise, the flour won’t affect the taste! Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Any thinner, and you’ll have cracker cookies. No one likes cracker cookies.

The cookies take between 8 to 10 minutes to bake, depending on your oven and your desired softness level. Many ovens heat unevenly and have hot spots, so it’s important that you rotate the baking sheets at the halfway point. Since these cookies will ultimately be frozen and become ice cream sandwiches, it’s best to bake them on the softer side.

Once your cookies are cool, you can decorate them if you choose or you can leave them plain. I included a simple icing recipe in this post. Remember, you only need to decorate half of the cookies since one cookie goes on the bottom of the ice cream sandwich.

The last and most important step in completing this recipe is evenly spreading the Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream between two cookies. It’s easy to do when working with round cookies, but it’s a little harder when working with cookies that are different shapes. The easiest way to achieve an even spread is to turn one cookie bottom side up, place the cookie cutter on top, add a scoop of ice cream in the center of the cookie cutter, and spread it with a knife.

These gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches are adorable and delicious, and they will certainly be the highlight of your holiday gatherings. Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream is proof that sometimes the sweetest packages aren't under the tree—they’re in the freezer.

Use this Scoop Locator tool to find Peppermint Stick ice cream near you!

Gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches

Yield: Makes 18 cookies / 9 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 31/2 cups all purpose flour (420 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (170 grams)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (160 grams)
  • 1/2 cup molasses (170 grams)
  • 1 large egg (55 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing (optional)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk

For ice cream sandwiches

Directions

For the cookies

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and cream on medium speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.
  5. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and shape into discs.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  8. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Flour work surface, hands, and rolling pin.
  9. Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Use your cookie cutter and cut dough into gingerbread man shapes and place on baking sheets.
  10. Re-roll leftover scraps and use cookie cutter again. Repeat until all dough is used.
  11. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. They shouldn’t get any darker.
  12. Allow to cool.

For the icing

  1. Mix together all ingredients until no clumps remain. It should be very thick. Add more powdered sugar if needed.
  2. Transfer icing to squeeze bottle or pour into pastry bag with small tip.
  3. Decorate gingerbread men as desired.

For assembly

  1. Turn one cookie bottom-side-up and place cookie cutter on top.
  2. Add 1/4 cup softened ice cream to center of cookie cutter and spread. 
  3. Remove cookie cutter and top with second cookie.
  4. Press cookies together and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Store extra ice cream sandwiches in freezer.


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

 

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

I am so excited to be cooking my first turkey this Thanksgiving, but honestly my favorite things on the menu for Thursday don’t even include meat. I love loading up on all the sides! And I am so excited to debut this brussels sprouts au gratin recipe as my new favorite side dish. 

When I presented this dish to my husband the first time I made it, he said, "I don’t know why anyone even bothers with green bean casserole when you can have this." And I have to agree! Frankly, I’m not sure why we don’t make everything au gratin. What’s not to love about toasted cheese and breadcrumbs? In fact, I slowly increased the au gratin topping throughout my numerous recipe test attempts because I think the texture it adds is so vital to getting this recipe just right.

As always, it's very important to the best quality ingredients in your recipes, especially when it's for an important meal like Thanksgiving! That's why I only use Challenge butter. Challenge churns their butter from the freshest 100% real pasteurized sweet cream and salt. They don't use any artificial or synthetic ingredients. And that's really important to me.

Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin

Yield: About 10 servings

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 4 Tablespoons Challenge unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced thin and cut in half moons
  • 2 shallots, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, shredded on largest mandolin setting or cut 1/8" thick
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

For the topping

Directions

For the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Sauté pancetta until lightly browned and fat is rendered, remove from skillet
  3. Leave pancetta fat in skillet and add butter
  4. Add leeks and shallots to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté on low until leeks and shallots start to caramelize.
  5. Add garlic and cook on low until garlic is fragrant and softens.
  6. Add brussels sprouts and thyme to skillet and return pancetta to skillet. Mix thoroughly. Scrape mixture into 11x7” baking dish.
  7. Using same skillet, add cream, Gruyere, parmesan, dijon mustard, thyme. salt, nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer stirring continuously until cheese melts and it turns into a thick sauce, about 3 minutes.
  8. Pour the sauce over sprouts and leeks mixture and toss to coat.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Mixture should be bubbling and starting to brown around the edges.
  10. Remove from oven.

For the topping

  1. Combine panko, parmesan, and melted butter. Scatter mixture over brussels sprouts and return to oven.
  2. Bake until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.



Monday, November 22, 2021

No oven necessary for these 3 Thanksgiving desserts


This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Today I’m sharing three dessert ideas that don't require use of an oven, so you don't have to worry about competing for oven space on Thanksgiving day! Two of the desserts are no-bake recipes, and the last dessert is made in a slow cooker. 


Pumpkin tiramisu
  1. Traditional tiramisu custard is made with eggs, but the pumpkin puree in this desserts acts as a binder, which means no eggs necessary.
  2. Make sure to use crunchy ladyfingers when making tiramisu because sponge ladyfingers get too soggy. 
  3. If you don’t have access to an espresso machine (I certainly don’t) just buy instant espresso and mix a teaspoon with 1/2 cup boiling water. Traditionally, tiramisu also has a little alcohol mixed in with the espresso. You can use rum, brandy, cognac, any variety of liqueurs, or just omit it. 
  4. Another tip for avoiding soggy ladyfingers is to use a pastry brush to brush them with the espresso instead of dipping them in it.

Pumpkin tiramisu

Yield: 9 pieces

Ingredients

For the mousse

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) heavy cream

For espresso mixture

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon (4 grams) espresso powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 milliliters) brandy, Bailey’s, rum, cognac, or hazelnut liqueur (optional)

For assembly

  • 7 ounces Italian ladyfingers, crunchy

Directions

For the mousse

  1. In large bowl, beat together pumpkin puree on low speed with mascarpone, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt.
  2. Slowly pour in heavy cream while continuing to beat on low speed. Once heavy cream is incorporated, beat mixture at medium speed until soft peaks form.

For espresso mixture

  1. Mix espresso powder with boiling water. Once cooled, stir in alcohol.

For assembly

  1. Use pastry brush to brush ladyfingers with espresso mixture. Place in single layer at bottom of 9x9-inch baking dish.
  2. Scrape half of pumpkin mousse mixture on top of lady fingers.
  3. Use pastry brush to brush remaining ladyfingers with espresso mixture. Place in single layer on top of mousse. Scrape remaining mousse on top of lady fingers and smooth.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours but overnight is preferable.
  5. When ready to serve, garnish with pumpkin pie spice, if desired.


Chocolate Grand Marnier pie
  1. The crumb crust is just Oreo crumbs and butter. I used 1/2 package of cookies to make a 9-inch pie crust. The crumb mixture should be the consistency of wet sand. Freeze the crust 15 minutes before pouring the filling in--no need to bake it.
  2. You can use dark, bittersweet, or milk chocolate depending on your taste preference. I actually found dark chocolate with orange flavoring at Trader Joe’s which worked perfectly for this recipe.
  3. Since this is a no-bake recipe, it’s very important to use high qualityChallenge salted butter ingredients. That’s why I only use Challenge dairy products. I used Challenge salted butter for the crumb crust and Challenge cream cheese for the filling. The salted butter perfectly balanced the sweetness of the Oreo cookie crumbs. And the silky cream cheese is made with real milk, cream, and natural ingredients for superior flavor and an ultra smooth finish. 


Chocolate Grand Marnier Pie

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

For the crumb crust

For the filling

  • 8 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy cream

Directions

For the crumb crust

  1. Mix crumbs with melted butter.
  2. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie dish. Freeze for at least 15 minutes before adding filling.

For the filling

  1. With whip attachment on mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add Grand Marnier, orange zest, vanilla, and salt, and mix to combine.
  3. With mixer running, slowly add warm chocolate and whip on low speed until just combined.
  4. With mixer still running, add heavy cream in slow steady stream. 
  5. Once heavy cream is fully incorporated, whip on medium speed to medium stiff peaks. 
  6. Pour filling into pie crust and spread into even layer. Cover directly to surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set—at least 6 hours.
  7. Decorate with chocolate curls and/or candied orange peels when ready to serve.


Slow cooker white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding
  1. Make sure your bread cubes are very dry so they soak up the cream/egg mixture as much as possible. I like to dry mine out in an even layer on a baking sheet overnight. If you don’t have time for that, you can bake them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, or until they feel dry. 
  2. Strain the cream/egg mixture over the dried bread cubes so no stringy egg parts make their way into the bread pudding.
  3. Let the bread cubes soak up the cream/egg mixture for at least an hour before cooking.
  4. Because it's made in the slow cooker, there are no crunchy top pieces like you get when you make bread pudding in the oven. And some people may find the texture too mushy. But you can fix that if you brûlée the bread pudding! Just sprinkle some sugar on top and using a kitchen torch on it lightly. 



Slow cooker white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Challenge unsalted butter
  • 4 cups (6 ounces) challah, brioche, or French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, crusts removed, dried out overnight
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, grated

Directions

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract on low speed in large bowl. Beat in heavy cream on low. Set aside.
  2. Butter 4 or 5-quart slow cooker. Place bread cubes and white chocolate in slow cooker.
  3. Strain cream/egg mixture over bread cubes and stir to combine. Let stand at least an hour so bread absorbs cream/egg mixture.
  4. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top. Cover and cook on low for 2 - 3 hours, or until bread pudding is mostly set but still slightly jiggly and edges are starting to turn golden brown. (If you prefer, bake in oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 - 45 minutes)
  5. Optional: When done baking sprinkle top of bread pudding with more granulated sugar and use a kitchen torch to brûlée the top of the bread pudding.
  6. Sprinkle top of bread pudding with grated white chocolate. Cool 20 minutes and serve.

 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Zombie Brownie Cake


This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Halloween-themed food is my absolute favorite because I just think it's so much fun. I've done my fair share of a variety of cute and creepy treats over the years, although some people, like my friends and family who are supposed to support me no matter what, think I take it a little too far (remember that amputated hand appetizer?)

This zombie brownie cake is my compromise--not necessarily cute, but not so creepy that it will haunt you in your sleep. Most importantly though, it's incredibly tasty.

I start with my favorite homemade brownie recipe. Yes, you can use a box mix, but I much prefer the taste of this recipe. It's thick and fudgey with the perfect crackly top. The recipe starts by melting salted Challenge butter in the microwave. Challenge butter is the only butter I will use because it’s churned daily from two natural ingredients: the freshest 100% real pasteurized sweet cream and salt. That’s it. There's nothing artificial or synthetic about it, and you can really taste the difference. The recipe also uses dark chocolate, which I much prefer over cocoa powder. The other key ingredient is a little bit of espresso powder to amplify the chocolate flavor and make it more intense.

To make the moss on top of the brownie, all I did was dye sugar cookie dough green and place the cookies on top. I also crumbled some of the cookies to add to the effect. And the zombie fingers couldn't be easier. They're just Tootsie Rolls!


Zombie Brownie Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the brownie

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) salted Challenge butter
  • 10 ounces (283 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs (8 ounces)
  • 2 cups (396 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (14 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (4.5 grams) espresso powder
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

For the moss

  • 8 ounces sugar cookie dough
  • Green food coloring

For the zombie fingers

  • 5 Tootsie Roll snack size candies
  • 5 almond slivers
  • 5 toothpicks

Directions

For the brownie

  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 8-inch cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray, lining with parchment paper circle, and spraying with nonstick spray again.
  2. Melt butter in microwave.
  3. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. If chocolate doesn’t melt all the way, heat in microwave 10 more seconds.
  4. Whisk eggs in separate bowl. Add sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso powder, and whisk until smooth.
  5. Whisk into melted butter-chocolate mixture.
  6. Fold flour into liquid ingredients until just combined.
  7. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes

For the moss

  1. Mix the sugar cookie dough with green food coloring until dough is uniform in color.
  2. Spread dough in various irregular shapes on baking sheet, making sure to leave room between each cookie.
  3. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the zombie fingers

  1. Mold and stretch the Tootsie Rolls so they resemble fingers and stick toothpicks at the end of each finger. Remember, each finger / thumb is a different size.
  2. Place one almond sliver at the end of each Tootsie Roll so it resembles a nail

Assembly

  1. Remove brownie from cake pan and place on serving platter.
  2. Stick zombie fingers in brownie with toothpicks so it looks like a hand is coming out of the ground.
  3. Arrange green sugar cookies bottom side up around fingers on top of brownie. Once you have enough cookies covering the brownie, crumble a few of the remaining cookies and sprinkle on top to resemble moss.




Friday, October 1, 2021

Apple Cider Bundt Cake


 This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

There has been a recent surge in the popularity of bundt cakes. I think it's because they look impressive, but they're incredibly easy to whip up on a whim. Unlike a standard layered cake, bundt cakes come out of the pan in a pretty design, so they don't need a lot of extra pizazz and embellishments.

What exactly is a bundt cake? A bundt cake refers more to the cake pan it is baked in rather than the actual cake itself. But traditionally it's a firm, moist cake halfway between a pound cake and a high-ratio cake.

This apple cider bundt cake incorporates cider 3 separate times: in the batter, in the cake soak, and in the icing. So it's really bursting with apple flavor!

Room temperature ingredients

  • About an hour before you start baking the cake, bring the butter and the eggs to room temperature. Room temperature ingredients mix together more uniformly and ensures the cake will bake more evenly. 
  • It is imperative that you use high quality ingredients in this recipe. That’s why I only use Challenge Unsalted Butter. Challenge uses real cream and only natural ingredients for superior flavor and an ultra smooth finish

Make apple cider concentrate

  • In order to get the strongest apple cider flavor in this cake, I made apple cider concentrate. 
  • Here’s how to make: Look at the recipe, double the amount of apple cider you need, pour it in a pot, bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer, continue to simmer until it reduces by half.

When baking the bundt cake

  • Before you pour the batter in the pan, make sure you’ve sprayed it heavily with nonstick spray. You can also coat the inside of the pan with sugar, and that helps too.
  • The easiest way to tell a cake is baked all the way through is by touching it. It should be firm but still spring back.
  • If you really want to make sure it’s cooked, stick a thermometer in it. It should register around 210 degrees.

Getting your bundt cake out of the pan

  • I recommend waiting about 20 - 25 minutes before inverting your bundt cake. It’s still warm enough to slide out, but it should be fully set by then.
  • If you flip it and it doesn’t come out, you can try one of these two tricks. The first trick: Heat the pan with a kitchen torch. You should be able to feel it start to slide out. The second trick: Dampen a kitchen towel and place it over the bottom of the bundt cake. The heat from the cake should create steam with the towel, and after about 15 minutes the cake should slide right out.

Infusing cake with flavor via simple syrup

  • Brushing a hot cake with simple syrup is a great way to keep cakes moist and infuse them with flavor. Simple syrup is equal parts liquid and sugar. In this recipe, the liquid I used was the apple cider concentrate for extra apple flavor.
  • Brush the cake with this simple syrup as soon as you remove it from the pan.

Icing the cake

  • Once the cake is completely cool, finish it by drizzling icing over the top.
  • The icing is just apple cider and powdered sugar. I like to make the icing really thick, but if you prefer more of a glaze, you can thin it out with more apple cider.

Apple Cider Bundt Cake

Yield: 20 servings

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 sticks (339 grams) Challenge Unsalted Butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) brown sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (5 grams) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 grams) nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 grams) cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 grams) ground ginger
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) apple cider, concentrated
  • 1/2 cup (123 grams) applesauce

For the cake soak

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) apple cider, concentrated

For the icing

  • 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) apple cider concentrate

Directions

For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs one at a time. Wait to add the next egg until the previous egg is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, and ground ginger. In another separate bowl, mix together the apple cider concentrate and the apple sauce.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixer, and mix on low until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the liquid mixture and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the bowl. Repeat until all the flour and the liquid ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Heavily grease a bundt pan and coat the inside with a thin layer of granulated sugar to prevent sticking. Pour the cake batter evenly into the bundt pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for about 25 minutes inside the pan before inverting the bundt cake onto a wire cooling rack.

For the cake soak

  1. Mix the sugar and apple cider concentrate in a small bowl. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Brush the cake all over with the simple syrup. Continue to allow the cake to cool.

For the icing

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar and the apple cider concentrate. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Squash harvest salad


Pumpkin is obviously the most popular squash, and this time of year we see pumpkin spice everything. But there are dozens of other squash varieties!

The skin on delicata squash is very delicate (hence the name), meaning it’s thin and edible so you don’t have to peel it! Just cut in half to scoop out the seeds and slice into half moons. The ridges on the squash contribute to its attractiveness, and it looks really beautiful by itself or in a salad.


My preferred method of cooking squash is roasting at a high temperature. And don’t flip it! That’s how you get beautiful caramelization and browning. Also, don’t overcrowd your roasting pan or the squash will produce too much steam and never get crisp. In the salad recipe I’m sharing today, I paired the squash with brussels sprouts, which also come into season in the fall.


Squash harvest salad

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 delicata squash, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2-inch thick moons
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cups kale
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted pepitas
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Divide delicata squash between 2 baking sheets and evenly spread brussels sprouts on third baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes. Do not flip vegetables to allow for caramelization.
  5. Remove from oven.
  6. Combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in mason jar and shake until combined.
  7. Add kale to large bowl. Drizzle a little dressing on kale and massage leaves for about 1 minute.
  8. Add squash, brussels sprouts, shallot, feta, pomegranate arils, and pepitas.
  9. Drizzle dressing on top and mix.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Amaretto Apple Crisp Ice Cream Bars

This is a sponsored post by Hudsonville Ice Cream, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I grew up down the street from an apple orchard, and during the fall season, my mom and I frequently visited the orchard after school to grab a few apples for dessert. Apple crisp was one of the first dishes I learned how to make. It’s an unfussy dessert that uses very basic ingredients. I used the same recipe for years, except I always doubled the crisp part of the recipe because the buttery, brown sugar oat pieces are my favorite. 

Last year I experimented with a new flavor pairing: apple and amaretto. I added a little amaretto to the crisp topping and to the apple mixture. Wow! The almond liqueur is the difference between tasty apple crisp and incredible apple crisp. It really makes the flavors pop!

Of course, the dessert isn’t complete without a big scoop of ice cream. Hudsonville recently released Limited Edition Baked Apple Crisp ice cream, and it truly tastes exactly like the dessert. The ice cream is packed with apple pieces and crispy oat crumbles. It made me think—why do I even bother peeling and dicing apples for apple crisp when I could just serve this Hudsonville Ice Cream?

That’s when I decided to make bars using Baked Apple Crisp ice cream and my favorite amaretto crisp topping as the base. I baked the buttery oat crumbles in a baking pan, and then I pressed half of it into a baking dish. I made an easy stovetop amaretto caramel sauce to help the pieces adhere together, and I poured it over the oat crumbles before adding 4 cups of ice cream on top. I finished off the bars with more caramel sauce and the other half of the crisp topping.

I guarantee everyone will love the apple-amaretto flavor combo, and you’ll want this tasty treat stocked in your freezer all season long! Use the Scoop Locator tool to find Limited Edition Baked Apple Crisp ice cream at a store near you.

Amaretto Apple Crisp Ice Cream Bars

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

For the amaretto caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter (110 grams)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup amaretto (60 milliliters)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 gram)

For the crisp topping

  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar (266 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (180 grams)
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats (54 grams)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (110 grams)
  • 3 Tablespoons amaretto (45 milliliters)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (6 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 grams)

For assembly

Directions

For the amaretto caramel sauce

  1. Combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring until smooth.
  2. Add heavy whipping cream, amaretto, and salt to saucepan, and stir. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir regularly.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make crisp topping.

For the crisp topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Mix together brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, amaretto, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Spread mixture in even layer on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, making sure to stir the mixture at the halfway mark.
  4. Remove from oven.
For assembly
  1. Line 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving 2-inch overhang on two sides. 
  2. Transfer half of crisp mixture to prepared pan and press down into even layer on bottom.
  3. Drizzle about 1/3 of amaretto caramel sauce over bottom layer.
  4. Spread ice cream evenly over sauce.
  5. Drizzle another 1/3 of amaretto caramel sauce over ice cream and top with rest of crisp mixture.
  6. Freeze until ice cream hardens, at least 1 hour.
  7. When ready to serve, use parchment overhang to transfer bar to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
  8. Serve with remaining amaretto caramel sauce and whipped cream, if desired.



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