summer dessert

Chocolate, Dessert, Summer


There was a recent article in Bon Appetite with some recipes for making perfect cookies for ice cream sams. They were thin and crisp, one of which read a bit overly fussy to me, but I can appreciate the extra effort to get something just right. That is not my life right now, I'm more about ease and speed, but I appreciate it. They looked pretty and would undoubtedly be delicious, but I'm quite happy with our current "house cookie" acting as book ends to a creamy scoop of ice cream... or as a skillet cookie, I'll put those notes below. The recipe started at Tara O'Brady's chocolate chip cookies but they're looking pretty far from her original at this point, so I'll leave you her words here. I replace some of the flour with oats and reduce the leaveners for this reason (and also because I don't want a poofy cookie for an ice cream sam). I skip browning the butter out of sheer laziness, though I assume you could handle that step if you wish. I also let the dough sit overnight a la Jacques Torres which he swears makes all the difference and is habit for me now. All sorts of cookie science here on Serious Eats. 

I made these for a dinner with friends, which is great because a sit in the freezer is necessary, making them a great make-ahead dessert. When you eat them straight off assembly, the cookie and ice cream are both too soft and they make a big mess. When you assemble them, and then freeze them again together, they become the same temperature/consistency, so they are just easier to eat. Because thin and crispy is also delicious and homemade is not always possible, in a pinch, the Tate's cookies (or gluten free chocolate chip ones from Trader Joes which are private labeled from Tate's) are perfect. Just have dinner with friends, that's the important part. xo


To make this a skillet cookie, simply press half the dough into an 10" skillet and cook it at 325' for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. The center will still look tender but that's ok, it will set more as it cools. Let it rest for 10 minutes before topping it with ice cream and serving.  
You can halve this cookie recipe and end up with about 16 cookies/8 sandwiches. Specifics will depend on how big you make your dough balls. 

2 sticks/ 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar or muscavado sugar
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
flaky salt, for finishing
1 quart vanilla bean, coffee, or chocolate chip ice cream

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars for a good two minutes. Add the eggs, salt and vanilla and mix again, scraping down the sides so it is all incorporated. Add the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and mix again until just combined, do not overmix. Add the chocolate, one more quick mix, scrape down the sides, and store it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, up to overnight. 
Preheat the oven to 350'. Make golfball size rounds and arrange them on cookie sheets or baking pans. Press down the center gently and sprinkle them with flaky salt. Bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes until the edges are browned and the center still looks slightly tender. You want them slightly underdone. Remove the tray, smack it on the counter, and let them cool a few minutes. Remove from the tray and let them cool completely on a wire rack. 
Assemble each sandwich with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and then gently smush them together to press down the ice cream ball. Freeze them for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. 
*I put a long skinny tupperware in the freezer and just stash them in there as I assemble. They should last for about a week, or longer if you keep them individually wrapped in plastic wrap. 

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Dessert, Summer



I'm dog earring interesting recipes in food magazines like a crazy lady. I have a catering job coming up and a particular mini-person has kept me from cooking all that much. Simple things, I have managed to get basic dinners together, but I haven't tried many new items unfortunately. Curran doesn't really like napping, I'm tired, so I eat a lot of brown rice and defrosted wild salmon patties and don't mind because I know this is a season. Ok, actually I cry a lot about it because I want him to get rest so he's happy and his brain grows, but Hugh reminds me it's part of figuring out this parenting thing and we'll turn a corner at some point. You'll miss naps one day, tiny sleep-resister. Anyway, dessert. I've been peeking around to try some new things and I thought these individual tarts in Food+Wine looked great. I haven't had the greatest luck with tart dough, regardless of the printed recipe, so I gave these a run through before putting them on the menu and I approve. I haven't baked much with rye flour but it is perfect here, a tad more flavor than all purpose, and I'm intrigued to try it in other things. The crust is excellent - quite buttery (likely why it's excellent) which makes this perfect for a special occasion.

Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen


Crust recipe adapted from September 2014 Food + Wine 

I used nectarines because the ones at our local farm are still incredible. If stonefruits are gone where you are, the original recipe suggests apples and I'm sure that would be great too. Note, I had creme fraiche on hand so made this creamy garnish but a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be just as nice and one less step.

  • // Dough //
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. natural cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 14 Tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • // Filling //
  • 3 ripe nectarines
  • 2 ripe plums
  • 1/2 a vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • quick grate of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
  • Turbinado Sugar, for sprinkling
  • // Maple Creme Fraiche //
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen

For the dough, in a food processor, pulse both flours with the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with flecks of butter. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until it just comes together (you should still see flecks of butter). Transfer to dough to a work surface, gather it together, quarter it and form four small disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour. This can be done a few days in advance. 

For the filling, slice the nectarines and plums thin. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cut fruit with the vanilla bean, lemon juice, a quick grate of nutmeg, 2 Tbsp. of the cane sugar and toss to combine. 

Preheat the oven to 400' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the 2 Tbsp. of flour and 2 remaining Tbsp. sugar in a ramekin. On a well floured work surface, roll out the dough balls 1/4' thick into roughly 6" circles. Spread a little bit of the flour/sugar mixture in the center of each dough circle, leaving a 1/2" border. Place a pile of fruit on top of the flour circle (be generous and pile high, it'll shrink down). Gently fold the edges of the dough up around the fruit, leaving the center open. Pinch the tears of the dough together to seal and transfer them to the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with a little water and generously sprinkle the whole top with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Let them sit for a minute and then transfer to cool completely on a baking rack.

While they cool, stir together the creme fraiche, maple and almond extract (a little goes a long way, you need just a couple drops). Serve each tart with a dollop of cream. These are best enjoyed the day they are made but they will keep covered for two days and could even be freshened up in a toaster oven when needed.

Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
Nectarine Tart . Sprouted Kitchen
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