With the end of Dessert Nights getting closer and closer, I keep trying to out do myself with each new dessert. This week I went a bit overboard, but July is National Ice Cream Month so we had to have ice cream. And what goes better with ice cream than cookies! On a different note, I accidentally selected 3 of the 4 recipes for the week from either David Lebowitz's blog or his ice cream cookbook, The Perfect Scoop, but since they are so delectable it didn't matter.
Peanut butter and chocolate has long been a favorite flavor combination of dessert night goers, so it was only fitting to make sure that at least one of this week's cookies had this flavor combo. Baking Bites just happened to suggest a recipe that combines everyone's favorite, the brownie, with a peanut butter cookie. This recipe calls for chopped brownies in the batter. Instead of making my own brownies, I went to Whole Foods and picked up some of their brownies in their bakery. Very tasty! This recipe is super easy and requires no special mixers or anything to make and was delicious. If you'd like to make your own Peanut Butter Brownie cookies, check out the recipe here.
Madelines quickly became the other cookie of choice because my cousin just bought me a madeline pan. Unfortunately, you do have to have a madeline pan for these tasty cakey cookies. They are generally rather inexpensive for a decent one, but this may be a barrier for some of you out there. Contrary to popular thought, these cookies are super easy to make, but I will warn you that they take forever! Each step is rather time consuming particularly if you're modifying your kitchen gadgets to act as other things like a strainer as a sifter and such. Definitely liberally butter and flour the madeline pan otherwise you're going to have a tough time getting these little guys out of the pan. I opted to use the baking powder to make sure my cookies were a bit fluffy, but honestly they ended up not flattening out well so were a bit rounded. I'd probably try without the baking powder next to see what happens. All in all, they were super tasty. If you'd like to make your own Madelines, check out the recipe here. (Note: the recipe calls for a lemon glaze which sounded super tasty, but I opted to leave that out.)
Finally for the ice creams, I opted for a simple Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream because it was very easy to make and I love the flavor of all summer berries. Unfortunately, I can't share the recipe for this with you at this time because I've already packed my copy of The Perfect Scoop. The recipe is in there and I highly recommend that cookbook if you like ice creams or even if you have an ice cream maker and don't know what to do with it. When I finish moving, I'll try to remember to post the recipe.
The Absinthe Ice Cream was the most anticipated ice cream of the evening. Absinthe has such a unique flavor that I imagined it would make a very delicious ice cream after seeing David Lebowitz's blog about it. I also happened to have a small bottle of Absinthe lying around which was perfect for this recipe. As far as ice cream recipes go, the ones that are more involved are the custard based ice creams, like this one. Those aren't that bad either, but between the Madelines and the Absinthe Ice Cream, I think I used about 70% of my kitchen utensels. For the chocolate chips in this recipe, I finally found that you can buy dark chocolate chunks (like you see in professional ice creams) at Whole Foods! It was a great discovery and these added a great counter-flavor to the licorice in the absinthe. This was definitely my favorite ice cream of the evening. To make your own Absinthe Ice Cream, check out the recipe here.
Sadly, next Tuesday marks the end of an era with the last Dessert Night. I still don't know what I'm going to be making yet, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them my way.