Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Popsicles

I figure now that the first day of fall is literally around the corner, I might as well share the summer recipes I’ve been sitting on for, oh, months.

I’ve had a pretty excellent summer, all things considered (pandemic, political unrest, a consistently hefty workload)! Some highlights since we’ve last chatted: Driving with my best friend to my summer cabin in Wisconsin for the best socially-distant 10 days with my family; re-doing my bedroom decor; spending every opportunity by the pool with a good book; slumber parties; a socially-distant weekend trip to the beach; getting a bike; FaceTiming with friends that are far away that I can’t visit; lots of hikes; a week-long stay at a beach house on Figure 8 Island which was technically work but felt like a girl’s trip because I’m so freakin’ lucky. I mean, not bad right?!

So obviously I was busy livin’ and not too worried about writing and I’m not sorry about it! Just like I’m not sorry for sharing a popsicle recipe in the middle of September. It may be in the 60’s this weekend in North Carolina (and my apartment may be decorated for Halloween already) but we all know it will be back up to the 80’s next week so let’s just accept what we have here.

So there’s this fast food chain here called Cook Out – it’s like elite fast food. Better than anything except for maaaybe Shake Shack (but only the Shake Shack on 72nd street in NYC) Yeah, I said what I said. Anyway, they have all these specialty milkshake flavors like “banana pudding” and “orange push-up” but my favorite is their raspberry cheesecake. So obviously I recreated it in popsicle form.

I mean, how precious are these?! That marble effect! And they taste even better than they look. Honestly you should just make them in general but they’d be perfect to serve for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day so file these away for next summer for sure!

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles

Ingredients:

RASPBERRY SAUCE:
12 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Juice from 1 lime

ICE CREAM BASE:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 oz graham cracker crumbs

Directions
1. First make the raspberry sauce by combining the raspberries, sugar, and lime juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Cook until the berries have softened and the sugar has dissolved completely. Then remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool.
2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. Then strain the puree over a large bowl to remove any seeds. Toss the seeds and chill the sauce completely in the fridge.
3. While the sauce chills, make the ice cream. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s smooth and creamy.
4. Add the milk and heavy cream to the cream cheese and mix until well combined. Put the mixture in the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer the cream mixture to your ice cream machine and follow manufacturer instructions. Don’t add the raspberry sauce during the churning process!
6. Once the ice cream is finished churning, it should be milkshake-like consistency.
7. Pull the raspberry sauce from the fridge and find your popsicle molds.
8. Fill the popsicle molds about 1/4th of the way with ice cream, then add a tablespoon of raspberry sauce, and continue to alternate between the two until the popsicle molds are filled.
9. Add popsicle sticks to the molds, cover them, and place the molds in the freezer to allow everything to freeze for a few hours at least (but ideally overnight)
10. Once ready, remove a popsicle slowly and carefully from the mold and enjoy!

Star Shaped Raspberry Hand Pies

As I write this, I’m on day 20 of a whole 30. I figured that with quarantine, it was kind of the perfect time to complete a whole 30 for the year since I didn’t finish the one I attempted in January. Without the usual temptations from work, social gatherings, networking events, etc. it’s been nice and easy so far!

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With that being said, I made sure to make a festive Memorial Day themed treat before I started the 30 days. Would you expect anything less of me?

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These star-shaped hand pies have the most delicious raspberry jam filling and super flakey, buttery crust. They’re drizzled with white icing (an allusion to the “stripes” part of “stars and stripes”!) They’re the perfect size to curb your sweet tooth without overloading on pie (although, is that even possible?) and the best part is you don’t have to use anything other than your hands to eat them. Wahoo!

Star Shaped Raspberry Jam Hand Pies

ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup butter, chilled and cubed

1/3 cup crisco, chilled cubed

~ 7 tablespoons ice water

raspberry jam

1 egg, for egg wash

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

a few drops of water (or lemon juice)

directions:

Process the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the cold butter and the shortening. Gradually add the water to the mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the crust holds together.

Flatten the crust into two rounds, wrap them in parchment paper, and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

When ready, roll out the dough disks and, using a cookie cutter, cut out the star shapes. Place whatever dough you’re not working with in the refrigerator, to keep cool. Assemble half the stars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the other half of the stars in the fridge.

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of jam to the center of each star. Cover these with the remaining star cut-outs. Use the back of a fork to press down all around the perimeter of each hand pie, this will seal the edges to prevent seepage, as well as create the crimping effect.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut a little cross in the center of each star so as to allow for venting.

Brush each assembled hand pie with the egg wash. Place all of the assembled hand pies in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Transfer the hand pies to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the hand pies cool, make the icing drizzle by combining the powdered sugar and a few drops of water (more or less, depending on desired consistency.) 

Once the hand pies are cooled, quickly drizzle the icing over the hand pies. The icing will harden quickly, then your pies are ready to enjoy!

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So, Memorial Day 2020. No real plans as of yet except I demand to be outside, weather permitting. I got some new kindle books delivered so at the very least, you can find me in the park on a picnic blanket. Have a good one, friends!

 

 

Fourth of July Firework Macarons

I totally meant to have this recipe up and posted 6 days ago, but I was in vacay mode pretty much the minute I stepped onto my first plane. Sorry!

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I’m back now, unpacked, semi-organized (I had the forethought to deep clean my apartment before I left so I came back to a pristine home and a bunch of struggling plants) and I guess ready to get back to real life. Kind of. I could have used an entire month of vacation, to be honest. At least my real life has been pretty good lately!

So, these macarons. I made them as part of a variety pack for my mama as a belated Mother’s Day gift. They’re Fourth of July themed, as you can see from the red, white, and blue vanilla buttercream stars piped in between the two cookies. As a fun surprise I also added some pop-rocks to the mix! When you bite into the macaron itself, you get a popping, firework sensation right in your mouth!

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Fourth of July Firework Macarons

ingredients

for the macaron shells

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup white granulated sugar

for the buttercream

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1/8th tsp salt

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp heavy cream

red and blue food gels

1 packet of strawberry poprocks

directions

sift 1 cup of powdered sugar and 3/4ths cup almond flour into a large bowl. whisk to combine, then set aside.

add the egg whites to a metal mixing bowl and start whisking on one of the lower settings (I start with a 4 on my Kitchenaid) until the egg whites start to look frothy. add half of the granulated sugar to the egg whites, then increase the speed to a medium (7 for me) until whites start to foam. add the remaining granulated sugar, then increase the speed to high (9 works well) and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.

remove the bowl containing the meringue from the stand mixer. add half of the dry ingredients directly into the bowl containing the meringue, then use a spatula to gently fold meringue around and over until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. add the remaining dry ingredients and continue to fold the batter. avoid over-mixing by going slowly. the batter is ready when it falls off the spatula in ribbons, but isn’t runny.

transfer the batter to a piping bag with a large round tip. pipe small, uniform circles onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper by holding the piping bag at a 45 degree angle to sheet. make sure not to overcrowd the sheets.

once finished with piping the batter, take each cookie sheet and carefully but forcefully bang the bottom of each corner on the countertop, to help release air bubbles in the batter! let the cookies sit for 35 minutes. preheat the oven to 305 F while you wait.

bake the cookies on the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. remove from the oven but let the cookies cool completely before touching them.

while the cookies cool, make your vanilla buttercream by creaming the butter in a clean mixing bowl. add the sugar, and mix on low until the sugar is incorporated into the butter but there are still small clumps present. add the remaining ingredients, and mix on medium until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.

divide the buttercream into 3 bowls. add & mix in the red food gel to one bowl, the blue to another, and leave the 3rd bowl containing the white frosting alone. transfer each frosting color to separate piping bags, each fitted with a star tip.

pipe individual dollops of frosting onto one macaron cookie, alternating colors throughout. repeat with half of the shells. sprinkle pop rocks on top of the frosting, then sandwich with another, clean macaron shell. enjoy immediately!

*macarons can be frozen then moved to the refrigerator right before you’re ready to eat them. however, the pop rocks lose effect during this process.

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