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!

Strawberry Shortcake Macarons

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Anyone notice an increase in macaron posts lately? I’m on a roll! After my little lemon successes, I decided to make my mom a variety pack as a belated Mother’s Day present. I made four flavors: mint chocolate chip, s’mores, the firecracker ones from my previous post, and these strawberry shortcake ones. These were definitely our favorite!

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They’re just so cute, looking like little bitty strawberry shortcakes! I’m a big fan of food that looks like miniature versions of other food. That’s something I can easily peg on my mama. She used to make cookies that looked just like tiny hamburgers, I was always so delighted by them. It’s like that feeling you get when you look at dollhouse furniture, ya know?

Anyway, here’s the recipe. You’ll see it’s verrry similar to the firecracker macaron recipe, and that’s because it is the exact same with just some slight variation in toppings. Work smarter not harder. I’m keeping these recipe posts short & sweet (kind of like these macs! ha!) because I’m preparing some fun lifestyle type posts in the next coming weeks and I don’t want y’all to get sick of me. Plus, Michael is coming over soon so we can play some flounder at tennis.

Strawberry Shortcake 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

strawberries, chopped or sliced thinly

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.

transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip, and pipe onto half of the macaron cookies. top the frosting with one slice of strawberry or a couple of chopped pieces then sandwich with another, clean macaron shell. enjoy immediately!

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Valentine Themed Mini Crunch Hearts & Rose Chocolate Truffles

It’s Mark’s birthday! Let’s celebrate by talking about the Valentine’s Day treats I made for him, failed to send him, and then ate all by myself.

I know. I’m a real catch. 😉

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I had every intention of sending them. I really did. But the post office was closed for two days after I made them…and also they tasted so good. I didn’t want them to go bad, you guys!

Anyway, I just had to share them. Even if it’s past Valentine’s Day. Because they’re so so easy (7 total ingredients for both candies!) and too freakin’ cute.

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My best friend often makes fun of me because my favorite chocolate bar ever is a crunch bar. I guess it’s an unpopular opinion. But last year, on Valentine’s Day, Mark showed up with a bunch of roses & a whole bag of mini crunch bars. We ate them in bed while we watched tv and drank lattes, and I’ve never felt more understood.

Since we couldn’t be together this year, I thought it would be cute to send him homemade crunch bars in the shape of hearts. As a little reminder of that sweet memory of ours! Then I decided to add in the truffles, for a little bit of variety and some festive flare.

Valentine's Day Themed Chocolates

ingredients:

17 Oreo cookies

6 oz softened cream cheese

pinch of salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon coconut oil

dried edible rose petals

1/2 cup rice cereal

directions:

for the truffles

line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper

pulse the oreos in a food processor until they are a fine powder. add in the cream cheese and a pinch of salt and mix till combined.

scoop a tablespoon of the oreo-cream-cheese batter into your hand and roll it into a perfectly round ball. place the truffle on the baking sheet. repeat with the rest of the batter.

place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the truffles to harden.

in a microwaveable bowl, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in 20 second increments. after each 20 second run, pull the bowl from the microwave and give the chocolate a good stir.

once the chocolate is completely melted with no chunks present, pull the truffles out of the fridge. dunk each truffle in the chocolate bowl, coating it entirely. use a fork to remove the truffle from the bowl and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. transfer the truffle back to the parchment paper.

once all the truffles are covered with chocolate, sprinkle the tops of with crumbled oreo cookies and flecks of rose petals. place the baking sheet back in the fridge for 1 more hour, so that the chocolate can fully harden.

for the crunch hearts

coat heart-shaped candy molds or ice trays with a little coconut oil. set aside for now.

use the leftover melted chocolate from the truffles (there’s no way you would have used it all! but if you did, just add more) and add the rice cereal. stir until all of the cereal is coated in chocolate.

carefully transfer the chocolate to the candy molds/ice trays. level off the tops using a knife.

place the chocolate molds in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

once hardened, pop the hearts out of the molds. freezing just makes them harder and easier to do this. you can store them in the fridge from here on out.

enjoy!

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