Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ahhh, February. Oh how I love this month. Our first hint of Spring is here, Valentine’s Day (or, even better, Galentine’s Day!) is right around the corner, and I can eat heart-shaped sugar again.

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So, today I’m sharing my made-from-scratch raspberry ice cream sandwiches. They’re best made ahead of time, which is actually ideal because the last thing you want to do on date night or Valentine’s Day is be distracted by a labor intensive dessert. The taste can only be described as romantic af. And the wow factor is a big payoff – this looks a lot more impressive than it actually is.

Win, win, win in my book. 😘

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Here’s what you do.

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

ingredients

for the cookies:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

¾ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

for the ice cream: 

1.5 cups fresh raspberries

3/4 cup whole milk

1.5 cups heavy cream

2/3rd cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

 

directions

for the ice cream:

add the raspberries to a food processor and pulse until roughy chopped.

in a mixing bowl combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and raspberries. stir to combine, then transfer to an ice cream maker for churning. follow manufacturer instructions.

take a 9×13 inch baking dish and fit a piece of parchment paper inside it so that it completely covers the bottom and all sides. transfer the ice cream to the baking dish, spreading it out till it’s flat and level. Place the dish in the freezer for 4 hours, or ideally overnight.

for the cookies:

preheat oven to 350 F. take a 13×18 inch baking sheet (preferably one with deep sides) and line it with parchment paper.

in a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

in a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. continue to beat on medium speed while you add the eggs. turn the speed down to low and add the flour mixture gradually. scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix quickly once more.

transfer batter to the baking dish, and use an offset spatula to spread it out so it’s level. place in oven and bake for 13 minutes. remove and let pan cool completely. once room temperature, place the dish in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight). 

to assemble:

once you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches, take the cold cookie dish out of the fridge and, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can manage. this works best as long as everything remains cool, so there’s no breaking/crumbling.

pull the ice cream tray out of the freezer and use the same cookie cutter as before to cut out your ice cream layers. sandwich ice cream hearts between two cookies and gently press together so everything adheres. put assembled ice cream sandwiches back into the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy!

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This weekend is the one I head to New Orleans with my sister, and then before we know it it’ll be Valentine’s Day! It’s a weird one this year as my valentine is still across the country from me, but my persistent love of holidays seems to be overcoming that particular obstacle. Oh well, guess I’ll just keep all these sweets for myself. 😉

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Valentine’s Day Recap

Valentine’s Day has come and passed, and it was the best day ever over here! I was lucky that the day coincided with one of my days off, which meant that I got to spend the majority of the day being festive with my honey. I shared a lot of the day on my Insta-stories, but I love doing holiday recaps here too. So here we go!

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Mark had some morning clients, so he was gone when I got up. While he was out I set up my main surprise for him, which was pink post-its in the shape of a heart, each with a different trait/thing I love about him. He loved it! We giggled together at some of the funnier traits I had written down (his ability to quote Family Guy verbatim, his inability to dance well), and I think he felt valued reading some of the more sentimental items (his loyalty, his impressive wealth of information, how kind he is to our families). 

He surprised me with a bouquet of fresh roses and a bag of fun-sized crunch bars (my absolute favorite)! Flowers are my love language, so I was ecstatic. We had a few hours to kill until our lunch date so I made us both lattes and we snuggled in bed drinking coffee and eating a few too many crunch bars before getting ready and heading downtown.

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This year we’d decided to go out for a lunch date instead of a fancy dinner. It worked better for Mark’s work schedule, but we also realized that it would be waaay less expensive and we wouldn’t have to battle as many crowds. It was the best hack ever! Mark took me to a beautiful restaurant in DTLA called Cafe Pinot, where we sat in the almost-empty garden section. The cocktails, food, and dessert mousse we shared were all incredible and the whole thing cost us half of what their dinner menu would have cost! We could talk at normal volumes (no crowds!) and nobody was around to look at me strangely while I took pictures of our food. 😉

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After lunch we got to spend a few more hours of quality time together, and I even convinced Mark to work out with me so we could burn off some of lunch. While he was with his afternoon clients I went home, cleaned up a little, painted my nails pink, and watched Enchanted because it just felt right for the occasion. I also finished his second lil surprise, this cute card that’s just so perfect for the two of us!

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For the grand finale of our perfect day, we decided to make a homemade heart-shaped pizza. Why the hell not, right?!

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I feel so loved and in love. Can you believe this is our 7th Valentine’s Day together? Some have been more extravagant than others (pretty sure this year is topping the list so far) but at the end of the day the thing that always makes it one of my favorite days is that we get to focus on being together. We don’t (or shouldn’t) really need a holiday to do that, but I like the cheesiness of it all just the same. Love you Mark Bell, lucky to have you as my valentine!

Hope you all felt loved and had a great day! I’m sad to see it go, but at least we have Mark’s Birthday to look forward to!

 

Valentine’s Day Themed Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

It’s almost February! Which means whole30 is almost over and Valentine’s Day is almost here! Which means GIMME ALL THE SWEET, CHOCOLATEY, HEART-SHAPED THINGS!

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I’m starting Valentine’s activities now, so that I don’t have to fit a bunch of stuff into a measly 2-week span of time. Plus, what’s wrong with getting into the festive spirit a little early!? I’m thinking a few more chocolate treats, some cozy recipes with some pink or red accents, and maybe a festive DIY or two? I’d also like to decorate a little (duh). Any suggestions here? I also need some inspiration to strike re: ways to make my valentine feel loved leading up to the big day. Also needs to be cost effective. Tall order, right?!

Remember how I said last year that brownies make me think of luv? I made another batch this year, except I did something a little different and followed Broma Bakery’s recipe for blackberry cheesecake layered brownies. So good, y’all!

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Here’s a funny story that my sister often reminds me of: When I was a kid (7 years old, I think?) I learned how to make cheesecake from scratch. Somehow I memorized the process REALLY quickly. One day I came home from school and, for some reason, I had the house to myself. This wasn’t abnormal for me, it was a different time back then! Anyway, I somehow made myself AN ENTIRE CHEESECAKE FROM SCRATCH. And then I PROCEEDED TO EAT THE ENTIRE THING. Like, the WHOLE CHEESECAKE!!! Apparently I felt pretty awful and had absolutely no appetite by the time my parents came home and had dinner on the table. Somehow I was found out (I probably forgot to wash the dishes, lol), and I haven’t really lived that down since. It’s cool. It’s one of my favorite stories about myself. I think it really shows how freakin’ weird and independent I was (am).

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Anyway, the gist of the recipe is this: You make a super chocolatey brownie layer. Then you add on a cheesecake layer and you drizzle the cheesecake layer with some blackberry juice. Then you use a toothpick to create a marbled effect. Once it bakes, it’s a gooey, chewy, fruity/chocolate-y mess and IT ROCKS.

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I froze these so that, once whole30 is officially over, we can enjoy them. But I’ll be honest, Mark and I both had one fresh out of the oven. Because life is short. And I don’t think it’s possible for my New Yorker boyfriend to pass up a treat made up of brownies AND cheesecake! And it’s not like I was going to let him cheat alone. That would be a bad girlfriend thing to do. So unsupportive.

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Here’s what I’d change though: I baked these for over an hour and they still came out too gooey to really cut into real, even shapes (as seen above). Next time, maybe I’d bake for longer. Or I’d bake the brownie layer for a few minutes before adding the other layer… to give it a head start? Or maybe I’ll just have refrigerate the dish longer before cutting into it. Whatever. They don’t look perfect, but they were yummy and the color is still to die for.

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As for what else has been going on around these parts: Right now I’m lying on the couch, drinking a homemade latte, watching the latest Grey’s Anatomy episode. I’ll go on a run in a bit and then head into work. It’s been so nice to have some free time without classes! Mark and I get the apartment to ourselves this weekend so I’m excited to have some uninterrupted quality time together (albeit limited, since I still work all weekend)! Hope you all have the best weekend!

xx