Cold Steeped Vanilla Mezcal Ice Cream Recipe

You guys.  This ice cream.  I can’t even.  But I will, so let’s dive in.

Vanilla Mezacal Ice Cream

Cold brew coffee is big right now.  I had my first cold brew at Blue Bottle in San Francisco a few years ago, and I loved every drop of it.  The idea behind the cold brew process is that the ground beans sit in cold water for a longer period of time until the flavors leach out into the water.  The resulting cold brew coffee has a sweeter, more complex taste, because heat was not used to extract flavor.  I recently learned that you can apply a similar technique to the ice cream making process.  I’ve tested this technique, and I’m here to report that it’s pretty freakin’ incredible.  Continue reading for the ice cream recipe.

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Plum Galette + Updated Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

Plums are in season right now, so get your hands one some good ones while you still can!

Plum Galette

I recently managed to get my hands on a number of Flavor King Plums from Fog Hollow Farm located up near San Francisco.  These plums are absolutely gorgeous.  Vibrantly-hued and fragrant, the Flavor Kings just explode with sweet-tart juice at first bite, and somehow they manage to stay firm when ripe.  A perfect fruit for baking!

To honor this seasonal beauty, I decided to slice and bake them into flaky, golden galette (like a pie, but easier to make).  This recipe starts with a simple mix of white sugar, brown sugar, flour and salt, tossed together with the sliced plums.  The slices are then arranged in concentric circles on top of a smooth slab of butter-flecked pie dough. I like to make my own pie dough (more about that below), but you could certainly use store-bought. The galette is formed by bringing the sides of the dough up around the fruit, and then everything is baked until golden and bubbly.

This galette captures the pure essence of these Flavor King Plums. Enjoy as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I should mention too that this recipe is more of a template that can be applied to many other seasonal fruits. Don’t have gorgeous plums? Try peaches, nectarines, apricots, pluots or berries instead. You could even use apples or pears in the autumn months! Continue reading for the recipe.

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Peach Gingersnap Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

It has been so HOT in San Diego recently.

Peach Gingersnap Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

For those of you in typically warmer summer climates, you may laugh at me when I say that it’s been an uncomfortable 75 – 80 for the past week.  But those seemingly normal temps have been accompanied by a thick blanket of humidity, something that we rarely get here in San Diego.  I used to deal with humidity all the time when I lived in New Jersey, but I’m coming up on my 11th year in SD, and I’ve completely lost all tolerance.

This uncharacteristic heat has me craving cold, sweet treats nighty.  My freezer is stocked with various tubs of homemade and store-bought ice creams, including this Fresh Peach Ice Cream.  Made with both a blended peach puree and macerated bits of yellow peach, this egg-free ice cream is just packed with peach flavor.  Like scoopable summer.

When I’m feeling lazy, I’ll enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream with some fridge staples, including jam, caramel sauce, or ginger syrup.  OR I’ll make ice cream sandwiches with store-bought cookies.  When I’m feeling a bit more ambitious, I’ll whip up a fresh batch of cookies for ice cream sandwiches.  Here, I’ve paired this Fresh Peach Ice Cream with dark, glistening Gingersnaps.  These cookies are bursting with notes of ginger, star anise, brown sugar and molasses. Ginger pairs harmoniously with peach here, forming an addicting sweet treat.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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St. Germain Ice Cream Float

I’m keeping things short and sweet today.

St. Germain Ice Cream Float

This ice cream float has been… floating around in the back of mind for almost two years now.  Back in August 2013, Jorge and I were exploring the Seattle food scene when we came upon Hot Cakes, a small restaurant that specializes in boozy milkshakes and molten chocolate cakes.  There were so many tasty things on the menu (including a St. Germain Float), and we wanted to order all of them!  Unfortunately, stomach space was minimal (we just had dinner), and the St. Germain Float option was trumped by an Extra-Dark Caramel Milkshake, a shake that I later recreated at home.

As we were leaving Hot Cakes that evening, I asked a waitress what was in the St. Germain Float, and she replied, “A scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of St. Germain poured over.”  Seems simple enough right?  Well I tried this at home, and it was delicious, but I don’t think I would really call it a float.  Where was the soda?  The bubbles?  With a few simple additions, I finally landed on this recipe.

Made with just 4 ingredients, my St. Germain Ice Cream Float starts with a mix of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and sparkling water.  A makeshift elderflower soda if you will.  The lemon balances out the sweetness of the liqueur while the bubbly provides a refreshing snap.  To finish, drop in a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy.  So simple.  SO delicious.  The pairing of elderflower and vanilla just works in all the right ways.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Cinnamon Chile de Arbol Donut Holes

National Doughtnut Day is coming up on June 5th.  Let’s celebrate.

Cinnamon Chile Donut Holes

These Cinnamon Chile de Arbol Donut Holes are inspired by my latest donut obsession in San Diego, Nomad Donuts.  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of donut photos that feature their tasty creations.  Nomad regularly serves flavored donut holes, and my favorite is their cinnamon chile de arbol variety.  So much so, that I decided to recreate them at home.  After several wonderful rounds of recipe testing, I finally landed on a method that may just be tastier than the original :)

This recipe starts with a simple mix of freshly ground, toasted chiles de arbol, ground cinnamon and sugar.  A topping for the fried donut holes that’s got the recognizable warmth of cinnamon sugar paired with the exciting spark of dried chile.  Toasting the chiles before grinding provides another layer of flavor that works well with the cinnamon.  This spice-flecked topping is tossed with the freshly fried donut holes, creating a lip-tingling treat perfect for breakfast or dessert.  Continue reading for the recipe plus ideas for a National Doughnut Day party!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Hand Pies

One of the most classic on-the-go eats, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, gets a dessert makeover in this recipe for Peanut Butter & Jelly Hand Pies.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Hand Pies

Stuffed with crunchy peanut butter cream and tangy grape jelly, these golden brown beauties would be a perfect addition to any picnic or afternoon at the beach.  And given that it’s going to be 80+ in San Diego this week, and I’ve got the next 4 days off, I see an afternoon or two at the beach in my very near future.

Luckily, these hand pies are super simple to prepare, so I can easily whip them up as needed.  The key?  Store-bought puff pastry!  Start by swirling together some cream cheese, chunky peanut butter, honey, sugar and milk until fully mixed.  If you can manage to not eat the entire filling with just a spoon, spread some on cut discs of thawed puff pastry.  Ideally, the puff pastry would be made with just butter (Dufour brand), but I’ve also made this recipe with cheaper types of puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm, I’m looking at you), and it turns out just as well.  Next, top each swath of peanut butter filling with a spoonful of grape jelly, then seal the pie closed with another puff pastry disc.  Be sure to crimp the edges all pretty with a fork.  After a quick bake in the oven and a brief rest, you’ll be enjoying these warm, flaky pockets of goodness.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Dark Chocolate Brownies with Pistachios and Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

I’ve got a real treat for you guys today.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Brownies with Salted Caramel

Take a moment and just indulge in these deep, dark chocolate brownies.  The delicious mess on top features several layers of rich, salty caramel, grassy shelled pistachios, and glistening flecks of flakey sea salt.  I just love the combination of salty pistachios and bittersweet chocolate.  But if you’re not a pistachio fan, you can definitely substitute in pecans or walnuts.

I’ve actually have another recipe on Kitchen Konfidence for salted caramel sauce.  My 2011 recipe has several additional ingredients and steps that act like training wheels to help a home cook achieve a delicious caramel sauce without worry of burning or texture issues.  My old recipe also has more butter and heavy cream, resulting in a more mellow caramel flavor.  Since then, I’ve had much practice with making caramel at home, and I can now make a perfect sauce with minimal effort and ingredients.  I’m sharing that Easy Salted Caramel Sauce recipe today too.  It’s so fast and comes together in a matter of moments!  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Top 14 Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year everyone!!

Meyer Lemon Chia Pudding 2014 was a taaaaasty year.  While compiling the roundup below, I noticed some similar themes and ingredients amongst my most popular recipes.  Particularly:

  • Chia pudding
  • Cocktails
  • Brown butter
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Grilling

YUM!!  Continue reading for 14 of my best recipes on KK.  What was your favorite recipe from 2014?  Did you make any of the recipes below?

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Five-Spice Shortbread Cookies with Candied Clementines

Let’s talk Holiday cookies.

5 Spice Shortbread with Candied Clementine My standards are chocolate chip cookies, and super spicy ginger snaps.  But each year, I like to throw a new cookie into the mix to keep things interesting.  This year, it’s these Five-Spice Shortbread Cookies with Candied Clementines.

I don’t even try to hide the fact that I love Chinese Five-Spice Powder.  The five spices are: cinnamon, clove, star anise, fennel seed and Szechwan peppercorns.  Traditionally, it’s more of a savory spice, but I love using it in desserts and drinks.  It’s similar to pumpkin pie spice, but with a bit more intrigue.  Here, I’m spiking a traditional shortbread cookie with a tablespoon of fresh, fragrant Chinese Five-Spice Powder.  The rich buttery flavor of the shortbread works perfectly with the bouquet of pungent spices.

The cookies are finished with a slice of freshly Candied Clementine.  Clementines just scream holiday to me, and I always have them in a bowl in my kitchen during the season.  The Candied Clementines provide a mellow, sweet citrus note that really compliments the not-so-sweet cookie.  They also give these cookies some contrast in texture.  The cookies are tender and crumbly.  The clementines are a bit more substantial with a pleasant chew.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Maple Bacon Cookies

Maple Bacon Cookies Candied Bacon Cookie Ingredients Cookie Dough Maple Bacon Cookies start with a brown sugar-sweetened dough spiked with pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and maple extract. Tiny bits of maple-caramelized bacon are then folded in, providing a salty counter to the sweet dough.  These cookies are like a warm blanket wrapped around you on a cool autumn evening.  So so comforting.

Although bacon desserts are fairly widespread nowadays, I still encounter people who raise a skeptical eye at the idea.  If you are one of those people, just think of these cookies as a plate of pancakes and bacon, but in cookie-form.  They are so damn tasty, and completely addicting.

Be sure to use good quality maple syrup here (not maple-flavored syrup).  Maple extract can be found at any regular grocery store.  Finally, this dough requires a 1-hour chill, so plan accordingly.

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