Tuesdays with Dorie: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

Peanut butter cookies – yum!  I have had my eye in these cookies for a while.  They look so good in the picture and look so easy too.  Rocker Dude, as usual, was a bit more hesitant and always steered me elsewhere.  But now I had an excuse and a reason why I had to make these cookies.

This week’s recipe was hosted by Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine – thanks for choosing this recipe!

I took off work on Wednesday because the Little Rocker’s playgroup has a policy that after being off all of August, they like to ease back into service.  So Tuesday, the Little Rocker was in playgroup for two hours, Wednesday until 12:30 and Thursday until 5 pm.  Rocker Dude took off Tuesday, so Wednesday was my turn.  It was his first day teaching so there was no way he could take off.

Little Rocker with her new knapsack.

I decided that my day off would be super-productive.  After dropping off the Little Rocker at 7:30, I went to the store and did some grocery shopping.  There are a ton of sales now because of the holiday coming up (Rosh Hashana).  I shlepped it all home (now I don’t normally use Yiddish in my posts, but sometimes it just really expresses the reality – carrying 40 lbs. of groceries home – a 15 minute walk – was quite a shlep!), and then proceeded to bake.  I made the cinnamon swirl bread that TWD made a couple of months ago – it tasted just as good!  And I made these cookies (I also did laundry and cleaned the house, but who wants to hear about that?)

I was right, these cookies are really easy to make.  Pretty much mix everything and dump it in.  I did not add the peanuts in order to respect a certain person’s preference that there be no nuts in his food and they were still yummy.

Peanut butter cookies all laid out on a pan - ready to go in...

When the Little Rocker woke up from her three-hour long nap after coming home from playgroup, she had a hot cookie waiting for her, and she gobbled it up.  Rocker Dude’s comment was, “These are the best cookies you have made so far.”  Now he doesn’t really mean that because there are two cookies that he likes more, but of the cookies that I made for the TWD group, these are the best so far (maybe he was just remembering last week’s cookies and thought that anything was better than those!)

Afternoon snack of Peanut Butter Crisscrosses and milk - okay I didn't let the Little Rocker have all those cookies - I'm not that bad a mom! She had one, then dinner and then another one 🙂

Check out the recipe on Jasmine’s site here and see what other TWD bakers did here.


Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

It’s summer right?  That means that it is ice cream season, right?  So I can indulge in any flavor I want as long as it is summer, right?  I mean it should all balance out by how little ice cream I eat in the winter.

We had decided this week that we needed to put more effort into preparing dinner on Saturday evening.  Normally we wait until the Sabbath is over to eat (it ends when the stars start coming out at night) but in the summer that can be really late and we end up snacking all afternoon because we are so starving.  So we decided to ask our friend E. to pick up some bagels for us next to her office and we would have bagels and spreads.  Then we hit on the idea of inviting E. and her husband A. (our Star Trek watching friends – we are trying to watch every episode of Star Trek ever – it’s taking a while) for dinner.  If we were going to have guests, then why not make something special.  I decided to make ice cream, perfect for the weather.

Heating up the cream with the cocoa.

I have made a caramel ice cream and mint ice cream, so I really wanted to try chocolate ice cream.  I am not such a chocolate ice cream person, but other people like it and I have to know how to make that too.

So I found this double chocolate peanut butter ice cream recipe at Joy the Baker’s site.  Reese’s are my favorite treat. (I have a secret emergency stash in the back of the freezer – if there is ever a nuclear war, at least my Reese’s will be safe.)  How could I pass this up?  It was also an ice cream without a custard base, just cream and milk, so I had to try it and see if it worked as well as a custard base.

Ice cream base with ganache.

I made the ice cream Thursday night, completely forgetting that I had to whisk it up every hour (no ice cream maker, what can you do?).  I looked at the ice cream and I looked at the clock and said, forget it.  I put the ice cream in the freezer and went to sleep.  When I woke up Friday morning, I put it on the counter to defrost a bit, mixed it up really well and let it freeze again.  Perfect texture.  I took it out again about an hour later to pour in the peanut butter and put it back in the freezer.

Peanut butter added into the ice cream.

When it came time to serve it Saturday evening, I forgot to take it out 15 minutes before, so it was a bit frozen, but it was well received.  I served it with whipped cream and sprinkles (the Little Rocker commandeered those though).  Even A. who doesn’t like peanut butter, liked the ice cream.

Verdict:  it’s not as rich as a custard base ice cream is, but overall, success!!

Recipe (from Joy the Baker):

2 1/2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch of salt

3 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup smooth salted peanut butter ( I like the all natural peanut butter)

In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir together 2 cups whole milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Heat until the milk start to steam, but before it starts to boil.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk and the cornstarch. Stir until no lumps remain.

Add the cornstarch mixture to the heated milk and chocolate mixture and bring to a low boil. Boil until thickened. The mixture will look the consistency of chocolate pudding. Remove from flame.

In a small sauce pan, heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir the cream and chocolate mixture until incorporated.

Stir the cream and chocolate mixture into the cooling chocolate ice cream base. Place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap or a lid, and put in the fridge until cool.

Once cool, follow the manufacturers instructions on the ice cream maker to churn ice cream. Once the mixture has chilled and thickened in the ice cream maker, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of peanut butter (it helps to heat the peanut butter a little until it drizzles better). Don’t over mix. You want a nice ribbon of peanut butter running through the ice cream.

Transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container and fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Cover and freeze until solid.