The boys are back in town … or, in our case, the girls.
For six years, my husband has been a dorm parent in a boys’ dorm at the private high school where he teaches and we live. We were in one dorm for a year; and then, when we moved into our last apartment, another dorm for five. I LOVED those boys – and still do, of course. We knew at the end of last year with us moving it was likely my husband would be assigned to a different dorm. And he was. A girls’ dorm.
Most of my part in dorm parenting has been baking for the boys. It brings me a lot of joy, and I think it helps them feel a little more like school is home. I was a little hesitant about the girls’ dorm, wondering if they would eat like the boys do. I have been assured from every side that yes, they do.
So now I have 40 high-school daughters. And they wiped this platter clean the other night. Mr. V said one even said she doesn’t usually love chocolate, but she really liked this cake!
We’re living in a house now, so we’re not in the dorm with the kids, which is kind of weird after six years of being in one. But we’re still on campus and eating in the dining hall and trying to love these kids like our own. So I’ll still be baking up a storm!
Slightly adapted from Barbara Bakes. I love bundt cakes because they are so easy to serve and don't require as much frosting (I am not huge on frosting), but you could also bake this as a 9x13 or a layer cake, adjusting the time.
1 c. (2 sticks) butter
5 T cocoa powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup water
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1 T honey or corn syrup
3 T heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray with flour and set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, stir together butter (cut into slices), cocoa powder, salt, and water. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add half of the butter mixture and stir until well blended. Add the remaining butter mixture and stir until uniform. Stir in sour cream and vanilla until uniform.
Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack or platter to cool completely.
Put chocolate chips into a microwave-safe measuring cup. Add honey or corn syrup and heavy cream on top. Microwave 30 second on high power, then stir together until the chocolate is smooth. If it will not all melt, give it another 15 seconds or so. (Do NOT add more heavy cream once the chocolate is hot; it will make it seize up.) Drizzle or spoon over top of the cake and let set.
I got an ice cream maker for Christmas this year. It’s the attachment for my KitchenAid, so I love that it’s not really a whole other appliance to store. I just throw the bowl in my chest freezer to keep it cold, and the couple other pieces up with the rest of my KA stuff.
But I had only made ice cream once! What is my problem? And that time it was a simple coconut milk ice cream for when we had David off dairy. That one turned out hard as a rock in the freezer, although the kids still loved it! But I was unsure of how to proceed with a more “normal” ice cream.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel big strips of zest from two lemons; set aside. Juice the lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice. Place juice and 2 T sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour into a measuring cup and place in the refrigerator to cool.
Ice Cream Base
To prepare, measure out the two cups of milk. Then, measure cornstarch into a small bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of the milk and whisk to make a slurry. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk salt into cream cheese and set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and the zest from the lemons. Bring to a bubble and let boil 4 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Remove from heat; add cornstarch slurry to the pot and whisk. Return to heat and let cook until it thickens somewhat, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat; whisk in cream cheese mixture. Pour ice cream base into a gallon-size freezer bag and seal; then place the bag in the ice water, submerging. Let sit for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is cool.
To make the ice cream
Set up your maker per instructions. Remove zest strips from the ice cream base, then add base to the maker. Start it up, then drizzle in the lemon syrup. Let churn until ice cream is the consistency of soft serve. Remove to a container with an airtight lid, pressing parchment paper onto the top of the ice cream before sealing with lid. Freeze for 2-4 hours before eating.
Remember how I said that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes? These cookies have convinced me that I need to give them another chance. I still don’t like pumpkin-flavored brewed coffee, but maybe the extra milk and stuff makes it tolerable. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever had one of the Starbucks PSLs; I just haven’t ever liked pumpkin and coffee together.
These cookies change everything!
I was baking some of my regular pumpkin cookies as a treat for my husband, who is having a crazy week at work. I started thinking about these coffee chocolate chip shortbreads I made for Bible study this weekend … and how I had some extra instant coffee hanging around … and how much people like those pumpkin spice lattes …
1 c. butter (can sub shortening or use a mixture of the two)
1 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T heavy cream
Sift the first five ingredients together (flour through salt).
In a separate bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.
Add dry ingredients all at once and stir gently to form a smooth batter.
Drop by tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use a small cookie scoop.) Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 350.
Let rest on cookie sheets for a few minutes when they come out of the oven; then transfer to cooling racks and let cool.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk, brown sugar, and coffee granules and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Once bubbling, cook two minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (I transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.)
When cool, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream into the sugar mixture. Spoon or drizzle over cooled cookies.