Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ice cream sandwiches recipes for Fourth of July

We could spend a lot of time fussing about who invented the ice-cream sandwich and when. Or we could get on with it and make some. For the Fourth of July _ and the rest of the summer.
You could use your ice-cream maker to make the cool stuff at home, with coaching from Tessa Arias‘ book "Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich" (Running Press, $18). Maybe her recipe for strawberry cream cheese or caramel chocolate swirl? Or a cookie from her dozens of recipes _ maybe salted macadamia nut or bacon chocolate chip?
Don‘t have an ice-cream maker? No problem. Just sub premium ice cream for the homemade, as Donna Egan does in "Ice Cream Sandwiches: 65 Recipes for Incredibly Cool Treats" (Ten Speed Press, $16.99). Her book offers lots of ice-cream recipes but also ideas for doctoring purchased ice cream, such as swirling butterscotch sauce into vanilla for smooshing between snickerdoodles.
So get creative. Mix and match cookies with ice creams. Maybe customize plain ice cream with mix-ins. Scoop ice cream on a cookie. Top with another. Enjoy. We‘ve got a cookie recipe to get you started, plus plenty of ice-cream-sandwich-making tips.
Pick a favorite cookie recipe. Drop cookies are easy to work with, says Arias, who uses a 2-tablespoon, spring-loaded ice-cream scoop, then rolls the scooped dough in her hands to smooth before flattening slightly and baking. Try: chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter or gingersnap cookies.
Egan uses brownies (chocolate or butterscotch baked in larger pans so they‘re thinner), plus madeleines, meringues and coconut macaroons.
Or purchase good-quality cookies.
Choose a premium ice cream or gelato (Haagen-Dazs Limoncello, Ben & Jerry‘s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch _ you get the idea).
Choose a flavor that complements the cookie. A few ideas: coffee-flavored ice cream with cinnamon cookies; lemon with shortbread cookies.
Use two small scoops of different, but complementary flavors of ice cream, says Arias.
Choose a plain premium ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, coffee). Then soften 1 quart in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Turn into a bowl, then use a knife to swirl in about 1/2 cup of mix-ins. Maybe coffee ice cream plus caramel sauce and mini-chocolate chips. Or vanilla ice cream with seedless raspberry preserves and chopped toasted almonds.
Choose one or two mix-ins from these categories:
Sauces: Caramel, fudge, seedless fruit preserves
Crunch: Toasted nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts)
Sweet: Chocolate chips, coconut, coarsely chopped candies
Dip edge of finished sandwiches in melted chocolate. Roll in decorating sprinkles, crushed candies, tiny chips (chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter), coconut, chopped nuts. Arias suggests: crushed pretzels, crumbled bacon.
Wrap frozen sandwiches in cooking parchment or food-safe decorative paper, says Arias, and tie with raffia or ribbon.
Freeze prepared sandwiches an hour or two to firm.
For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap. Store up to a week.
To serve, let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly.
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 9 to 10 minutes per batch
Freeze: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Makes: About 18 cookies, enough for 9 sandwiches
Adapted from "Cookies & Cream," by Tessa Arias. The dough is somewhat sticky; we found it easier to handle after chilling it for 30 minutes.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Refrigerate, 30 minutes.
Drop 2 tablespoon-size balls of dough onto parchment-paper lined baking sheets. Slightly flatten each. Bake 9-10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. Freeze cookies until firm, at least 1 hour.
To assemble, top 1 cookie with a scoop of slightly softened ice cream. Top with another cookie. Gently press down to form a sandwich. Wrap the sandwich in parchment or wax paper; freeze immediately. Repeat with remaining cookies. Freeze at least 1 hour before serving.

Alicia Silverstone Starts Breast Milk Bank for Vegans

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If there’s one thing actress Alicia Silverstone isn’t Clueless about, it’s promoting her ideas about healthy living.  She’s been an advocate for the raw food diet, pre-chewing her infant son Bear’s food, and now, she’s helping a special group of mothers who can’t breastfeed.

She’s launching a breast milk sharing project for vegans only, for women who can’t breastfeed but would like their babies to get breast milk from moms who eat zero animal products.

Silverstone, 36, writes on her blog, The Kind Life, “Because we are a community of beautiful souls who recognize the importance of food as health, I say we help support those mamas and babies who need a hand during one of the most important times in their lives. It’s why I’m starting the Kind Mama Milk Share, a way for moms to connect with other moms in their area. If you have milk to share -- post it! If you are in need of milk–post it! Think of all the babies we can help raise together!”

Silverstone says her breast milk brainchild was the inspiration of Rachel Holtzman, a vegan friend who had breast reduction surgery a few years before her pregnancy and was having trouble making milk for her newborn son, Levi.

“You’re in this incredibly vulnerable place,” Holtzman, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., told ABC News. “I sought out vegan breast milk, because I come to this from a food is medicine standpoint.”

So Holtzman reached out to Silverstone for help, and donations poured in.

“Women have just been incredibly generous and I’m hoping that with their help, we’ll be able to keep Levi exclusively breast-fed for as long as possible,” said Holtzman.

Some experts say while Silverstone’s heart is in the right place, her breast milk sharing initiative should include screening the milk for diseases.

“In an ideal world, breastfeeding is fantastic,” said Dr. Joanne Stone, the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship director at Mount Sinai medical center.  “It really promotes excellent health for a newborn, but unscreened breast milk has a lot of concerns, such as the transmission of viruses such as HIV, hepatitis, and bacteria such as syphilis.”

Silverstone wouldn’t comment, but Holtzman feels that taking into account the breast milk donor’s lifestyle is key.

“Instead of having to ask really probing, very personal questions, going to a place like The Kind Life, took that out of the equation and we could make the safe assumption that the person on the donating end values those things as much as we did,” Holtzman said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio