Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

It's now late April and I'm thoroughly under the impression that the seasons are going directly from winter to summer in Boston. Spring has been a roller coaster with some days edging into the 70s only to be combated with windshield frost and fallen daffodils later in the week. I came across a phrase, I'm not sure where, called "dressing optimistically". This practice involves wearing things like bright floral prints and ballet flats even when weather certainly doesn't support it. Basically, you're do darn over it that you break out your summer clothes box and don't look back. If you dress for the season - maybe the season will change? I bring this up because I'm trying something similar this week - eating optimistically.  Maybe if my grocery trips consist of watermelon, lemonade, and hamburgers it will be warm?  I'm taking my first stand with ice cream - a true summer staple. Wish me luck! 

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
20-25 frosted animal crackers, chopped
sugar cones
white chocolate candy melts
rainbow nonpareils 

Directions: 

For the Ice Cream

1. Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and add the bean to the mixture as well. Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.  Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. 

3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 180 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

4. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight.

5. When ready to churn the ice cream, freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Stir in chopped frosted animal crackers. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for 4-6 hours.

For the Sugar Cones:

1. Melt down white chocolate candy melts and place in a small bowl or measuring cup. You don't want the vessel to be too large because you want the chocolate to be deep so you can dip the cones. 

2. Dip each sugar cone in melted white chocolate about 1/4"-1/2" deep. Roll the still wet chocolate in rainbow nonpareils. Place cones upside down on a piece of wax paper or a silpat and place in fridge to harden. 

When ice cream is ready, scoop into sugar cones and garnish with more sprinkles or a frosted animal cracker! 

Ice cream recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Frosted Animal Cracker Ice Cream Cones | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Marathon Monday

It's my first Patriot's Day in Boston and I'm very excited to experience my first Marathon Monday. I've always been one to get emotional about overcoming immense obstacles in sports and this marathon feels no different in that respect. As I walked down Boylston today, I felt the busy energy in the street, saw the rafters towering and ready for spectators, and observed a semi circle of huddled Bostonians and visitors at a memorial set up with daffodils and racing flats. I weaved through the crowd of excited blue-and yellow clad marathon-enthusiasts all clutching clear Adidas shopping bags and digital cameras . I began to feel pressure in the back of my eyes and my chest get tight. I felt an admiration for this race, and a true pride for this city. So much had happened in the spot that I was standing in on Boylston just one year ago. Even though it was terrifying and hateful - this year these feelings and moments will be replaced by those of happiness, accomplishment, and strength. Congrats to all running this year's Boston Marathon - my heart and cheers are with you!

From Top to Bottom
1. I recently received a Le Creuset spatula and absolutely love it! Solid everyday kitchen tool.
2. Big fan of Joanne Chang and her Boston based bakeries - Flour! Check out these Oreos
3. This bright yellow Kitchenaid blender is great for a pre-run smoothie or green juice! 
4. Continue carb-loading with Blue and Yellow Sprinkles for a post-marathon cupcake celebration! 
5. These homemade granola bars deserve a gold medal in deliciousness
6. Love the vibrant royal blue Soda Stream for a post-race bubbly drink! 

 

Whole Wheat Matzo

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

It's Passover! I remember making matzo while growing up in Hebrew school but I haven't for years. I know matzo has a bad rep for tasting like cardboard but I've actually always enjoyed it with jam, peanut butter, or honey. Matzo is so easy to make and only takes three ingredients. The whole wheat version tasted a lot like pita bread but I still liked it a lot! Anyone giving up bread for the week? 

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Ingredients:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 475°. Have ready a two baking sheets lined with parchment, a rolling pin, and a fork for pricking holes.

2. Mix together the flour,water, and salt. Knead briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, 3-5 minutes. If the dough sticks to your hands or the counter, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is no longer sticky.

3. Cut the dough into egg-sized pieces and sprinkle the counter with flour. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough as thin as you can. Cut out rounds of dough with a 3" cookie cutter. You could really do any shape you want! I did a cute scalloped cutter. Transfer to a baking sheet and prick it all over to prevent the dough from puffing in the oven.

4. Repeat until the baking sheet is full. The breads won't spread, so you can put the pieces fairly close together. Bake until crisp, 5-6 minutes.

5. While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch. Continue baking and rolling until all the matzo has been cooked. Enjoy - Happy Passover! 

Whole Wheat Matzo | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Recipe adapted from: The Kitchn
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Wrestlemania 30 Cake

Every Monday night Zac and a few of his friends (who have dubbed themselves the "ring boiz") come over and watch WWE's RAW. It's three hours of half-naked angry dudes throwing themselves around a ring in what's been described to me as an "aggressive male soap opera". At first I resisted and quietly blogged in the back of the room while attempting to unload my excess baked goods on Zac's pals (successfully) but overtime, I became half-interested in the story lines, the characters, and even found myself cheering for certain wrestlers while despising others. 

When I heard how important Wrestlemania 30 would be to this WWE-averse, I wanted to do something nice for the Ring Boiz. They were chatting about catering and getting a big party together to watch it so I thought I would make a nice big cake.  It's been a while since I worked with fondant but I found myself fall right back into it. I am so pleased with how this cake came out! Also - big index finger up to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan - YES! YES! YES! 

Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Wrestlemania 30 Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)