how to: peppermint mocha ice cream

Ever since I discovered Kevin and Amanda’s method for making homemade ice cream without a machine, I’ve been hooked.  I’ve made Twix Fudge Swirl, Apple Pie, Coffee, and some knock-your-socks-off Peach Cobbler Ice Cream.  Since I just made my croissant “how-to” (and am currently obsessed with making gifs), I decided I’d do a photo tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream, because everyone should know how incredibly easy and delicious homemade ice cream is!
This time, I made peppermint mocha ice cream.

Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks…

free gif creator

Pour condensed milk into a separate bowl,

gif creator free

Add in some melted butter,

creatorS

Some crushed candy canes,

And some chopped dark chocolate too.

 Finish with 1 tablespoon instant coffee, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Fold it all together…

Pop it in the freezer for a few hours…

Take it out and enjoy the creamiest, most delicious ice cream ever.  Doesn’t that look good? The possibilities are endless!


With love,
Erica

how to: croissants

I received a request on my recipe for butter croissants to do a photo tutorial.  I have to admit, the recipe can look quite daunting when printed in black and white (almost as daunting as the history outline I should be writing now).  But I have made croissants numerous times using this technique and every batch has been golden, buttery, crunchy and delicious.  In fact, I think croissants are easier (there I said it) than making regular yeast bread.  The dough proofs overnight in the fridge, and I don’t have to worry about all the yeast-y terrors that come along with counter-top rises.

savory ham and swiss croissants — sprinkled with poppy and sesame seeds

This is my very first photo tutorial, so bear with me. (I even used some gifs… ohhh so fancy)

bliss is dark coffee with freshly whipped cream and a homemade nutella croissant

I decided to do my tutorial in black and white because:
a) the light in my kitchen is horrendous at night
b) it looks kind of vintage-y and Parisian, you feel?

up close and personal with a nutella croissant

I hope this tutorial makes the joy of croissantery (is that a word? now it is.) more accessible. There is no satisfaction greater than biting into a perfect, crisp croissant that you baked yourself.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:

Dough:
4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon + 1 scant teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt

Butter layer:
1 1/4 cups cold, unsalted butter

Egg Wash:
1 egg

Fillings (optional):
Chocolate
Ham and Cheese
Nutella
Cinnamon sugar
etc.

Day 1:

Combine all of the dough ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, and medium speed for an additional 3 minutes.
Place the dough on a lightly floured plate, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2:

Cut the cold butter
lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slabs (about 3 slabs per stick)

Arrange the pieces on a sheet of parchment paper to form a 6×6 inch
square.

Top with another sheet of parchment and pound the butter with even strokes with a rolling pin — or if you’re like me and lost your rolling pin, a bottle of balsamic vinegar :).
(how in the world did I manage to lose my rolling pin?!)

As the pieces begin to stick together, use more force and roll it into a 7.5×7.5 inch square.
Trim the edges off and pound them into the center of the square.
Refrigerate while you roll out the dough.

Unwrap the dough and lay it on a lightly floured surface.
Roll it into a 10.5 inch square.

Take the butter square out of the fridge and unwrap and place it on the dough so that the points of the butter square are centered along the sides of the dough square.  Fold the flaps of dough over the butter and press the edges together to completely seal the butter inside the dough.

gif creator free

Lightly flour the top and bottom of the dough, and roll it into an 8×24 inch rectangle, focusing on lengthening rather than widening. Pick
up one short end of the dough and fold it over the dough, leaving one
third of the dough exposed, and roll it over once more (fold the dough
into thirds)
Freeze for 20 minutes.
Repeat this rolling and folding process 2 more times.

creator

After you’ve done that rolling and folding process a total of three times, roll the dough into a long and narrow strip (8×44 inches) *hang in there! its a great arm workout!

    Repeat the folding, freezing, and rolling process 2 more times.
    After, roll into a long, 8×24 inch rectangle!
    And cut into triangles:

    Add the fillings of your choice, and roll that baby up!

    free gif creator

    You could use Nutella,

    or cinnamon sugar,

    Brush each croissant with egg wash,

    creator

    And pop the baking sheet in the fridge overnight!

    In the morning, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Take the croissants out of the fridge and brush with a second egg wash.
    Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  Enjoy! (and bask in the glory of having made your own croissants)

    Be sure to take lots of pictures so you can show off to your friends later!