Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn)

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Mint Brownie Ice Cream: This ice cream begins with a creamy, refreshing mint base and is then filled with fudgy brownie chunks (2 cups worth!!), mini chocolate chips for crunch, and a fudge swirl to finish. So refreshing, chocolaty, and perfect for summer!

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn) | Sempre Dolce

Happy Friday!! I hope everyone had enjoyable Independence Day full of relaxation and good food.

Today – and next week, too – I’m back at it with the ice cream and this one juuusst might be my favorite yet (the ever changing favorite, right?). Here’s what we have going on:

  • A creamy, refreshing mint ice cream base.
  • Brownie Chunks. 2 cups worth.
  • Mini chocolate chips.
  • And a fudge swirl to finish.

If this combination sounds familiar, then you might just be my new friend. While not intended to be a copycat recipe (you know, the thing where you try and make the recipe taste EXACTLY like the store-bought, bakery, coffee shop, etc., etc. version), this Mint Brownie Ice Cream is my attempt to, shall we say, honor a delicious creation by Cold Stone Creamery. Have you been there? Their creations are a beautiful thing, my friend. Mmm… I can just taste the Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip right now – so, so good. Oh! Oh! and the Chocolate Devotion!! (My ode to that coming next week!)

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn) | Sempre Dolce

I was inspired to somewhat re-create two of my favorite “Creations” (Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip as well as Chocolate Devotion) after a recent visit to my local CSC and am delighted with the results (though, my waistline is not). Again, the idea was not to create an exact replica; just to take the elements I loved from each creation and make my own version.

You guys. I don’t even think I can tell you in words how delicious this combination is. It’s too good for words.

However, if I had to give specifics, what I particularly love about this flavor are the bites of fudgy brownie (2 cups of good-sized chunks, here) paired with the crunch from the mini chocolate chips – not to mention the fudge swirl besides! I also love the mint flavor that comes through, complimenting all components, but without stealing the show.

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn) | Sempre Dolce

This recipe is super easy to put together and perfect for these hot summer months. For the brownie, I used a box mix. I did this because I thought it would give a better end result when mixed with the ice cream and also, there really didn’t seem to be a need to go through the extra step of making homemade. But don’t let me stop you from making a batch of homemade brownies, if that’s what you prefer!

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn) | Sempre Dolce

For the fudge swirl, I did go the homemade route – again going with what I thought would give the best results – and made a batch of this delicious hot fudge sauce (it’s like pouring chocolate ganache on top of your ice cream; so chocolaty, smooth, and silky). This I made first and allowed it to cool at room temperature for about an hour. The recipe yields about a normal-sized mason jar’s worth and the leftovers I had were used for another batch of ice cream, and of course for pouring in ridiculous amounts on top of both ice creams.

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (No-Churn) | Sempre Dolce

OK, enough already. Please, if you love mint, brownie, and lots of chocolate, I highly encourage you to go make some Mint Brownie Ice Cream stat – it will be the best thing you’ve done all day.

Enjoy and Cottura Felice!

Mint Brownie Ice Cream (no-churn)
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Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp. peppermint extract (if you love a strong mint flavor, you could up it to ¾ tsp.)
  • 2 C. (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
  • green food coloring, optional
  • 2 C. brownie chunks
  • 1 C. mini chocolate chips
  • about 3 tbsp. room temperature hot fudge sauce (see post)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together heavy cream and green food coloring, if using (I’m sorry, I can’t give you a drop amount of food coloring as I used gel, but I would say somewhere between 3-5 drops. Start on the low end, you can always add more later). Whisk until stiff peaks form.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk until thoroughly combined. If you need to add more food coloring, go ahead and do it now.
  4. Gently fold in brownie chunks and mini chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into a freezer-safe container (I always use a loaf pan).
  6. Pour fudge sauce on top of ice cream and briefly swirl with a knife to incorporate.
  7. Cover and chill for 4-8 hours, or until firm.
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https://sempre-dolce.com/mint-brownie-chip-ice-cream-no-churn/

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Strawberry Shortcake w/Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits

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Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake): Enjoy a fun twist on a summer classic with these Red, White & Blue Shortcakes! Featuring fluffy blueberry cream cheese biscuits, a sweet and juicy strawberry topping, and creamy homemade whipped cream, this shortcake is a must for your summer dessert needs. Super easy to make and perfect for the 4th of July!

Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake) | Sempre Dolce

OK, so for a loong time strawberry shortcake to me meant pound (or angel food) cake, strawberries (actually, I usually skipped the strawberries!), and whipped cream. Done. The first time to eat it with biscuits was just a “meh” experience. Give me pound cake. Friends, I did not realize that the traditional strawberry shortcake was made with biscuits!

Like, how could not know this?! I’m from the South!

Ah, me.

Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake) | Sempre Dolce

But never fear, I’ve now got this down. Biscuits. BISCUITS. b.i.s.c.u.i.t.s. Just because there’s cake in the title does not mean cake is always involved.

Seriously though, I have to say that even growing up with pound cake, biscuits have now become my preferred shortcake. Somehow they seem to compliment the strawberries and whipped cream really well. Even yesterday when I made them for a last minute video shoot and indulged in the subject afterward (I’m a big believer in not wasting food…), it was sheer bliss. And the question is no more: biscuits all the way! Though don’t get me wrong, you hand me pound cake and I won’t complain, but you get the point.

Maybe this is also because I utterly disdain – yes, disdain – my strawberries with any additional sweetness on them, such as whipped cream or chocolate, and the biscuits help to cut down the sweetness. Whatever it is, I’m pro biscuits. Of course, in all other areas of my food life, I’m always pro biscuit (carbs, baby!), so this really should come as no surprise.

Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake) | Sempre Dolce

OK, after all this talk about the traditional way to make strawberry shortcake, you would think that’s what I’m giving you today. It mostly is, but I did decide to spice things up by adding blueberries to the biscuits. And thus they became Red, White, and Blue Shortcakes.

But really, the blueberry cream cheese biscuits add a fun and delicious twist. Gosh, I could eat just the biscuits alone. In addition to being delicious, they are super quick and easy to make – most of the mixing is done in the food processor. < My kind of food, right there.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits | Sempre Dolce

Then there are the strawberries. Mmm… strawberries. All you’re going to do here is half and quarter two pounds of fresh strawberries, add in some sugar, then let them sit for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you’re going to mash about half of them and then set aside to let them release their beautiful juices and become all sweet and delicious.

Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake) | Sempre Dolce

For the whipped cream, we’re just going to throw 3 ingredients into a chilled bowl and whisk it all up (uh, using an electric mixer of course – I have the utmost respect for the arm muscles that must have existed before electricity) to fluffy, creamy, perfection.

Then, THEN comes the golden moment; taking a warm biscuit, splitting it in half and layering with all the strawberries and whipped cream our heart desires.

Bliss, sheer bliss.

Enjoy and Cottura Felice!

Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits (aka Red, White & Blue Shortcake)
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Ingredients

    Strawberry Topping
  • 2 lbs (about 6 C.) fresh strawberries, quartered.
  • ¼ - ½ C. white sugar
  • Blueberry Cream Cheese Biscuits
  • 1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ C. cake flour
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 4 oz cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 6 oz. fresh blueberries
  • 1 C. + 2 tbsp. buttermilk (I highly recommend full-fat buttermilk)
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • sparkling white sugar, optional
  • Whipped Cream:
  • 2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ C. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

    For the strawberries:
  1. Place strawberries in a medium-sized mixing bowl and pour the sugar over the top. If your strawberries are on the sweet end, I would use ¼ C. - if they’re more on the less sweet end, try ¼ + 2 tbsp. - ½ C.
  2. Stir to coat strawberries and set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. While strawberries are sitting, go ahead and place the butter and cream cheese in the freezer.
  4. After 20 minutes, use a potato masher to mash about half of the strawberries and stir to combine.
  5. Set aside while you make the biscuits.
  6. For the biscuits:
  7. Preheat oven to 450° F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Add first 8 ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles course meal.
  9. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add blueberries, gently tossing to combine.
  10. Pour in buttermilk and use a rubber spatula to (gently!) stir until dough comes together. The dough is going to be a bit dry, but if it seems too dry to work with, add a little more buttermilk, no more than 1 tbsp. at a time, specifically targeting any large flour patches.
  11. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and briefly knead until dough comes together.
  12. Flour a rolling pin and roll dough into an 8x6” rectangle.
  13. Cut into 12 (2”) squares (I used a dough scraper) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, sides touching.
  14. Brush tops with with cream and sprinkle with sparkling white sugar, if desired.
  15. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  16. While the biscuits are baking, place the bowl of a stand mixer along with the whisk attachment in the freezer (or whatever bowl and beater you will be using to make the whipped cream).
  17. Remove biscuits from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  18. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream.
  19. For the whipped cream:
  20. Place all 3 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
  21. Whisk until soft peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl, if desired.
  22. To serve (there are three delicious ways you can serve):
  23. 1.) Set out warm biscuits along with the strawberries and whipped cream and allow people to assemble their shortcakes.
    2.) Cut a warm biscuit in half, top with strawberries and whipped cream, top with the other biscuit half and finish with more strawberries and whipped cream.
    3.) Place a whole biscuit on serving plate and top with strawberries and whipped cream.
    Enjoy!
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https://sempre-dolce.com/strawberry-shortcake-blueberry-cream-cheese-biscuits/

Biscuits adapted from Cook’s Country, whipped cream recipe from Epicurious, and strawberry topping from Simply Recipes.

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Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze

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Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze: soft, tender scones filled with bits of peach and topped with a vanilla glaze. Easy to make and perfect for summer!

Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze | Sempre Dolce

Happy Tuesday, Friends. Today I am sharing a first on Sempre Dolce: scones! I love scones, but actually don’t make them very often. Lately I’ve been doing so much baking for the blog that there has been a decrease in baked goodies for breakfast (strangely there has been an increase of cereal  and bagel mornings in this house).

These peach scones were slightly adapted from my favorite chocolate chip scone recipe. It’s no news that I’m usually a chocolate girl, but I thought a peachy variation would be perfect for summer.

Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze | Sempre Dolce

If you have ever heard people say that making bread is therapeutic, let me just say it’s true (well, only if you give yourself plenty of time, otherwise it’s anything but therapeutic). And I would also venture to say working with dough in general is calming and pleasant. There’s something about turning the dough onto the work surface and gently working with your hands to create something delicious. I don’t know, I think it somehow transports me back to simpler times.

This recipe yields a tender scone that’s moist, but not wet, and features bits of peach throughout. The reviews from my in-house taste testers were positive. (Actually, most of the reviews came through the fact that all but one of said scones were gone in only a matter of hours. Though the verbal reviews were positive as well. ;)

I added a simple glaze on top because somehow it kicks them up another notch (perhaps that’s just a mental thing?) and because a drizzle of glaze makes anything pretty.

Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze | Sempre Dolce

An element I considered adding but nixed, was white chocolate. If this idea strikes your fancy, feel free to add some chopped white chocolate. I don’t use white chocolate often – to be honest, it’s not my favorite thing out there – but if memory serves me correctly, my preferred brands of white chocolate are Ghiradelli and Baker’s. If you use Ghiradelli, I recommend using their white chocolate bar, not their chips. The taste of the chips is too strong for me and rather artificial(?). If you decide to add this element, let me know how they turn out!

These peach scones are not difficult at all to make (gosh, I didn’t even peel the peaches) and are truly perfect for Summer.

Cottura Felice!

Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze | Sempre Dolce

Some Things to Note:

If you look (unfortunately, you don’t have to look closely), you can see that my scones are not very brown on top (horrors!). I believe this is because I chose to do an egg wash on top – better for pastries such as puff pastry, crusts, etc. – instead of using cream. So in the recipe, I’ll have you just brush the tops with heavy cream, this should give you a nice brown crust on the top.

Peach Scones with Vanilla Glaze
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Ingredients

    Scones:
  • 2 ½ C. all-purpose flour
  • ½ C. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of kosher salt (table salt is fine too)
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, cut into slices
  • 1 C. peaches (peeled or unpeeled), diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ C. heavy cream
  • Vanilla Glaze:
  • 1 C. powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp. Heavy cream + 1 tbsp. Milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir briefly to combine.
  3. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into flour mixture until butter is the size of peas or smaller, and is evenly distributed.
  4. Add peaches to flour/butter mixture and lightly toss to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ C. heavy cream, egg, and vanilla.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry and, using a rubber spatula, stir until dough comes together - do not overstir!
  7. If there are some dry patches of flour and dough has not come completely together, add in a little more cream (targeting the dry patches), about 1 tbsp. at a time until dough comes together (I added in 2 tbsp. more total).
  8. Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a ball (if dough is really sticky and hard to work with, sprinkle some flour over the dough and on surface - lightly knead to incorporate flour).
  9. Pat dough into a circle 8” in diameter and about 1” thick.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 triangles and transfer to the baking sheet, placed slightly apart (you can also transfer the whole disc to the sheet and cut them on there, carefully pulling the wedges away from the center to separate them slightly).
  11. Brush the scones with some cream and sprinkle with white sparkling sugar, if desired.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  13. Remove scones from oven and transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack to cool slightly.
  14. While scones are cooling, make glaze.
  15. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream + milk, and vanilla until combined.
  16. Drizzle glaze over scones and serve warm.
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https://sempre-dolce.com/peach-scones-vanilla-glaze/

Recipe adapted From SugarWinzy.

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies + Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: These Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are chewy and perfectly chocolaty. Tasty on their own, but even tastier with Peanut Butter & Nutella Swirl Ice Cream sandwiched between! With only one bowl required, nothing should stand in the way between you and chocolaty happiness.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello there! Who’s ready for cookies? Er, double chocolate chip cookies?

Annd, who’s ready for some ice cream sandwiches?? I hope you’ve raised your hand because I have both here for you this Thursday.

But first I have a confession to make. These cookies are extremely good. They’re easy to make (hello, one bowl!!) dense, chewy, chocolaty, so, soo good. BUT, you want to know where this recipe came from (cheeks growing bright with color…)? A children’s cookbook. Mmmhhmm.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Let me explain.

Somewhere between 10-13 years ago my brother gifted me with a (children’s) cookbook. In this cookbook was a recipe for chocolate chip cookies as well as variations on the recipe, including a double chocolate version. So my ten or so year old self made them and they were so good that she has since included them as one of her favorite 2x chocolate cookie recipes. Other recipes for double chocolate chip cookies tend to include melting chocolate (I’m such a lazy baker…) and have the tendency to turn out crispy and more on the flat side – which is perfect if that’s what you love; I’m a thick and chewy girl myself. These, however, are super easy to make – no chocolate melting required – and turn out perfectly chocolaty and chewy every time.

The only changes I made to the original recipe were to omit mixing the dry ingredients separately, so you only have to use one bowl, and also adding a touch of instant coffee for enhanced chocolate flavor.

So, little did my brother know that when he gave me this cookbook it would provide a recipe still enjoyed 10+ years later. And little did you know, I bet, that such a good recipe could come from a children’s cookbook! And trust me, there is nothing childish about these cookies.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Crfeam Sandwiches

There’s also nothing childish about the ice cream sandwiches these cookies turned into.
Last Thursday, I posted this peanut butter & Nutella swirl ice cream with the promise of a follow-up recipe for ice cream sandwiches. Now of course, you can use just about any ice cream you desire, but the peanut butter does compliment these cookies beautifully, IMO.

So in a way, I have given you TWO recipes today (you can thank me later). These cookies are delicious on their own, but are also delicious with ice cream sandwiched between for a special summer treat.

Enjoy and Cottura Felice!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies + Ice Cream Sandwiches
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Ingredients

    Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • ½ C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ C. packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ C. white sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
  • ½ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules (or espresso powder), optional
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or you can use a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet - yum!)
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • 20 Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Nutella Swirl (recipe below)

Instructions

    For the Cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl and using a handheld mixer, cream together first 4 ingredients until smooth, light, and creamy.
  3. Add eggs and mix until just combined.
  4. Add in flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined - do not overmix!
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Place in heaping 2 tablespoonful mounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing about 1 in. apart. (If you want larger cookies for ice cream sandwiches, you might up the amount of dough to about 1/4 C.)
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are just set.
  8. Transfer pan to a wire rack to allow cookies to cool.
  9. Ice Cream Sandwich Assembly:
  10. Place the cooled cookies in freezer for about 20 minutes. (About half way through, bring the ice cream out to soften slightly.)
  11. Once cookies are done in the freezer, place 1 scoop of ice cream on the flat side of a cookie and top with another cookie, flat side down, pressing down lightly.
  12. Repeat with remaining cookies and serve immediately!
  13. Yield: about 20-24 cookies and 10-12 sandwiches (half that amount if you make larger cookies)

Notes

Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

Ingredients: 2 C. (1 pint) heavy whipping cream | 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk | 1 tbsp. vanilla extract | ⅔ C. creamy peanut butter | ½ C. chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella) |

Instructions: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Add in vanilla and stir until combined. Fold in whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Pour half of ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container (I use a loaf pan), then dollop half of the Nutella across the top (I did three dollops). Pour in remaining ice cream mixture, then add remaining ½ of Nutella in 2-3 dollops. Use a table knife to swirl the Nutella through the ice cream. Cover and freeze for 6-8 hours, or until firm.

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https://sempre-dolce.com/double-chocolate-chip-cookies-ice-cream-sandwiches/

Recipe adapted from an American Girl cookbook (yes, really!). :P

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