Holiday Recipes

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl

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Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl: This ice cream starts with a rich chocolate peppermint base and features a peppermint crunch marshmallow swirl throughout. Creamy in texture, perfectly decadent, and full of chocolate and peppermint flavor, this ice cream is the perfect cold Christmastime treat!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl | Sempre-Dolce.com

Hi there! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of food, laughter, good times, and more food. :)

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl | Sempre-Dolce.com

As I mentioned in my last post, we celebrated the holiday in Texas this year. However, for me, the fun began on Friday. For a few weeks prior, my mom and I discussed the idea of taking a day trip the day after Thanksgiving for some hiking and relaxation, and to get away from the madness that is called Black Friday. I was happy that the sibs were in favor of the idea (you know, they really can be wet blankets sometimes… just kidding! kind of.), even though there was grumbling about the early departure time involved. The two state parks we originally discussed visiting were a little too far for a day trip so Caddo Lake was settled on.

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl | Sempre-Dolce.com

I had heard and seen pictures of Caddo Lake and from what I could tell it looked lovely. Also, the general feedback was very positive; people seemed to love it. Anyway, so on Friday morning (after a two hour delay in leaving…) we headed off. After spending way too long in a Texas-sized-are-you-kidding-me-this-place-is-huge rest/truck stop, three hours of sore bums, and arriving three hours later than planned, we arrived at the park. Let me tell you, drive included, I saw a side of Texas I had no clue existed. If it weren’t for the fact that the people around gave it away – Texans will be Texans – I’m not sure I would have known we were still in the state! It’s a beautiful area and the lake itself is truly magical with the bald cypress trees adorning it. And guys, there were trees all around! Even on the drive there – I mean, I. never. knew. (The area I live in, Dallas/Fort Worth, is not aesthetically pleasing with its many buildings and roads.)

Caddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.comCaddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.com Caddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.comCaddo Lake State Park | Sempre-Dolce.com(↑ This photo was taken by my mom :) 

The east side of Texas, however, is obviously different (the state park is right on the Louisiana border and the lake actually goes into Louisiana). Trees lined the highway and when hiking around the park, I actually felt like I was on the east coast.

We spent the first bit of our time canoeing and kayaking around the lake (I must say I was disappointed and somewhat relieved at the same time at not seeing any alligators) and the other bit taking a short hike in the park and taking in the beautiful scenery until sunset. I’m so glad we went and am already longing to go back and explore more of the lake (it has over 50 miles of paddling trails!).

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl | Sempre-Dolce.com

OK, so now that you have probably been thoroughly bored by the wordy details of my family’s trip, let’s talk about this Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl (< good grief, what a mouthful). This recipe is another in my growing list of no-churn ice cream recipes and it’s the perfect cold Christmastime treat.

I can never say enough about this no-churn ice cream base – the texture is amazing and the flavor possibilities endless. This particular combination is super yummy, perfectly Christmasy, and the flavors are out of this world amazing. The peppermint crunch candy gives it just the right amount of crunch without being overly crunchy. I also loove the way the chocolate flavor shines through, making it rich and decadent. So if you plan on making any ice cream this winter, consider making this one – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl | Sempre-Dolce.com

Cottura Felice!

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Peppermint Crunch Marshmallow Swirl
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Ingredients

  • 2 C. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 C. marshmallow creme
  • ⅓ C. peppermint crunch baking chips (I recommend Andes)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
  2. In a large bowl and using a rubber spatula, stir together sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and both extracts, stirring until well combined.
  3. Fold in whipped cream, making sure all ingredients are combined (this might take a little muscle! ;).
  4. Pour into a 2 quart container (a freezer safe loaf pan works well)and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together peppermint chips and marshmallow creme.
  6. Spoon marshmallow/peppermint mixture in 3 dollops on top of ice cream mixture.
  7. Using a knife, swirl marshmallow creme through ice cream (be sure to use knife to break up large clumps) until incorporated.
  8. Cover pan and freeze for six hours, or until firm.
  9. If desired, serve with ganache/hot fudge and/or extra peppermint chips.
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https://sempre-dolce.com/chocolate-peppermint-ice-cream-peppermint-crunch-marshmallow-swirl/

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Halloween Shortbread Cookies

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Hello! And a Happy Halloween to all ghouls, goblins, and whatnots.

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Can you believe how close we are to November?? Wow. Time just needs to stop. Like, right now.

I’ve mentioned before to you how much I love Halloween but dislike the gruesome side of it – which, maybe you’re thinking “what exactly do you think the point of Halloween is?” Uh, cute costumes, pumpkins, festivals and, well, all that the holiday is just without the oozing blood and extreme obsession with death and darkness. This, of course, is coming from the person who went into a Halloween store once and was totally freaked out by the room they had dedicated to the darker side of things. Hey, I can take spook but in moderation, please. And let’s keep it family friendly, k?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

Really though, I think I always envisioned and loved the idea of Halloween being what I read about in children’s picture books; sort of a celebration of fall with the aforementioned cute costumes, candy… and all that good stuff.

Can I hear an amen?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I tell you what though, one place I’ve been to and would not want to be on Halloween is Salem, MA (totally cheesy). I visited Salem several years back with high expectations and came away sorely disappointed (I wasn’t there on Halloween and sure wouldn’t want to be either!). It was nothing but a tourist trap.

Sooo, are you a Halloween fan or do you think it’s overrated?

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

I don’t know what your plans are and whether you’ve had everything planned for weeks, or are more like me and tend to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (← there, my attempt at Halloween gore) trying to make sure everything’s ready in time, but regardless you need these cookies in your life asap. And, they’re good for the planned and less planned as they are so easy (I ♥ easy!) and oh-my-goodness delicious. This shortbread is a family recipe and you’ve seen no shortage of it around here and won’t anytime soon. (Of course, I must note that to have it the authentic way, you need to experience it plain with nothing inside and nothing on top – this version will be coming your way soon! – but it is also a very versatile cookie and fun to create with.)

This version I have for you today is extremely easy to make. And if you are still in need of a Halloween treat, these will come together and be ready for eating in time for your parties or after-trick-or-treating crash. We all need a little ease in our life, don’t you think? Especially during these next two months – oh, these next two months… #notready

Halloween Shortbread Cookies | Sempre Dolce

The Lowdown: Rich, buttery shortbread covered in a marshmallow buttercream and topped with chocolate Halloween designs will beat any treat on the block! 

Halloween Shortbread Cookies
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Ingredients

    Shortbread:
  • 6 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 C. (4 sticks or 1 lb) butter softened and cut into 1 tbsp. slices
  • 2-3 egg yolks (please see note below!)
  • Marshmallow Buttercream:
  • 1 ½ C. powdered sugar
  • ½ C. (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ C. marshmallow creme
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract
  • For Decorating:
  • ½ C. chocolate chips (I used semisweet)

Instructions

    For the shortbread:
  1. In a large bowl using a large spoon, mix together flour and sugar.
  2. With your hands, knead butter into flour mixture until well blended, about 5 minutes. It will be done when dough forms a moist crumb and there are no visible chunks of butter.
  3. Using your hands, mix in egg yolks. Start with two, mix and form a small ball. If the dough is too dry and falls apart add the extra yolk. Keep in mind that this is a very crumbly dough in general, but it should still hold together when you squeeze some together in your hand.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° f.
  5. Form about 7 baseball-size balls of dough.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, take one ball at a time and lightly roll to about 1/4 in. thickness with rolling pin (you can also pat it out with your hands - I used a combination of the two). Again, keep in mind that this is a crumbly dough, so as you roll you might need to do some patching.
  7. With a 3 in. round cookie cutter (mine was a little over 3 in. round), cut out cookies, re-rolling/patting dough as needed.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough balls, re-flouring surface as needed. In all, you should get 22-23 cookies total.
  9. Place rounds on a non greased cookie sheet (they can be placed fairly close together as they won't spread while baking).
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown and cookies are firm to the touch.
  11. Remove cookies from oven and transfer pan to cooling rack for about 10 minutes.
  12. After 10 minutes, remove cookies from pan and transfer directly to cooling rack to finish cooling. Make sure cookies are completely cool before frosting
  13. For the frosting:
  14. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 2 minutes, scrape down sides as needed.
  15. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
  16. To decorate:
  17. Spread a thin (not too thin! I would say a little less than a tablespoon) layer of frosting evenly on each cookie. Place cookies on a surface for decorating (tray, sheet of parchment or wax paper, etc.)
  18. Once cookies have been frosted, melt chocolate chips. Place chocolate into a piping bag with small tip (or do what I did and place in a sandwich-size ziploc with a small piece snipped of the corner, and use that :). Using chocolate, decorate cookies with Halloween-themed decorations - I went the easy route (decorating is not one of my strengths) and did spider webs and a boo! message.
  19. If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).
  20. Yields: 22-23 Cookies

Notes

If you’ve added 3 egg yolks and still feel the dough is too crumbly to work with, add an egg yolk more until you feel you have the right consistency (this last time I ended with 4 yolks - 5 if I count the double yolk).

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https://sempre-dolce.com/halloween-shortbread-cookies/

Frosting recipe adapted from The Kitchen Magpie.

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Chocolate Peppermint Joe Joe Ice Cream

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Double chocolate, I might add…

Double Chocolate Peppermint Joe Joe Ice Cream | Sempre DolceWhen I last blogged Christmas was a little less than two weeks away. Now the little Christmas counter in our house reads 2 days – 2 !! Wow.

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Fudgy Peppermint Brownies

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It’s less than two weeks until Christmas and I have the big total of 1 gift so far. Yeah, I’m doing great on my gift shopping…

What about you; how many gifts do you have?

Fudgy Peppermint Brownies | Sempre Dolce

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