Monday, May 10, 2010

Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie

A while back, I noticed a recipe on the side of a carton of Breyers Natural Vanilla ice cream. I cut it out of the carton and saved it for a special occasion. The recipe is originally called Breyers Cherry Cheesecake, but I took the liberty to rename it something I think is more fitting. I made this for Mother's Day and it was a big hit. We loved it. It has the perfect ratio of cheesecake to ice cream. You'll have to try it out.

Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
3 Tbsp Sugar

1.5 qt. natural vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream (I think you could experiment with other flavors here, but would highly recommend trying it first with the vanilla bean or natural vanilla)

2 packages (8 oz each) Cream Cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (Or fresh berries. I used fresh strawberries with a little sugar added to bring out the juices. I think any combination of fresh berries would be delicious.)

Combine crumbs, butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; press into 9-inch springform pan.

With electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Spoon ice cream into pan on top of graham cracker crust, pressing to form an even layer. Spread on cream cheese mixture. Cover; freeze at least 5 hours.

Top cheesecake with pie filling or fresh berries and serve.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting

I made cupcakes last week for a church training event. For simplicity, I just used a lemon cake mix for the cupcakes themselves. To decorate the cupcakes, I used Dots for the center, and then cut large marshmallows into 4 pieces each with scissors. If you do this, it helps to spray your scissors with a cooking spray like Pam. You will have to wash your scissors every once in a while to get the bits of marshmallow off them. Otherwise, they stick, making cutting difficult. If you want to get fancy, you can dip the sticky side of the marshmallow in colored sugar for a fun look. While the decorating isn't really a recipe, it is a fun idea to use for spring.

The recipe I wanted to share is for the buttercream frosting. In the past, I have always just made buttercream frosting by guessing how much butter, powdered sugar and milk to use. It would always turn out fine. This time, I found a recipe that has changed my opinion of buttercream frosting. This will now be my go-to recipe. I found it online and someone said it is the frosting recipe that is used at the cupcake shop called Sprinkles. I can't confirm that, but will give credit where credit is supposedly due.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 Cup Butter
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. milk

Combine butter (at room temperature), powdered sugar and salt and mix until blended. You will think the mixture won't come together without liquid, but I promise it does. Keep mixing. Then add the vanilla and milk. Mix for 4-5 more minutes until smooth and creamy. I think this is the key to making the frosting so yummy. In the past I have made frosting with my hand mixer and stopped mixing when everything was combined. This time I put it all in my Bosch mixer and let it mix for the full 5 minutes. It was so easy to work with and tasted delicious.