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Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

RECIPE: Gingerbread Frozen Yogurt

Gingerbread frozen yogurt. Photo courtesy


A few weeks ago we suggested a Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt Sundae, inspired by Pinkberry. It’s their holiday flavor of the year.

Last year, the seasonal specialty was gingerbread frozen yogurt. If you miss it, you can make your own gingerbread frozen yogurt sundae.

The key flavors of gingerbread are allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, molasses and often, black pepper. Just mix the flavors you like into softened plain or vanilla frozen yogurt, to taste. You can return the mix to the freezer to harden, or enjoy it soft-serve style.

For toppings, consider:

  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Crushed cinnamon candies
  • Crushed crystallized ginger
  • Crushed ginger snaps, gingerbread or other ginger cookies
  • Dark or white chocolate chips
  • Shaved chocolate

    Want to bake gingerbread to go with your sundae? Try these recipes:

  • Gluten Free Gingerbread Recipe
  • Gingerbread Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Gingerbread Whoopie Pies


    TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Ice Cream

    The holidays are happier with holiday-flavor ice cream. Photo courtesy Graeter’s.


    Take advantage of the delicious flavors in limited editions now. Look for Candy Cane, Cinnamon, Egg Nog, Peppermint and Pumpkin flavors and enjoy them as everyday desserts or in recipes.

    Haagen-Dazs’ Rum Raisin is a long-standing seasonal joy, delicious by itself or on a warm piece of pie. But we also go gaga for:


  • Cinnamon. Graeter’s recipe is just about perfect—too much cinnamon can be overwhelming. Just the right amount, in every-so-dreamy, creamy ice cream.
  • Pumpkin. All the pumpkin pie spices dance harmoniously in this pumpkin-colored and flavored ice cream.
  • Peppermint Stick. One of our favorite flavors, a beacon of our holiday season.


    This NIBBLE Top Of The Week has two must-try seasonal flavors:

  • Egg Nog. The sumptuous Old World Eggnog has returned. Like egg nog, it’s made with egg yolks, pure vanilla extract and fragrant nutmeg—but no alcohol, for a family-friendly treat. But if you want to make an Egg Nog Ice Cream milkshake, you can add some spirts.
  • Peppermint. Talenti has introduced Peppermint Bark Gelato, crunchy morsels of semisweet Belgian Callebaut chocolate (one of our favorites) in a rich, creamy peppermint gelato. As previously noted, we [heart] peppermint


  • Cake & Pie. Serve angel food cake, loaf cake or pie with a holiday à la mode garnish.
  • Hot Drinks. Add a spoonful to coffee, instead of milk; or to hot chocolate, instead of whipped cream.
  • Ice Cream Cake. Make a holiday ice cream cake with one or two different flavors.
  • Ice Cream Cones. Make the kids holiday ice cream cones with red and green sprinkles.
  • Ice Cream Sandwiches. Make holiday ice cream sandwiches in assorted flavors. You can make them with cookies or with thin slices of pound cake. You can use red and green sprinkles to decorate the edges.
  • Milkshake Shooters. Serve a holiday milkshake shooter with dessert (follow this recipe without the cardamom).
  • Sundae. Make a holiday parfait or sundae with a scoop of two or three different flavors.
    What are you waiting for? Hit the store!


    Talenti’s Old World Egg Nog Gelato decorated with miniature trees and sleds. Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Harvest Sorbet, The Easiest Dessert

    Our favorite easy dessert is a dish of sorbet. It’s light and refreshing, and there are wonderful flavors to be had. It accommodates vegans, lactose-intolerant people, kosher observers (it’s pareve) and those who are so stuffed they can’t eat another bite—but of course, want to end their meal with something sweet.

    Sorbet is made in a breadth of colors and flavors, which leads to today’s tip: “fall harvest” sorbet.

    Look at this combination with Ciao Bella Gelato’s Blackberry Cabernet, Blood Orange and Ginger Peach sorbets. Even though the flavors aren’t classic fall, the color medley is spot on. It looks seasonal.

    Fall-specific flavor include apple, fig, grape and pear (although the latter tends to be whitish—not part of the fall color palette).

    You may even find beet sorbet (or make your own).


    Make a festive sorbet dessert from seasonal colors. Photo courtesy Ciao Bella Gelato.


    Mango and pomegranate sorbets, popular year-round, contribute both richness of flavor and color.

    All you need are:

  • Two or three pints of contrasting sorbets
  • Optional garnish of pomegranate arils
  • A glass dish, goblet or Martini glass (they’re better than an opaque dish to show off the vibrant colors)
    Then, just scoop and serve! What could be better at the end of a long dinner? (Answer: someone to do all the dishes!)



    TIP: Easy Coffee Dessert (Adults Only)

    Years ago, at our first visit to The French Laundry in Napa Valley, we ordered a dessert called Coffee and Donuts.

    What we got: coffee mousse served in a coffee cup, topped with real milk foam and served with a side of beignets, deep fried choux paste (think small fritters). It was a delicious and memorable sight gag.

    Because we gave up deep frying for the New Year, we never got around to recreating the recipe. But recently, we made a simpler version of it, thanks to inspiration from Patrón XO Cafe liqueur, Ciao Bella’s Triple Espresso Gelato and the donut maker at our local farmers market.

    If you want a smaller dessert, use an espresso cup instead of a coffee cup. And if you want to serve this to kids…depending on their age, they can taste a bit of liqueur. If not, leave it out of their portions. They’ll still get a kick from “coffee and donuts.”


    Scoop coffee ice cream into coffee cup and top with coffee liqueur. Photo courtesy Ciao Bella Gelato.


    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 cup coffee or espresso ice cream
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Optional: whipped cream
  • Miniature donuts or donut holes

    A less sweet and syrupy coffee liqueur. Photo courtesy The Patron Spirits Company.



    1. SOFTEN ice cream and swirl liqueur through it. If you’re going to add whipped cream, you can level the ice cream in the cup. Otherwise, return the softened ice cream to the freezer and then scoop it into the cup. Place ice cream-filled cup in freezer. (Alternative technique: Pour liqueur into the bottom of the cup, then add ice cream and pour more liqueur over the top.)

    When ready to serve…

    2. TOP with optional whipped cream and serve with a plate of donuts.



    With the popularity of the Espresso Martini (and don‘t forget the White Russian and other coffee cocktails), more coffee liqueurs have hit the market. Patrón uses its famous silver tequila a base for Patrón XO Cafe, although there’s no discernible tequila taste—perhaps a bit of agave on the finish.

    Beyond cocktails and adding to a cup of coffee at brunch or after dinner (you can also sip it straight from a liqueur glass, with or without the coffee), the sweetened bitter coffee flavor makes a great topping for a plain dish of ice cream—coffee, coffee chip, chocolate, chocolate chip, vanilla or a ball of three choices.

    At 70 proof, it is higher in alcohol than most coffee liqueurs. To some people that in of itself is a selling point. We like that the higher proof makes it less sweet and syrupy than other coffee liqueurs.

    Patrón XO Cafe has a brother, Patrón XO Cafe Dark Cocoa, which marries the flavors of chocolate and chocolate.

    Discover more on the Patron website, which has 40 cocktail recipes using the liqueur.



    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Smoogy Frozen Cheesecake Sandwich

    What should you do when you’re downsized from your job?

    Enter the TV reality show, “Supermarket Superstar,” with your family recipe: a cheesecake ice cream sandwich called Smoogy.

    That’s what happened to Tekisha Collins. The dream came true: she won. The prize is a distribution deal, and Smoogy cheesecake cookie ice cream sandwiches are now available at A&P, The Food Emporium, Food Basics, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaums.

    We’ve become extremely fond of the Chocolate Fudge Smoogy, chocolate-cheesecake ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies.

    But the young brand needs more than a distribution deal: It needs good marketing consulting. Is it an ice cream sandwich, a frozen cheesecake cookie? Collins calls it “the first and only cake in a cookie that you eat frozen.”

    Huh? Where’s the cake?


    A stack of Lemon Cheesecake Smoogies.


    And what would you call a frozen cookie sandwich with a cheesecake-like filling?

    Hopefully, marketing help will come—and redo the packaging and marketing materials as well. We wish Smoogy all the luck in the world.

    Read the full review.



    RECIPE: Ice Cream & Grilled Fruit

    Grill your dessert: grilled fruit topped with
    ice cream or sorbet. Photo courtesy
    Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.


    With the end of grilling season in sight, make every meal count. Here, an easy dessert favorite: grilled fruit with ice cream or sorbet.

    The fun begins when you decide which fruit to pair with which flavor of ice cream or sorbet. So stroll through the market aisles and get your creative juices flowing.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (Key lime if possible)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • Fresh fruit: 4 peaches, 10 apricots, 1 pineapple,
    2 mangoes, 2 bananas, etc.
  • 4 large scoops ice cream or sorbet
  • Optional garnish: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce,
    crème fraîche, mascarpone, whipped cream
  • Preparation

    1. PEEL and slice fruit.

    2. COMBINE lime juice and brown sugar in shallow dish; mix well. Add fruit, stir to coat; cover and marinate 30 minutes or longer. Meanwhile…

    3. PREPARE indoor or outdoor grill by brushing grill rack with oil and heating. Place fruit on grill rack, and grill 2 to 3 minutes per side.

    4. DIVIDE fruit evenly among four plates; top with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce or other garnish, as desired.



    FOOD FUN: A New Type Of Ice Cream Sandwich—On Brioche

    Aside from a constant stream of delicious things to eat, the nice thing about working in the specialty food space is that the “discoveries” never end.

    Just in time for National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2nd), we came across something new at Dolce Gelateria in Greenwich Village (33 Barrow Street, just east of Seventh Avenue).

    In addition to 24 appealing flavors of gelato (the cantaloupe is the hands-down winner in a tasty field), Dolce Gelateria introduced us to the gelato ice cream sandwich—on a brioche roll.

    Proprietor Salvatore Potestio says that’s how ice cream sandwiches have always been served in his native Sicily. He scoops what seems more than a half pint of gelato—your choice of two flavors—onto a hamburger-size brioche roll.

    We ate ours like an overstuffed sandwich, without the colorful little gelato spoon. As large as the portion was, we soldiered on, finishing every last crumb.


    Serve an ice cream sandwich on brioche. Photo courtesy Dolce Gelateria | New York City.

    Dolce Gelateria always has 24 flavors on hand. There are the classic Italian flavors—caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee, mango, mint chip, mixed berry, olive oil (made with oil from the Potestio family groves in Sicily), pistachio, stracciatella (chocolate chip) and strawberry, plus seasonal fruits (currently including blackberry and the celestial cantaloupe).

    They are joined by “American” flavors that Salvatore created to acknowledge his kids, American college students: in Almond Joy, Butter Pecan, Nutella*, Rice Pudding and a constantly growing roster.

    House-made waffle cones are about eight inches tall—the NBA of ice cream cones. We preferred them to the equally tall imported Italian cones, which are still an improvement over the wafer-like American cake cones, which have less flavor and body than a sugar cone or a waffle cone.
    *While Nutella is an Italian bread spread, finding many more ways to use it seems to be an American pursuit.


    There’s a King’s Hawaiian roll for every
    purpose—including ice cream sandwiches.
    Photo courtesy King’s Hawaiian.



    Wait a minute. What is brioche, that most buttery and eggy of French breads, doing in Sicily?

    Salvatore references the Norman conquest of southern Italy, including the island of Sicily, which spanned most of the 11th and 12th centuries. With the conquerors came the bakers, and ultimately the brioche.

    The first recorded use of “brioche” in French dates from 1404, the very beginning of the 13th century. So on the great food timeline, the reference works.

    Given the random survival of printed records (destruction by fire, earthquake, war, general decay, etc.), foods and any items and practices can be in use for decades before a printed reference appears.

    It should also be noted that, while fruit juice-flavored ices have been around since about 2000 B.C.E., gelato was invented in the 14th century. (Here’s the history of ice cream.)


    Switch the brioche for King’s Hawaiian, a line of breads based on a Portuguese sweet bread recipe. They’re made in a variety of ever-so-delicious styles: burger, dinner, hot dog, mini sub and sandwich buns and rolls, plus loaves and sliced bread.

    Founded in Hawaii in the late 1950s, the company now has a bakery on each coast and national distribution. Look for them at your retailer, or ask the store manager to bring them in.

    Our whole family has fallen for King’s Hawaiian, a recent Top Pick Of The Week.

    King’s Hawaiian and any flavor from Dolce Gelateria (or your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt) are a match made in heaven. Enjoy them on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.



    FOOD HOLIDAY & RECIPE: Ice Cream Cupcakes

    No-bake ice cream cupcakes. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.


    For July 21, National Ice Cream Day, we made these no-bake ice cream cupcakes.

    They’re cupcakes in the sense that they’re made in cupcake liners, but with cookie crumbs instead of baked cake. Thus, the cookie crumbles and the oven stays off. If you prefer, you can use store-bought cake (angel cake, pound cake) instead of the cookies.

    Aside from the effort to whip the cream, this recipe couldn’t be easier. You can delegate it to the kids.


    Ingredients For 12 Cupcakes

  • Paper cupcake liners
  • Muffin tin
  • 12 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), or cake cut to fit into cupcake liner
  • Mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Optional garnish: chocolate chips or mint chips
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE the 12 paper cupcake liners in the muffin tin. Crumble one cookie into each cupcake liner, topped by a scoop of ice cream. Freeze until solid. Meanwhile…

    2. WHIP cream until slightly thickened; add cocoa and powdered sugar. Continue whipping until soft peaks form. Frost each cupcake with the cocoa whipped cream. Freeze until ready to serve. Place extra cupcakes in airtight container; store in freezer up to one week.


    For a fruit cupcake, use crushed shortbread cookies with strawberry ice cream and whip cream blended with puréed fresh strawberries instead of cocoa. Or, you can make honey whipped cream: Omit the cocoa and powdered sugar; substitute 1 tablespoon honey; prepare as above.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Ice Pops

    Is this the seventh day of the heat wave? We’ve lost count. But we’re glad to have this recipe created by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, hosts of the Cooking Channel show, Extra Virgin.

    They whipped up a coffee-themed ice pop using Lavazza, Italy’s beloved coffee brand. They used the Lavazza Qualità Rossa variety, made with African beans that have a natural chocolate aroma—perfect for a mocha popsicle. If you like strong coffee, you can use espresso.

    Then, instead of after-dinner coffee, you can enjoy your coffee and your dessert in on a stick.

    Debi and Gabriele also follow our own favorite practice of freezing leftover coffee in ice cube trays. “In summer we never toss whatever coffee is left in our pot,” says Debi. “Rather, we keep filling ice cube trays with it to make ‘espresso iced cubes!’ Add two or three cubes to a half glass of cold milk on a hot summer morning to get going.”


    Cool down with a homemade mocha ice pop. Photo courtesy Lavazza.



    Preparation time 15 minutes, refrigerator/freezer time 6 hours.

    Ingredients For 10 Popsicles

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup Lavazza Qualitá Rossa, ground coffee
  • 3½ cups water
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • Ice pop molds for 10 servings

    Lavazza Qualità Rossa. Photo courtesy



    1. MIX together sugar, coffee and water in a saucepan mix; bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Filter using cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel.

    2. MIX the chocolate and hot coffee syrup in a bowl; stir until completely melted. Let cool; then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before proceeding to next step.

    3. MIX together heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip lightly to soft peaks. Add the cream to the cold coffee syrup and mix gently so the cream does not loose volume. Pour the mixture into the ice pop molds and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.


    Use your favorite juices and other beverages (coffee, tea, kefir, smoothies) or fresh fruit purées to make the ice pops of your dreams. For gourmet touch, add fresh herbs like basil or rosemary. Like heat? Add chipotle, jalapeño or hot sauce. Check out these recipes:

  • Bloody Mary Ice Pops
  • Frozen Yogurt Pops
  • Pineapple Chipotle Ice Pops
  • Soda Ice Pops
  • Tea Ice Pops

    Popsicle© is the trademarked brand of the Unilever Company, which also owns Good Humor and other brands. Legally, everything else must be called something generic, such as ice pop. (Here’s the history of the Popsicle and Creamsicle.)

    While the Unilever legal team can’t spend all day chasing down every recipe called “Popsicle,” no one else can sell a product called Popsicle. They’ll have to invent their own name, as Popsicle inventor Frank Epperson did, way back in 1923.



    RECIPE: Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Another beat-the-heat-treat from QVC’s chef David Venable: Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwiches. The “sandwich” cookies are cake-like, and a combination of marshmallow fluff and whipped topping stands in for the whipped cream, which wouldn’t hold up in the sandich.



  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned and sliced or 1 bag (16 ounces) sliced frozen strawberries
    For The Marshmallow Creme

  • 3 ounces marshmallow creme (like Fluff)
  • 6 ounces whipped topping

    Strawberry shortcake ice cream sandwich. Photo courtesy QVC.

  • 3 tablespoons strawberry syrup (or substitute puréed strawberries)
    For The Cookies

  • 2-1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs

    1. LINE a sheet pan with parchment paper. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 4 minutes. Place the ice cream in a bowl of a stand mixer and whip the ice cream until soft, but not melted.

    2. FOLD in, by hand, the strawberry slices. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly, about 1/2“ thick. Cover the ice cream with another piece of parchment paper. Place the sheet pan in the freezer and freeze until hardened.

    3. REMOVE the sheet pan from the freezer. Using a cookie cutter, make circle-shaped ice cream cutouts. Place ice cream cutouts back into the freezer until needed.

    4. MAKE the cookies. Preheat your over to 350°F. Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

    5. COMBINE the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

    6. COMBINE the buttermilk, lemon juice and vanilla into a small bowl; set aside.

    7. CREAM the butter and sugar together, using a stand mixer on medium speed, until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add two eggs and mix until blended. On low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures, alternately. Make sure to begin and end with flour mixture. Mix until well blended.

    8. PLACE 2 tablespoons of batter, about 2” apart, onto the prepared cookie sheets, using a spoon. Bake for 12–14 minutes. Place the cookies on a cooling rack, and allow them to cool completely.

    9. MAKE marshmallow creme layer: Place the whipped topping, marshmallow fluff and the strawberry syrup into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On medium speed, whip for 2–3 minutes until light and fluffy. Refrigerate marshmallow topping until needed.

    10. ASSEMBLE: Take two cookies, flat side up, and evenly spread marshmallow creme on each cookie. Place a pre-cut ice cream circle on top of 1 cookie and top with another cookie. Freeze until ready to eat.



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