I promise I’ll be back soon with some more deep thoughts about parenting, but I’m coming off a weeklong sugar-high and want to jot down these recipes before I forget the specifics. Of course, I could just direct you to Joy the Baker since that’s where all three of these gems came from, but what would be the fun in that?
First, a larger-than-usual midweek playgroup found me baking nearly four dozen doughnuts in the predawn hours (one of my favorite times to bake) that were OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD. They taste as good as they look and were a whole lot of fun to make–especially dunking them into bowls of rainbow jimmies and coconut flakes with help from my favorite redheaded assistant.
Then, there was the baby shower and ice cream social that I hosted for my sister Saturday:
I’ve wanted to have an ice cream social ever since I inherited my great-grandmother’s ice cream dishes. And it turned out to be a GREAT idea for a party. We dished up old-fashioned scoops, cones, sundaes, rootbeer floats, mini banana splits and ice cream sandwiches–serious fun and seriously delicious. Now that I know how easy it is to make hot fudge sauce, all future ice cream dished up in this house will receive The Royal Hot Fudge Treatment.
Then, there were these cookies: (OMG, these cookies!)
I wanted something for our guests to nibble on pre or post sundaes and possibly double as a vehicle to make ice cream sandwiches. Enter Joy’s Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. WOW. It makes a satisfyingly large cookie and was just so, sooooo good. I know this blog already has several sugar cookie recipes, but this may be my new favorite. Plus, no rolling out the dough!!!! Is there anything more annoying than rolling out cookie dough?? Clearly I’m a drop-cookie person.
Cue the recipes. I’ve included some ice cream social details if you want to try hosting one! You just have to promise to invite me. :)
Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts
Makes about 10 doughnuts (I quadrupled the recipe and got 42 doughnuts*)
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
For the Doughnuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until just browned
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Glaze:
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar (I think I used 1 cup by mistake; powdered sugar icings are VERY forgiving)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder**
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Rainbow jimmies or shredded coconut or whatever your heart desires
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until all of the ingredients are well combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that you’re not leaving any flour behind. Use a small spoon to portion batter into a greased doughnut baking pan. Each doughnut mold should be about two-thirds full. Bake doughnuts at 325 degrees for 11 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out clean. Invert the doughnuts onto a wire rack to cool completely before dipping (I found a small cutting board worked well).
To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add milk and vanilla until the glaze is thick but still pourable. Add additional milk or powdered sugar if you need to thin or thicken the mixture.
Dip each doughnut*** (I dipped the bottom side for presentation purposes) into the chocolate glaze, letting some of the excess drip off before dunking in assorted topping bowls. Joy says these doughnuts are best served within two days of baking, but if you have any leftover after 24 hours you have CLEARLY DONE SOMETHING WRONG.
Playgroup tip: Cutting them in half is not only perfect for toddler-size hands, but they’ll also look like little rainbows!
*Maxes out a large mixing bowl
**For a variety play, I omitted the cocoa from the first couple dozen to make white-iced doughnuts. Once the icing loses it’s bright-white appearance, add the cocoa!
***Only needed to triple the recipe
Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes about 18 large cookies
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar or so, for rolling cookies
1/2 gallon of your favorite ice cream (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
Sift together the dry ingredients and add all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
Form dough into 2-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until the edges are just slightly golden, about 12+ minutes. The cookies spread a lot so I recommend no more than 9 per baking sheet.
Let cool completely on a wire rack before scooping a generous scoop of ice cream on top of the bottom side of one cookie. Top with another sugar cookie. Refreeze before wrapping individually in plastic wrap. Or just eat the cookies.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook (sorry, no link!)
Makes about 2 cups
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
7 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (we used Ghirardelli baking chips)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Place a medium, heavy bodied saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder, brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt, instant coffee and half of the chocolate to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining chocolate, butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth and shiny.
Cool slightly and serve or leave on the stovetop on low and let guests help themselves. Leftovers store great in the fridge; just reheat in the microwave for several seconds. I’ll report back on how it freezes.
- Guests won’t necessarily have to sit at a table to eat, which is sooooo nice for a larger gathering
- About 4 tubs of ice cream (we used Breyers 1.5qt) serves 20ish people (vanilla is WAY more popular than chocolate)
- Toppings might include maraschino cherries, crushed Oreos, some sort of crushed chocolate candy (think Reese’s or Butterfinger), sliced bananas, M&M’s, chocolate and/or butterscotch chips, rainbow and chocolate jimmies, crushed peanuts, sliced strawberries and gummy bears (Emily’s favorite)
- Cake and sugar cones are nice too…although no one will take one with so many topping options!
- A half slice of banana on each side of a small ice cream dish makes a PERFECT mini banana split
- A nondairy option, such as sorbet, is a sweet offer for those with dairy allergies
- Don’t forget the whipped cream!