Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Here’s a delicious treat for your weekend! This is a recipe that I posted a long while back, but it is buried in a post with another recipe. And since it is quick and fairly healthy, I decided to re-post. Plus, it’s summer, so who doesn’t love some ice cream?!

I should note that the original recipe is  not mine; however, I do not remember where I found it. This time around I did add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, which was a nice twist.

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CHOCOLATE COCONUT MILK ICE CREAM
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2-14 oz cans full-fat coconut milk
2/3 c. sugar or agave nectar (I used coconut sugar)
1/4 c.  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2  tsp vanilla extract (feel free to replace 1/2 tsp of vanilla with 1/2 tsp almond extract)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour into the bowl of an ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serves 4.

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Mocha Mousse Pie

‘Tis the season for lots of sweet treats!  My husband requested a chocolate dessert for Thanksgiving. This naturally gluten-free pie fit the bill. Perhaps you’ll find a place for this on your holiday table.

I took this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. The only adjustment I made was to decrease the amount of sugar and still I think it’s plenty sweet. This pie is fluffy, yet rich, and incredibly delicious with notes of chocolate and coffee shining through. I love the nut crust on this, but you could just as easily use a crushed cookie crust, regular pre-baked pie crust, or even just serve the filling in cups without any sort of crust. As a disclaimer, this pie does contain raw eggs.

MOCHA MOUSSE PIE
(very slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
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Crust
1 cup Pecans, Finely Chopped
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 ounces, weight Semi Sweet Chocolate Grated
2 Tablespoons Kahlua
Dash Of Salt

Filling
2 sticks Butter, room temperature
1-1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules
1 teaspoon Kahlua
3 ounces, weight Semi-sweet (or Bittersweet) Chocolate
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 whole Large Eggs

To make the crust, combine chopped pecans (which you can chop in the food processor, if desired), brown sugar, grated chocolate, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine, and then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. Set aside (do not bake) or refrigerate until needed.

In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until smooth and completely melted (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter, sugar, 2 teaspoons instant coffee, and 1 teaspoon Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed; use a rubber spatula to get it all out. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.

On medium speed, add the four eggs, one at a time, over a period of 20 minutes; leave about 5 minutes between each egg addition (allowing the mixer to run for 5 minutes with each egg addition). Scrape sides of bowl halfway through this process. The filling will gradually lighten in color and become fluffier. Pour filling into the pie crust.

Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate, optional.

Sweet Potato Maple Bacon Pie

Deliciouness abounds in this pie. I absolutely love the combination of sweet and salty. The candied bacon and maple cream kind of stole the show – as in, I could eat a whole bowl of just those two combined. 🙂 Seriously though, this pie was good! I served it to my parents and husband and they all proclaimed it delicious and they were all surprised at how much they LOVED the bacon.

Personally, I still like pumpkin pie better than sweet potato (it’s a texture thing) but I would totally make this again and serve it to guests and especially find more uses for that bacon. This is really an awesome twist on the traditional pumpkin pie. I’m already dreaming of the leftovers for breakfast. [Just a small note – the bacon looks dark in the picture but it was not burned I assure you!]

There are a few steps to this pie but it is not difficult and the steps do not need to be completed all at once.

SWEET POTATO MAPLE BACON PIE
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1 pie crust in a pie pan (you can make your own or buy a prepared one)
2 c. pureed sweet potato
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 c. evaporated milk
2 Tb. maple syrup
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the sweet potato, milk, egg, and maple syrup in the blender. Add the spices. Pour into the crust. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.  Then decrease oven to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes until set.

CANDIED BACON
3 strips bacon, roughly chopped (mine was fairly thick)
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. brown sugar

Toss the bacon with brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook until crisp stirring and moving continually. It cooks fairly quickly and you need to keep an eye on it. Drain and cool completely.

MAPLE CREAM
1 c. whipped cream
2 Tb. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Just before serving, whip the cream for 1 minute. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie. Top with candied bacon pieces.

Just Desserts: Peanut Butter-Banana Mousse

You may have guessed by our more infrequent posting lately (especially from me) that things have been busy. We thoroughly enjoy cooking and blogging and sharing our recipes and posts with you however, we have decided that we need to take a break, re-evaluate, and plan for the blog future. There are 100s of recipes already here, so we hope you will keep stopping by! We do plan to return to blog world with exciting new recipes and format changes. We appreciate your support, interest, subscriptions, and most of all for making the recipes and giving us feedback! See you soon!

Happy Cooking,
Alaina & Stephanie, The Cooks Next Door

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(Stephanie) – This is a super quick, yummy little treat. Just three ingredients! Although I’ve never made what I’ve seen called banana soft-serve ice cream, I’m guessing this mousse recipe is quite similar. I copied this recipe down on a piece of paper sometime ago, I’m pretty sure that it came from Food Network, but now I can’t remember.

I love that this dessert can be considered healthy and can be made without planning ahead or turning on the oven. Hope you enjoy this prefect summer treat!

PEANUT BUTTER-BANANA MOUSSE
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3 frozen chopped bananas
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey
pinch of salt

Puree in a food processor until smooth. Top with chopped peanuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Just Desserts: Sour Cream Strawberry Custard

I stumbled across this recipe when flipping through a Rachael Ray magazine and jotted it down to try sometime. With a couple days off this weekend and the possibility of springier weather, I decided to give it a try. And Yum!!! Jeremy said this was better than ice cream or vanilla yogurt (both of which he is quite a fan). I say, this recipe is delicious and simple, coming together in about 15 minutes.

And, I’ll let you in on a little secret, I cut back on the sugar. I put 4 Tablespoons of sugar in the custard and 2 Tablespoons of sugar on the strawberries. I also used 1/3 cup heavy cream and 2/3 cup 1% milk in place of the half and half. And I subbed in about 1/3 cup plain yogurt in place of all sour cream. I’ve included the original recipe below, but feel free to mess around with it as it suits your needs.

This makes a perfect dessert during strawberry season. It’s elegant enough for company, but easy enough just to whip up a batch for the family. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

SOUR CREAM STRAWBERRY CUSTARD
(from Every Day With Rachael Ray, May 2010)
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1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (such as Knox brand)
2 1/2 Tablespoon cold water
1 cup half and half
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups sliced strawberries
3 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half and half with the 6 Tablespoons of sugar, stirring until the sugar has melted. Whisk in the vanilla and the softened gelatin, then whisk in the sour cream.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, toss the sliced strawberries with the 3 Tablespoons of sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate.

Top the custard with the balsamic strawberries. Serves 4.