Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

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As I’m sure I’ve said a billion and one times, I’m from Houston. And here in Houston, there really isn’t such a thing as Autumn. In my opinion, 80-something degree weather isn’t reminiscent of Fall.

But this isn’t me complaining (…yet, give me a few more weeks) but rather relishing in these last few weeks of warm weather.

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The last few weeks of shimmering, golden sunlight gently falling on your sleepy face, peeking through that tiny slit in your curtains that, if it were not for the sun, you’d never notice. The last opportunities to walk around the flea markets hand-in-hand with your husband as you point out all the fluffy, adorable puppies that you demand he buy you, but he never does. The last chances to simply stand outside, stretch and breathe in deeply, inhale the warmth of the sunlight. The last moments to enjoy wearing your favorite feminine, flowy, flowery (alliteration!) tank top before you sadly (and begrudgingly) have to banish it for a few months.

And the last few excuses you have to make delicious, creamy ice cream that reminds you of far away islands.

This ice cream is creamy, flavorful and chocked full of graham cracker goodness. And it’s super simple to whip up. Make this before it’s too late 😉

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Cooking Light via Good Life Eats

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lime juice*
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 graham cracker sheets, coarsely crushed

*Note: I used fresh squeezed lime juice but the original recipe states that bottled lime juice can be used. Just be sure that it is as fresh as possible.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine milk, lime juice, heavy cream, salt and sweetened condensed milk; whisk to combine.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Attachment and let it run for the suggested 25 minutes and my ice cream was not what you would consider soft serve, so I let it run for another 10 minutes until it became more solid.

Stir in the crushed graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges or lime zest if you wish.

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Ahhhh, who am I kidding? I love ice cream so much that I’m sure I’ll post more in the Winter months. After all, I am the loon who drinks hot cocoa and eats chili in the Summer and craves ice cream in the Winter.

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S’mores Brownie Bars

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You know how some people can’t live without food and water? Or say… air? Me, I can’t live without brownies and s’mores in my life. Seriously. I have a problem.

I have tried a bagillion different brownie recipes. Not to find the perfect one, but to enjoy all the tiny differences each recipe has to offer. As for s’mores, I think I have tried s’mores anything: cereal, granola bars, brownies, cookies, plain old campfire s’mores and even microwave s’mores. S’mores are love. Try not to smile when sitting in front of a roaring fire, wrapped in blankets, with your sister sticking skewered marshmallows into the fire then squashing the gooey, half burnt marshmallow between some chocolate and graham crackers. It really is the epitome of happiness.

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But when it’s 9 million degrees here in Houston (for the umpteenth day straight) it’s just not reasonable to get a roaring fire going to enjoy some yummy s’mores.

Enter these bars. You get the crunch of the graham cracker in the form of a buttery graham cracker crust (which is great because it won’t get soggy while baking), your dose of chocolate comes in the form of a fudgy brownie and topped off with fluffy, melty marshmallows.

S’mores heaven in a bar.

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S’mores Brownie Bars
Adapted from Alice Medrich, as seen here

Yields 16 servings (depending how large you cut the bars)

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 tablespoons sugar

For the brownie layer:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the topping:
20 large marshmallows; cut in half

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar and mix until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Allow crust to cool on wire rack.

3. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees F.

4. In a large microwave safe bowl on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together in 30 second intervals, stirring every 15-30 seconds until chocolate is almost completely melted, then stir until smooth.

5. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time until well combined. Then add flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.

6. Let cool completely, then lift out using the foil and place brownies onto a broiler safe pan (I used the same brownie pan once everything was cooled). Move your oven rack about 6 inches from your broiler and preheat your broiler to low.

7. Layer marshmallows (sticky side down) across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (watch this like you have never watched anything before…it can burn QUICK), about 2 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Happy National S’mores Day!! Enjoy!!

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MSC – S’mores Cupcakes!

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I. LOVE. S’MORES.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Some may call it an obsession.

While most people think of snow and holidays and gift-wrapping once chilly weather arrives, I… think of s’mores.

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Once acceptable s’mores weather passes, I make ’em in the microwave: assemble (minus the top graham cracker) and zap it for 10 seconds, top with graham cracker and squish!! Mmmm.

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Anywho, you can imagine my childish squealing mature delight at being able to make this along with the MSC group this month.

I made half of the cupcake recipe, full recipe of the ganache and made 1/3 recipe of the 7 minute frosting instead of the marshmallow frosting.

I pulsed graham crackers in my food processor until it was fine, and assumed that this was what Martha meant by ‘graham flour.’ I also tossed a few chocolate chips on top of the cupcakes before they went in the over but they sunk to the bottom. Once they were cool, I cut small circles out of the tops of each cupcake to hold a bit extra ganache. Cus, let’s face it, ganache makes everything better. Topped it with a dollop of frosting. Magnifique!

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All I can say is, these bad boys are trouble. A few people have tasted them and that’s the exact same response given by everyone. And I heartily accept that as a compliment 🙂

A huge thank you to Mary Ann from Meet Me in the Kitchen for indulging in my obsession, even though you didn’t know I had one 🙂

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