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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Luck of the Irish

Happy Wednesday and HUMP DAY everyone! St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us (NYC is revving up for the parade) and it's time to start planning the dessert menu. I've got a few interesting options to get your guests skipping through the shamrock fields.

Chocolate-Mint Shamrock Shake
Kendra Vizcaino-Lico


  • 1 1/2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Whipped cream (plain or chocolate; optional)
  • Chocolate syrup, for garnish
In a blender, combine the mint chocolate chip ice cream with the milk and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. Pour the shake into a glass, top with the whipped cream, and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Mini Walnut Soda Breads
Bon Appetit October 1999


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly flour large baking sheet. Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend well. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in toasted, chopped walnuts. 
  2. Whisk buttermilk, egg and molasses in small bowl to blend. Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until medium-firm dough forms. 
  3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 6 turns. Flatten dough into disk. Cut into 6 wedges. Shape each wedge into ball. Place on prepared sheet, spacing evenly apart. 
  4. Flatten each to 3-inch round. Using sharp knife, cut shallow X in top of each round.
  5. Bake breads until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Vanilla Custard with Strawberries

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries

  1. Half vanilla bean lengthwise and add to milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in 12 cup of the sugar until sugar has almost dissolved and mixture thickens.
  3. Remove vanilla bean from milk and save for another use. Pour milk into egg–sugar mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Return custard mixture to saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, 15–20 minutes, or until custard is the consistency of pancake batter, a little thicker than heavy cream. Do not boil.
  4. Strain custard through a sieve and pour into six individual dishes or a large serving bowl. Allow the custard to cool at room temperature, then chill.
  5. Wash and trim strawberries. Sprinkle with remaining 1⁄4 cup sugar, mix gently, and let macerate for 1 hour at room temperature. Spoon berries over custard. Serve with shortbread cookies.

Happy baking to ya lads!

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