Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

  Growing up, my mom would make what we called ‘chocolate eclair cake’. It was the go-to dessert when we were asked to bring a dessert to large gatherings. It was my favorite sweet there most the time. It was rather simple to make, just graham crackers, boxed vanilla pudding, cool whip, and canned chocolate frosting- all layered and kept in the refrigerator. Not too long ago I tried recreating it from scratch, then I tried a slice in the freezer and it was even better that way. So, In a way, that dessert was the inspiration for this recipe. I guess it would be considered an icebox cake, but I’m still not sure. I used the label anyway as it comes pretty close in my opinion.

Traditionally, icebox cake is just chocolate wafers and whipped cream layered and refrigerated. This version has a bit more effort put into it, but the outcome is well worth it. I had a difficult time deciding what cookie/cracker/wafer I should use. I don’t like to buy pre-made things for most of my recipes, so graham crackers or any pre-packaged cookie was off the list. I decided on my ginger snap cookies and combined with the banana pudding, it’s the most delicious tasting combo.


Frozen Vanilla Bean Banana Icebox Cake with Ginger Snap Cookies

  for the pudding/filling:

2 cups whole milk

2 medium-sized bananas, mashed

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons cake flour (or all-purpose)

pinch of sea salt

2 cups heavy cream, beaten to stiff peaks

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

  for the cookies

3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1 large egg, room temperature

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons ground allspice

1/3 cup raw sugar, for rolling

  METHOD

  for the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Prepare one large baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.
  2. In an electric standing mixer (whisks attached), beat -on medium speed- the butter and sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and add the molasses and egg; beat on low until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl once more. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the mixer and beat on medium speed until just combined. Spoon out the dough, rolling each piece between the palms of your hands until they’ve formed into slightly smooth(but still have small cracks in the dough) balls, each being around 1/2-inch in diameter. Lightly coat with the sugar and place them on the baking sheet, spacing each piece an inch apart from each other. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Once the cookies come out of the oven, use a flat spoon to flatten each cookie while they’re still soft. Cool on the baking sheet for three minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely before using.

  for the pudding/filling:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla bean paste, and mashed banana. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, remove from heat and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Once the time has passed, pour the milk into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard any pieces caught. In another bowl, combine the cornstarch, cake flour, and salt. Add half of the milk to the flour and whisk until combined, set aside(whisk the mixture again just before using). 
  2. Set aside a clean mixing bowl, whisk, and sieve; as well as a large bowl filled with ice water for later use.
  3. Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with a few inches of water, then place a heatproof bowl that fits over the top of said saucepan(don’t let the bowl touch the water!). Bring the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once simmering, add the sugar and egg yolks and continually whisk until the sugar has dissolved(the mixture will look slightly pale yellow in color). Pour in the flour/milk mixture and whisk until combined, then add the remaining milk. Turn up the heat to medium and continue to whisk the mixture until thick and smooth, making sure to whisk the sides and bottom of the bowl so that none of the pudding burns. When it begins to bubble, cook for one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl. Set the bowl in the ice water and whisk the pudding until cool to touch. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding so it doesn’t form a skin. Refrigerate until cold(about 30 minutes or so, or place in the freezer until cool; this way is faster). Once the pudding has chilled, proceed to the next step:
  4. Chill a large bowl and the whisk(s) to an electric hand mixer. Once chilled, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean paste and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir the chilled pudding, then add to the whipped cream. Fold the two together until fully combined. Line the sides and bottom of a large loaf pan with parchment paper(I made the mistake of using plastic wrap, it was difficult to get into/out of the pan). To assemble the icebox cake:
  5. Place a layer of cookies at the bottom of the pan(they should be firmly in place), then spoon half of the pudding mixture on top of the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on the pudding, then add the remaining pudding over the top evenly. Lastly, top with another layer of cookies. Cover the pan tightly and freeze for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Once frozen drizzle with melted chocolate (optional).

SPICY VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHUNK GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

  Today’s recipe is a start to a new path, a path I’m really excited to journey down when it comes to baking.  I’m not switching over to a completely different baking method, mind you- I just wanted to start including the more alternative ways you can bake, whether it’s a completely plant-based recipe, a more traditional one, or somewhere in between.  I’m always looking to open my mind and try new things, well because that’s how you learn!

When I think of ginger molasses cookies, I think of round, flat, cracked tops(much like the ginger cookies I created last year); and their texture and taste just right.  I was prepared to be challenged as I’d never veered off the path of your usual ingredients: wheat flour, eggs, milk, and butter.  And I was, indeed, challenged by it.  I read so many different articles of what I should be pairing with what and to be honest, I was about to pull every hair off my scalp.  I now have a much higher reverence for those that must bake this way due to their health or conscious; you really do sacrifice a lot of things, one of them being your product won’t always look as dazzling as the original.  But, that doesn’t always mean the taste and texture aren’t delicious, they may even be better than the original!  “All that glisters is not gold”, as Shakespeare wrote, right?

  Anyway, I tried my hardest to get these cookies posted before New Year’s Eve(and I did!).  Originally, they were to be posted the beginning of this week, but I sat down and uploaded the photos I had taken before I left for Christmas, only to find I was very displeased at how they turned out.  I spent all of Thursday revising and testing the recipe I wrote out and finally, after the fourth baking attempt, they came out as I wanted- Slight crunch around the edges, but the middle soft, chocolatey and spicy.  You’re probably thinking what made me want to put chili pepper inside a cookie.  Well, I love spicy things and chocolate, so I thought I’d give the molasses cookie a slight twist.  Also because I picked a bunch of chili peppers out of the garden this summer and let them sit in the kitchen to dry and they looked so nice, so I crushed them up and threw them in.  It goes so well with the other spices!

  It’s hard to believe that 2016 is coming to an end, I feel it was just yesterday we were all celebrating the start!  A lot has happened in these twelve short months, but I’m ready for 2017.  I’m looking forward to trying new things, things that challenge me to think, see, and achieve differently.   Like many other’s, one of my goals in 2017 is to be healthier, happier, and more responsible in the way I’m eating.  Which of course, will affect what ingredients I use in the recipes I create and post.  Hoping you have a wonderful New Year!  One that’s hopeful(the next four years may look a bit bleak here in the United States), full of positive change, love, and happiness.  xo


SPICEY VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHUNK GINGER MOLASSES COOKIES

1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon chili pepper, ground(I used 1 dry chili pepper blended in a food processor)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), room temp.

3/4 cup demerara cane sugar

1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon finely ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons water, warm

5-ounces dark chocolate chopped into chunks

method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare one large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed and water and set aside for five minutes(this is your substitute egg).  
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, salt, baking soda, and spices and whisk well; set aside.
  4.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and molasses and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth and all the ingredients are incorporated.  Add the flaxseed and beat until combined, then add half the flour; beat until combined.  Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chopped chocolate.  
  5. Using an ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and place them 2-inches apart from each other on the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar.  Bake for 11-18 minutes until the edges are slightly darker than the center.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

GINGER SPICE LAYER CAKE WITH APPLE BUTTER MASCARPONE FROSTING

  The Barley and sorghum fields have been harvested and the {once} green, rolling hills of Northern Virginia are now brown and withered; meanwhile the bronze, red, and yellow hues from the hickory, beech, and red maple trees are scattered about the mountainside and valleys, creating a fiery picturesque scene.  Dotting the sides of the road are small farm stands selling freshly picked apples by the bushel, locally made ciders by the jug, mason jars filled with jelly of all kinds, and honey.  The air is crisp with the pleasant scent of burning wood and chimney smoke here and there- Oh, there are hundreds of things I could write about this beautiful time of the year, as well as the scenes and feelings felt within it.  It’s already passing by so quickly.  Soon all the trees will be bare and it will be brutally cold once again.

  But to every season there is always a downside, to me that downside is the withering of all the lovely flowers.  Flowers are a very crucial part of my blogging as they are practically the only ‘props’ that I use.  Just when I was saddened by not having any flowers to decorate with, I went on a walk around my neighbor’s farm and found a lone pink rose in one of the garden beds.  It was laden with rain droplets and was perfect in every way; alongside the rose were the prettiest purple mums.  In the end, I ended up smiling as it worked out.  But, pretty soon I won’t be so lucky.

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  As you can see if you scroll through my recent posts I’ve been doing a lot of baking with apples.  I don’t think I’ll ever tire of baking with them and I’ll be saddened when the season ends.  Usually I would make my own products using apples as that’s something I like doing instead of buying it pre-made from a supermarket, but I was really anxious to bake this cake that’s been on my mind for quite some time(and was unable to bake as I was away from my kitchen); so, once I got home I made my way to one of the many farm stands in my area that was selling their locally made apple products.  I found the most delicious apple butter and it happened to be made by the local Lions Club members.  Every year they go out and pick apples from the orchards nearby and dedicate an entire day of their time in the kitchen of a community cannery making the apple butter.  They can a thousand or so jars of it and sell it around the county!  Even though I didn’t have time to make my own apple butter, I still got to use it fresh(with local apples, too).

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  My absolute favorite part about this cake?  Well, that would have to be the frosting.  I really wanted something delicious that wasn’t your mundane American buttercream, so I played with it a bit and added mascarpone cheese and a custard that was flavored with that delicious apple butter I bought.  It’s like a hybrid of American and German buttercream(and it’s oh so good).  It’s smooth to the palate when eaten and it spreads beautifully!  In the layers are the spices of fall(as I call them), a hint of vanilla, and for that tender and moist crumb:  more apple butter.

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*Majority of measurements used is in metric units.


GINGER SPICE LAYER CAKE WITH APPLE BUTTER MASCARPONE FROSTING

cake

175 grams unsalted butter, room temperature

500 grams granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 large fresh eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup local apple butter

250 grams cake flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

312 grams milk, room temperature

 

frosting

2 large fresh egg yolks

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/3 cup apple butter

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

dash of ground cloves

pinch of salt

method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and line(with parchment) three, 8-inch cake pans.
  2. In an electric standing mixer with whisks attached, combine the sugar, butter, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 7-8 minutes until light and fluffy.  Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda until combined.  Set aside.  Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the eggs; beating one at a time until just combined(about 10 seconds each egg).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the apple butter and half of the flour mixture and half the milk.  Beat on medium until just combined; scrape down the bowl once more and add the remaining milk and flour, beat till just combined.  
  3. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 23-25 minutes.  Check for doneness at 23 minutes using a toothpick; if it comes out clean it’s done, if not, bake 2 more minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cakes rest in their pans for 10 minutes, then using a sharp knife, gently loosen the cakes from around the edges of the pan.  Invert onto wire racks to cool completely, about one hour.
  4.  Once cooled, assemble the cake.  Place the first layer flat side down on your cake board/plate/stand and add about 3/4 cups of the frosting.  Spread around with an offset spatula, then add the second layer, flat side facing up.  Add 3/4 more of the frosting, spread; then place the third layer, flat side facing up.  Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake and around the sides(it’s a naked cake so there will be a very, very little frosting for the edges).

frosting:

  1. Place a small mixing bowl in the refrigerator for later use.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often so it doesn’t burn.  Remove from heat and stir in the apple butter, let it sit for five minutes(it will look very grainy, so don’t freak out!).  Using a fine mesh strainer/sieve, strain out the mixture over a bowl to catch the liquid.  Discard the pulpy stuff and set the liquid aside.
  3. Create a double boiler by filling a medium-sized pot with a few inches of water, then place a heatproof bowl large enough to fit on top of the pot without touching the water.  Bring the water to a slow simmer over medium-low heat then add the egg yolks and sugar to the bowl; stir with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and egg yolks look a bit pale.  Continue to whisk the eggs, then slowly stream in the milk mixture.  Whisk constantly till the mixture is thick, this may take a few minutes.  Once the mixture has thickened, immediately remove the bowl from atop the pot of water and pour the custard into the chilled bowl.  Again, whisk frivolously until the mixture is cool to the touch.  
  4. In an electric mixer with beaters/whisks attached, add the soft butter and mascarpone cheese.  Beat on medium speed until combined and smooth.  Add the powdered sugar, salt, and custard and beat on medium-high until the mixture is combined and has become light in color and quite volumized, about 2 minutes.

PUMPKIN CAKE WITH GINGER STREUSEL AND CRÈME ANGLAISE

  Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
Ceaseless, insistent.

  The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.

  Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed and heavy.

  Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
Lest they forget them.

  • Sara Teasdale, “September Midnight”

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  I was waiting until it was ‘officially’ fall to start baking with pumpkin; no matter how fall-ish it felt near the end of summer, I couldn’t get myself to use pumpkin just yet.  My supermarket just started selling local pumpkins this past week and that’s when I decided it was time to use them.  So, I welcomed the new season with a simple pumpkin cake, garnished with a nutty streusel that uses fresh, minced ginger root for flavor.  And of course, you can’t have a cake without some pourable, sugary topping, so I opted with delicious crème anglaise.  It went exceptionally well with the cake!

  When baking, I almost always make my own added ingredients when possible, instead of buying pre-made or canned ingredients.  So I used fresh pumpkin purée when I made this recipe.  You don’t have to use it fresh, though, canned pumpkin purée will work fine.  If you want the full flavor, I highly reccomend using fresh pumpkin purée.  It’s very simple to make.

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  On another note, this was my first actual styled shoot.  Most the time when I’m baking and it comes time to photograph the thing(s) which I just baked, I find myself rushing the entire process when I shouldn’t be; so I end up throwing things together onto a table with the subject and don’t pay close enough attention to the light I’m in.  I decided ahead of time that I wasn’t going to do that with this shoot.  So, I planned it all out instead of doing it on a whim like I usually find myself doing.  I was quite pleased with how the photos turned out and I didn’t spend nearly as many hours editing them, per usual.  

  I also went more with neatness.  I tend to be very messy when it comes to the props in my photographs, which are almost always flowers, dried or alive.  You see, I don’t have that big of a prop closet, but what I do have is an abundance of flowers and greenery as I’m a hoarder with those things and love drying them for later use or for decoration.  My prop closet is pretty much a small cardboard box filled with tinkerings I’ve found here and there while rummaging through antique stores(I rarely ever purchase brand new props, I like them old).  It’s a never ending learning process photography is, and the main key is patience.  Something I lack more often than not, but am learning to work on.  

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PUMPKIN CAKE WITH GINGER STREUSEL AND CRÈME ANGLAISE


pumpkin cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temp.

1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin purée

1/4 applesauce 

ginger streusel

2 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cubed

2 ounces granulated sugar

3 ounces all-purpose flour

3 ounces chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ginger root, minced

crème anglaise

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large egg yolks

2 vanilla bean pods

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and line (with parchment paper) two loaf pans and set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; whisk till combined and set aside.
  3. In another (large) mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Using am electric hand mixer or standing mixer with whisks attached, beat the butter and sugar till fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the pumpkin purée, applesauce, and half of the flour.  Mix on medium speed till just combined, then add the remaining flour.  Again, mix till just combined. 
  4.  Divide the batter equally amongst the two loaf pans and spread around evenly in the pan(s).  Sprinkle with the streusel mixture.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.  Check for doneness with a toothpick at 40 minutes; if it is clean it’s done, if not, bake for 3-5 more minutes.
  5.  Once the cake is done, let them sit in the pans for 10 minutes.  Use a sharp knife to loosen the cake from around the edges of the pan then gently invert onto wire racks to cool.  You can eat it cool or warmed.  Once it reaches the desired temperature, cut into slices, then drizzle on the crème anglaise with a spoon onto the individual slices. 

streusel:

  1.  Wash, peel, and mince the ginger root and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cut in the cold butter cubes using a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor.  The pieces should be large and crumbly.  Add the nuts and freshly grated ginger and stir with a spoon till combined.  Sprinkle on top the cake before baking.

crème anglaise:

  1. Fill a large pot with ice and water a few inches deep.  Place a thin mixing bowl in the center of it with strainer resting on top.  Set next to your stove for later use.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add the milk.  Split open the two vanilla bean pods and scrape out the seeds and put them into the milk along with the pods.  On medium-low heat, bring the milk to a simmer.  Meanwhile, combine the sugar and yolks, whisk till well blended.  Once the milk has come to a simmer, remove from heat also removing the vanilla bean pods.  
  3. While whisking the yolks, slowly stream in half of the hot milk into the yolks.  Once they’re combined, gently add the yolk mixture back into the remaining milk, continuing to whisk.  Return the mixture to medium heat and continue whisking until thickened.  Be sure the mixture does not boil, or the yolks will curdle.  It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  To test the thickness, run your finger along the back of the said spoon after dipping it in the creme, if the streak remains without the creme running back into it, it is done.  Turn off the heat and pour the creme into the strainer that is resting on top the mixing bowl in the ice water.  Once strained, continue to whisk the mixture till it’s cool to touch.  Cover and place in the refrigerator till ready to use.   Serve with the cake.

Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies with Blackberry Coconut Mascarpone Cheese filling

  I know it’s only August, and yes, I’m totally not ready to accept that fall begins next month, but I really wanted ginger cookies.  Who’s to say they’re just for fall or winter?  So I made some.. and in them went three ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into fine chunks, of course; then sandwiched together with a purple Italian cream cheese filling.  Sounds amazing right?  Believe me, it is.  Earlier this year I made something similar with Meyer lemons and they were utterly delicious.  I haven’t really done much with blackberries so far, so I thought I’d make the cookies again, upgraded, and this time with a different filling.   I really love the combination of blackberry and coconut, add it to mascarpone cheese and it’s something close to heaven!

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  I always get excited when I pull these cookies out of the oven.  The crackled tops are almost always on point.  To me, how a cookie top looks matters immensely, especially photographically.  If a cookie does not have my desired look, I will continue to tweak the recipe and bake a thousand of said cookies till I get there.  There was much trial and error in perfecting this recipe when I first came up with it.  Now I can happily use the recipe with one hundred percent confidence that it will turn out just as I envisioned, and not just for me, but for other’s as well.

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  On a completely random note, I’ve been jumping back and forth with photography style these past few weeks.  I’m deeply inclined to dark, sharp, and shadowy tones; but I also love bright and clean, especially when it comes to food.  So, I’m still working on finding “my style”.  I’m hoping someday it will fall between the two I admire most and be somewhat unique in its own way.  Until then, I shall keep on playing with light and technique.  I fail miserably a lot of times, but that’s okay; it is a never ending journey trying to improve oneself.

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Blackberry Coconut Mascarpone Cheese Filling

8-ounce plain mascarpone cheese, room temp.

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 cup large blackberries

1/2 cup shredded coconut.

pinch of salt

METHOD

Be sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature before using, mascarpone is prone to curdle easily. 

In a small saucepan, mash the 1/4 of large blackberries and place on the stovetop over low heat.  Simmer the berries till more of the juices are released, about 3 minutes.  Pour the berries into a sieve and press out the juices, take out 2 tablespoons and set aside so it can come to room temperature.  Set aside 2 tablespoons of the pulp as well, and bring it to room temperature before using.  

Once all the ingredients have come to room temperature, place the cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer(on high speed)till creamy.  Slowly add the blackberry juice, pulp, pinch of salt, and powdered sugar.  Beat till incorporated.  Stir in the shredded coconut.  Place in the refrigerator till ready to use. 

 

Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

makes about 22 cookies / 11 sandwich cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp.

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1 large egg, room temp.

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

With an electric standing mixer with whisk(s) attached, beat the butter and sugar till creamy and light, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the molasses and beat till combined, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the eggs and beat till completely incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl again and add 1/3 of the flour and half of the chopped chocolate, beat till just incorporated.  Scrape, then add the other 2/3 of flour and beat till there’s no dry flour left to be seen.  Pour 1/3 cup of sugar onto a plate and set aside.  Take out pieces of the dough and roll it into a 1-inch ball, do not roll the balls till their surface is smooth, I roughly roll it into a ball.  Roll the ball around in the sugar that was set aside, just coat it lightly.  Place on prepared baking sheet till there is no more room, place them about 2 inches apart from each other.  Bake in preheated oven for 13 minutes.  Once done, remove from oven and let them rest on the pan for five minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Once all the cookies have cooled completely and come to room temperature add the cream filling by using a pastry bag with a large round tip attached.  Take one cookie and pipe on about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream.  Sandwich together with another cookie.  Enjoy!  I recommend refrigerating the cookies when not being eaten. 

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