Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

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Mr. Sweet Sensations always says he doesn’t care much for sweets. Given the fact that I’ve been baking and decorating cakes for almost 28 years and now blog about baking that’s a pretty tall statement. That being said he is my biggest fan and will try anything I make as long as it doesn’t contain peanut butter. I had visions of a chocolate cake with billowing festoons of butter cream for his birthday and then did an abrupt about face.
He may not be a cake fan but Mr. loves ice cream, plain old vanilla at that.

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While aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome surfing at MyRecipes.com I found an ice cream sandwich cake and knew right away this was going to be his birthday dessert. It was hard to resist adding lots of extras but I did. Honestly all I needed was a basic guideline of how to put it together and I was off and running.

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Their recipe for the icing was lightly sweetened whipped cream. They also garnished it with chopped chocolate. The chocolate would have made my heart sing, but it wasn’t my cake. When he does have a taste for sweets he likes Oreos. Can’t get much sweeter than that can ya? So I crushed up some Oreos to use for garnish. In between the layers of ice cream sandwiches I spread a thin layer of basic buttercream to make it really hold together. The tops and sides were covered with a stabilized whipped cream. Stabilized whipped cream holds up lots longer without weeping and breaking down.

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I came across several recipes on the net but decided to use my daughters. The whipped cream she uses for her mini cheesecakes holds up very well and it is crazy delicious. One other note, the loaf pan I used was 9x5x3 and I used almost 14 – 3.2 oz ice cream sandwiches.

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Easy Ice Cream Cake – adapted from MyRecipes.com
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
6 ice cream sandwiches (3.5 ounces each) (14 – 3.2 oz)
2 1.5-ounce candy bars or 1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped (16 coarsely chopped Oreos)1 ½ cups buttercream frosting
Stabilized Whipped Cream (2 cups)
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 TBS warm water
2 cups whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup powdered sugar

Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with a piece of wax paper or parchment, allowing the paper to hang over both long sides. In the bottom of the pan, arrange 3 of the sandwiches in a single layer, cutting them to fit as necessary. Spread with half the buttercream. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and buttercream. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 1 week.

To make Stabilized Whipped Cream
Place the 2 TBS of water in a microwave safe bowl and heat on hi for 25-30 seconds. Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on the water and mix until dissolved. Let the mixture come to room temperature. While the gelatin is cooling, Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until slightly thickened. While beating slowly, gradually add gelatin to whipped cream mixture. Whip at high speed until stiff. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan and transfer to a platter. Frost tops and sides of the cake with the stabilized whipped cream and then sprinkle the top and base of the cake with the chopped Oreos. Keep frozen. Remove cake from freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving time. Freeze any leftovers.


Turkey Day Sweets

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And just like that Thanksgiving 2012 has come and gone. We kept it pretty low key, and I didn’t cook nearly as much as I did last year. It was still more than we needed but oh well. One of the best parts of the holiday weekend was that I was lazy as a lima bean. I took up residence on my corner of the couch with my blankie, phone, laptop and nook and chilled, big time. This was one of the few times in my life where I did that and didn’t feel one ounce of guilt. Yay me!!!

We don’t stray too far from our traditional Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing with all the trimmings and of course there was dessert. This is where I had to have the most restraint. The newcomers to the sweet line up this year were the Frosted Tiered Chocolate Cake and Mini Sweet Potato Cupcakes. Along with those I made Apple Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet Potato Pone, which is basically Sweet Potato Pie without the crust. Charisse doesn’t like the crust so baby girl must have her Pone. I also made Mini Buttermilk Pound Cakes that were baked in my jumbo muffin pan. So check out the pics and I’ll post the Chocolate Cake, Apple Cobbler and Mini Sweet Potato Cupcakes in a few days.


White Chocolate Mousse Shots and BCA

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There’s something about the end of October that always leaves me scrambling to catch up with the calendar. I didn’t want to sit here like a bump on a log and not having anything to post for the October observances so I managed to put something together. I promise I didn’t overdo it!

I made some white chocolate mousse shots for my friend Pat. They were served in punch bowl cups and the handle tied with pink and white ribbons. Just in time for BCA. Speaking of Breast Cancer Awareness I’m sharing some of the pictures from the table that I did last year. Thanks for looking at them again. I’m also posting the link to the dessert here.


Punch Bowl Cake

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If you want a dessert that feeds lots of people and requires minimal time and is easy on the wallet, a Punch Bowl Cake is the answer. The other cool thing about them is that there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. The basic ingredients are cake, whip cream, pudding and fruit. Working with these items the flavor possibilities are endless. Punch Bowl Cake, Trifle, pretty much the same thing. Even though it’s not always served in a punch bowl, it still bears the name and is also kind of pretty.

I’ve shared with you before that when I slice the crowns of my cakes I store them in the freezer. Most of the time I used them to make cake truffles. This weekend I didn’t have the time or inclination for that long drawn out process. I was also a bit skeptical about the cake because it had been in the freezer for months. To my delight the cake was as good as the day I tossed it into the icy depths of my freezer. These are my components:

Strawberry, yellow and white cake
White chocolate and French vanilla pudding
A mixture of cream cheese, whipped topping and powdered sugar
Sliced maraschino cherries
Pineapple tidbits
Unsweetened coconut
Toffee bits

Tell me, what’s not to love about all of the above? I started with cake as the first layer, then pudding, fruit, cream cheese mixture, and pudding. Layered it all the way to the top and then sprinkled the top with the toffee bits. I made it the day before and mustered all the restraint I could so as not to dive into it right away. It really is better the next day because the layers kind of cozy up to each other and the flavors blend perfectly. I could see this made with cookies, and then you’d have more of an ice box cake. I use brownies when I make Chocolate Deborah which I’m still under oath not to ever divulge the recipe. Some versions also use Jell-O, but I’ve never had or made that one, and honestly not quite sure if my gang would like it.

These types of throw a bunch of sweet stuff in a bowl desserts can easily be customized for holidays and other celebratory occasions. You’re only limited by your taste buds so have at it my friends!


Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwiches

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A while back I put together a yummy dessert and never posted it. Luckily this is the perfect time for it because July is National Ice Cream Month. I have to admit that although I do proclaim to have the largest sweet tooth in the world, ice cream is one of those sweet treats that I can take or leave. Wow, it’s hard to believe I said that.

The Mr. however would prefer ice cream over any type of cake, cookie or pastry. The kicker here is that he only likes vanilla or French vanilla. He calls the flavors I’d prefer, funny flavors. If I decide to have ice cream I want everything in it but the kitchen sink. Bring on the nuts, caramel, fudge, brownie bites and cookies. During the Memorial Day weekend I bought vanilla ice cream for my Mr. and cookies and cream as an extra. I also bought (ouch) some Archway Chocolate Chip Cookies. Together they made a pretty awesome Cookies and Cream Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich.

I softened the ice cream and spread it in a 9×13 plastic lined pan. Then I left it re-freeze and harden before cutting out circles the same size as the cookies. You have to work fast before the ice cream starts to melt. I think the next time I’ll try putting the ice cream in a decorating bag and piping it on. Place an ice cream circle between two cookies and you have instant dessert. My original plan was to roll the edges in chopped nuts or sprinkles and drizzle them with melted chocolate. After thinking about it a bit, I decided that would be a bit much even for me.

The remnants of ice cream were used to make icy treats with chunks of Oreos. By now you may be thinking I could have rolled the sandwiches in nuts and drizzle them in chocolate. Ha!!!


Memorial Day

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Before I get to Memorial Day I want to share a few pictures of the table I put together for the holiday. The plates, cups and bowls are plastic and came from Walmart. 4 plates for $1.96, yes that is a bargain. The glasses and bowls were about the same price also. I didn’t want to go the red/white/blue route just yet. That’s coming up for July 4th.

I brought out my luan chargers and mixed and matched the flatware. I made the centerpieces from dollar store finds and they only cost $3.00 each. The candelabra was a past thrift store purchase. Paper and plastic isn’t always tacky and I want to do another table with some patterned ones soon.

So Memorial Day came and went, and when it left it took our lovely weather with it. On Monday it was a balmy and wonderful 91 degrees. Right now it’s 54; these are the joys of living in Michigan. Weather aside our holiday weekend was wonderful. Our youngest son and his wife came up from Indiana and her mom came also. It was so good to meet her after all this time. The language barrier wasn’t as challenged as we thought it would be and she loves to cook. Good food speaks clearly in any language. We also share a love of collecting dishes and kitchen gadgets. She made samosas for us and they were out of this world, as was the rice pudding. Indian cuisine can be very time consuming and I was afraid she was going to tire herself out, but she didn’t.

They arrived Friday evening and there was Taco Salad, one made with turkey for them and a beef salad for us. In addition we had Panini’s, vegetarian and some with meat along with Garth Girls Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Cake Truffles.

My plans for a big breakfast on Saturday were shelved because there was a still lot to do for the holiday, and honestly we didn’t need it. Instead, I made a Vanilla Saffron Shortbread. The recipe came from Tiffany at ComoWater and has been in my “to make” file for a long time. I’ll share pictures and the recipe next week. MIL also brought with her a Chai Masala spice, OMG that stuff is amazing! She used it to make us tea every morning, and let me tell you, I felt very special. It’s still here and I don’t know if she intentionally left it or not. I do know that every time I open the cupboard I get a good whiff, yummy!!

Saturday evening after a trip to the outlet mall, I made Chicken and Salmon Croquettes. Along with the leftover Taco Salads and desserts there was plenty to eat. By now you may be wondering where all the pictures are. Spank my hand for this one foodie friends, pictures weren’t happening for the first two days. However, for the big dinner I did get dessert pictures and a few shots of the table. And speaking of the table, my son took over that job for me. I set out an example of what I wanted and he did the rest. That’s why the last shots of the table look different. I love it when the kids take over!!! With the kids that live here and their significant others, there were ten of us. We had a ton of food and I enjoyed every minute of the preparations.

Yumola to Infinity and Beyond!!! And just think in a little over a month we get to do this all over again, woo-hoo!!!

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Filling and Topping

Fruit Salad in Watermelon Bowl

Grilled Doughnuts

Mini Lemon Bundts

Chocolate Deborah with Fruit Salad and Chocolate Cake


Lemon Meringue Jar Cakes

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Thank you so much for all the well wishes about my new position with BellanOnline and thanks to all those who signed up for my newsletter. I’m going to do my best to make you proud.

When I made the Buttermilk White Cake for our son’s birthday, I had leftover batter so I made cupcakes. Since Anthony’s birthday was all about indulgence, like all of ours are, I decided to turn them into something a bit more decadent. Jar cakes have been popping up like crazy all over the internet and I knew it was only a matter of time before I made some. The last one I drooled over was from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen .

If you need a good laugh and a over the top recipe to go with it please visit Kristan’s blog, she is a hoot.

Once upon a time I used to make jelly and still have some jars, so the process began. I cut the cupcakes into thirds and starting layering. After the cake I piped in some lemon curd and layered it almost to the top. Then I made meringue, something I don’t make often. However I was super excited to make it because it gave me a reason to use my kitchen torch. I love that thing! Probably loved it a little too much that day, because my meringue was kind of crispy. Did Anthony care? Heck no! My jars were bigger than my cupcake slices so there was too much room on the sides. I believe they are 1 ½ pint size which is a lot, even for us. This is definitely a dessert meant to be shared.

I have so many sweet, yummy, calorie laden things I want to put into jars. The ideas are coming so fast it’s almost overwhelming, but I’ll handle it. Stay tuned. The lemon curd is the one I use all the time and the meringue came from Kristan’s blog. I am straining at the bit to make these for a dessert table, they’d be so cute!

Lemon Curd with White Chocolate
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups Meyer lemon juice, or fresh lemon juice
6 TBS unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 oz white chocolate, cut into bits

In a heavy saucepan, combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, until custard is thick and just begins to bubble. Strain into a bowl and stir in the butter and white chocolate until smooth. Pour into tartlet shells, cool and chill.


Sweet Endings

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We are still full to the brim from all the desserts we had for Christmas. I definitely made sure that my family’s sweet teeth were satisfied. That being said, the last day of 2011 deserves to go out on a sweet note. I have salivated over so many pretty tables paying homage to the end of the year and couldn’t resist the temptation to prepare a small one of my own.

The lemon cookies and white chocolate dipped pretzels were a holiday item and were drastically marked down at the grocery store. Luckily Jelly Belly’s are sold by the pound so just buying a handful wasn’t a problem.

What’s New Year’s Eve or any other celebration without champagne? I also combined vanilla bean ice cream with a cream cheese, whipped cream mixture that I used in my banana pudding parfaits for a quickie frosty treat.

When Samara was here for Christmas she made a Crème de Menthe Dark Chocolate Cheesecake and I stashed some for this table. The Hershey’s kisses were already dressed for the occasion so I included them also. A little bling here and there set the tone for a send off to a great year.

The printables were a generously provided by Tom Kat Studios .

Thank you so much for of the well wishes and great ideas on how to heal my heel. Although I won’t be dancing on the tables as the sign on the dessert buffet suggests, I will be drinking champagne. It’s truly been a blessing gaining so many new friends this past year. I hope 2011 has been an awesome year for you and wish good health and prosperity for you in 2012. Take Care and Be Well.


Caramel Pecan Coffee Ice Cream Float

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Hey Foodies, it‘s me Sabrina! You didn’t think I’d go away that easily did you? I’ve been making daily appearances at Sandra’s Lifelong Wellness classes, because her students are getting on her last nerves. Usually by the time I leave there I’m too pooped to pop. However, while Sandra is eliminating dust bunnies and folding tea towels I decided to whip up a yummy treat for you.
This is another quickie that doesn’t require a recipe that’s set in stone. Not that most are anyway, know what I mean? Anywhoo, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program sister dear received a sample of Godvia Caramel Pecan Bark Coffee. I thought it was high time it was used for something other than just politely sipping. Although I do get a good boost from it before Sandra’s classes. Ok, I’m off topic again, sorry about that. The hardest thing about this treat was finding an Irish Whiskey glass to serve it in. We don’t live in a sprawling metropolis and it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I brewed the coffee and let it cool to room temperature. Next I added two scoops of chocolate ice cream to the glass and poured in about ¾ cup of the cooled Caramel Pecan Bark coffee. Then it was time to load up on whipped cream. I’m the sister with the least amount of patience so I grabbed the can of Reddi-Whip from the fridge and let er rip. Then I sprinkled some chopped dark chocolate on top of that. Everybody say “YUM”! What’s a Caramel Pecan Coffee chocolate ice cream float without caramel sauce? I poured it on until it ran down the side of the glass. Sis was a bit miffed because it messed up her precious scrap booking paper she uses for her photos. C’mon it only costs .69, what’s the big deal! After a couple of pictures I still wasn’t satisfied, so I added some honey roasted peanuts. That was exactly what this float needed, and now I’m done. If you feel so inclined, you can share it with someone; or channel your inner Sabrina and eat it all by yourself.

Check you guys later!


Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Brownies

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I am doing the happy dance. I’m doing the cabbage patch and I’m doing the running man. I’m whistling while I work and grinning like a chesire cat. And what prompted this gleeful celebration you ask? Take a look below.

Looks like a brownie doesn’t it. Take another look.

Looks like a pretzel crusted brownie right? And one with a peanut buttery concoction that will send your sweet tooth into the stratosphere. But wait, look at it again, I think you may have missed something.

And now you’re saying, “Good grief Sandra, it’s a pretzel crusted brownie with some kind of peanut buttery concoction on top!” In actuality dear friends, It’s My MOJO disguised as a Peanut Butter Fudge Pretzel Crusted Brownie with some kind of peanut buttery concoction on top!!

Woo-hoo, Yippee Kai-Yay!!

I have Jessica over at How Sweet It Is to thank for instilling the image of this fantabulous brownie in my head over a week ago. Check out the recipe here. Why I didn’t make it sooner I don’t know. Oh yeah, I was busy making a Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and a Peach Cobbler. Better late than never. Now about that peanut buttery concoction on top. Jessica’s recipe called for 1 ½ cups of creamy peanut butter. I decided to go for broke, (yes I know that doesn’t usually work for me). I used ½ cup of creamy peanut butter, ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter, and ½ cup of Nutella, Booyah!!!! Sweet Mother of Pearl are these good. And you know what, me, Sandra Lee Garth, the proud owner of the largest sweet tooth in the world took almost 20 minutes to eat one. They’re that rich. To do penance so to speak, I ate them along with a generous helping of veggies.

The only downside to these lovelies is that Charisse doesn’t have to work for the rest of the week. So they’ll be sitting on the counter, whistling at me while I work. Guess I better stock up on veggies and green drinks.