Strawberry Semifreddo

I almost always have ice cream on my mind. If it’s cold out, ice cream. If it’s stormy out, ice cream. Hot out, definitely ice cream. There’s something about the rich, smooth texture of ice cream that is refreshing no matter what the temperature is. Luckily, though, it’s summer and there’s no need to justify craving a cool treat. As the heat has been ramping up, I’ve even been considering investing in an ice cream maker. A dangerous purchase? Probably. But how could I resist being able to make frozen treats any time I want…. and in any flavor I want!?

*Spoiler alert* My will power sometimes surprises me and is stronger than I let on…

I didn’t buy the ice cream machine.

BUT, I do have an amazing semifreddo recipe to share with you.

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Semifreddo is an Italian world that translates to half cold and, unlike ice cream, is made with whipped cream; ice cream, on the other hand, comes together by churning air into the base mixture. I like to think of semifreddo as the dessert love child of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and mousse. It’s light, fluffy, smooth, and glides down your tongue. This particular recipe is layered with juicy strawberries that provide texture and sweetness. I wasn’t able to track down sesame seeds for the topping, so I opted to leave them off. If you don’t any have luck either, you could also substitute toasted almonds or pistachios or sprinkles!

For the full recipe and step by step instructions, venture over to Bon Appetit.

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Linzer Cookies

When I first made these cookies, it was right around Valentine’s Day, and I happened to be snowed in at my apartment. Snowpocalypse 2014 had hit Portland. While others were out cross country skiing and sledding through the neighborhoods, I was excited for an opportunity to do nothing but bake. There was something about the crisp white layers hanging from the trees and covering the streets that put me back in the Christmas spirit. These Linzer cookies were the perfect baking project and happened to satisfy both holiday spirits (Cupid and Santa would be proud).

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The heart shape and jam filled centers made them fitting for Valentine’s Day and the dusting of powdered sugar echoed the snow falling outside my window. Not to mention the overall comfort and deliciousness that shortbread cookies always seem to provide. Yup. These were the right choice.

As you’re reading, it’s probably neither Christmas or Valentine’s and you may be wondering why I’m still posting this. Don’t let the season stop you from making these heavenly hearts. The shortbread and jam combination balance one another without being overly rich, while the dusting of powdered sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness. Plus there’s jam in the middle which makes this a perfectly acceptable breakfast item, right? Move over toast. These Linzer cookies are coming through! But seriously, pair them with your coffee or tea for some extra pep in your morning step. Also, why not spread love all year long? Cheers to happy hearts.

For the full recipe and step by step instructions, head on over to Jaclyn’s Cooking Classy blog. Thanks Jaclyn!

Double Chocolate Almond Florentines

So. HOT. Can. barely. think.

It’s almost 90 degrees, AND I’m inside.

My face is pressed as close to my fan as it can possibly go, too fatigued to even shout words into the blowing air stream and transform my voice as I once did when I was a child. Okay, thinking cap on. I need to bring snacks to book club later in the evening. What can I make that does NOT require me turning on my oven.

IMG_1225Open, shut, open, shut. I flip through the cupboards and pull out a hodgepodge of ingredients. Slivered almonds, chocolate chips, powdered sugar. Think. Think. Think. Knowing that these three items would complement one another (I mean, chocolate goes with everything), I began searching the web to see if I could get some no-bake recipe inspiration. I came across this lifesaving recipe. Seriously, these treats are so delicious, so easy to whip up, and most importantly do not require turning on your oven. Seasons and Suppers…. thank you! thank you! thank you!

If you’re in a heat wave like I was or are just looking for an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, head on over to Seasons & Suppers for the recipe on how to make these Double Chocolate Almond Florentines.

White Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats

There’s not always a middle ground when it comes to food; there are some items that you either love or hate. I’m pretty sure marshmallows fall under this group, if we can even classify them as food. I happen to be a heavy hitter in the first category, like marshmallows are sitting in a mason jar in my cabinet-could eat them all day-even eat them as a post workout snack-don’t get me started on s’mores-love them kind of person. Ever since my dorm days in college, homemade rice krispies treats have been one of my go-to snack recipes. They take about 5 minutes to make and don’t require turning on the oven…. which can be a summertime savior.Krispies_Good

There are so many variations on the classic rice krispies treat that combinations are endless; I tend to drizzle mine with white chocolate and top with rainbow sprinkles. They just look happier that way! If you’re heading to a picnic or a summer concert at the zoo (*cough*cough, like I was), these treats can be easily wrapped up in individual servings. Place them in the center of a piece of plastic wrap and fold until the treat is completely covered. To seal the treat, twist each end and finish by adding a ribbon. Voila!

Ingredients:
1 bag of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz)
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal*
3 tablespoons butter

*6 cups is the recommended amount but if you want your treats more gooey, opt for less krispies; for a less gooey treat, add in more krispies.

Extras:
Non-stick cooking spray (for your hands!)
½ cup white chocolate
Sprinkles
 
Directions:
Place the marshmallows (yes, all of them) and butter in a large microwave safe bowl. You’ll later be adding the Rice Krispies to this bowl so make sure you choose one that will have enough space for all ingredients. Microwave for 1 minute and then stir; continue to heat and stir until marshmallows and butter are completely melted (about 1-2 more minutes). Once the marshmallows and butter are melted, gently fold in half of the Rice Krispies. I like to add them in sections so they don’t go flying when I attempt to stir the mixture. Once combined, add the remaining krispies. You can choose to stir with a spoon or spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray and use them to mix. When the marshmallows, butter, and rice krispies are combined transfer to a greased 13x9x2 inch pan. To finish off these treats, drizzle melted white chocolate on top and then add the sprinkles. Cover and place these treats in the fridge to cool.