Caramel Pear Cranberry Cake…*
…a versatile dish to enjoy this holiday season

The holiday season has officially begun. Now that Thanksgiving is over, my Christmas spirit is at an all-time high. Black Friday was a success this year, for my Christmas shopping is complete. Presents are wrapped and neatly stacked underneath my beautifully lit 6-foot artificial tree, strung with pink sparkly ornaments and zebra striped stilettos. I stocked up on sugar, flour, butter, cupcake liners, colorful ribbons, and cute polka dot treat bags. Yesterday marked the beginning of my baking marathon that will not end until Santa Clause comes to town. It is the only marathon that could ever bring excitement to my life and add inches to my waistline. However, without a doubt, it is my favorite time of year, so you will not hear me complaining about sporting stretch pants and jeans with elastic waistbands. :)

 To kick this baking season off right, I started with a very simple and very delicious cake, loaded with topaz-colored pears and ruby red cranberries. The tartness of the cranberries is just enough to complement the sweetness of the pears. It is the warm caramel sauce that takes this recipe from an ordinary coffee cake to an elegant dessert. Enjoy this light and lovely holiday dish for breakfast or dessert.
The Ingredients…*
Adapted from: likemotherlikedaughters
3 cups peeled, diced, ripe pear
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups dried cranberries, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
The Instructions…*
(1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10 cup Bundt pan.
(2) Toss pears with 1 tablespoon sugar and let stand.
(3) Beat eggs, 2 cups sugar, and oil at medium speed in an electric mixer until blended.
(4) Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to egg mixture a cup at a time on low speed until blended.
(5) Fold in pears, cranberries and vanilla extract.
(6) Pour into prepared pan.
(7) Bake about 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto serving plate.
(8) Drizzle with Caramel Ice Cream topping, or prepare your own homemade caramel sauce.
Slice yourself (and your friends) a piece and serve with extra caramel sauce.
Pretzel Rolls…*
…a roll through memory lane

As many of you already know, I quit my high-paying, high-stress management job at Marriott to work at a cupcake shop. Okay, that sounds really bad… let me rephrase that. After much thought and deliberation, I decided to give up what I’ve always known to pursue my dream and passion for all things sweet. In doing so, I’m taking a huge risk, a very large pay cut, and defending myself left and right to my coworkers and family members. For those of you still shocked and confused, please know that I am happier, healthier, and stronger because of the decision I made.

I promise I can still pay my bills, feed myself, and have enough money left over to bake my heart out…which is honestly the only thing I truly care about at this point in my life.

Just know that I will be successful one day, and I will not let anyone who believes otherwise stand in my way. “Those who have pursued their dreams and failed have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.”

With that said…hello Sprinkles Cupcakes and the start of my entrepreneurial ambition,
Little Shortcake.
Oh, right…the pretzel rolls. These were inspired by the one thing I looked forward to every day at the Marriott. Whether I was working at 3am or working until 3am, there was always a stash of freshly baked pretzel rolls in the kitchen. I probably ate too many for my own good, but that's not important. The point is, these rolls made my day, every day. Not only were they soft and chewy, but the coarse salt sprinkled on top really made these rolls extraordinary.

When I started my new job, I was surrounded by all the free cupcakes I wanted (which is phenomenal by the way), but no pretzel rolls. My craving got the best of me one afternoon and with the help of a recipe I stumbled upon from
Tasty Kitchen, I was able to recreate my moment of happiness. 

Can I just say something? I’ve never been a bread lover, but these rolls are absolutely incredible. They are best when they are warm out of the oven. Dip ‘em in mustard, cheese, or slice ‘em in half for a ham and cheese slider, chicken salad sandwich, or a great bun for a juicy burger.
The Ingredients…*
Recipe by: Erin Raatjes
1½ cups Warm Water (110°F)
1 packet (1/4 Oz.) Active Dry Yeast (not Quick Rise Yeast)
2 teaspoons Sugar
4½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups Baking Soda
1 whole Egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel Salt, to sprinkle on top
The Instructions…*
(1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and the yeast and let rest 5 minutes until foamy.
(2) Add the sugar, flour, salt, and butter; mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined.
(3) Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
(4) Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
(5) Cut the dough into 18 pieces (2 ounces each).
(6) To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.
(7) Place the ball on the baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll.
(8) Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.

(9) Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.
(10) In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer.
(11) Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
(12) With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll. (I used scissors to cut an ‘X’ in the top of each)
(13) With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely.
(14) Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. (Sea Salt works great too!)
(15) Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.
Toasty golden brown buns :)
Double Stuffed Oreos…*
…Oreo-infused vanilla buttercream sandwiched between 2 chocolate cookies

Everyone loves Oreos. It’s a fact of life. (And if you don’t, well, I’m sorry, but we cannot be friends.) Just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, there are hundreds of ways to eat an Oreo. 

Maybe you like to eat your Oreo(s)…
1. All at once
2. One bite at a time
3. Slow and methodical nibbles examining the results of each bite afterwards
4. In little feverous nibbles
5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee...) ßthis is totally me!
6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie
7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie
8. Just the cookie, not the inside

Either way, Oreos can be just as unique as the way you eat them. With 33 different variations, Oreos are making themselves marketable to every human being on the planet. 

Peanut Butter stuffed Oreos. Chocolate stuffed Oreos. Cool Mint stuffed Oreos. Fudge Sundae Oreos. Reduced Fat Oreos. Golden Oreos. Golden Chocolate Oreos. Oreo Fudge Rings. Oreo Cakesters. Oreo Fun Stix. Sugar Free Oreos. Oreo Snack Cakes. Oreo Thin Crisps. Yada, Yada, Yada…Last but not least, DOUBLE STUFFED OREOS. Yes please. You had me at double.

Thanks to Nabisco, I’m slightly overweight and significantly obsessed with these cream-filled cookies. I thought it’d be a good idea to make my own Oreos, because everything is healthier when you make it yourself, right? Right.

These rich, chocolate cookie sandwiches are stuffed with a creamy, vanilla cookie-infused frosting that make them extra tasty. They are double the size, double the flavor, but I’m going to go ahead and pretend they are still only half the calories as the store-bought originals. Mmmmk? Enjoy! :)
The Ingredients…*
For the chocolate cookies:
Recipe adapted from: Flour Child
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg

For the cookies ‘n’ cream filling:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Sprinkle of salt, to tasting
8 Oreos, crushed very finely 
The Instructions…*
First make the cookies:
(1) Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
(2) In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
(3) Take rounded teaspoons of chocolate batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart.
(4) Using the back of a spoon, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool. Meanwhile, prepare the filling…
Then, prepare the filling:
(1) Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cream, and vanilla on medium-low until smooth
(2) Slowly add powdered sugar until barely mixed in, and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes
(3) Fold in crushed Oreos
Finally, assemble the ‘Oreos’:
(1) To assemble the cookies, turn them over on their backs and match each of them up to another cookie equal in size.
(2) Drop a teaspoon-size blob of buttercream into the center of one cookie.
(3) Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream.
(4) Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.
Pour yourself a tall glass of milk. Generously dunk Oreos in milk. Thoroughly enjoy this moment. :)
Oh, and P.S. if you love Oreos just as much as me, make sure to check out these treats:
Brownie Covered Oreos
Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies
Marshmallow-Stuffed Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes
Deep Dish Apple Pie Cupcakes…*
…apple pie meets cinnamon spice cupcakes

Just like many food bloggers and bakers across the world, I have a ‘to-bake list’ that has no end. In the past few weeks, it has grown tremendously to include 236 recipes online saved to ‘my favorites’ folder, 39 sticky notes bookmarking various pages in my favorite cookbooks, and 17 random magazine cutouts. It stresses me out knowing there are so many delicious recipes I MUST try, and so little time to make them. Sometimes, I’ll close my eyes and randomly scroll down the list until I can decide on one. Other times I’ll just pick based on the time frame I have or whether the ingredients are on sale or not.
This time, however, a coworker of mine handed me
a recipe that I knew I couldn’t stash away. It seemed fairly easy, required little time and few ingredients. I couldn’t find an excuse not to make it immediately. 

So that is exactly what I did. Without further ado, be prepared to be amazed. Apple pie meets cinnamon spice cupcakes. With a little extra time on my hands, I prepared a homemade cream cheese buttercream to top off these moist, apple pie-bottomed cupcakes. What a perfect way to start off the holiday baking season! :)
The Ingredients…*
For the cupcakes:
Recipe adapted from: Pillsbury
1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
1 box spice cake mix
Water, oil, and eggs according to box mix
½ cup apple pie filling

For the cream cheese buttercream:
Recipe by: Martha Stewart
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
The Ingredients…*
First make the cupcakes:
(1) Preheat oven to 450° F.
(2) Remove pie crusts from pouches; unroll on work surface. Cut six 4 3/4-inch rounds from each crust.
(3) Firmly press 1 round in bottom and up the sides of each of 12 nonstick jumbo muffin cups;
Bake 5 minutes; set aside.
(4) Reduce oven temperature to 350° F.
(5) Make cake batter as directed on box. Divide apple pie filling evenly among jumbo paper-lined muffin cups.
(6) Top with cake batter, dividing evenly among muffin cups.
(7) Bake 30 to 33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
(8) Cool completely. In the meantime, prepare the frosting…
Then make the buttercream:
(1) Place cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until creamy, about 30 seconds.
(2) With the mixer on low, slowly add sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowls as necessary.
(3) Add vanilla and increase mixer speed to medium. Blend until frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute.
(4) Using a prepared piping bag (or a flat knife), frost the cupcakes as desired…and enjoy! :)
Slice ‘em down the middle to reveal the thick layer o’ apple pie
Mmmmmm check out my apple bottoms ;)
‘Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’ Fudge Bars…*
…layer after layer of your baking aisle favorites

Oh, fudge, I did it again. I got a little out of hand in the kitchen, made a huge mess, and ended up with these overloaded, triple-layered fudge bars. A little bit of chocolate, a whole lot of peanut butter, a hint of coffee, and a bag of marshmallows later, I bring to you the most decadent fudge of them all. I should apologize for doing this to you, and well, to myself…but I’m not going to. I should have stopped after the chocolate layer, but that just wouldn’t suffice. I really could have gone without the peanut buttery marshmallow fluff, but seriously, where’s the fun in that?!

I spent far too long trying to come up with a creative name for these little devils, but in the end, I’d rather just call them what they are: everything-but-the-kitchen-sink fudge bars. Enjoy :)
The Ingredients…*
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, divided
¾ cup dark chocolate chips (milk chocolate works great too)
1 ½ cups peanut butter chips
2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup salted, dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
The Instructions…*
(1) Line an 8-inch square baking dish with wax paper
(2) Pour half of the milk into microwave-safe bowl; add chocolate chips, cocoa, and coffee granules; microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted
(3) Stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla and spread into prepared pan; place in refrigerator while preparing the next layer
(4) Combine the remaining milk, ¾ cup of the peanut butter chips, and peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted
(5) Stir in remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla and spread evenly over chocolate layer; refrigerate again
(6) Next, melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat; add in marshmallows and the remaining ¾ cup of the peanut butter chips. Stir constantly over low heat until completely melted.
(7) Spread marshmallow fluff evenly over peanut butter layer and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

(I had some extra chocolate chips so I threw those in as well...)
(8) Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours
(9) Cut into small squares and enjoy! :)
p.s. these make great little gifts for the Holidays—wrap up a few squares in darling tissue paper and tie with ribbon for the sweetest gift of all :)
Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes…*
…add a festive kick to your Holiday parties this year

The Holidays are drawing near, and with that comes joyous celebrations, holiday music, gift-giving, and of course, family feasts. To me, this is the time of year to recognize all we have to be thankful for, to celebrate our traditions, and most importantly, to spend time with our loved ones. This year, skip the pumpkin pie and eggnog, and go for something a little more festive—Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes.

Opposites attract: Spicy red pepper flakes atop a sweet whipped cream is a perfect playmate for this dark Dutch chocolate cake.The cinnamon and pepper mixed with dark chocolate, vanilla and sugar, take these cupcakes to an irresistible boldness. They may look like a labor of love, but these cupcakes are easy to make and they will be the hit of the party.  
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Love this recipe?! Vote for it at Pacific Natural Foods’ Everyday Chef Challenge
Thank you in advance for all of your support! :)
The Ingredients…*
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from: Cheeky Kitchen
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup Pacific Natural Foods Ultra Soy Milk, Plain (whole, skim & 2% milk will work just fine)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Dutch cocoa
1 1/4 cups white flour

For the Dulce de Leche Filling
1 cup caramel ice cream topping

For the Spicy Whipped Cream Frosting
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tablespoon dark chocolate chips, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
The Instructions…*
First, make the cupcakes
Yields: 1 dozen cupcakes
(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
(2) In a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, and soy milk. Beat together until well combined. 
(3) Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla, stirring well until incorporated into the batter. Slowly beat in the cocoa and flour just until mixed into the batter.
(4) Spoon batter into muffin pan lined with cupcake wrappers, filling each cup to approximately 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 17-19 minutes, or just until the tops of the cupcakes spring back to the touch. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Next, prepare the whipped cream
(1) In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
(2) Slowly add the brown sugar, mixing until the cream is thick enough to pipe on top of cupcakes; set aside. 
Finally, fill and frost the cupcakes
(1) Using a spoon or small scoop, remove a small portion of the top center of each cupcake. Spoon or pour heated caramel sauce into this center part of the cupcake.
(2) Spoon whipped cream into a large pastry bag (or Ziploc bag), then pipe it on top of cupcakes, over the caramel filling.
(3) Sprinkle with chopped chocolate, cinnamon and red pepper flakes for garnish.
And finally, the moment of truth… [drum roll please]…
 Ahhhh…the sweetness and spiciness combine to make for the perfect bite.
As my cousin pointed out, “This is the perfect recipe for us Cuban girls.” ;)
Banana Crumb Muffins…*
… simply the best banana muffin out there

If you have a few minutes and a handful of ripe bananas, look no further. This is the perfect way to turn those speckled bananas into something fabulous—you won’t be disappointed! I’ve had my share of banana breads and muffins but nothing compares to these. The muffins are so moist, delicate and flavorful. The cinnamon-sugar crumble adds another element of texture that really makes this recipe extraordinary. What I love most about this recipe is that it is so simple, yet you can dress it up with a handful of chopped walnuts, or a drizzle of cinnamon icing. These are definitely the easiest banana muffins I have ever made, and by far the most delicious! Happy baking :)
The Ingredients…*
Recipe adapted from: All Recipes
For the Muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
The Instructions…*
First, make the Muffin Mix:
(1) Preheat oven to 375 °F and lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers
(2) In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside
(3) Using an electric mixer, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in another bowl
(4) Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened
(5) Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups
Next, make the Crumb Topping:
(1) In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon
(2) Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture becomes crumbly
(3) Sprinkle topping over muffins
(4) Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean
So moist and delicious, but it’s the crumb topping that really makes these muffins stand out.
Gone in 60 seconds. :)
If you’re feeling extra generous, box a few of these up for friends—they make great gifts!
Marshmallow-Stuffed Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes…*
… an Oreo-crazed treat for the bride-to-be

I have yet to meet someone who will turn down an Oreo cookie. I know plenty of people who don’t like chocolate—which of course, I find to be incredibly weird—but yet, they still eat Oreos. There’s just something about that sweet layer of cream sandwiched between two thin, crunchy, chocolatey cookies that drive me (and everyone else) crazy. But what happens when you take this popular cookie to the next level—like by stuffing it inside a brownie, or a cookie, or better yet, a cupcake?!

I’ll tell you what happens. It’s like you died and went to heaven. It’s pure bliss. Especially when it comes to these cupcakes: cookie crumb bottom. milk chocolate cake. marshmallow filling. cookie crumb top. cookie infused buttercream. and even more cookie crumbs sprinkled on top. Zomggg

To all the Oreo lovers out there, could life get any better? I mean seriously. It’s a good thing the young lady who I baked these for truly has a sweet spot for chocolate. To celebrate her bachelorette party, Miss Sarah Fatzinger, soon-to-be Mrs. Ballinger, requested a sweet treat for her bridesmaids. All-out downtown Chicago style, these cupcakes needed to match the theme of the night. Layers of chocolate, pretty sprinkles, and sparkly rings seemed to be the perfect match for the ever-so-sweet bride-to-be.

Enjoy these cupcakes with your girlfriends, or tone down the décor for a manlier-looking treat. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my other Oreo-inspired treats:
Brownie Covered Oreos
Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies
The Ingredients…*
For the Oreo Cupcakes
1 box of chocolate cake mix
20 Oreos, crushed
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
Eggs, oil and water according to box

For the Marshmallow Filling
Recipe by: The Cookbook Queen
13 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 stick salted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the Cookies ‘n’ Cream Buttercream

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups powdered sugar
Dash of salt
15 Oreos, crushed very finely
The Instructions…*
First, make the Oreo Cupcakes
(1) Heat oven to 350°and line muffin pans with paper liners
(2) Beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer for 30 seconds on slow
(3) Add chocolate pudding mix and beat for an additional 2 minutes at medium speed
(4) Distribute half of crushed Oreos amongst cupcake liners
(5) Pour batter evenly over the top of the crushed Oreos, making sure not to fill more than 3/4 of each cup
(6) Sprinkle remaining crushed Oreos on top of batter
(7) Bake cupcakes for 16-20 minutes—taking them out when toothpick comes out clean
(8) Cool completely 
Next, the Marshmallow Filling
Recipe adapted by: The Cookbook Queen
(1) In a large bowl, beat Marshmallow fluff, butter, heavy cream and vanilla on medium low until smooth
(2) Slowly add the powdered sugar and increase speed to medium high and beat for about a minute
(3) Once cupcakes are cooled completely, scoop filling into piping bag or Ziploc bag with a fitted tip and pipe it through the top of the cupcake
Finally, the Cookies ‘n’ Cream Buttercream
(1) Using an electric mixer, beat butter, cream, and vanilla on medium-low until smooth
(2) Slowly add powdered sugar until barely mixed in, and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes
(3) Fold in crushed Oreos
(4) Frost or pipe frosting on cupcakes, as desired, and top with any remaining crushed Oreos
. . . .  I used Wilton Cookies ‘n’ Cream Sprinkles :) how perfect!
Now it’s finally time to devour this fluffy, marshmallowy pillow of frosting and cookie crumbs :)
Pumpkin Spice Brownie Chunk Ice Cream…*
…combines the best of both summer & fall 

NEWS FLASH: Today is November 1st….in Chicago…AND IT’S 65° and SUNNY outside! What the heck is going on?! I should probably stop right there, because knowing my luck, there WILL be a blizzard next week. With that, I find myself still craving cool summer treats, like ice cream, slushies, and frozen margaritas. I decided to bust out my new KitchenAid Ice Cream maker and whip up a little something that combines the best of summer and fall—pumpkin spice brownie chunk ice cream.

Like I discovered in my previous post, chocolate and pumpkin make for the most delicious combination. I know it’s a hard sell, but trust me on this one—you have to try it. After my pumpkin chocolate chip bars, I knew I couldn’t stop there. I’ve always wanted to try pumpkin ice cream, but why stop there? Why not throw in a few brownie chunks? Heck, just dump in the whole batch of brownies.  I mean, if you’re going to take the time to make homemade ice cream, you might as well go all out, right? ;)
 Enjoy this sweet, creamy, rich and tangy ice cream alongside your favorite fall cookie, or top it with hot fudge for an undeniably addicting bowl of deliciousness.  
The Ingredients…*
Recipe adapted from: Max Falkowitz
1 cup pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cups small brownie chunks, chilled in freezer (homemade or box mix) 
The Instructions…*
Recipe yields 1 quart (8-10 servings)
(1) In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices into a paste
Slowly whisk in cream and milk until smooth
(3) Set on medium-low heat and, whisking frequently, cook until custard thickly coats the back of a spoon but a swiped finger leaves a clean line
(4) Strain into an airtight container, and chill overnight
(5) The next day, churn in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions
(6) When finished, remove churning puddle and quickly stir in brownie chunks with a wide spatula
(7) Transfer to freezer and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until firm
Once the ice cream is firm, go on, scoop yourself a healthy portion...
Then, add a warm, chunky brownie (or cookie). . .
Drizzle with hot fudge. . .
And sit back and enjoy—until your bowl is completely clean ;)

little shortcake...*