Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sweet on Trader Joe's Sunday : Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Really...how can one pass up a dessert labeled as "sublime?" I cannot. Marketers, please don't start labeling everything as sublime, I have college tuition to pay for next year.

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches. Vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies, then rolled in mini chocolate chips. A box of 4 sandwiches costs $4.49.

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
A mom's (my) take: Honestly, I was sure these would fall short of their "sublime" designation. Most cookie ice cream sandwiches just don't live up to their potential. Well, I was wrong. These ice cream sandwiches ARE sublime. Soft chocolate chip cookies are the perfect texture...no crumbling, no breaking apart. The vanilla ice cream is creamy and luscious. The mini chocolate chips add a little extra chocolate flavor and a bit of crunch. These are going straight on my "might-be-too-tempting-to-keep-in-the-house list."
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars

A teenager's (Jack's) take: In the past, sandwiches like these seem to be eclipsed by the raw cold that comes from their being frozen--not with this one. Right out of the freezer, these have a powerful taste. A good ol' chocolate chip cookie taste is complemented perfectly by the cool, refreshing vanilla ice cream. Perfect. Now, the only problem is the size of your stomach...
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars


trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
Trader Joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches:

trader joe's Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches review : part of a weekly review series of tj's desserts and treats
[note: We have no affiliation with Trader Joe's. I'm sure they have never read this blog and have no idea who we are. Hey, we like being incognito, although we never wear sunglasses indoors. ;)]

Read all of our Trader Joe's sweet treats and dessert reviews

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Using corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...

Once upon a time, there was a cookie maker who had a dedicated printer for frosting sheets with edible ink. The printer caused so many headaches that the cookie maker banished it to a land far, far away called The Dumpster. The cookie maker wised up, started purchasing printed frosting sheets from the kingdom known as Etsy, and everyone lived happily ever after.

That's how the story starts. If you want more info on having an icing printer of your own, please check out this post from years ago. If you want to save your sanity, let someone else do it for you. ;) 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I've always applied frosting sheets using the same method: pressing the image directly onto wet royal icing. The problem with this is, the edges will curl. It was driving me a little crazy, so I decided to try applying using corn syrup. I'd heard many raves about this method from other cookie makers. 

First, apply a base layer of royal icing to your cookies and let dry completely. 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I ordered pre-cut round images and it was so much nicer than trying to cut a perfect circle on my own. (I am scissor-challenged....my circle are always wonky and I can't cut a straight line to save my life.) 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Once the icing is completely dry, use a brush to apply a thin layer of light corn syrup to each cookie.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Place the image on top, lightly smoothing all over, including the edges.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
That's it.

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
I like to add a decorative border to cookies with printed images. A small star tip used with thick royal icing works like a charm. 

Pros of using corn syrup:
  • quick and easy
  • divides the work into two days
  • no curled edges
Cons of using corn syrup:
  • the tops remain somewhat sticky
  • color from the image seemed to bleed, especially when frozen
  • frosting sheet remained separate as opposed to "melting" into wet royal icing

My conclusion: I think I'd rather cover curled edges with a border than have cookies that are somewhat sticky and susceptible to bleeding. 

How to use corn syrup to apply printed frosting sheets to cookies...
Here are a couple of my favorite cookies made using frosting sheets: All Saint's Day and Uncle Mike's Birthday.

Have you tried frosting sheets on cookies? What application method do you prefer? 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

There's no story that goes along with these blondies other than the fact that my love for caramel brownies runs deep. I first fell in love with the original, probably 20 or more years ago. Next came these double chocolate caramel brownies. Oh, the good times we've shared. ♥

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies
Last week, I decided to make a blondie version. A butterscotch blondie version. A salted caramel butterscotch version. (Are you tired of me saying version?)

Just like caramel brownies, these blondies are ooey, gooey, sticky, and sweet. Rich, but not so rich that you can't eat a few in one sitting. You'll want more than one. 

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies
You bake the blondies part-way, then add on toasted pecans and butterscotch chips.

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies
Then comes the melted caramel and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Oh baby.

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies
Next, more of the blondie batter dolloped right on top.

I love the way the caramel makes pretty lava flow patterns in the blondies...like this half-and-half-one:
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

...or this bow-tie:
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

For those of you with an aversion to using a boxed cake mix, please avert your eyes.
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies ingred photo salted caramel butterscotch blondies 1 of 7.jpg

print recipe photo printrecipe.jpg
Salted Caramel Butterscotch Blondies

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 bag Kraft caramel bits
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
3/4 cup salted butter, melted
1 box butter cake mix
1 cup butterscotch chips
fleur de sel or other fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.  

Place the chopped pecans in a skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing frequently, for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Over low heat, melt the caramel bits with 1/3 cup evaporated milk.  Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the cake mix, remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter.  Use an offset spatula to spread 1/2 of the batter in an ungreased 9x13" pan.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with the butterscotch chips and toasted pecans. Pour the melted caramel evenly over the top. Sprinkle with a few pinches fine sea salt.

Dollop the remaining batter on top.  You'll see some of the caramel peeking through.

Bake for 15-20 minutes more, until done.  Do not overbake, caramel brownies are meant to be ooey gooey. :)

Cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Pin It button on image hover