Endless Poptails: Orange Creamsicles

Competing against the fruit based poptails this week is an ice cream based poptail. Remember those orange creamsicles when you were a kid–bright sugar glowing orange on the outside and ice cream on the inside around the stick?

I’m here this week to bring back that bit of nostalgia with an adult twist, but without any adult complication.

In staying that with that theme, I skipped the sheathing or any swirling or layering finishing effect for a 1 bowl, 3 ingredient, simple-style poptail. That’s right I threw the chopped up Valencia oranges, vanilla ice cream and Marshmallow vodka all into a food processor bowl and pulse, whirl, pour – done. It’s spot on like the orange creamsicle but with a heavy hint of booziness.

Parting note: Forget the napkins, popsicle drips are best wiped away by using the front of your shirt -just ask any kid.

Orange Creamsicle Poptails

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Endless Ice Cream: Peach Leaf

While I’m all for over-the-top, multi-ingredient ice creams, some times a bit of simplicity is best. When a co-worker mentioned that her peach trees were flourishing, I jumped on the opportunity to beg for a handful of leaves. I had read that peach leaves impart a subtle, bitter-almondy flavor in custards. I wanted to try it in ice cream, and I was fortunate enough to obtain some unsprayed, fresh, young leaves. The steeping milk needs to be watched fairly closely. The first batch I let steep for 50 minutes and it was way too bitter (I should have known better—I bit into a whole leaf and almost choked on the bitterness). I tossed it and started again, letting it steep half the time, tasting it every ten minutes to make sure it didn’t turn bitter again. The end result is a lovely, almond-scented ice cream. Perfect to accompany some tea cakes on a hot day.

Peach Leaf Ice Cream

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Endless Ice Cream: Rose Petal

While not a prevalent flavor in the United States, rose is fairly common elsewhere. Across the Middle East, particularly Iran, it is used to flavor all manner of sweets. Ice cream is the only use of rose in food that I have found palatable. Rose candy tastes like grandma’s perfume to me, and rose scones just taste wrong. But the ice cream gives a nice rounded sweetness that is just right for such a delicate flavor. The rose petals themselves are not really potent enough to stand up to the amount of sugar and cream that ice cream requires, so it’s fleshed out with rose water.

Rose water can be found at most Middle Eastern grocery stores and at specialty stores. The potency of the rose water will vary from brand to brand, so you may want to start of by whisking in one teaspoon at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor. I used Nielson-Massey, which is pretty strong.

Rose petals should be unsprayed, or organic. The best would be from a friend or neighbor, as they would be the freshest. Otherwise try natural foods stores or a florist/nursery specializing in organic flowers.

Rose Petal Ice Cream

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Independence Day Dessert: Red, White and Blue Ice Cream

I have an addiction to buying spices. I make a trip to Penzey’s Spices every couple of months. I get their catalog in the mail and circle all of the spices I am running low on and, plus a few new ones I want to try. The pink peppercorns caught my eye, so I picked up a small jar of them. As soon as I tasted one I knew it had to go into ice cream. They are  floral, fruity, and spicy all at the same time. Paired with sweet blueberry compote and white chocolate chips, this is one ice cream you will never forget.

Pink Peppercorn, White Chocolate & Blueberry Ice Cream

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Homemade Ice Cream Cake

My roommate Kate is somewhat of a culinary genius. Not because she cooks fabulously ornate meals or spends hours slaving over the stove. But because in the age of shortcuts, spice mixes, and semi-homemade bullshit, she still cooks with simple, high-quality ingredients all the time. She does not buy anything prepackaged. She pulls together fabulous dinner parties on the fly quite often, and last week she outdid herself, again. Something I just learned about her is that (a long time ago), she worked at a chain ice cream shop, and her job during the day was to make the cakes. And in typical Kate fashion, she took that skill and made something even more fabulous out of it.

I present to you the homemade ice cream cake, using Kate’s standard formula: 2 ice creams, 1 cookie, 1 candy, 2 drizzles. In this particular instance it was a birthday cake, so the birthday guy got to choose: vanilla, coffee, oreos, Reeses cups, chocolate and peanut butter.

The Pauly Special 

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Endless Ice Cream: Coconut Curry Chocolate Chip

If you’re thinking that this is an ugly ice cream, you are right. The picture doesn’t even begin to do justice to the weird, neon yellow color of this ice cream. But what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste. The depth of toasty goodness will keep you spooning more and more into your face. The toasted coconut hits you first, followed by the mellow, smooth, warm curry. The chocolate chips add little bursts of sweetness to offset the spice of the curry. For all of you adventurous curry lovers out there—this one’s for you.

Coconut Curry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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