Celebrate a Labor Day end of summer dinner, picnic, or party with these fun, boozy homemade chocolate bourbon popsicles. Made with a melted chocolate creamy mixture and Kentucky bourbon, we topped the frozen treats with a drizzle of melted chocolate and some patriotic sprinkles.
8 ounces high quality dark chocolate
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup cream plus 2 tablespoons, divided
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
2 teaspoons corn syrup
Decorative sprinkles, optional
Break up 6 ounces of the chocolate and put into a high-speed blender. Whisk together the milk, ½ cup cream, sugar, and cocoa. Bring to a light simmer, remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate in the blender. Add the vanilla, salt, and bourbon and allow to sit for a 3-5 minutes to soften chocolate. Turn the blender on and blend until chocolate mixture is smooth. Let the blender sit for a few minutes so any foam on the surface can dissipate.
Pour into eight 3-ounce ice pop molds or paper cups. Reserve any extra liquid, store in the refrigerator to make more pops. Freeze the pops for about 1 hour before inserting wooden sticks. Freeze for 24 hours.
Line a sheet tray with parchment and place in the freezer. Remove the pops from the molds and place on the parchment lined sheet tray in the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour.
Add the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate with 2 teaspoons corn syrup and 2 tablespoons cream in a microwave safe measuring cup. Microwave on low in 30 second intervals until just starting to melt. Whisk until the chocolate mixture is fluid and all the chocolate is melted. Remove the pops from the freezer and drizzle with the chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with decorative sprinkles (if using) and freeze the pops again for 30 minutes. Do this step quickly since the chocolate sets when it contacts the cold pops.
Serve or bag the pops in small individual bags and return to the freezer to save for later. Follow the directions again to make any more pops with the left-over liquid. Makes 8-12 pops.
Seasonal fresh plums make a brilliant contrast to our Ginger Gelato. Made using grated fresh ginger, the ice cream has a clean fresh taste to contrast against the sweet, tart Plums. It’s the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2″ piece of ginger, peeled, and grated
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
One recipe of candied plums (below)
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the milk, cream, fresh ginger, and salt. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches 170 degrees. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside to infuse the ginger for one hour. Pour the milk/cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the ginger pieces, pressing on the ginger to extract all the liquid. Return the strained liquid to the pan and reheat to 170 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until the mixture is thick and pale yellow and the sugar had dissolved into the eggs. Temper the eggs by slowly adding the hot milk/cream while whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches 185 degrees. Do not boil.
Fill a large bowl with ice. Place a medium bowl in the center of the ice. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the clean bowl set over the ice and cool completely, stirring occasionally. When cooled, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Layer the ice cream and candied plums in an ice cream storage container. Freeze until firm; makes 6 servings.
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Large pinch kosher salt
5 firm medium plums, each cut into 10 wedges
In a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Swirl the pan to moisten and dissolve the sugar. Carefully add the plum wedges to the pan, spreading them out evenly. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so, until the plums start to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the plums with tongs and cook until soft (but not mushy) and golden brown along some of the cut edges, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature then refrigerate until very cold.
A mid-summer favorite dessert you won’t want to share – individual Blueberry Cobblers. Full of blueberries with lemon topped with a buttermilk biscuit baked in their own ramekins. Top this warm dessert with your favorite – whipped cream or vanilla ice cream before serving.
½ cup sugar plus 1 ½ tablespoons
¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons flour
4 ½ cups fresh blueberries
Lemon zest from one lemon
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
⅔ cup buttermilk, plus one tablespoon
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
For serving: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour, the berries, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Evenly divide the fruit and any liquid between six 8-oz. tall ramekins.
In a large bowl whisk together ¾ cup flour, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and using your fingertips, rub the flour into the butter until pea-size lumps remain. Gently mix in ⅓ cup of the buttermilk. Add only enough of the remaining ⅓ cup to get a moist dough. Mix in bowl until a dough forms. Dump out onto a light floured board and cut into six pieces. Pat each piece into a biscuit shape and place one piece of dough over the berries in each ramekin. Brush with the tops with the remaining buttermilk. Sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
Place in the oven and bake until juices are thick and bubbling and topping is cooked through and deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes for ramekins. Let cool for at least 1 hour then serve warm topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 6 servings.
The ice cream sandwich for celebrating – filled with a confetti-style sprinkle-loaded vanilla ice cream that’s sandwiched between two delicious chocolate brownie layers. It’s the perfect treat for celebrating our country’s birthday.
You can find the 13-ounce jarred sprinkles at Williams Sonoma. Please note this recipe takes two-three days to make before serving. You will need to freeze the cookie exterior overnight to prevent the ice cream from melting during assembly and freeze the ice cream. The second night you need to freeze to set the ice cream sandwich to cut the next day.
To make the cookie exterior
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
To make the Ice cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
⅔ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 13-ounce jar Williams Sonoma Chocolate Dessert Sprinkle Mix
Heat oven to 350˚F. Butter two 9 by 13-inch baking sheets and line them with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar mixing until creamy. One at a time, add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and combine. Add the flour mixture in three equal batches and beat until well combined. The batter should be thick and slightly sticky.
Divide the batter evenly in each pan, smooth to a thin even layer, and leave a small border of parchment paper around the edge of the pan. Place in the oven and bake until cake is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pans to cooling racks. When completely cooled place the pans in the freezer and freeze overnight.
Make the ice cream:
Fill a very large mixing bowl with ice and add a smaller metal bowl into the center.
Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan, cooking over medium-low heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar whisking until the yolks become pale yellow.
Slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Start by adding small amounts to temper the eggs. When mixed together, pour back into the pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard lightly coats the back of the spoon, about 10 minutes.
Strain the custard through a sieve into the bowl that is in the center of the ice. Stir occasionally to cool. When cooled add the vanilla and whisk in then refrigerate overnight.
The next day churn the ice cream. When the ice cream is almost done add 1-1/2 cups of the sprinkle and finished churning to start the assembly.
Remove the cookie exteriors from the freezer. Add the ice cream evenly over the top of one of the cookies remaining in the pan. Using an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into an even layer. Place the remaining piece of cookie on the ice cream with the top facing down, and the flat side up, to make a large ice cream sandwich. Gently press together. Still in the pan, immediately wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.
Add ½ cup of sprinkles to a flat dish. Remove the large ice cream sandwich from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap and parchment. Place on a cutting board and trim about ¼ inch off of each edge and then cut into 12 smaller sandwiches. Dip the edges of each side in the sprinkles and then wrap each sandwich well in plastic wrap and freeze until firm for 2-4 hours until ready to serve. Makes 12 ice cream sandwiches.
Sour cherries and almonds harmonize perfectly for dessert. We cooked tart cherries in a sweet sauce and added orange and cinnamon to make delicious cold sour cherry soup shooters. Topped with a crème fraîche and cream sauce, we served them with crisp almond flavored macaroon cookies topped with almond slivers.
Sour Cherry Soup Shooters
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons cream
Heat butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat then add fresh cherries and sugar then simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Continue to simmer until cherries are tender but not falling apart, about 8 minutes. Whisk together 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch to form a thick paste, then stir into simmering cherries and boil, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Place the cherries in a blender with all their juices. Add the cinnamon and orange juice. Blend until creamy. Taste, and adjust the thickness with orange juice if needed. Chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve add to six shooter glasses.
10 ounces almond paste
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch of coarse salt
2 large egg whites
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets and set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put the almond paste, sugar, and salt. Mix on medium speed until crumbly, about 3 minutes. Add the egg white and vanilla. Mix until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add the batter to a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip and pipe onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Place almond slices on top of each cookie. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack and serve with the soup shooters. Makes 6 servings.
Our favorite summer dessert with a spicy ginger twist. This biscuit version is surprisingly simple to make – sweet and crunchy then topped with sweetened macerated berries and freshly whipped cream.
Strawberries With Ginger Shortcakes
1 quart farm fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons mint simple syrup or sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting
⅓ cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground dried ginger
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Slice the larger berries into quarters or halves, keeping the smaller ones whole, and place in a large bowl. Gently toss with the mint syrup or sugar; set aside.
Preheat oven to 425˚F. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, ginger, baking powder, and salt; process until mixture is combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the processor running add the buttermilk; then pulse just until moistened, 4 or 5 times. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; with floured hands, gently pat dough into a circle. Cut as many as possible with a round large biscuit cutter, then pat the remaining dough together and continue cutting until you have used all the dough. Transfer the rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet; brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of cream and sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar. Place in the oven and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool on baking sheet.
Whisk the whipped cream with the sour cream. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, split biscuits with a serrated knife. Top with the berries and fresh whipped cream. Makes 8-10 servings.