The origin of eating cheesecake is rooted in the custom of celebrating dairy, but somehow the cheesecake itself has become the tradition. Bucking the trend, in recent years I’ve turned to sweet dairy pies as an alternative. For a few years, key lime pie took center stage; and last year, I tried a Southern specialty, chess pie. Both are unmistakably dairy, luscious and extravagant: a perfect holiday dessert.
This year I’m going in a different direction and trying a more “fun” dessert. Regular reads of my food posts on Rocky Mountain Jew may have picked up on the fact that I own very little advanced cooking equipment. So a recipe that I’ve always wanted to try is no-churn ice cream. And what better time than Shavuot?
No-churn ice cream is based on sweetened condensed milk, which is already thickened, removing the need for an ice cream churner. It’s paired with whipping cream and voila, there’s your ice cream! To balance some of the intense sweetness of the condensed milk, add-ins are recommended. The actual dessert is ice cream sandwiches, and I chose a dark chocolate cookie. I ran out of sugar, but when pairing with the sweet ice cream, I think this less sweet cookie is the way to go. The kids will love assembling this dessert, but keep napkins arounds, because it’s bound to be a little messy!
No-Churn Ice Cream
2 C whipping cream
1 14-oz. can condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
¼-½ tsp. instant espresso grounds
½ tsp. cinnamon
Whip the cream until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to over whip! Add vanilla, coffee and cinnamon, and whip for about 10 seconds. Slowly add condensed milk with mixer on low. Placed in a freezer proof container. Press parchment paper or plastic wrap lightly onto the cream. Cover container. Freeze for at least six hours.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1¼ C flour
½ C unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 C sugar, scant (RMJ: original recipe calls for 1½ C)
½ C plus 2 TB (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1 large egg
Preheat to 375°F.
Mix the dry ingredients. While pulsing or mixing on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter [For oversized ones, use a TB] and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. With the back of the teaspoon, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
When assembling your ice cream sandwiches, use the ice cream straight from the freezer.