July 21, 2017

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream Cookie Cake


My first job was at a little ice cream shop in my hometown.

We served about 20 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, along with sundaes, shakes, and malts of every variety.

Everyone said I'd get tired of ice cream, working with and around it so much.

Everyone was wrong. Very, very wrong.

I didn't get tired of it then, and I haven't gotten tired of it since. I've passed this love onto my family, which is why we have at least five flavors of ice cream in the house at any given time.

I'm particularly fond of the combination of chocolate and malt, so I don't know why it took me until my 47th birthday to figure out that this variation of my favorite ice cream cake would be a very good idea. Apparently, with age really does come wisdom. 

And for the record, I don't expect to get tired of this ice cream cake any time soon.


Chocolate Malt Ice Cream Cake (with Malted Chocolate Sauce) {print recipe}

Base layer:
12 chocolate-cream sandwich cookies, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Main layer:
16 chocolate-cream sandwich cookies
1 1/2 cups malted balls
8 ounces non-dairy whipped topping, thawed OR 3 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 1/2 quarts chocolate ice cream, very slightly softened

Malted Chocolate Sauce (optional, but a very good idea):
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup plain malted milk powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the base layer: preheat over to 350 degrees and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan OR a 9-inch cake pan with the highest sides you can round up. Toss together the 12 crushed cookies and the melted butter and press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes, then cool completely.

For the main layer: break 16 cookies in half and throw them into the work bowl of a food processor, along with your malt balls. Process like crazy (you may have to add in some pulse action) until you have very fine (and highly addictive) malt-flavored cookie crumbs. Reserve about 1/4 cup for garnish. Spread 1/2 of the ice cream evenly over the cooled base layer. Top with 1/2 of the whipped topping or whipped cream. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 of the malted cookie crumbs. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream, whipped cream/whipped topping, and malted cookie crumbs. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cake, then wrap the entire pan in foil and freeze several hours at least, or up to several weeks. Cut into wedges to serve, drizzled with hot fudge sauce or plain chocolate sauce or warm Malted Chocolate Sauce and sprinkled with reserved cookie crumbs. Makes approximately 8-10 servings.

For the Malted Chocolate Sauce: in a small saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, cornstarch, malted milk powder, and brown sugar. Add the milk and whisk well, then whisk in the corn syrup. Set the pan over medium heat and stir while bringing it to a full boil. Lower the heat slightly and cook, whisking constantly, about one minute longer, until the sauce thickens and generously coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool, then refrigerate in a covered jar. Makes about 3/4 cup.




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July 6, 2017

10 Bible Verses to Share With Someone Who's Celebrating (or Struggling)

I've had the great privilege of facilitating* women's Bible study for the past 12 years, and one of my favorite moments is when my study sisters and I discover a "who knew" verse in God's great love letter...as in, "who knew this was in the Bible?"

Some of these lesser-known** verses have become my standbys when I'm sending a text message or a card to a friend or acquaintance who's celebrating a gain (a new baby, a new job, a new house) or grieving a loss. If you're trying to rejoice with someone who's rejoicing or mourn with someone who's mourning (Romans 12:15), one of these might give you a place to start.

For someone who's just had a baby: "See, the Sovereign Lord tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:10a,11)

For someone who is graduating: "Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life." (Deuteronomy 30:20) 

For someone who is grieving: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27) Also, "But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand." (Psalm 10:14)

For someone who is starting a new job: "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:17)

For someone who is suffering: "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place." (Psalm 31:7,8)

For someone who has moved into a new home: "My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest...how blessed you will be." (Isaiah 32:18, 20a) Also, "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3,4)


For someone who is overwhelmed: "In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them." (Isaiah 63:9)

For someone who is waiting for something: "All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you." (Psalm 38:9)

For someone who is starting something new: "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

For someone you appreciate: "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement." (Philemon 7)




Do you have a favorite "who knew" verse? 
Please share it in a comment or over on Facebook! 


*   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

*"Facilitating" rather than "leading," because "leading" implies I have all the answers (as if), whereas "facilitating" merely indicates that I set up chairs and make sure our stash of pens and tissues is replenished regularly.

**Or, at least, these are lesser-known to me. You might be thinking, "Honey, everyone knows these verses. Some Bible study leader you are." To which I would only ask you to see "facilitator," above.

Click here for a free printable of all these verses.

Previous post that might have something to do with this one: So You Want to Start a Women's Bible Study Group.

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June 6, 2017

Chocolate Caramel S'mores Snack Mix

A few weeks ago, I made a double batch of this snack mix for our church youth group. The sheet pans were sitting out on the kitchen table, cooling, and my family kept stopping by for quality assurance testing. I told them to keep their hands off, that they were eating the Lord's food. But they were wholly (though not in any way holy) unrepentant.

All of which is just to say that if you're planning to feed this addictive combination to anyone other than the people living in your house, you might want to make a double batch, too.



Chocolate Caramel S'mores Snack Mix {print}

4 cups graham-cracker type cereal (I used Golden Grahams)
4 cups corn or rice or combo cereal squares (I like Crispix)
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (yes, this matters)
approximately 1 cup M&Ms
approximately 2 cups mini marshmallows

Line a large sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Gently combine cereals in a large microwave-safe bowl. In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup uncovered on high power 1-2 minutes, stirring after one minute, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from microwave and stir in the baking soda until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the cereal and stir gently to coat. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes, stirring after every minute. 

Remove from microwave and cool 1 minute. Sprinkle with marshmallows and gently fold in. Turn the mixture out onto your prepared baking sheet and immediately sprinkle the surface with M&Ms, pressing them gently into the cereal mixture. Cool completely before breaking apart and storing airtight. Makes 8 cups.



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