Chonky Boys: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that Scream Summer!

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Featuring my thick and nuggy Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookies, these ice cream sandwiches are the stuff that summer dreams are made of.  If you've ever had the Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Disneyland , you are going to LOVE these! 

These big and bold chocolate chip cookies are based on a recipe from my culinary school studies at Auguste Escoffier, but with a few modifications to give them that Jennuine touch.  They make the perfectas book for a fat slice of real vanilla bean ice cream.  And those mini chips?  You just gotta have that extra cronch!

Thank goodness this recipe only makes 8 sandwiches, otherwise I would be eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner.  This way, my big family can help save me from my inner child diet-saboteur.  
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesYield: 8Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a fat wedg…

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée



Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert of silky, sweetened cream set with gelatin, is all at once simple, classic and elegant.  It is, at its best, subtle, not overly sweet, and the perfect way to end a meal on a light and refreshing note.

Panna cotta comes together quickly and can be molded in any type of vessels you choose -- from ramekins to demitasse, martini glasses to mason jars.  I like to compliment my panna cotta with a thin layer of gelée -- a gelatin stabilized glaze made from fresh fruit.  Apricots are in season right now, and are bursting with summer sweetness, so I chose to do an apricot gelée.  You can use my recipe with any type of fruit you'd like.  

Here are some photos of panna cottas I've made in the past with a variety of gelées and vessels:

Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Honey Gelée and Bee Pollen

Lemon Panna Cotta, no gelée

Meyer-Lemon Panna Cotta, Strawberry-Rhubarb Gelee


I like to decorate my desserts with edible flowers, especially in summer and springtime.
My theme for this iteration of panna cotta was "Gilding the Lily"...


...To compliment the golden tones of the apricots, I added just a touch of real gold leaf to each dessert, then added a single plume of daylily petal for contrast.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée
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Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Gelée

Yield: 8 4-oz. servings
Author: Jenn Erickson
Simple, yet sophisticated, exquisite, yet easy to make, panna cotta is the perfect dessert to end a meal with subtle sweetness and style.

Ingredients:

Panna Cotta
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 g/0.25 oz.) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 g/1.8 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Apricot Gelée
  • 1 cup fresh apricot puree*
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

Instructions:

Panna Cotta
  1. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface in a single layer. Be sure not to pile it as that will prevent the crystals from dissolving properly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat cream, sugar, vanilla pod, and vanilla seeds on medium heat and bring just to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and discard vanilla bean. Stir in gelatin and immediately whisk until smooth and dissolved. If the gelatin hasn’t fully dissolved, return the saucepan to the stove and heat gently over low heat. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture boil.
  3. Pour cream into individual serving dishes. I use 4-oz. Tulip glasses, filled with 3 oz. of panna cotta. You can portion any way you like to yield larger or smaller portions. Refrigerate for an hour before preparing the gelee.
Apricot Gelée
  1. Put water into a small bowl and slowly sprinkle gelatin on top. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the puree, sugar , salt and lemon juice. Cook, stirring often, until sugar dissolves.
  3. When gelatin has dissolved, whisk into the saucepan of warm puree. Set aside to cool till just barely warm.
  4. Pour over each of the refrigerated panna cottas (about ¼” layer). Return to refrigerator for another 2 hours to allow both the gelee and panna cotta to fully set. When ready to serve, I like to garnish with a touch of gold leaf, fresh fruit, and/or edible flower petals.
*Apricot Puree
  1. To make apricot puree, take about 5 large apricots and cut an X-shape into the fruit (through skin and about ¼” deep) on one side with a paring knife. Drop scored apricots into boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until apricots look like they are opening up just a bit and skin is beginning to loosen. Remove from boiling water with a slotted spoon, then set aside till cool enough to handle. The skin should be easy to peel away. Remove pits and place peeled apricots in a blender or food processor. Puree till smooth.

Notes:

This recipe makes more gelée than you need for the panna cotta. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. You can use like jelly on toast with ricotta or cream cheese, or as a glaze for a fruit tart. You can replace apricot puree with any type of fruit you have on hand.
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