There have been a ton of blogger cookbooks coming out lately (like this one, this one and this one), which makes me extremely happy. I’ve got another one to share with you today by Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen. Hers was one of the first blogs I loved and one of many that inspired me to start my own. Her first book, Pancakes, is one of my absolute favorites and it’s what I always turn to when I’m in the mood for pancakes. The blueberry ricotta ones in there are to die for (just ask my mother-in-law Norrie; she’ll tell you ALL about them), and every other recipe I’ve tried in there has turned out super well. Her new book, The Year of Cozy, invites you into a year of her life with recipes, craft projects and general life ideas. There’s also a handful of photos of her adorable corgi, Amelia, who just so happens to be one of my favorite dogs of the internet.
The book is organized by month, with seasonally-inspired recipes in addition to ideas for home and kitchen crafts (like marble-painted bowls) plus fun adventures. One of my favorite sections of the book has a few recipes you can make with a store-bought rotisserie chicken, a move I’ve learned from my mom and often use to save time. We tried the chicken and dumplings recipe from that section and loved it. It was super easy and delicious, and I’ve been meaning to remake it. After reading through the book from cover to cover (as I love to do), it left me inspired to do things like make hot chocolate, bake pies, organize my pantry and send people thank you notes. It makes me want to BE cozy.
In one of my favorite podcasts, Totally Laime, there’s an episode where Elizabeth is talking to her guest, Josh Briggs, and her husband, Andy, about what fuels them in life. Josh claims that he “likes to have fun,” and Elizabeth responded by saying, “I like to feel cozy.” It’s kind of a hilarious moment in the episode (if you listen and know these people you’d understand), but it’s especially funny to me because I can totally relate to Elizabeth. She explains how feeling cozy, to her, is fun and how it’s interesting the way our perception of “fun” can change over time. Having good food and hanging out with friends feels fun to her, but also feels “cozy.” I love those moments, too – I think my pumpkin parties and whiskey parties I throw with friends are a perfect example of those cozy moments, and I think that’s why The Year of Cozy speaks to my heart so much.
When choosing a recipe from this book to share with you guys I landed on ice cream, which in some ways is the epitome of coziness in my life. I grew up eating ice cream every night. (My parents still do.) We had a nightly ritual of watching TV (like Boy Meets World or Frasier, etc.) and being cozy on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. These days it’s not always ice cream with me on the couch, but one of my favorite ways to spend an evening is coziness to the max. It usually involves television or a movie, Dominos pizza (or sometimes homemade pizza, or a good cozy pasta dish … or Chinese takeout), some kind of booze and then preferably some dessert. Robert and I have evenings like this a lot with my best friend and her soon-to-be-husband. They’ll come to our place for a sleepover and we love to make dinner together (usually pizza), drink wine, watch a movie, do brownies and ice cream for dessert, and then someone usually falls asleep before the end of the movie. ULTIMATE COZY.
So while some people associate ice cream with this warm weather season and sunny days, I associate ice cream with dark nights, sweatpants and a comfy couch. For this recipe I took the salted pretzel ice cream from the cookbook and simply added flecks of dark chocolate and ripples of peanut butter. One thing we always had at my house with our bowl of ice cream was pretzels to eat alongside of it. With this recipe that pretzel flavor is built right into it. The base ice cream has a dreamy flavor of salted pretzels, achieved by steeping your milk with pretzels before making the custard for the ice cream. It’s amazing on its own, but I added the chocolate and peanut butter because I love those flavors together. During one of my tests I tried it with almond butter, and that was also out-of-this-world good. I handed it off to my parents, and between the two of them and my brother it lasted a mere 36 hours. My dad is going to be mad because he wanted me to share this recipe with almond butter as the default, but he’s also biased because he’s super weird and doesn’t like peanut butter in desserts. But I’m telling you now, on behalf of my dad – try it with almond butter. (Oh and it’s also his birthday today. Happy Birthday Dad!!)
I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be eating some ice cream this week. I’m currently at the beach with my family and tomorrow’s my 27th birthday (!!!!), so there will be lots of celebrating going on. The freezer is fully stocked with ice cream, and I’m sure we’ll have at least one visit to the local ice cream shop down the street from us in Ocean City, New Jersey.
ICE CREAM WEEK GIVEAWAY
If you’re looking for more ice cream recipes, look no further. This post is part of a food blogger roundup for ICE CREAM WEEK!!! The event is hosted by Amanda from A Cookie Named Desire, and you can find all of the other recipes from Ice Cream Week over on her site.
Also, to make things even sweeter, there’s a huge GIVEAWAY going on to win a whole bunch of fun ice cream-related goodies. You can enter that giveaway over on Amanda’s site as well.
Happy Ice Cream week to all of you – here’s to summer and a boat-load of ice cream!
Illustration at top created with Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations (plus other products with my work on them) are available in my Society6 shop.
- 1¾ cups whole milk
- 30 small salted pretzels
- 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 3.25 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
- Place the milk and pretzels into a large bowl and give it a swirl to make sure all of the pretzels are coated in milk. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1.5 hours.
- Run the milk through a strainer into a medium saucepan. Press the pretzels to release any milk. Discard the pretzels and set the saucepan aside.
- Prepare an ice bath by adding a handful of ice cubes to a large bowl and topping it off with some cold water. Place a slightly smaller bowl inside it with a strainer over it.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is smooth and pale yellow. Place the pretzel milk in the saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Stir until the milk is hot to the touch, or about 110°F if using a thermometer. Whisking the entire time, add about ¼ cup of hot milk to the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until 170-175°F or until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard through the strainer in the ice bath. Stir in the heavy cream until completely incorporated and stir until the mixture is room temperature. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and store in the fridge for 4-5 hours.
- When the custard is cold, churn it in the bowl of your ice cream maker. I use the attachment for my Kitchenaid Mixer, and it churns for about 15-20 minutes until the ice cream starts pulling away from the sides.
- When it's done churning, transfer to a freezer-safe container. (I love these Oxo ones.) Stir in the chocolate chips. Briefly warm the peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it becomes a bit more liquid. Drizzle it over the ice cream in a few installments, giving it a stir after each time to spread ribbons throughout the ice cream.
- You can serve the ice cream right away as more of a soft serve style, or freeze it until firm, about 6-8 hours. Press parchment paper against the surface of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn.