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I’ve been in a bit of denial that summer is just days away from being over. Fall is just around the corner, but it’s still in the 80′s here in Minnesota. And that to me still screams summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall. It’s probably my favorite season. So I am taking the approach of savoring the last gorgeous days of summer while anticipating fall.

I’ve partnered with Blue Bunny to help spread the word of their Final Cone-Down contest, which is all about savoring summer to the very last cone. Now this is something my three year old can get really excited about. When she woke up from her nap  on Sunday (yes, my 3.5 year old still naps! Such a beautiful thing) she came downstairs to see an ice cream table set up and the promise of an ice cream cone with gold sprinkles.

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that my daughter Juliet is an ice cream fanatic. I supposed most 3 year olds are. If it were up to her she would eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And while I do sometimes let her over-indulge I don’t quite let her enjoy her favorite treat that much.

This partnership was a perfect match and made my daughter a very happy little girl.

IMG_5843Because every little girls wants sprinkles on top of their ice cream cone. Besides sprinkles, Juliet is a purist when it comes to ice cream. She loves vanilla and strawberry best. 

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I invited my family over on Sunday afternoon to savor these last summer days and enjoy an ice cream buffet.

It included:

Gingersnap pumpkin spice ice cream sandwiches. What? Yes. You heard that correctly. Recipe below.

Pumpkin spice shakes

Pumpkin spice affogato

Mini apple pies with a scoop of pumpkin spice ice cream

Pumpkin coffee cake with streusel topping and a maple vanilla glaze  

Vanilla ice cream cones with gold sprinkles

It was all quite indulgent and delicious. Pumpkin spice ice cream!!! So easy to make using a really good vanilla ice cream.

One thing I learned the hard way, photographing ice cream is not easy! It melts. Like really fast.

My approach to most dessert tables is a mix of store-bought and homemade elements. Because I’m a working mom of two and I’m busy. I don’t have time to make everything homemade. Incorporating both is a good balance I think.

The star of the dessert table, and the base of most of the desserts was the pumpkin spice ice cream. The recipe is below and is super easy and super delicious. You know you all have cans of pumpkin in your pantry, here is another way to put it to good use that doesn’t include baking.

IMG_5814A pumpkin spice shake. Easy peasy. All you need is vanilla ice cream, pumpkin spice (if you don’t have it you can use cinnamon) and canned pumpkin puree. Recipe at bottom of the post. 

IMG_5796For you coffee lovers. A scoop of pumpkin spice ice cream with hot, steaming coffee poured on top. 

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IMG_5773Super easy gingersnap pumpkin ice cream sandwiches. Made with store-bought cookies. 

IMG_5855She was so patient as I made her wait to eat her cone while I took photos! 

IMG_5862Until September 22nd you can participate in the Blue Bunny Final Cone-Down to win prizes like personal electronics and other gear. Entering to win is super easy. Just take a photo enjoying the last days of summer and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #FinalConeDown and #BlueBunnyWinBig. Full details are available on the contest page.  

And the fun doesn’t stop here. I’m giving away 5 vouchers for Blue Bunny ice cream. Because everyone needs 5 quarts of ice cream in their freezer, am I right?

To enter simply leave a comment below with how you’re savoring these last days of summer. Be sure to leave your email address. Eligible to US residents only. Contest will end at midnight on 9/22/15.

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by Blue Bunny. As always, all opinions are my own. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
pumpkin spice vanilla ice cream
 
Ingredients
  • 1.75 quart of blue bunny premium vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated.
  2. Scoop into a cup for malts.
  3. Add between two cookies for a sandwich.
  4. Add coffee to a scoop in a mug for an affogato.
  5. Serve on top of apple pie.
  6. Serve immediately.

 

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After our friends and I feasted on chili, corn bread and queso dip last Sunday we were all craving something sweet. I hadn’t planned anything for dessert but luckily I knew I had ice cream. Someone mentioned pumpkin ice cream and I quickly brainstormed, then did a google search and found an extremely easy recipe for this pumpkin vanilla shake.

I had all the ingredients and the recipe was extremely easy, we had dessert in about 5 minutes.
Having canned pumpkin on-hand is awesome. Besides using it in my recent pumpkin baked goods (cookies and scones) I’ve also added it to Annie’s organic mac n cheese for Juliet (she loved it) and most recently in this delicious shake.

I quadrupled the below recipe since there were four of us in need of dessert. Truthfully I could have eaten the whole batch myself. Yum.

Pumpkin vanilla shake (recipe via Real Simple)

Ingredients (makes 1 shake)

1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Preparation

Blend together all the ingredients until smooth.

1 comment

On Saturday morning Juliet woke up with her eye swollen shut. She had been bit by a mosquito the day before at daycare right by her eye, so I knew the swelling was a result of that. It was freaky looking, and I was a bit spooked and worried. I called the nurse line at her doctor’s office and also consulted with a friend who is a pediatrician and they both assured me the swelling would go down and she would be fine.

While Juliet didn’t seem to be too bothered by the swollen eye, she had a bit of a cold and was pretty grumpy Saturday. So we decided to have a lazy day at home. The weather was perfect for it, cold and rainy, so I didn’t mind a day in. I think Juliet enjoyed it too. We played and played and played. I baked while she napped. I actually spent a lot of time in the kitchen while Erik hung out with Juliet. In addition to these scones I made applesauce in the crockpot and butternut squash soup. It must be fall!
I want to bake a thousand pumpkin recipes over the next month. I’ll have to settle for 4-5. I’ve never made pumpkin scones before and thought these would be a nice challenge. I craved anything and everything sweet when I was pregnant with Juliet, now I just enjoy sweets every once in a while. And I don’t like anything overly sweet. That’s why scones are great. This recipe only called for 7 tablespoons of sugar for the scone itself (not including the glaze, which could certainly be skipped). Scones are actually pretty easy. They seem intimidating but they are not much more difficult than muffins in my opinion. You just have to get a bit of practice in with cutting butter into a flour mixture. I’ve done it plenty of times since I’ve made my fair share of pie crust and other baked goods. But really, it’s easy. And you can do it with a pastry cutter, your hands or a food processor. For these scones I used my pastry cutter.

The glaze is (sort of literally) the icing on the cake. It is really easy to whip up (honestly, it takes a minute) and not only adds prettiness to the scones but also another hint of sweetness (but not too sweet, at all).

I’ve had too many dry scones in my day and these are not dry whatsoever. They are actually quite moist and go perfectly with your morning cup of coffee.

My little girl’s eye is looking much better today and she is totally back to her normal self, thank goodness.

Pumpkin scones with a spiced glaze (recipe via Brown Eyed Baker)

INGREDIENTS:

For the Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half or milk (I used whole milk)
1 large egg
For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
4. To make the powdered sugar glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, dip the scones top into the glaze, let it drizzle upside down for a moment and then place it back on the wire rack (I used newspaper to catch the dripping glaze).
5. To make the spiced glaze, while the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone with a spoon and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).
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I had time on Sunday afternoon to whip up some yummy pumpkin goodness, right in time for the first day of fall. I thought Juliet would enjoy baking with me, but in reality she was not interested and instead dug through the tupperware cabinets and banged on pots and pans. Regardless, we were still in the kitchen together hanging out and she was happy and so was I. I know she’ll love baking with me when she gets a little older. And while she didn’t care to help me bake she sure loved these cookies and kept asking for “moooreeee”.

These cookies are from Better Homes and Gardens and they are a recipe I pinned a while ago. I’ve made pumpkin donuts and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bars but never pumpkin cookies. I think these are the best pumpkin recipe of all the pumpkin recipes I’ve ever tried.

These cookies are soft and really freaking delicious. The frosting is a perfect balance to give the cookies a bit more sweetness. I added extra pumpkin into the frosting because, hey, you can never have too much pumpkin.
My sister Katie and her husband Drew came over as I was taking the cookies out of the oven and they both gave a thumbs up. My coworkers are in for a treat Monday morning because I’m bringing about 40 of these into the office. If I don’t, I’ll eat them all myself by Wednesday. And that does not need to happen.I halved this recipe because I noticed it said this would make 60 cookies. And I sure the heck don’t need 60 cookies sitting in my house.

Melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cookies (recipe adapted via Better Homes and Gardens)

Ingredients


cups butter, softened
cups granulated sugar
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoons baking soda
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
eggs
teaspoons vanilla
15 ounce canpumpkin
cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional)

Preparation


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2.Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreasedcookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

3.In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Makes about 60 cookies.

Modifications: I added a tablespoon of pumpkin into the frosting to give it a hint of pumpkin flavor. This made it a little wetter than it should be so I had to add a couple additional tablespoons of powdered sugar. 
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. We had amazing weather in MN and took a trip to the apple orchard. It is so much fun experiencing those things with a little one. Happy Monday!
3 comments