Double Stuff Oreo Ice Cream Cake

I’m still posting recipes from my last family gathering because I’d made so many recipes that I want to blog about that day.  I know my niece usually likes to have a Carvel ice cream cake for her birthday and I wanted to make the Biscoff Toffee Ice Cream Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod but I found out that my niece wasn’t thrilled with cinnamon and toffee, so I had to improvise.  I figured that everyone loves Oreo infused desserts and I made the substitution.  I also had the foresight to make two cakes because I had fifteen guests and I knew some would want seconds.

In this recipe I used Double Stuff Oreos.  Now I don’t know exactly when this occurred (I may be dating myself with this comment) but it seems to me that Double Stuff Oreo centers now have about the same amount creme as what used to be in regular Oreos.  Am I the only one that sees this?  And when did the half gallon ice cream containers go to 1.5 quarts?  Last I remember they had gone down to about 1.75 quarts.

Well this cake was such a hit that my sister-in-law commented that the cake was the highlight of her summer vacation.  I must say I was quite flattered but with the number of Oreos I used, this recipe couldn’t go wrong.  I believe this cake would be great for any occasion and especially for anyone who loves Oreo infused desserts.  It’s also quick and easy to prepare.

Enjoy.

Double Stuff Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Yield:  8 – 10 servings                Cook Time:  8 – 10 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 18 – 20 (1 2/3 – 2 cups) Double Stuffed Oreos, finely crushed – filling included
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, optional (I skipped this since the Double Stuff Oreo centers add enough sweetness)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cake:

  • 1.5 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened (I used Breyers French Vanilla)
  • 9 – 10 Double Stuff Oreos, roughly crushed in a ziploc bag – filling included

Topping:

  • 9 – 10 Double Stuff Oreos, roughly crushed into four or five pieces in a ziploc bag – filling included

Directions:

Step 1:  For the crust:  The Oreos are best crushed in a food processor.  If you don’t have one, you can substitute a blender or, as I did, a mini chopper that was included with my stick blender.  Combine the Oreos, butter and sugar (if using) into a medium to large size bowl.  Using a 10 inch springform pan, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and as far up the sides as possible.  The mixture will only go about 1/2 to 1 inch up the sides of the pan.  Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 – 10 minutes.  The crust is done when it’s set and firm.

Step 2:  For the cake:  After the crust cools completely, soften the ice cream (I placed the container in the microwave for 30 seconds – it was a really hot day, so this was enough), combine it and the Oreos in a large bowl.  Add the mixture to the pan and smooth the top evenly throughout.  Place the remaining Oreos evenly over the top.  Line the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent leaks.  Place the pan in the freezer until refrozen.  This is best left overnight.

Step 3:  To serve, remove pan from the freezer.  Run a butter knife under hot water and run it around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it.  Remove the pan sides.  I served the cake directly from the springform pan bottom.  Use a sharp knife run under hot water to cut the cake.

Note:  This cake can be made a few days in advance.  My husband said it tasted better a few days after the party.  As you can see, I only got one picture of the very last piece before it was eaten.  Also, you can use a slightly different size pan.  I don’t have two 10 inch springform pans, so the second cake went into a 9 inch pan.

Enjoy!!!

Cake recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

Manicotti

This post is dedicated to the assembly of the Manicotti which has always been my Mother’s favorite pasta.  The previous two posts give you some information for the components of the Manicotti.  This one will give the rest of the information.

What about the gravy?  You can use a meat gravy or a meatless gravy (Marinara) to make the Manicotti.  It is delicious either way.  This time I used meatless gravy.

Do you call it gravy or pasta sauce or something else?  My family always called it gravy.  When I refer to gravy as anything else, it’s simply to ensure that I’m being clear.

Enjoy.

Mix the ricotta and the grated cheese.

Prepare the pan with the gravy layer.

Start filling the crepe and folding.

Start placing the first row of filled crepes in the pan.

First layer of filled crepes.

First completed layer with the gravy, then the sprinkled grated cheese and then the mozzarella strips.  Try not to eat too many of the mozzarella strips as you work.  This is definitely difficult when using fresh homemade mozzarella.

Second layer of filled crepes.

Second completed layer with the gravy, then the sprinkled grated cheese and then the mozzarella strips.  Ready for the oven.

Ready to eat.

Manicotti

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. container ricotta cheese (I used the Biazzo brand but I also like Polly –O; if you have a local Italian deli that makes their own ricotta, that would make this recipe that much more tasty but it’s a pricy option)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated cheese (I use Pecorino Romano); plus more for sprinkling on the layers
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons milk or more, as necessary (I didn’t need any)
  • 1/2 – 1 recipe meatless gravy (Marinara sauce; can also substitute meat gravy)
  • 1 recipe crepes
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella cut into thin strips (Biazzo or Bellgioso brands are good; I used my husband’s homemade mozzarella; if you have a local Italian deli, you can also use their fresh mozzarella)

Directions:

Step 1:  In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, grated cheese and some milk, if the mixture seems too dry and difficult to work with (use a little milk as possible – you don’t want this to become soupy).  The easiest way to get all the ricotta out of the container is to invert it into the bowl and squeeze the sides until it slides out in one whole piece.  If that doesn’t work, use a silicone spatula to extract the ricotta while scraping the sides of the container.

Step 2:  To set up for assembly:  Position a half-size aluminum steam table tray in front of you.  Place the gravy in a large bowl further away from you in front of you and on the far side of the empty aluminum tray.  Place the crepes the left side of the tray and the ricotta mixture on the right side of the tray.

Step 3:  Using a wooden spoon, spoon some gravy into the aluminum pan (several tablespoons) and spread a thin layer across the bottom of the pan.  Take a crepe in your left hand and spoon approximately 2 to 4 tablespoons across the center of the crepe in a wide strip from left to right.  Fold the edge of the crepe closest to you across the strip of ricotta and then fold the edge of the crepe farthest from you across the first fold ensuring the crepe is taut and overlaps the first fold.  Place the filled crepe folded side down in the lower left corner of the pan.  Repeat for the next four crepes, placing each filled crepe next to the prior crepe so you have one row of 5 filled crepes.  Create another row of five filled crepes on the right side of the pan.

Step 4:  With a wooden spoon, spoon gravy onto the filled crepes (several tablespoons) and spread a thin layer across them.  Sprinkle grated cheese across the top of the gravy layer.  Place mozzarella pieces across each Manicotti.  I place three small pieces on each.

Step 5:  Repeat the above steps to create a second layer.  This will give you twenty in one pan.  Cover the pan very loosely with aluminum foil, so that when it cooks the mozzarella doesn’t stick to the aluminum foil.  The pan will be heavy and you’ll need to support it from the bottom due to the weight.  You can store this in the refrigerator for a day or so.  This way you only have to bake it on the day you want to serve it.  You can also bake these in one layer by using a second pan.

Step 6:  You’ll likely have some extra crepes, so you’ll need to use another smaller pan for the remaining 1 to 5 crepes.

Step 7:  Place the filled Manicotti trays in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake covered for about an hour.  Remove the aluminum foil cover and bake for another 20 minutes to crisp up the mozzarella and ensure the Manicotti are heated through.

Step 8:  Let the Manicotti rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.  The first Manicotti served may be difficult to extract from the pan.  I usually serve two per person, since they are double stacked.  If someone wants only one, I cut the Manicotti in half, so they get two halves instead on one whole one.

Options:  You can add some optional items to the ricotta filling to change it up a bit.  For example, you could add a couple of tablespoons of parsley flakes or a 10 ounce defrosted and drained chopped spinach.  I like these options but, since I had children to serve, I didn’t use them the last time I made these because children don’t usually like to eat green leaves mixed in with their food.

To store the Manicotti:  Place in the refrigerator for a day or two before baking.  For longer term storage place plastic wrap beneath the aluminum foil and then place the entire tray in a supermarket shopping bag and then another shopping bag with the opening opposite from the first bag before placing in the freezer.  Defrost in the refrigerator completely before baking.

Enjoy!!!

My family recipe.

Meatless Gravy (Marinara Sauce)

Some more preparation for the family get-together for my Mom’s and Niece’s birthday and their favorite entrees.  You’ve seen the crepe recipe but you can’t have Manicotti without gravy.  This particular gravy recipe is meatless and is also referred to as marinara.

As I’ve mentioned before it takes a few steps to prepare the Manicotti, so I’m making the gravy a few days in advance too.  The gravy can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer (depending on the length of storage time needed) and there is no change in texture or flavor.  This gravy recipe can also be used with any pasta you like or any recipe that calls for a tomato gravy.

Enjoy.

Meatless Gravy (Marinara Sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (try using a Vidalia onion when in season for a nice flavor; need to use more though)
  • 1 – 2 stalks celery hearts, finely chopped (add a few chopped celery leaves for additional flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
  • 2 cans 28 ounce your favorite crushed tomatoes (the cans can have added tomato puree and basil too)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2  tablespoons dry basil to taste
  • 1 – 2  tablespoons dry flat leaf parsley to taste

Directions:

Step 1:  Add the onion and celery to a large stock pot and sprinkle with salt.  Cover pot and heat on medium for 15 to 20 minutes until the water that has sweated out from the onions and celery has started to dry up and they’ve softened.  Stir the mixture frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking.

Step 2:  Add the crushed tomatoes to the stock pot and scrape as much of the tomatoes out of the can as possible.  Add the water to one of the empty cans and swirl it around the sides to ensure all the tomatoes are incorporated into the water.  Pour the water into the second can and repeat; then pour the water into the stock pot.  Add the basil and parsley and stir until well combined.

Step 3:  To store the Guacamole, cover with plastic wrap and ensure that the plastic wrap is placed directly on the mixture and that there are no or few air gaps; then chill in the refrigerator.  Fresh Guacamole doesn’t keep well, so it should be made only about an hour before it is served.

Step 4:  Let the mixture come to a simmer.  Lower the heat to low to medium-low and cover.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.

To store the gravy:  Once completely cooled, this can be stored in containers in the refrigerator for three or four days.  If storing in the freezer, be sure to use freezer safe containers and leave enough space for expansion.

This gravy is very versatile and you can add different flavors.  If you like spiciness you can add some crushed red pepper.  Some like to add some sugar or wine instead of water.  My husband’s family adds a can of tomato paste, so find what works for you.  Also, if you’re cooking for a large number of people, you can easily double the recipe.

Enjoy!!!

My family recipe.

Basic Crepes

Basic Crepes for Manicotti

To prepare for a family get-together for my Mom’s and Niece’s birthday this past weekend, I started by planning to make their favorite entrees.  My Mom’s favorite entrée is Manicotti, so this was a must have on the menu.  The crepe recipe for the Manicotti was originally given to us by my Aunt Marion and my Mom used it every time she made Manicotti for as long as I can remember.

It takes a few steps to prepare the Manicotti, so I usually make the crepes a few days in advance.  If you store the crepes properly they can be made in advance and there is no change in texture or flavor.  There are tons of recipes that can be made with these crepes but my family had only ever used them for Manicotti.  I’ll have to find other filling recipes that would be wonderful with these crepes too.

Stay tuned for the remaining recipes to make the Manicotti.

Enjoy.

Beat the eggs.

Beating in the water and salt.

Start mixing in the flour.

After the flour is completely incorporated, the batter is ready for cooking.

A crepe ready to be turned over.

All finished and ready to be stored until it’s time to assemble the Manicotti.

Crepes

Yield:  20 – 25 5 inch crepes                Cook Time:  30 – 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 large eggs (extra large works too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste

Directions:

Step 1:  Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a whisk or fork.  Add the water and salt to the eggs and beat until incorporated.  Add flour in small increments to mixture and beat to incorporate.  Repeat until all the flour is combined.  Try to dissipate any lumps that may have formed (especially any larger ones) but it’s okay if a few small lumps remain.

Step 2:  To form the crepes, coat a heavy fry pan or cast iron fry pan with cooking spray.  Heat pan on medium until hot.

Step 3:  Pour about 1 ounce of mixture into the pan (I use a miniature ladle to make this easier) and immediately lift the pan off the heat and tilt pan to spread the mixture into a five inch circle.  Typically I pour the mixture onto one edge of the pan and then let the mixture spread into the rest of the pan.

Step 4:  Return the pan to the heat and cook until most of the batter becomes loses its shine and looks matte.  There will be little, if any, browning.  Using a fork or spatula, gently flip the crepe and cook for 30  seconds.

Step 5:  Remove the crepe from the pan and place on the edge of a plate.  Repeat until all the batter is finished.  After each crepe is finished, place it on the plate overlapping the previous crepe with a slight offset until all the crepes are finished and the plate is ringed with crepes.

To store the crepes:  Cover the plate with plastic wrap and ensure that all the crepes are covered completely, so they don’t dry out.  These can be stored this way for three or four days.  If the crepes get a little bit dry, they will be re-hydrated when they are made into Manicotti.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe from my Aunt.