milano cookies.

This month’s Daring Baker challenge is all about cookies.

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network. That said, I would be going a different, vegan-friendly route. I chose Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s delicious looking recipe for vegan milanos, which I highly recommend. See that stack of milanos in the photo? They are but a distant memory – not a crumb remains.

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I’ve said it before (and I’ll say it again) – I am an unabashed cookie monster. Cookies make me happy. Milan cookies, or milanos, are an old favourite. Two delicate vanilla cookies sandwiched together with chocolate ganache.  Simple. Perfection.

For the challenge, we were allowed to make one or both cookies. I fully intended to make both. I looked at this challenge as an opportunity to conquer the vegan marshmallow monster. I had a recipe to try. I tried it. It wasn’t quite marshmallowy. I shall persevere. Today it’s all about the milanos.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best things.

I’ll take a raincheck on those mallows.

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sweet tea ice cream, vegan.

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When Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert asked if I would like to take part in their virtual book tour, coinciding with the release of Wheeler del Toro’s newly minted Vegan Scoop, I couldn’t resist.

They even sent me a snippet of recipes from the book to try out (as if I needed convincing) and my sweet tooth socks were knocked right off. Oh Fig Ice Cream, how do I love thee – let me count the ways.

Prior to learning Wheeler’s secret to vegan ice cream success, I had struggled with making my own homemade vegan ice creams. Tofu: you know I love you, but you are not welcome in my ice cream. Fruit sorbets have never been an issue (they’re easy to make awesome) while ice creams have been a different story, until now.

How cool and generous is Wheeler’s, for sharing the secret to great homemade vegan ice cream? With Vegan Scoop in hand, everyone can make their very own awesome dairy-free ice cream at home. It’s easy – the book is very simple and straightforward to follow.  And a big plus, the ingredients are easily obtained and won’t break the bank.

Don’t have an ice cream maker? Do not fret – Wheeler’s has tips on how to make ice cream without one here.

More importantly, the ice cream on offer in Vegan Scoop is delicious. The texture is perfectly creamy and smooth. The flavours are inspired and, with the summer heat and humidity upon many of us, nothing beats a frosty bowl of creamy ice cream.

In a word, yum.

To celebrate the release of Vegan Scoop, Wheeler’s is sharing an exclusive new recipe with the sweet readers of Madcap Cupcake: Sweet Tea Ice Cream.

I really like this ice cream. It’s beautiful. It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s sophisticated – yes, sophisticated – elegant even. You could serve this ice cream after a swanky meal in a martini glass and it would fit in just fine – or go ahead and scoop it up high in your favourite cereal bowl and sit under a tree in this searing heat, cool off and be refreshed in style.

The secret ingredient here is black tea – but the possibilities are endless. I’m eying a box of chocolate chai tea for my next batch.

Enjoy, friends.

Sweet Tea Ice Cream
For Madcap Cupcake by Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert

1 cup (235 ml) soymilk, divided
2 tablespoons (16 g) arrowroot powder
2 cups (470 ml) soy creamer
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
8 bags black tea
4 teaspoons agave
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.

Mix soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup (175 ml) soymilk, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Place teabags in mixture and steep for 20 minutes.

Remove teabags, add agave, then heat mixture over medium-low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. Add vanilla. The arrowroot will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Yields: 1 quart (approximately 600 g)