Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
I recently made my first trip ever to Trader Joe’s. (I know, took me long enough to get there!) In my defense, the closest one is about 45 minutes away. And it hasn’t been open all that long. I was trying to hold out and have my first TJ experience happen when we were out in California, but it just didn’t end up happening. So finally, on a date night, Mike and I made a stop in at our “local” one. And you better believe that Cookie Butter was on my shopping list!
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
I feel that I need to confess that I wasn’t originally crazily obsessed with Cookie Butter as a lot of people are. I tried it a while back and thought it was okay, but nothing I’d be running to the store to get. And I’ll confess that this jar of Cookie Butter was only on my shopping list because Marla had been hinting that I needed to make some Cookie Butter ice cream.  But during the whole process of making the ice cream, more and more samples of cookie butter were tried.  And I found myself becoming more and more obsessed with it!  And by the time this ice cream was done churning and I tried my first spoonful…swoon!!  Yup, I’m officially on the Cookie Butter bandwagon.
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
This is the first ice cream that I’ve made that doesn’t use egg yolks. I always want my ice cream to be as rich and creamy as I can get it, so egg yolks it is.  Even without the egg yolks though, this was still creamy & delicious! And seemed so much easier & quicker to whip up!  (I definitely think I should try a cookie butter version using egg yolks though…I wouldn’t want to let you guys down or anything, so I’ll suffer through and make batch after batch just to make sure you have the best recipe, cause I’m really nice like that ;) )…
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought

Cookie Butter Ice Cream 

1 cup Speculoos Cookie Butter (+ more for swirling if desired)
½ cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream

Using an electric mixer, cream together Cookie Butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Stir in salt and vanilla. On low speed, gradually add in half and half and heavy cream until the mixture is combined and smooth.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process until thick, about 30 minutes or according to manufacturer’s directions. As you transfer the ice cream to the storage container, alternate layers of the ice cream with drizzles of extra cookie butter.  Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought
Cookie Butter Ice Cream @themerrythought

What about you…are you a Cookie Butter lover?  Any other suggestions for great ice cream flavors I need to try?

Here’s to warmer days filled with ice cream!

-Manda

DIY Stool Makeover

DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythought DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythought I have been looking for a few old wooden stools for my apartment for months now with no luck. A few weeks ago I found a little stool at a rummage sale for $1 so I snatched it up so I could refinish it into something that would work in my apartment.
DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythought DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythought How to make it:
Find a stool (Ikea has some $5 stools that could work for this project.)
Remove the top from the base.
Trace the top onto a piece of wood.
Use a jig saw to cut out the circle. You will need to use clamps to hold the wood to a table while you cut and rotate the circle after you’ve cut out the first half.
Use a belt sander to sand down the edges and then choose a finish for your wood.
I taped off the top of the stool and then spray painted the bottom of the legs white.
Let dry and attach the wooden top to the stool legs.
DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythought DIY Stool Makeover @themerrythoughtHave you brought new life to any old items lately?

xo. Caitlin

Happy Easter

Spring @themerrythought
Spring has arrived with a new story, a new revelation, whispering to us in breeze and blooms, “He has risen.” ” – Bethany @ Cloistered Away

Looking forward to a weekend spending time with family, hunting for Easter eggs, eating Mini Cadbury Eggs, enjoying spring and most importantly celebrating that our Savior lives!  We hope that your Easter weekend is wonderful!

Spring Mocktails

3 Spring Mocktails @themerrythought Back to share a few more tasty mocktail recipes! These refreshing drinks are perfect for this spring season that seems to finally be coming around. Be sure to try these out at your Easter get-togethers this weekend!
Italian Cream Soda @themerrythought Italian Cream Soda

3 tbsp flavor syrup
1 tbsp heavy cream
Ice
Sparkling mineral water

Add the syrup to a glass then fill the glass 3/4 full of chopped ice. Slowly pour in the sparkling water until the glass is almost full. Add the heavy cream to the top of the drink. Mix to drink.

How to make your own flavor syrup:
1 cup fruit (I used raspberries)
1/4 water
Bring to a boil and continue cooking until fruit has lost its texture. Strain liquid into a bowl and discard fruit. Put liquid back in pan and add 1/3 cup of sugar. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Remove from stove and let cool.
Ramos Non-Gin Fizz @themerrythoughtRamos (Non)Gin Fizz

3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 egg white
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp Polar Orange Dry Soda

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or just use a big mason jar) Vigorously shake for a few minutes until completely mixed and frothy. Pour into a glass without ice. This fresh, lemony drink pairs perfectly with brunch!
Spicy Cool Cucumber Cocktail @themerrythoughtSpicy Cucumber Cooler

1/4″+ jalapeño (adjust according to heat of the jalapeño you get)
1″ cucumber chopped
8 leaves cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice
Combine these ingredients and muddle them.
Add this mixture into a cocktail shaker 1/2 full of ice and add:
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp Polar Half & Half (grapefruit/lemon juice)
Shake well and strain into a glass 3/4 full of chopped ice.

This guy would be a nice addition to your Cinco De Mayo festivities!
3 Spring Mocktails @themerrythought Don’t forget to top them off with some of these adorable Rabbit Drink Stirrers!

xo. Caitlin

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
If you’ve been a reader for a while you may have noticed our mocktail kick…Caitlin is turning out to be quite the pro at whipping up some delicious beverages!  She has some spring inspired drink recipes to share this week and I thought a rabbit drink stirrer would be a fun touch to add to drinks served at an Easter dinner.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
I was inspired by a wood rabbit mask necklace that Mike had made for me a while back, and used that necklace as the template for my rabbits (I’ve included a download for that rabbit silhouette below if you want to use that).  I’ve used thin birch plywood for a couple other projects (like these earrings) and thought a simple wooden rabbit would be fun.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cut curves into the wood without it cracking, but with some scoring first, it cut easily!  I love the simple, natural look of the plain wood, but you could definitely paint the rabbits different colors or paint simple faces on them.  They’d also be cute place cards – wrap some washi tape or paper around the skewers with guests names on it – or print right on the rabbit, and pop them in a drink at each place setting.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
What you need:

      • thin birch plywood – 1/64 width (I found mine at Michaels)
      • wooden skewers
      • rabbit silhouette to trace (download the one I used here. Mine measures about 2″ x 1.25″, you can adjust the size it prints in your printer settings.)
      • scissors
      • x-acto knife
      • pencil
      • super glue
      • paint – optional

Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
How to do it:
Trace your rabbit silhouette onto the plywood. Using the x-acto knife, score along the lines you traced. (I found that my lines cut much neater if I scored the wood before cutting). Cut out with scissors – using sharp, small scissors will work best for this. If desired, paint the tops of the skewers or the rabbit silhouette – do not paint the end of the stick that will be in the drink! Super glue the top of the skewer to the back of the rabbit and let dry.
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought
Wooden Rabbit Drink Stirrers @themerrythought

Be sure to check back tomorrow to get the recipe for this delicious drink and a couple more mocktail recipes!

-Manda

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