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Dec. posting meme day 4

[personal profile] musesfool asked: any favorite dessert recipes?

You know, I'm really a sucktastic cook. I built this whole amazing kitchen with these plans to learn to cook better, and...that never happened. I never got any better at it. I wanted to be a baker, but I'm just a freaking disaster at it.

When I did the remodel, though, my dad gave me a KitchenAid stand mixer with an ice cream attachment, and a few years ago I was making ice cream a lot. I wasn't especially good at it, more often than not there was one thing that was off a bit in it, it was never as good as I wanted it to be. One of the favorite recipes I tried was a Persimmon and Black Pepper Syrup Ice Cream--the persimmons were still a bit too astringent in the end, but it was almost good, and the black pepper syrup gave it a really interesting kick. This is a similar recipe to what I used:

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon (scant) salt
8 large ripe Hachiya persimmons, halved, seeded
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Preparation

Heat heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add whole black peppercorns; toast until fragrant and beginning to smoke, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl to cool. Coarsely crush peppercorns in mortar with pestle, or place peppercorns in resealable plastic freezer bag, and seal; crush with mallet.

Transfer crushed peppercorns to small saucepan. Add 1 cup water, sugar, and scant 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil mixture until reduced to 1 cup, about 4 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. DO AHEAD: Black pepper syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Scoop persimmon flesh from skins into blender. Puree until smooth. Measure 2 cups puree for making ice cream, reserving any remaining puree for another use. Cover and chill puree until cold, about 2 hours.

Strain black pepper syrup into large bowl. Whisk in 2 cups persimmon puree and cream. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to container, cover, and freeze. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.

And I used to, every year, make these anise cookies with my dad from a recipe that came down from my mom's German family. It's...huge and my dad used his math skilz to first halve it and then quarter it and it still made ginormous batches that we gave to everyone until I found out that no one else except [personal profile] mlyn liked them--our cousins hated them, my friends hated them...

They were a pain in the ass to make, it uses molasses and so much flour and I seem to remember shortening, though I haven't made it since Dad died, but I loved the anise flavor with the molasses and the walnuts, and the ancient cookie cutters we had in my family for a million years were awesome too. You had to have lots of room, to cool and ice all the cookies and let them dry before you could stack them in containers. (If anyone wants the recipe I could try to type it up.)

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