Indulge

Unexpected Ice Cube Tray Hacks That Go Beyond Freezing Your Coffee

A few summers ago, we realized just how useful the humble ice cube tray can be. This summer, we’re digging in further. Here, we go beyond portioning cookie dough, preserving fresh herbs, and freezing coffee and fruit—a simple cube tray can be a major helper in the kitchen and take your chef game to the next level. From ravioli to puff pastry treats to homemade chocolate candies, this essential kitchen tool is our new best friend.

Ice Cube Tray Ravioli

(adapted from Morsel’s Homemade Pasta Rags + Morsel’s Three-Cheese Ravioli)

Making pasta from scratch is, in our opinion, one of the ultimate weekend cooking projects—it’s fun to make, and even better to eat. No need to invest in a ravioli mold here—a standard ice cube tray will do just fine for shaping the pasta. Mix up the fillings and sauces to your heart’s content. Your dinner companions will be seriously impressed.

Ingredients

Pasta dough
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
olive oil
kosher salt

Filling
1 egg yolk
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Method

  1. Make egg well

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and ½ teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the whole eggs, egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Using your hands, begin to incorporate the flour into the yolks, mixing until thoroughly combined. Turn out the dough onto a dry, lightly floured surface. Using your hands, knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.

  1. Make cheese filling

While dough chills, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, 1 egg yolk, .5 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to thoroughly combine. Refrigerate until dough is chilled.

  1. Form dough

Once dough is chilled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, then cut into 4 slabs. Working 1 a time, using a rolling pin, roll or stretch each slab of dough until almost paper thin, to create 4 sheets of pasta dough.

  1. Form ravioli

Line 2 standard ice cube trays with 1 sheet of pasta dough each, gently pressing dough into each indent. Fill each indent with 1 tablespoon cheese filling. Top with remaining pasta dough sheets, pressing gently around border of each ravioli to seal. Flip each ice cube tray onto a clean, dry surface. Using a knife or pizza cutter, trim and discard any excess pasta dough, then separate each ravioli.

  1. Boil ravioli

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When water is boiling, season generously with salt. Working in small batches, stir in ravioli and cook until tender and floating to the surface, about 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Drain ravioli and return to pot, off heat. Add butter to pot and gently stir to melt and combine.

  1. Plate ravioli

Transfer cheese ravioli to shallow serving bowls. Sprinkle over remaining Parmesan and add black pepper as desired. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Candies

We’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t love the combo of chocolate and peanut butter. With the help of an ice cube tray, these are surprisingly simple to make. Store them in the freezer, and you have cool, creamy, chocolatey goodness at your fingertips whenever a craving strikes.

Ingredients
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup peanut butter (try not to use natural peanut butter here, if possible, as it’s runnier and will take longer to harden in the freezer)

Method

  1. Prepare peanut butter

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working 1 tablespoon at a time, dollop peanut butter onto prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Transfer baking sheet to freezer to chill, about 30 minutes.

  1. Melt chocolate

In a medium heatproof bowl, combine chocolate chips and coconut oil and microwave in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Pour melted chocolate into an ice cube tray to nearly fill each indent.

  1. Prepare candies

Once peanut butter is chilled, remove from freezer. Press 1 tablespoon chilled peanut butter into the center of each chocolate. Cover ice cube tray with plastic wrap and return to freezer to chill until set, 2-3 hours.

  1. Plate candies

Once set, remove candies from ice cube tray. Enjoy! Store any remaining candy in refrigerator to prevent melting.

Mini Pain Au Chocolat

Perfect for a brunch or afternoon tea, these bite-size treats require only three ingredients. If you prefer, swap out the semisweet chocolate chips for a dollop of Nutella, then serve up adorable mini-pastries at your next brunch or coffee get-together.

Ingredients
4 5-inch squares puff pastry
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg
1 sheet parchment paper

Method

  1. Soften puff pastry

Preheat oven to 425°F. Separate puff pastry squares and set aside to soften at room temperature (we recommend 10 minutes). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg.

  1. Prepare puff pastry

Once puff pastry has softened, transfer to a clean, dry surface. Arrange 2 squares puff pastry end to end in a single layer, overlapping each square by ¼-inch. Pinch and seal seams to create a single rectangle of pastry. Repeat with remaining 2 squares puff pastry. Using your hands, gently stretch or press puff pastry rectangles into rectangles slightly larger than your ice cube tray.

  1. Form pain au chocolat

Line 1 standard ice cube tray with 1 rectangle puff pastry dough, gently pressing dough into each indent. Fill each indent with chocolate chips, dividing evenly. Top with remaining puff pastry sheet, pressing gently around border of each pain au chocolat to seal. Flip ice cube tray. Using a knife or pizza cutter, trim and discard any excess puff pastry, then separate each pain au chocolat.

  1. Bake and plate pain au chocolat

Arrange pain au chocolat on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Lightly brush tops of pastries with egg. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!

Pimento Cheese Pastries

Pimento cheese is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated spreads known to humans. We’ve been known to enjoy it straight out of the fridge with a spoon, but here, it’s wrapped in flaky puff pastry and baked until golden on the outside and gooey inside. Enjoy warm, while they last.

Ingredients
4 5-ounce squares puff pastry
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup jarred pimento peppers
8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 egg
1 sheet parchment paper

Method

  1. Prepare ingredients

Preheat oven to 425°F. Set puff pastry squares and cream cheese aside to soften at room temperature, at least 10 minutes. Finely chop pimento peppers. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Make pimento cheese

Once cream cheese has softened, cut into 1-inch cubes (this will make it easier to blend with the other ingredients) and place in a large bowl. Add Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat), pimento peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired. Using a spatula or hand mixer, mix until thoroughly combined.

  1. Prepare puff pastry

Transfer puff pastry squares to a clean, dry surface. Arrange 2 squares puff pastry end to end in a single layer, overlapping each square by ¼-inch. Pinch and seal seams to create a single rectangle of pastry. Repeat with remaining 2 squares puff pastry. Using your hands, gently stretch or press puff pastry rectangles into rectangles slightly larger than your ice cube tray.

  1. Form pastries

Line 1 standard ice cube tray with 1 rectangle puff pastry dough, gently pressing dough into each indent. Fill each indent with pimento cheese, being careful not to overfill (save any remaining pimiento cheese for an appetizer). Top with remaining puff pastry sheet, pressing gently around border of each pastry to seal. Flip ice cube tray. Using a knife or pizza cutter, trim and discard any excess puff pastry, then separate each pimento cheese pastry.

  1. Bake and plate pimento cheese pastries

Arrange pimento cheese pastries on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Lightly brush tops of pastries with egg. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halloumi Bites

Halloumi is a salty, brine-cured cheese. It’s known for its high melting point, making it a great cheese for frying and baking—add a little heat, and it develops a golden crust that kicks the flavor up a notch. Here, we’re wrapping the cheese in prosciutto using an ice cube tray as a mold, then baking the bites until the meat is crispy and the cheese is golden. Serve them up on an appetizer plate with your favorite dips, spreads, and veggies, and you’ve got yourself a party.

Ingredients
4 ounces sliced prosciutto
4 ounces halloumi cheese
1 parchment paper

Method

  1. Prepare halloumi

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut halloumi cheese into 1-inch cubes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Wrap halloumi

Line a standard ice cube tray with half of prosciutto slices, gently pressing prosciutto into each indent. Fill each indent with 1 cube halloumi cheese, then top with remaining prosciutto slices.

  1. Finish halloumi bites

Turn halloumi bites out onto a clean, dry surface. Using a knife or pizza cutter, gently separate each prosciutto-wrapped halloumi bite. Arrange on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart.

  1. Bake and plate halloumi bites

Bake halloumi bites until prosciutto is beginning to crisp, 15-18 minutes. Then, remove from oven and set aside to fully crisp, 10-15 minutes more. Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse Pops

(adapted from Morsel’s Easy Chocolate Mousse)

Everybody loves chocolate mousse. That’s a fact. Frozen chocolate mousse? Even better.

Ingredients
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
12 popsicle sticks

Method
Beat egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form, 3-5 minutes. Slowly add in sugar. Continue to beat until firm, 10-15 minutes. Whip cream and melt chocolate.

Fold in chocolate gently to whipped cream. When eggs are firm, gently fold in chocolate and cream mixture. Pour chocolate mousse into a standard ice cube tray, dividing evenly. Insert a popsicle stick into each indent. Transfer to a flat surface in the freezer to chill until firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Enjoy!

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

Get 25% off your first four weeks of Plated!
x

On the List?

Subscribe to Plated's Newsletter

Thanks for signing up!

There was an error signing you up.
Please check that your email is valid. Try again