Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cookies and Cream, Italian style

I really like cookies and cream ice cream.
I like how the cookie bits get soft, like they've been dunked in milk, without being unbaked (I find cookie dough-flavoured ice cream repulsive. Furthermore, I am not an eater of raw dough of any description. Nor do I drink milk, for that matter, so the appreciation for dunking cookies in it is largely theoretical. Give me biscotti to drown in espresso or marsala any day.)

I had a hankering for cookies and cream when I arrived at work to devise some desserts to see us through the weekend. I work at an Italian restaurant, though, so I wanted to put a Mediterranean spin on the classic. I made the ice creamy background lemony, though not overly so- I used only lemon zest, no juice, and steeped it in the cream, then strained it out. The lemon flavour was very soft and muted, not the clear, bright lemon flavour I generally go for.

Cookie-wise, I crumbled some Amaretti, and swirled them into the just-churned ice cream. Amaretti, served in the restaurant alongside espresso, are little bitter almond-flavoured cookies, with a texture like a cross between a meringue and a macaroon. They are crisp and light, and melt in your mouth. The flavour is similar to that of Amaretto liqueur.

As a cookie, they are obviously a sweet treat, but they also have a natural affinity for butternut and acorn squash, and to my way of thinking, they are always a welcome accompaniment to simply roasted squash, or squash ravioli with parmesan and a sage and brown butter sauce. The sweetness of the cookie matches the squash, and the bitter almond flavour and crunch adds complexity and textural intrigue.

Still no home cooking to speak of. Maybe tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Amaretti in lemon flavoured ice cream, I'm drooling.