Almondina Cookies: No Bake Valentine’s Day Gelato, Sorbet and Ice Cream Heart Treats

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For those of you unfamiliar, Almondina is a thin cookie that is not only less punishing caloric (only 30 calories each) wise but absolute deliciousness!  Most dunking cookies I love more how they look than how they taste because the cookies are so dry, they suck the moisture out of your mouth.  You try to dunk them to soften them and then they fall apart, so now your hot coffee is not so enjoyable anymore with pieces of dissolved cookie with every sip!  Almondina has fixed the problem but I find them better than most packaged cookies I have ever enjoyed because they are so versatile!  You do not have to commit to one flavor because they are thin cookies that come in different varieties.  You have chocolate based to the original vanilla tasting ones, to cinnamon, to even pumpkin.  You want yogurt dipped, Almondina has it and even chocolate dipped, so again this is more than just a cookie you have with a hot drink.  It is a cookie that stands alone in it’s own class of thin (but delicious) crisp cookies.  I love almonds and it started with how the nut tasted but it is also a healthier alternative.  What I like is the amount of almonds and fruit you get too.  I am not cheated out of anything, just eating less fats!  It may be a “better-for-you” cookie but what makes this dreamier, is you get all the flavor and can’t believe one thin cookie could do so much! I will be reviewing the cookies later this week and will have a giveaway for my readers.  Yes, that means the sample pack I received could be yours! So, stay tuned and just a small hint, start following and liking them on Facebook 🙂

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Let Almondina Cookies make your Valentine’s Day treats not only easy and quick to make, but they will look like you dedicated all day to them. The cookies are toasted already so no need to toast in the oven. You can even add sprinkles, chocolate ganache or just the Almondina crumble itself.

I started by using Almondina Choconut, a delicious chocolate cookie that is studded with almonds and raisins. I take the cookie and break off some of the nuts to use later as decor. Using a food processor, I pulse until get a nice mix of fine and medium crumbs. In a small bowl, I add the crumb to be used for later. I again repeat the above process with the Original Almondina cookies and the Almondina AlmondDuo, a double nut cookie, which features not only almonds but also pistachios.

Take your Valentine’s Day cookie cutters (I have both metal and plastic) . Get your favorite ice cream, sorbet, or even gelato out of the freezer. I do one flavor at a time and if I do not have a flavor…..I make it. I had left-over boysenberry preserves I made a few days ago and folded it into vanilla bean ice cream to make boysenberry ice cream. You can use a cherry preserves or any flavor you desire. This not only saves money but also makes those flavors you dream of into reality.

I use a parchment square and under that place some plastic wrap. You can also use the plastic wrap by itself if you do not have parchment.  Take your cookie cutter and place it in the center of the paper/plastic. Stuff the cookie cutter with the above frozen treat of your choice and I find using a spoon and stuff by the “sliver” versus scooping is the easiest way to avoid air pockets. I use a small spatula to smooth out the Gelato and then simply use my hands to push the form out. You can also use the assistance of the parchment paper you used the cookie cutter on if you have enough overage, this also avoids getting ice cream on your fingers. Rinse and repeat!

*The above is Pistachio Gelato

 

*The above is Coconut Sorbet 

*The above is Dark Chocolate Gelato and the Boysenberry Ice Cream I made

I then place cover the molded treat and place it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. If you are making more than one, make sure to not allow your ice cream to soften too much. I suggest placing the pint back in the freezer to keep it from melting. This is why I like to work with different flavors because I can rotate as I work.  If I need to hurry up a creation, I place it in the ice cube tray for a fast chill.

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While everything refreezes, I start making ganache. Ganache is a simple recipe of 1/2 heavy cream and 1/2 chocolate. I use a mix of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate and slowly melt it on the stove. For convince, I place my ganache in a glass dish with a spatula for easy scooping.

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Once the molded heart has hardened again, I take out one heart at a time and begin to decorate. You can use several ways:

  • Spread Ganache and then the Almondina Cookie Crumbs.
  • Stud the hearts with the nuts you recovered from the cookies before making the crumb and then only applying crumble to the sides.
  • Make a Mold of Gelato and fill only 1/4 of the way, add Almondina Crumble and then fill again with Gelato. This gives you a crumble in the center.
  • You can do half Ganache and half crumble, so you get different textures

Return the decorated heart back and allow it to set for 20 to 30 minutes. This will of course vary by size of cookie cutter and amount of frozen treat used.

I used some ganache and stencils to not only decorate the dessert but also my plate. You just smear a small amount of ganache and then some red colored sprinkles, or any color of your choice. Lift the stencil and then you have a cute design. Place the plate in the fridge and if the plate is freezer safe, it is much better because it then gets as cold as the hearts, This buys you time when you put everything together. Get your Love Bug and you have a gorgeous and delicious dessert that required no oven and just some opening and closing of the freezer ❤ This also a very kid friendly project, so make it a family thing too ❤ Enjoy!

To locate where you can buy Almondina’s Cookies or to view their large selection, please visit:

  • On-line– http://www.almondina.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/Almondina.Brand
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/almondina

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I received the above product free of charge from Almondina Cookies.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Chobani Key Lime Crumble Flip Greek Yogurt

So, where does our Chobani passport get stamped next? Think palm trees, sand, and waves crashing against the surf……..Florida, maybe. Okay, think P-I-E like Chobani’s Key Lime Crumble Flip. Called a Flip because you flip nutritious “goodies” from one cup to the bigger yogurt cup. You can then decide if you want it to be a topper or a mix-in, or a little of both. This version has a nice surprising crunch that I love.

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Let’s break down the cups-
The yogurt portion, which is the larger cup, is Keylime low-fat yogurt. The “flip” is a crumble that is made of the cutest and littlest white chips you have ever seen and crushed graham crackers.

The Verdict-
This Flip comes in at 180 calories and it is higher by just 30 calories from the usual 150, but so worth it. Eleven grams of protein so that caloric count stands up nicely when you count all the positives that fit in that yogurt cup. It does not stop there, you have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, plus some Calcium so your bones stay nice and strong when lifting that spoon from flip to mouth.

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The Flavor-
I must start by confessing that I have bought this version of Flip so many times that I lost count. Key Limes everywhere must have wanted posters up, so from now this review is in whisper-mode (shhhh!). Think of a deconstructed Key Lime pie. The yogurt has a tang and it tastes just like Key Limes, no funny stuff of a Lime holding a key and pretending to be a Key Lime. The tang goes so well with the creamy texture of the Greek yogurt that I call it the pie filling. Then the pie…..I mean this healthy yogurt…has a crumble made of graham crackers, that is sweet from just a touch of brown sugar but has a hint of cinnamon. Made with love and it continues with the sweetest and smallest white chocolate chips that I have ever seen. They are smaller than the miniature morsels you can bake with but the cup is filled with them. I always take one out and smile but never fall for their high cuteness level, so it gets eaten. It’s the only way the white chocolate chip can’t control me, even though I now realize I am out of my Key Lime Crumble and I’m craving some yogurt pie 🙂
The Ingredients-
Lowfat Yogurt (cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus And L. Casei), Evaporated Cane Juice, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Soybean Oil, Key Lime Puree, Cocoa Butter, Whole Wheat Flour, Key Lime Juice Concentrate, Milk, Key Lime Peel, Honey, Nonfat Dry Milk, Natural Flavors, Salt, Cinnamon, Fruit Juice Concentrate (for Color), Turmeric (for Color).

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I received the above product free of charge from Chobani. I have no obligation to provide a favorable/positive review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and brand, which may differ from yours.

Triple Berry Lattice & Crumble bars

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I made these bars after making preserves, since I figured it would showcase the berries perfectly…..let’s begin.

You start with your crust recipe and double it, as you would when making a double crust pie. I use a William’s Sonoma one that has both butter and shortening. I know there is a debate on which one makes a better crust over the other, so I figure both make a phenomenal crust then :). Use whatever recipe you commonly use, I have no rules!

Once your crust has rested in the fridge for an hour or so, it’s time to get you to work. I used a lasagna pan because I was making squares. I sprayed the pan with PAM (with flour), then placed two “lifters” made of foil. This makes removing your masterpiece easier when it has cooled in the fridge. I then spray a little more PAM and add a layer of parchment, cut and shaped like the pan. In case you are wondering, I do make sure the parchment sticks up a little on the sides, because I want nothing sticking or oozing where it shouldn’t. The PAM helps keep things in place while you assemble and also serves for the purpose of helping things release when needed. It’s my little insurance for my projects. After I complete my craft project above, I roll out the pie dough that will serve as the bottom of my squares. I then make the cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces of Cream Cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons of All-Purpose flour
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
Plus, 1 tablespoon of All-Purpose Flour (to be added before filling)

Before adding the Cream Cheese filling, take a tablespoon of flour and just sprinkle it on the pie dough.

To make the Cream Cheese Filling, you just combine ingredients until they are smooth and then spread evenly, as this is the first layer. After comes the fruit!

Triple Berry Fruit Filling:
1/4 cup of Blackberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Strawberry Preserves
1/4 cup of Blueberry Preserves

I wanted each bite to have all three berries, so I plopped spoonfuls of each in segments. It was my way to not lose track and to make sure I spread everything evenly without disturbing the cream cheese bottom. I then lightly smoothed out the filling with a spoon.

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Before Baking (all assembled)

As you see the picture shows a crumble and lattice top, I figure like the pie dough debate, I nip this one by making both. I added my lattice top and this I just used a dough cutter to make strips. As you can see, it is not perfect but has that “made at home” appeal. After I did the lattice top, then comes the crumb topping.

Crumble Topping:
2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter (cold)
2/3 cup of All-Purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of Sugar

I whisk the flour and sugar until incorporated and then used a fork to add the butter. I literally just start pushing down on the butter until everything mixes and sometimes I even use my hands when the butter starts giving me an attitude! You want about pea-sized crumbles, since you add them to the “open squares” in your lattice top. If a crumble rebels and gets on the lattice, no worries as you will be fine.

I then place the pan in the oven, at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. If your top starts browning too quickly, just cover lightly with foil.  From my experience, I only covered for the last 15 minutes in case I got distracted.

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Right out of the oven (after baking)

Once done, I then left the pan out for about 2 hours and then placed it in the fridge for about 2 more hours, while I fixed dinner. Once cooled nicely, I use the foil lifters to lift the entire thing out and begin to cut into squares. You may sprinkle with powder sugar if you desire and these go great with ice cream! Enjoy!

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