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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Valentine’s Day Lovey Dovey Heart Buns

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The above is made twisting both doughs and filling the heart openings with the plain cream cheese filling.  I then dotted the center with the chocolate filling.

As promised, my revision!

The recipe is here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/lemon-love-buns-recipe

My revision:

3/4 cup of water (170 grams)
30 grams of butter and 35 cream cheese
1 large egg, plus the egg yolk of another egg (save the egg white of the second egg as it will serve as your wash)
3 small drops (I use a dropper) of almond extract and one teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of salt
30 grams of sugar
2 teaspoons of Buttermilk powder
363 grams of flour (if making the chocolate* version add 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of dutch cocoa powder to your flour)
2 teaspoons of instant yeast

*when the dough is starting to knead, I added 1/2 a cup of mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet) to the chocolate batch to give it that extra chocolate flavor.

Fillings:
Make chocolate ganache: half chocolate, I use a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet and you then add the same amount of Heavy Cream. For example- you mix 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips to 1/2 a cup of heavy cream and melt on the stove. Do not simmer or boil! I do the game of adding heat and then move my pot away to stir and if I see it needs more heat, I go back to the flame.

I then add 1/4 cup of ganache to 5 ounces of softened cream cheese and mix. Then I add a tablespoon of flour and mix again until smooth That is my simple filling. You can play with the ratios to suit your taste and add chocolate chips if you wish. Just remember you may need to up the flour amount to get the consistency desired.

For the plain cream cheese filling, I take 8 ounces of softened cream cheese (usually one package) and add 1/2 a vanilla bean, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of flour. Again, just mix until smooth.

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The above is the chocolate dough with chocolate filling

The big difference comes when assembly. I did just like the recipe but left the heart shape open more once I twisted the dough. Plop the fillings of your choice and then let it rise. That simple! You can see that both my plain dough and chocolate dough yielded many possibilities! I believe in playing and making it your own, as you can see I even added Boysenberry Preserves to some hearts because that is my husband’s favorite fruit. Some even have no filling because I crave plain sometimes. Again, just have as good time creating!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day!! I believe hearts and love is year round, so I will be making these again soon!

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The above is plain cream cheese filling with Boysenberry Preserves 

Other Varieties: 

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I made a braid as I had to little dough left to make hearts.  I also made a chocolate dough heart with the plain cream cheese filling

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Plain dough hearts with no filling

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Playing around and making normal buns with a dot of filling

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