Our last week baking out of Gina's Dolce Italiano is a transition to our next project -- Sunday Slow Scoopers.
SSB was the kick in the pants I needed to get over my bias against baking. Prior to this fun project, I always viewed baking as too restrictive. It requires and exactness that is hard for me. I love to 'tinker' with recipes. But, tinkering with a baking formula can spell disaster.
I'm now a convert. There are many more recipes in the book that I plan to try on my own. No need for a Sunday deadline to prod me.
Although we wrapped up with Toasted Almond Gelato, I just had to bake. Couldn't help myself.
One of Dan's all-time favorite cookies is the Chinese Almond Cookie. I thought it would be fun to do a little Italian-Asian Fusion and pair them with the Toasted Almond Gelato.
Gina's recipe was so simple. I used sliced almonds with the skins still on and took her recommendation to toast the almonds to as dark a color as possible without scorching. I wanted the maximum flavor she promised.
Then, into the pan with the milk, cream, sugar and honey they went.
After the mixture cooled to room temperature, I strained it into a pitcher and added the Amaretto, Almond Extract, and salt. Then put the pitcher in the fridge for the night.
First thing this morning I took the freezing chamber out of the deep freeze, poured in the mix and turned it on. Then just ignored it while I fixed pancake breakfast for my four grandsons.
After 35 minutes, I scooped it into a freezer bowl so it could harden some in the freezer.
This is what was left for me to enjoy.
This afternoon I baked traditional Chinese Almond Cookies -- only about 1 1/2 inch across instead of 3 inches. After the egg wash, I sprinkled them with sugar and the extra ground almonds.
Here is Gina's Toasted Almond Gelato. Pure and simple. Isn't it beautiful?
And here it is paired with the almond cookies.