italian rainbow cookie gelato sandwiches

Hello from Alaska, friends!!! I am here learning about salmon fishing, hiking, eating s’mores in the shadows of glaciers, living a cell phone service-less life, and looking at all of this wild beauty from underneath four layers of fleeces and I’m as happy as a clam. I can’t wait to tell you more about it!! I’ll be back in a couple of days, right in time to spend a week doing nothing but prep Eggsister's wedding cakes and then party my bum off on the big day.

Right before I left I filled the freezer with gelato sandwiches so that E-boy doesn’t go hungry while I’m gone. Full disclosure, with Eggmom across the street he never actually goes hungry when I’m gone (…it’s when Eggparents go camping and I happen to be gone that I really have to make sure that there are frozen tater tot hotdishes in the freezer.) So I guess these sammies are more like a Tour de France viewing treat. They are made with Italian Rainbow Cookies which I always used to find next to the Black and White Cookies in New York. They’re basically colorful marzipan cake layered with jam, so basically a perfect food. Every time I see one of those “name the ice cream/gelato flavor of your wildest dreams” contests, I enter with Italian Rainbow Cookie flavor. I haven’t won yet but I vow to keep trying. I just love their soft consistency all cozied up with ice cream. And cakey cookies make the best ice cream sandwiches since they allow your whole bite to be a smooth ride, you don’t have to deal with any of that business where ice cream splats out the sides. 

I partnered with Talenti Gelato to make these little guys in celebration of National Ice Cream Day this Sunday!! I’ve been a Talenti fan for so long, especially since it’s because of them that I can get my pistachio gelato fix in Grand Forks. Short of making my own, Talenti is literally the only way that I can get pistachio gelato in town, and I am down with that because their ingredients are great and I just found out that the Talenti Sicilian Pistachio Gelato contains my new favorite ingredient, pistachio butter. It's also got pistachios from volcanic soil near the Mediterranean sea! So in addition to using pistachio gelato in these sammies, I also used their Double Dark Chocolate Gelato (which has a dash of vermouth!) since Italian Rainbow Cookies are typically covered in chocolate, and Vanilla Blueberry Crumble Gelato which has little tasty brown sugar oat crumbles throughout. The flavors/richness/creaminess are a perfect match to the almondy Italian Rainbow Cookies and while making these sandwiches is a process that requires two extended resting/freezing periods, they are worth it, yo. The key is having taste tests along the way: have a bite of almond paste when making your cookies, steal a scoop of gelato when assembling, you know the drill.


italian rainbow cookie gelato sandwiches

makes 15 sandwiches

ingredients

6 large eggs, separated (see note)

1/4 c (50g) plus 1 c (200g) sugar

2 c (450g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

12 oz (340g) almond paste, chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tb lemon juice

1 tsp almond extract

2 2/3 c (340g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp green liquid food coloring

1 tsp red liquid food coloring

6 tb (112g) apricot or raspberry jam

3 pints Talenti Gelato (you really can't go wrong with flavors but i like Sicilian Pistachio Gelato, Double Dark Gelato, and Vanilla Blueberry Crumble Gelato!)

rainbow sprinkles

clues

preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease three 8-inch square pans and line them with parchment paper that comes at least 2 inches up two of the sides of the pan. if you don't have 3 pans, you can bake the layers in batches.

in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. with the mixer running on medium, gradually add the 1/4 cup of sugar. increase the speed to medium-high and beat to stiff peaks. set them aside (see note). in a large bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, almond paste, salt, and remaining 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. reduce the speed to medium and add the yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. beat in the lemon juice and almond extract, then reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the flour. mix to combine. use a rubber spatula to fold in the whites.

transfer one-third of the mixture to one of the pans and use a small offset spatula to spread it out evenly. transfer another third of the mixture to a separate bowl and fold in the green food coloring. fold the red food coloring into the remaining third. transfer these into the remaining 2 pans, spreading them out evenly.

bake until the tops are just set and no longer shiny. begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes. let cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then lift them out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

stack them up (from bottom to top: green, white, red) with 3 tablespoons jam between the layers. wrap the loaf firmly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

with a long sharp knife, cut the cookie loaf into long skinny slices, 1/2" thick. line the bottom and two sides of a 9” x 13” pan (or something of relatively similar size, i used an 8” x 8” pan plus a loaf pan) with parchment paper, allowing parchment wings to come all the way up the sides. lay the cookie slices flat and snuggly in the bottom of the pan. soften 3 pints of gelato at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until spreadable. give the gelato a little stir so it’s all one consistency and then spread it evenly over the cookie slices. top with the remaining cookie slices and then freeze for 4 hours or overnight, until firm. use the parchment wings to lift your giant cookie sandwich out of the pan and onto a cutting board. with a sharp knife, trim the edges so they’re nice and even and then cut into squares. (save edge scraps in an empty talenti container!)

Note: with any recipe that calls for beating something else in the same mixer, I do a few steps to cut down on dishes and ensure that my egg whites don't have any bit of yolk in them, which will cause them not to beat to stiff peaks. I first separate an egg into 2 medium bowls. I then pour the white into my mixer bowl. then I repeat for each egg, adding the whites one by one so that if one gets contaminated, they're not all ruined. and then i beat the whites to stiff peaks first, scoop them out of the mixer bowl, and then use the mixer bowl for the next step. if you use a rubber spatula to get 95 percent of the whites out, there's really no need to rinse the mixer bowl for the yolk step.


-yeh!

thank you, talenti gelato, for sponsoring this post! 

hazelnut sugar cookie cereal

i come from a family of toast people, hole in the middle people, and leftover pizza for breakfast people. breakfast growing up was always a hot meal, save for the few bites of cold pizza that you'd eat while you waited for the rest of the slice to heat up in the microwave. the hot breakfast rule obviously extended to weekend bagels, too: if they weren't still warm from the bagel store, they got promptly toasted and served alongside whatever coffee cake or buckle that mum baked before the sun came up.

i think that for the few times when we had cereal in the house, it was probably a result of stoopie or me feeling like we *should* have it, on account of we were kids and the cookie crisp commercials during zoog disney were super catchy, and we, too, wanted to have part of that *complete breakfast*, and duh we needed the prizes that came in the box. i can remember really foaming at the mouth for peanut butter cap'n crunch, before mum got her peanut allergy, but other than that i'm pretty sure that boxes of cereal were bought on a whim, cracked into once or twice, and then left to get a little stale while we got down with scrambled eggs.

occasionally i'd have cereal in the afternoons at my friend gracie's house, which was exciting because cereal in the afternoon feels a little naughty, and her kitchen was like a cereal buffet at all times. but i always felt obligated to drink the room temperature milk at the bottom of the bowl because she did and, errrm, 😝.

since then i've used cereal in various recipes (puppy chow, rice krispies treats), but, goodness, the last time i had a bowl of cereal was probably like 20 years ago.

about a year and a half ago however, a really sweet reader emailed with the idea to make homemade cereal. "I love a bowl of homemade granola as much as the next girl but I'm thinking good old Kellogg's style breakfast cereal," she said. i loved that idea so much! partly because i'd never seen it done and partly because it'd mean i'd get to make millions of miniature baked things, and you know how i feel about miniature baked things. so for a year and a half i sat on this thought, and then around the holidays when dominique ansel had his super adorable christmas morning cereal for sale, i decided it was time to make a valentine's day cereal.

this recipe is essentially cookies. lots and lots of little crispy hazelnut cookies, hanging out with mini almond meringues that kind of turn the milk pink, and some chocolate chips and coconut. and i threw in some dried fruit for chewiness and hazelnuts to have it be something that remotely resembled a nutritious start to the day. of course, take whatever liberties you'd like with this, because you're basically making a sweet trail mix. change up the nuts, fruits, cookie shapes, and add any more goodies you'd like. the cookies take forrrever to stamp out (i used a 3/4" heart cookie cutter from michael's, but i think i need one of these cookie cutter sheets), and the meringues took kinda a while to pipe. but throw on the la la land soundtrack, hang out with your roomba daughter, and it's all very meditative and therapeutic. i recommend eating this in small quantities since it's best when it's crispy, not soggy...errr but i guess that's part of the charm in cereal? i don't know. but make a big batch, put it in cute jars, and give it as valentine's/galentine's gifts to all of your friends. and if you're a real overachiever, gift it with a bottle of homemade nut milk or fresh milk from bessy your cute pet cow.


hazelnut sugar cookie cereal

makes about 18 servings

ingredients

1 batch mini sugar cookie hearts, recipe below

1 batch mini meringues, recipe below

1 c chocolate chips

1 c toasted coconut flakes

1 c toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1 c dried cherries or cranberries

milk, for serving

clues

gently combine all of the ingredients. (I ended up only using about 2/3 of the meringues because i liked that cookie:meringue ratio. the remaining meringues were kept aside for noshing and cake decorating!)

serve in a bowl with milk!

keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. cereal should keep for a couple of weeks.


mini sugar cookie hearts

ingredients

1/2 c toasted hazelnuts

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

clues

preheat the oven to 350ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment.

in a food processor, grind the toasted hazelnuts until they are finely ground. add the flour and salt and pulse to combine.

using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until it is pale and fluffy. add the vanilla and egg and beat well to combine. with the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until combined.

turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly-floured surface. using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's 1/4" thick, use a cookie cutter to cut out tiny hearts. place the hearts on the baking sheets (they can be pretty close together), and bake until they're lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.

once all of the cookies are baked, reduce the oven to 250ºf and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to really crisp them up. let cool on the pans.


ingredients

120 grams (or about 1/2 c + 3 tb) sugar

2 large eggs whites

1/4 tsp almond extract

a tiny drop of red food coloring

clues

preheat oven to 400ºf. distribute the sugar in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. while sugar is baking, crack your egg whites into a stand mixer. 

once the sugar has been in the oven for a few minutes, begin beating the egg whites in a stand mixer on high until they're foamy. reduce the mixer and gradually sprinkle in the warm sugar. once all of it has been added, add the almond extract and the food coloring. beat on high for a few minutes, until the meringue is stiff, glossy, and cold.

reduce the oven to 225ºf.

prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment. fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8" or 1/4" round tip with your egg white mixture. Pipe tiny dollops onto the parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, until the mini meringues are no longer shiny and they're crispy all the way through. let cool on the pans.


-yeh!

#mollyontherange tour scenes

happy almost thanksgiving, friends!!! as the molly on the range tour winds down for the winter, i would like to take a mascara-less moment to be all verklempt and thankful for all of the wonderful huggable beans who i encountered these past few months all around the country. these wild months turned me into a person who purchases wellness shots of turmeric and wheat grass, but most importantly they were months that made my heart so full with warm fuzzies that it can only fit into metaphorical yoga pants these days. 

throughout my signings and demos, i collected new blogs to read, handwritten letters, gifts of custom sprinkle mixes and books and macaroni wall art (!!), and tips for new hotdishes to try. there were home cooked meals, potluck meals, and meals i would have never discovered were it not for local friends who showed me the way. and then there were the tofu macaroni t-shirt homies who i still can't stop giggling about. i saw so many old friends and made so many new ones that i think i started to build new muscles from hugging everyone so tightly (sorry if i was ever smelly). and with that i am packed with enough glee to last for a good long time. through this winter's hibernation at least. and ok maybe when it fades i'll write another book... is that how all of this works?

i am so so massively ginormously thankful for all of you who i got to spend time with during the molly on the range tour and i wish everybody the happiest, turkiest of thanksgivings!!! 

-yeh!!!! 


an extra special thank you to the photographers who captured the moments above:

photos 1, 2, 3, 19, 21, 23, 25, 29, 33 by 2nd truth photography with food styling + catering by quince mn at the pinch of yum studio for the motr + of a kind #akseverday event for // photos 6 + 30 by donny tsang at ellen bennett's #bennettbrunches series // photo 4 + 12 by liz clayman at the west elm + food book fair event with deb // photo 17 by donny tsang at the food52 motr launch party 

molly on the range bonfire outtakes + links!

i am ketchuping. 

1. putting ketchup on everything because i:

          a) like ketchup a lot, and

          b) am mourning the loss of my summer tomatoes

2. catching up on various exciting things like mail (fall cookbook season, fuck ya!) and friends (you're dating who?? you've birthed a what?! when are you moving to l.a. again??) and sleep, and unexciting things like laundry and showers because i am home for a week! 

i had such a wonderful time in minneapolis this past weekend and now i have a few days before i leave again so i am savoring this bit of time at home, cooking dinner for eggboy and spending my evenings watching silicon valley on the couch. on tuesday, i am off to the west coast! is it still warm there? do i need to shave my armpits? i just found out that akhnaten is going to be in l.a. when i'm there and i am so wildly excited for this, i've got to remember to pack my opera glasses...

right now on the farm, we are in the calm that comes between the end of beet harvest and the beginning of winter. eggboy and eggpop are cleaning up the tractors so that they can go into hibernation, and macaroni have begun to slow their egg production. finally we can keep up with their eggs!

today i'm sharing some outtakes from one of my favorite sections in molly on the range, the bonfire party! almost exactly a year ago, i had my fargo friends and grand forks friends come over in their flanneliest selves and we roasted wienies and made s'mores. the whole thing was inspired by this phase that i went through in high school where every single day my friends would come over after school and we'd sit around a fire in broad daylight, roasting wieners and having senioritis. for the book, i updated the s'mores with homemade rosewater marshmallows and the wienies with jerusalem bagel dogs and harissa ketchup. adrianna made the jerusalem bagel dogs on her blog, so head that way for the oven method recipe! (the bonfire cooking method is in the book.) and below are some more recipes that my friends have made from the book. their posts, as well as all of the instagram and facebook posts that you guys have shared of adventures in molly on the range, have brought me so many happy tears it's like why do i even wear mascara anymore? i know i am bad at being mushy and lovey dovey but i am so gosh darn grateful for the support and excitement that molly on the range has received, i want to give you all one giant squeeze. 

michelle made italian rainbow cookie salad // sherrie made all of the alliums fried rice // jeanine made cauliflower shawarma tacos //sarah made the chocolate scone loaf and added orange! // billy made lindsay lohan cookies // nik made marzipan mandel bread // jessica made gruyere mac and cheese with caramelized onions // cindy made funfetti cupcakes // betty made scallion pancake challah // brandon made walnut and brie mac and cheese // lyndsay made chocolate tahini cake // elizabeth made funfetti cake // katherine made halva and added pumpkin spice (!) // tessa made funfetti cake // jonathan made mini tater tot hot dishes // francesca made chocolate tahini cake // marie made chocolate tahini cupcakes // laura made baked oatmeal with maple cream and hawaij // brett made challah

...and if you've made something from molly on the rangeremember to post it on instagram by the end of the month with #mollyontherange and #8daysofgiveaways to enter to win all of these fun things!


-yeh!

all photos by chantell quernemoen!