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
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!)
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.
thank you, talenti gelato, for sponsoring this post!