Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Recipe for Pomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie Sandwiches, with Bonus Recipe for Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies

Christmas is coming faster than you’d think, which means Christmas baking season is nearly upon us.

For the last few days, I’ve been working on a fun, new, seasonally appropriate, and colorful Christmas dessert. After several attempts, I’ve finally perfected my recipe for Pomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie Sandwiches.

The recipe is amazing. Tart pomegranate, rich pistachio, and aromatic cardamom come together harmoniously in every bite of the ice cream sandwich.

I originally made mini-sandwiches because I was testing successive versions of the recipe in small batches. I soon realized the small sandwiches were ideal for serving after a holiday meal. They provide just enough sweetness to finish the meal with a flourish, yet are light enough to prevent that overstuffed feeling.

One version of my cookie recipe was light and crisp; too crisp for ice cream sandwiches, but perfect for serving on its own as a cookie. This cookie is so delicious, I’ve included the recipe below. I’m also adding Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies to the mixed plates of Christmas cookies I make every year for friends.

Pomegranate Ice Cream is also terrific on its own, and extremely easy to make. It takes less than 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, and the ice cream maker does the rest of the work. Serve scoops of the ice cream plain, with a few pomegranate seeds (arils) sprinkled over the top, or even with Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies on the side. This is another tart-yet-light dessert for serving after holiday meals.

Besides their deliciously tart flavor, pomegranates are good for your health. They contain large amounts of Vitamin C and B5, as well as many other phytochemicals. Tests show pomegranates may reduce heart disease risk factors and reduce blood pressure.

Here's my theory: So long as you eat it during the holiday season, the heart healthy benefits of pomegranate counteract the negative effects of eating cream, making Pomegranate Ice Cream a guilt-free treat.

Pomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie SandwichesPomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie Sandwiches
Makes 20 1 1/2” sandwiches or 10 3” sandwiches


1 recipe Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches (see recipe below)
1 recipe Pomegranate Ice Cream
(see recipe below)

Make the Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies for Ice Cream Sandwiches and let them cool completely.

Make the Pomegranate Ice Cream. When it's done, put it in the freezer for 1/2 hour to firm up.

Lay out the plain cookies, underside up, on a cookie sheet. Using a 1 Tbsp. scoop for 1 1/2” sandwiches or a 2 Tbsp. scoop for 3” sandwiches, place a scoop of ice cream on each plain cookie. Top the ice cream with cookies that have pistachios in the center, pushing down carefully to flatten out the ice cream without breaking the soft top cookie.

Freeze. Serve straight from the freezer. If you are storing the ice cream sandwiches for any length of time, wrap them individually in plastic wrap.

Pomegranate Ice Cream with Pistachio-Cardamom CookiesPomegranate Ice Cream
Makes about 3 cups of ice cream (enough for 20 small, or 10 large, ice cream sandwiches)
Alcohol
lowers the freezing point of ice cream, which makes it slightly softer and easier to serve than ice cream that doesn’t include alcohol. Even without the alcohol, Pomegranate Ice Cream is delicious, although it may form noticeable ice crystals. Pomegranate liquor enhances the pomegranate flavor, but raspberry-flavored vodka and plain vodka also work well and both have the benefit of being sold in miniature bottles. If you are making this to serve on its own, and your ice cream maker is large enough, double the recipe.

1 cup pomegranate juice from fresh pomegranates OR 1 cup 100% Pomegranate Juice
(see Note below)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup cream
1 Tbsp. pomegranate liqueur or vodka
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Thoroughly whisk all the ingredients together. Put the mix in an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note on pomegranate juice: Here’s how to juice pomegranates: Cut the pomegranates in half, and juice with a citrus juicer. If you don't have a citus juicer, remove the pomegranate seeds (more accurately,
arils) from the skins, discarding the white fibrous matter separating the seeds. (You’ll make less of a mess if you do this underwater.) Whir batches of the seeds in a food processor and then put through a strainer to remove the pits (a Foley food mill works well for this task). If you don't have access to fresh pomegranates, 100% pomegranate juice works just fine in this recipe.

Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies (for use in ice cream sandwiches)
Makes 40 1 1/2” cookies (20 sandwiches) or 20 3” cookies (10 sandwiches)
With added cornstarch to reduce the protein content of the flour, egg yolk instead of whole egg, and slightly underdone cookies, this version is tenderer than cookies intended to be served on their own. The tenderness makes the cookies softer and easier to bite through, an important consideration for ice cream sandwiches. These cookies are more highly seasoned than cookies that aren’t served frozen. If you want Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies for eating on their own as cookies, see the recipe below for Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies. In a pinch, if you can’t find raw pistachio nuts, buy roasted, salted nuts (Costco often carries these), rinse off the salt, and dry them very well before using in the recipe. If you have a convection oven, you can bake multiple sheets of cookies at one time; if not, bake the cookies one sheet at a time.

1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 – 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground cardamom (1 tsp. if using pre-ground cardamom)
Coarse sugar crystals for topping the cookies
Extra pistachio nuts for topping the cookies

Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 300°F convection).

Add the pistachios and sugar to a food processor or blender, and process just until the pistachios are finely ground.

Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, cream the butter and half the pistachio sugar until they are light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Mix in the remaining pistachio sugar.

Sift together 1/2 cup flour, cornstarch, salt, and ground cardamom. Using the mixer’s paddle attachment, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the remaining flour, as needed; the dough should be pliable, but not at all sticky.

Roll out the dough on a floured cloth until it is 3/16” thick (gather up the trimmings and reroll them). Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter (I like 1 1/2” circles for mini ice cream sandwiches), and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or
Silpats. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sugar crystals. Push one pistachio nut into the center of half the cookies.

Bake for 7 - 8 minutes, or until the cookies have firmed up, but are still underdone. Remove from the oven and place the cookie sheets on wire racks to cool (don’t remove the cookies from the cookie sheets until they are completely cool).

Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom CookiesCrispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies (for serving as cookies)
Makes 80 1 1/2” cookies or 40 3” cookies
This recipe produces crispy cookies that are perfect for serving on their own, with a cup of tea, or as part of a mixed plate of Christmas cookies. (Crisp cookies aren’t suitable for ice cream sandwiches because they’re too hard to bite through when frozen.) In a pinch, if you can’t find raw pistachio nuts, buy roasted, salted nuts (Costco often carries these), rinse off the salt, and dry them very well before using in the recipe. If you have a convection oven, you can bake multiple sheets of cookies at one time; if not, bake the cookies one sheet at a time.

1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 – 2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom (1 1/2 tsp. if using pre-ground cardamom)
Coarse sugar crystals for topping the cookies
Extra pistachio nuts for topping the cookies

Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 300°F convection).

Add the pistachios and sugar to a food processor or blender, and process just until the pistachios are finely ground.

Using the mixer’s whisk attachment, cream the butter and half the pistachio sugar until they are light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Mix in the remaining pistachio sugar.

Sift together 1 3/4 cup flour, cornstarch, salt, and ground cardamom. Using the mixer’s paddle attachment, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the remaining flour, as needed; the dough should be pliable, but not at all sticky.

Divide the dough in half. Roll the halves out on a floured cloth until they are 3/16” thick (gather up the trimmings and reroll them). Cut out the dough with cookie cutters (I like 1 1/2” circles), and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or
Silpats. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sugar crystals and push one pistachio nut into the center of each cookie.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the cookies just barely start to brown. Remove from the oven, and use a spatula to place the cookies on wire cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie Sandwiches is my contribution to Sugar High Friday:
All That Glitters hosted this month by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook

Crispy Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies is my contribution to
Eat Christmas Cookies: Season 2, which is created and hosted by Susan of Food Blogga. Check out Susan’s round-up page to see all the cookie recipes submitted this year (Susan will continuously update the page as new cookie recipes are submitted).

43 comments:

Peter G said...

Wonderful creativity Laurie! Actually these would be perfect for our warmer Xmas. I think it's a wonderful entry for the POM contest.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

ripe juicy pomegranate seeds are a delicious way to clear the palate after dinner. pomegranate itself, its shape and colour, is such a divine looking fruit.
you may recall that after september, the ice cream counters start to disappear from the kiosks and supermarkets, but the warm weather we're experiencing at the moment makes this dessert perfect for even greek tastes!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

if i were to make the icecream, what should i replace half-and-half with, as it is sometimes we dont have here???

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Laurie!
Pomegranate ice cream and pistachio cookies? I am in love.

Thanks for the wonderfully unique entry. It's just beautiful!

Susan

Peter M said...

Laurie, this takes the ice cream sandwich to new levels!

I love the marriage of Mediterranean ingredients here and the sweet/tart contrast well, I do love thee.

Pearlsofeast said...

I saw those beauties from foodblogga and couldn't resist.They are so good and I am ardent fan of pistachios.Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.

FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels said...

...so pretty. An elegant dessert everyone can enjoy!

Núria said...

MMMMmmm Laurie!!! These cookies and gelato are awesome! Never cooked with Pomegranades before but your dessert looks so inviting... I still have to think about my Xmas dessert :D... but I did your cake, well a version of it... will post about it soon :D

Serving-Ice-Cream said...

Wow! I am very very impressed! These look delicious! The pictures have me hooked! What an interesting combo!

Simona said...

Impressive! I love pistachios and your cookies look adorable.

Bijoux said...

These ice cream sandwiches look delicious! I have never seen this combination before. So unique. I have never made ice cream before but I would do so if I had an ice cream maker. These cardamom cookies also look very delicious. I really like cardamom spice in Indian sweets like cashew burfi. I'd love to try out these cookies one day soon.

Cheryl said...

Unbelievable, simply unbelievable! This combination looks fantastic!
I need an ice cream maker! I've got
the pomegranates, just need to make ice cream with them...I would have never thought about it!

Oh, & I hope that you had a nice Thanksgiving!

myfrenchkitchen said...

A pomegranate ice cream? It looks absolutely delicious wih those cookies...someting interesting and different!
Ronell

white on rice couple said...

I totally believe you....this does look amazing! I have a pomegranate tree and when I get a bigger bounty next year, I will certainly try this with my garden fruit!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Pom ice cream is something I've been meaning to try for a long time. I love the sandwiches and the color combo is excellent. Very festive colors and really intriguing flavors. Also, anything to dress up ice cream and keep it interesting is always a plus in my book

Maria said...

That is such a beautiful dessert! How pretty. Good luck in the POM contest.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Hello,

Both the ice cream and the Pistachio Cardamom cookies look great. I love anything with pistachios, so I will try these cookies some time this week. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Good luck in the POM contest!

Regarding my subscription button on my blog, you should be able to subscribe to my blog now. Please let me know if you still have trouble.

Have a wonderful day.

Cindy Ruth said...

These ice cream sandwiches look wonderful! I'll have to try boththe ice cream and the cookies. I'm glad I stumbled across your blog-I live in Eagle River, and have a food blog called Baked Alaska.

Lucy said...

Laurie - how glorious are these?!!

I concur with your heart-healthy theory over the holidays. Completely. I mean fruit in any form can only be a Good Thing in and amongst all that sugary stuff!

Have gone slightly pistachio mad offline these days. You're just making me hunger for those pretty green and pink nuts even more...

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Wow, truly amazing. Would *love* to have a taste of that ice cream even though I'm a little bit freezing right now ;)

Syrie said...

Lovely Laurie. The colours are so festive!

~~louise~~ said...

Such talent, such finesse! Good luck in the POM contest!

P.S. In Greek Mythology, Pomegranate seeds were the cause of fall and winter. That's what wiki says anyway.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Hello:

I just wanted to let you know that I have tagged you on my blog. Have fun!

Paul said...

I get hungry when I read your blog. You have a great sense of flavor construction.

Susan said...

An amazing trio of flavors, Laurie! I'm so glad I don't have to decide which I love best - this recipe has 'em all.

Thanks for sharing it for SHF November.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Hello:

I tried the Pistachio-Cardamom Cookies a couple weeks ago after seeing in your post and the result was amazing. I didn't have cookie cutters but my husband and I had some fun creating different shapes such as our names and hearts with the dough. The taste was wonderful as I expected with the pistachio and cardamom combination.

So, you definitely deserve a an award. Please go to my blog to receive your award :)

syrie said...

Hi Laurie, just wanted to wish you and your family a happy and safe christmas. All the best in the New Year!

Cheryl said...

Merry Christmas Laurie!

Shayne said...

these cookies look great. I am a big Cardamom fan so they fit in nicly here.

Pinoy Contests said...

Happy New Year! Great blog! Here's a fun cooking contest you might be interested in joining:

http://pinoycontests.blogspot.com/2009/01/win-hello-kitty-kitchenware.html

Baking Soda said...

Lovely ice cream Laurie! I just wanted to let you know I finally put up the post with yr soup. Sorry for the delay but the presentation postponed and postponed.. Luckily the soup freezes well!
Thanks again for your help!

~~louise~~ said...

Happy New Year Laurie!

Bijoux said...

Laurie, where have you disappeared to?
Hope you are doing well. Have a fantastic and healthy New Year with great food and plenty of inspiration!!

Laurie Constantino said...

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and thinking of me! I'm back and happy about it. Happy New Year to one and all!

Marianna said...

wow, that looks glorious!! and those cookies- i am definately going to have to try making them at home!! lovely work Laurie, and thank you so much for your tremendously kind comment on my blog! I sincerly appreciated it! :-)

Rumela said...

Cookie with Cardamom and Crispy Pistachio!! yummm...it will be ideal for a tea party with friends.This is a brilliant recipe, I am going to try it often...also thanks for the information on Crispy Pistachio & Cardamom Cookies.

creative-type dad said...

This looks really good...

I think I'm going to start with the Pomegranate ice cream first - just because I love pomegranates.

Sophie said...

Excellent combination of 2 beautiful recipes! What a neat idea!
I love cardamom & I love pomegranate ice cream! Yummie!

Shabs.. said...

After grinding cardamoms for my machboos, i have a strong craving for cardamom and pista cookies and finally ended up here....Iam making ur cookies tomorrow, hopefully....Loved it at fist site and i can even smell it here...Follwing u with all my heart....will come back to check out for more.
LOve,
shabs.

Shabs.. said...

Hi,
I made these cookies today, the second recipe....halved the recipe though, used 1 medium egg and so had to add more flour and cornflour.....It turned out FANTASTIC. Just the kind of recipe that i felt craving for....Sad i dint mak ethe whole batch..:(....Thank u sooooooooooooooooo much for the recipe. I rate this recipe a five star one!...Half is still in the oven and iam niblling on the first batch....Simply PERFECT recipe.

Laurie Constantino said...

Shabs, I'm so glad you loved the cookies!! Thenk you for letting me know. They are definitely some of my favorites, but I'm a sucker for pistachios. Thanks again!

Shabs.. said...

I will be posting ur recipe in my blog tonyt...pease feel free to have a peek.....I have linked u there.

phocid said...

I just came across your recipe for crispy pistachio-cardamom cookies this afternoon, and I couldn't wait to try them. Cookies are cooling on racks in the kitchen now, and the one I've tested is one of the yummiest things I've ever baked. Thank you so much for blogging!