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Pignoli Cookies Ice Cream

Pignoli Cookies Ice Cream – No Churn!

Pignoli Cookies and Ice Cream, a Perfect Mix

What is better than Pignoli Cookies Ice Cream? Pignoli Cookies Ice Cream that you don’t have to churn. This original recipe incorporates the Sicilian Pignoli cookie, a delicious cookie covered in pine nuts.

It’s Labor Day Weekend. I am sure many of you are celebrating the unofficial end of summer with family and friends. Some of you are away for a few days, and others are staying close to home. This summer has been like no other in our lifetime. One thing you can always count on in good times and bad is getting together with friends and family for a meal or dessert. Put up a pot of coffee or make a pitcher of something pleasing to the palate and pair it with something delectable. Why not serve some pignoli cookies? Or better yet, enjoy a scoop or two of pignoli ‘cookies’ no-churn ice cream! Some may ask, “What are pignoli cookies?” Read on…

What are Pignoli Cookies?

For those that are not familiar with pignoli cookies, the main ingredients in these delightful treats are almond paste and pignoli nuts. The recipe for pignoli cookies originated in Sicily and is very popular in many other southern Italian areas. Pignoli or pine nuts come from the pinecones of almost two dozen types of pine trees around the world. Pine nuts are used in many cuisines around the world. These are always the first cookies to disappear from the cookie tray. When served, you better hurry to at least get one pignolo [singular – pēn-ˈyō-lō]! If you’ve never eaten a pignolo cookie, you must try one! Better yet, try my Pignoli ‘cookies’ recipe!

With restaurants closed for inside dining in New York City and the limited space to gather in small outside dining areas amongst other factors during this time, socializing outside of the home is not as frequent. This may also be the case in your area. For many, the invitation to ‘come on over’ whether for a barbecue or for dessert has become the thing to do more than usual. It’s not a secret that Italians are known for their delicious desserts such their large varieties of cakes, pastries, and cookies. Bringing a box of assorted pastries or a pound or two of cookies is customary if you didn’t whip up some homemade goodness. In the Italian culture, it is unheard of to show up without bringing something—you just can’t arrive empty-handed! If you’re not bringing a bottle of wine, it is something sweet and delicious.

Cookies, Custards, Salads and Pesto

In my family, everyone has their favorite pastry or cookie.  Some like venetian cookies (aka rainbow or tri-color cookies), others like the butter cookie sandwiches filled with either raspberry or apricot preserves partially dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, and then there are pignoli [plural – pēn-ˈyō-lē] cookies which are decadent almond macaroon-type confections topped with pignoli nuts.  Italian recipes such as, custard pastries, pesto sauce, and salads. also use pignoli nuts.

Maddone!! $23 a Pound!

In the seventies, pignoli cookies were included in the pound price of an assortment of Italian cookies at the bakery. Nowadays, pignoli cookies are sold separately by the pound. The cost of these cookies spiked to $23 a pound at my local neighborhood bakery! Since this decadent deliciousness is very pricey, it is common to purchase only a quarter of a pound to add to your assortment of cookies. With that in mind, I did some experimenting and created the pignoli ‘cookies’ no-churn ice cream. I blended the flavors of this delicious cookie with the ingredients of the all-time summertime favorite – ice cream! For a fraction of the cost of purchasing or baking your own pignoli cookies, you can enjoy their fantastic flavor in an ice cream treat!

Pignoli Cookies and Ice Cream

I recommend using pine nuts from the US-based I’m a Nut Company. They do not leave a metallic after taste, which other generic brands can do. Diamond of California is another good pine nut brand to use also. For the almond paste, Solo Almond Paste is my preferred brand. You can find both Diamond and Solo brand products at your local supermarket. You can also purchase all brands mentioned through Amazon.com. 

Serve this unique creation at your next gathering.  You and your guests are going to love it! Don’t forget about our other delicious treats Italian lemon Ice and the other original NY Slush Italian Cannoli Ice.

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Pignoli Cookies Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 qt. heavy whipping cream (reserve ¼ cup)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 oz. Solo brand almond paste (cut into small pieces)
4 oz. Solo brand almond paste (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup Pignoli {pine] Nuts *
Pinch of salt
Sugar cones (optional)

Instructions

1
Prep: Chill large mixing bowl and a 9 x 5 loaf pan at least 30 minutes before you begin this recipe. Crumble/ cut almond paste into small pieces and melt in a ¼ cup of heavy cream.
2
To melt almond paste, place 4 ounces of almond paste cut into small pieces. Add almond paste to a microwave safe bowl. Pour a ¼ cup of heavy cream in bowl and stir. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds
3
Remove from microwave oven and whisk the paste/ heavy cream mixture until smooth. If the almond paste is not dissolving well, put bowl back in microwave oven and heat for another 10 – 15 seconds
4
Remove bowl and stir almond paste mixture to a smooth consistency. Set aside on the counter for later use.
5
In a large chilled mixing bowl, whip approximately 1 quart [3 ¾ c.] of heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
6
Fold in a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk with a mixing spoon. DO NOT OVER MIX.
7
Add the 4 ounces of melted almond paste/ heavy cream mixture, a pinch of salt, and a ½ cup of pignoli nuts to the ice cream mixture.
8
Using a KitchenAid or hand mixer, blend ingredients for a few seconds to distribute the smooth almond paste mixture, pignoli nuts, and salt to the whipped cream and condensed milk mixture.
9
Pour ice cream mixture in a chilled metal loaf pan. Tightly cover the loaf pan will saran wrap and freeze for at least 8 -10 hours or overnight.
10
Before serving, remove pan from freezer and allow to thaw for approximately 20 – 30 minutes. Scoop out, garnish (optional), and enjoy it in a bowl or in a sugar cone.

* If you would like to garnish the ice cream, please allow at least 1 cup more of pignoli nuts for 6 – 8 servings. Recommended brands: I am Nut brand or Diamond of California brand.

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