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Marcona Almond and Rosemary Ice Cream Sandwiches

Marcona Almond and Rosemary Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Total Time

3 Hours 20 Mins


Serves 12 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

The unexpected flavor of rosemary is a delight in these adulted-up ice-cream sandwiches. Using a good salt makes a huge difference, which is why we recommend fleur-de-sel (available here). It enhances all the herby-nutty flavors. And the sweeter, more delicately-flavored Marcona almonds (which you can find here) are also worth hunting down for this dish. However, toasted blanched almonds and kosher salt will both do in a pinch.


  • 2/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon fleur de sel, divided
  • 1 pint pistachio ice cream, softened

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 253
  • Fat 14.5g
  • Satfat 5.4g
  • Monofat 6g
  • Polyfat 1.9g
  • Protein 5g
  • Carbohydrate 27g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Cholesterol 57mg
  • Iron 1mg
  • Sodium 175mg
  • Calcium 62mg

How to Make It

Step 1

Place nuts in a food processor; process until ground. With processor on, drizzle oil through food chute; process 30 seconds or until almost smooth. Combine almond mixture, sugars, and butter in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat to combine. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, rosemary, baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Chill 15 minutes.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 3

Divide dough into 24 portions (2 teaspoons each); roll each into a ball. Arrange 12 balls on each of 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten each into a 1 1/2-inch circle. Sprinkle 12 circles with remaining 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel, pressing gently to adhere. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Step 4

Turn 12 unsalted cookies upside down; spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons ice cream over each. Top with 12 salted cookies. Freeze 2 hours or until firm.

Marcona Almond and Rosemary Ice Cream Sandwiches - Recipes

This post has something of an odd musical soundtrack. First off, just to get it out of my system is this "song", which I cannot for the life of me get out of my head ever since I started thinking about peanut butter.

To understand why peanut butter's been on my mind, I have to rewind the story to this music, which started it all: the Mendelssohn piano trio, no. 1 in d minor. I first heard this piece when I was at that young impressionable age when you want to do everything your older siblings are doing. Every morning at 6am during middle school, I would wake up to the sounds of my older cousin (who grew up with me, like a sister) practicing the piano part--the arpeggiated d minor chord in the opening was my alarm clock. It became so internalized that without even seeing the music, I found that I could play the first few pages of the piece, too.

Suffice it to say that I fell in love with the Mendelssohn. I once convinced my cousin to let me turn pages for her in one of the concerts in which she performed the piece, and I would just sit, completely mesmerized by the gorgeous dark tones of the cello melody and the hanging high A of the violin in a dramatic mid-movement pause, nearly forgetting to actually turn the pages! (She never asked me to turn pages for her again. ) But the sticking point was that I've never actually had the opportunity to play the piece myself. For some reason, my musical path took me into jazz and percussion, and I never got to do chamber music with classical piano when I was still playing seriously.

In early graduate school, I did get the chance to do some classical chamber music (the Brahms horn trio, namely), but the Mendelssohn eluded me still--I never seemed to know quite the right combination of people to make up the instrumentation. Until one day, I discovered that my friend Rob plays cello. (the same Rob from the SF Dessert Day! --Apparently, some people just never broadcast their talents, sigh.)

Long story short, at long, long last, I got to play the Mendelssohn! And let me tell you--the experience was so divine. On violin, we had another linguist (whom I played with a few years ago). And to finally hear the two string parts after years of only being able to hear myself play the lonely piano part--to hear the gestalt--was amazing, like the universe was being made whole again. (not that we played it anywhere near perfectly. I missed probably a good 35% of the notes!, but still!)

Anyways, we're getting to the peanut butter. I invited everyone to stay after we'd played for dinner to celebrate. It turns out that Rob's favorite dessert flavor is peanut butter, which, despite my love of Americana, is just one all-American ingredient that I've never really gotten into. So I wracked my brain for a good week or so trying to reconcile the strong, sometimes-overpowering flavor of peanut butter with the type of desserts I like to make: something sophisticated, subtle, many-layered. What I came up with was my play on PB&J sandwiches: a peanut butter jelly ice cream sandwich, made with rosemary-peanut butter cookies and peanut milk + marionberry swirl ice cream.

Peanut butter cookies are something of a classic, and I found that the rosemary really helps lend some complexity to the cookie, with just an extra hint of something special peeking through the peanut butter nuttiness at the end. These cookies are chewy and hit with a dash of turbinado sugar and smoked sea salt right before baking for a bit more sophisticated oomph.

For the ice cream, I took inspiration from a visit last summer to State Bird Provisions, where they serve this peanut milk drink with dessert. I wanted something that wasn't so boisterously PEANUT BUTTER!-y, and peanut milk--made by steeping peanuts and vanilla in milk overnight--was the perfect solution. The ice cream ends up with this smooth and softly subtle nutty flavor and a beautiful golden cream color. It was incredibly lucky that I happened to stumble upon freshly-made marionberry preserves at the local market the day I shopped for peanut butter because it made a great mix-in for the ice cream: sweet and dark and wonderfully purple. Blackberry jam would probably work just as well, if you don't serendipitously happen upon marionberry preserves. :)

Along with the PB&J ice cream sandwiches, this was our menu that evening:

Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream

Well, you know how sometimes your rediscover a kitchen gadget or appliance and remember how awesome it is and go crazy with it?

That’s me with my ice cream maker lately. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can get your Ice Cream Attachment from Amazon here.

I tend to eat ice cream in binges. I don’t mean that I’ll polish off a half-gallon tub all in one sitting, but that I’ll go months and months without having any and then one day… it begins.

I’ll see a particularly tempting carton in the freezer section, bring it home, and before I know it I’m demanding after-dinner ice cream every night.

I made the eggnog ice cream, then decided I wanted something a bit more sophisticated.

Rosemary and olive oil ice cream recipe? I know that it might sound a bit strange, but it is SO incredibly delicious. It’s rich, fragrant, and completely surprising.

The olive oil adds extra creaminess to the mix, making it extra easy to scoop. It’s important to use the best quality olive oil you can find, because it will make all the difference in the final flavor. I use this Arbequina – it’s my go-to *special* olive oil.

The first bite of this rosemary ice cream completely throws you off because it is so unexpected. Then, before you know it, you’ve licked your bowl clean and are looking around for more.

I topped mine with a bit of flaky sea salt and let me just say WOW.

You could also get a little crazy and drizzle more olive oil right over the top. Make sure to use the good stuff!

This olive oil ice cream is delicious on its own, but it would also be great on top of a spice or semolina cake.

Marcona Almond and Rosemary Ice Cream Sandwiches - Recipes

When I started daydreaming about creative twists for traditional hamantaschen, playing with the dough came first. Raspberry jam filling had always been my favorite (albeit not quite conventional), and I couldn’t really imagine anything better. So I created a dough to complement the tart berry filling: nutty almond meal alongside the flour, molasses-rich brown sugar in place of white, and speckles of fresh rosemary for a nice herbal whisper. A splash of almond extract proved to further brighten my new dough’s complex flavors.

But then I began to consider new fillings. I experimented with fresh raspberries in place of jam, oozing marzipan for an amaretto-y kick, and even cheesecake-like mixtures. Still not sold, I became skeptical that there was something superior to a bursting fruit center. But it turns out there is a more decadent and delicious filling (and it happens to be my favorite all-time dessert–or food, for that matter): beloved ice cream!

I knew it would have to be berry ice cream, and strawberry proved as wondrous as raspberry in the nutty herbal shell. It was now just a matter of how to blind-bake them. After trials with pie weights, dried beans, parchment pouches and more, I found that floured whole almonds worked best (and can be re-used to make almond meal for more hamantaschen: a delicious cycle of baking and savoring!). Like an ice cream sandwich’s festive little cousin, this ice cream filled cookie has only one downfall: it can’t be eaten warm from the oven. But I really don’t think you’ll mind once you taste one…

Rosemary Almond Hamantaschen filled with Berry Ice Cream (makes about two dozen please see all three sections below for full ingredient list)


  • about 5 ounces/1 cup whole shelled unsalted almonds (5 per cookie about 130 nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter — no more
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Place almonds in a bowl and add melted butter, mixing all nuts are coated. Add flour and stir vigorously until all nuts are dusted with flour. Set aside.

  • 1/2 cup almond meal (milled with skin-on not blanched)
  • 1.75 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter at soft room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Line two medium/large cookie sheets with parchment paper set aside. Place almond meal in a medium bowl, then sift the flour, salt and baking powder over it. Whisk together until well-blended and any lumps of almond meal are broken up. Whisk in the rosemary until evenly dispersed. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter until even in consistency. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Repeat with almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients are blended dough will resemble moist crumbs. Knead with hands to form a ball. Split dough into two cover one of the balls with plastic wrap and set it aside.

Transfer unwrapped dough to an even, floured work surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a slab with a thickness of no more than 1/8 to 1/6 inch. Re-flour rolling pin, surface, and all tools often. Using a floured 3″ round cookie cutter, cut out circles from dough. With a floured flat spatula, transfer each dough circle to the parchment lined baking sheets. (Beware: Work quickly, as letting the rolled dough sit out for too long will cause it to dry and will make it crack when trying to fold it.)

Immediately place 5 floured almonds in the center of each cookie, then fold up 3 edges to form a triangle. Pinch corners of the opening tightly to prevent cookies from flopping open while baking. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes this will help ensure that they hold their shape. While cookies freeze, preheat the oven to 375 F, and unwrap the remaining dough, repeating the rolling, cutting, filling, folding and freezing process.

Bake frozen cookies one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges and bottoms are toasty brown. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Use a toothpick to loosen and remove whole almonds from each cookie’s center, bracing cookie with one hand while holding toothpick with the other. (I admit this sounds tedious, but the almonds shouldn’t be very stuck, and it goes fast. If any nuts refuse to budge, try stabbing the almond with the toothpick and prying it out, or just leave it – a toasted almond in a cookie isn’t such a bad surprise!)

Set aside the floured almonds to re-use as you wish. You may opt to pulse them in a food processor to make your own almond meal, perhaps for another batch of these cookies. If you use them for another purpose, just remember they’re neither gluten nor dairy free.


Let the emptied cookies chill completely, at least to room temperature, before filling. Set your ice cream on the countertop for a few minutes to let it soften. Transfer the ice cream to a pastry bag or plastic bag with a small corner cut off place open tip inside a cookie. Squeeze until corners are filled and ice cream domes out the top. (Alternatively, you can use a small spoon or mini spatula to fill them, but I find the piping method easier.)

Repeat with all cookies, serving or placing in freezer immediately as you go. Naturally, these are best eaten just after being baked, cooled and filled. They are also wonderful treated like ice cream sandwiches — stored in a tightly covered container in the freezer (if stacking cookies, place parchment or waxed paper in between layers) — and eaten within a week. When serving from the freezer, let sit out for a few minutes before digging in.

With their familiar buttery flavor and classic triangular shape, these ice cream filled beauties offer a cool and creamy element that takes hamantaschen to a whole new level of scrumptiousness. The toasty brown sugar shell is bright and earthy with its speckles of rosemary and almond, just as the velvety berry filling offers a lusciousness that literally melts in your mouth. Here’s to a delicious and happy Purim!

Maybe next time… While I fought my temptation to make my own ice cream for these cookies, homemade ice cream would of course amp up the distinctiveness here, and there are a lot of great recipes available. I’m partial to berry ice cream and its lovely balance with the rosemary, but many flavors would be divine, from apricot to peach to vanilla to caramel. This dough also works nicely with the more traditional poppyseed or fruit-filled hamantaschen simply add a heaping teaspoon of your favorite thick jam or other filling in place of the whole almonds, freeze, and bake.

  • Pit all your cherries by pulling the fruit apart by hand and removing the pips.
  • Add the cherries to a medium-sized pot along with caster sugar and water, then heat on medium-low until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries have broken down and released some juices (about 15 minutes).
  • Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, blitz your cherries in a food processor, leaving them slightly chunky to add texture to your ice cream.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the condensed milk, almond essence and vanilla essence. In another bowl or stand mixer, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Slowly add the condensed-milk mixture and continue beating until creamy and smooth. Using a spatula, add 3/4 of the cherries to the cream mixture and stir well.
  • Transfer the mixture to a loaf tin or Tupperware tub.
  • Spoon the remaining cherries on top and gently swirl it in with a spoon to create a pattern. Cover tightly with cling wrap and freeze overnight or until the ice cream is your desired consistency.
  • To make the chocolate sauce, in a medium-sized saucepan, stir together the chopped chocolate, cream, butter, corn syrup or golden syrup and cocoa powder.
  • Heat on medium, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is nice and smooth, taking care not to burn it.
  • Add a splash of milk or cream if you like a silkier consistency.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla essence.
  • To serve, take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften, before scooping.


Almond recipes

While almonds are thought to be native to the Middle East, the seeds have been grown in Italy for thousands of years and are particularly associated with Sicily with the city of Agrigento even holding festivals in honour of the 'blooming' of the almond trees and their use in the kitchen. One of the most famous uses of almonds in Italian cuisine is the amaretto di Saronno, the almond macaron commonly served alongside coffee, in addition to the almond liqueur of the same name. Almond milk is another popular use of the seed, either served chilled as a refreshing drink or used as a dairy free alternative to milk in sauces and desserts.

Fabrizio Marino prepares his own almond milk to whip into a smooth curd for his vegan salad recipe, while Lorenzo Cogo drizzles his ravioli starter with tequila-laced almond milk. Gaetano Trovato's strawberry dessert contains both almond biscuits and a creamy almond ice cream, and Antonella la Macchia's Italian mince pies are stuffed with a fragrant filling of almonds, sugar and spices.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound raw almonds
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spread almonds on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until almonds are golden brown and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes. The nuts will continue to cook after removing from oven. Transfer hot almonds to a wide-bottomed glass or stainless steel bowl.

Heat olive oil, garlic, rosemary leaves, red pepper flakes, and sea salt in a saucepan over low heat, just before almonds are out of the oven. Mash the garlic and rosemary in the hot oil to release flavor. Pour hot oil mixture over almonds stir almonds every 5 to 10 minutes until completely cooled.

Drain oil from the almonds transfer almonds to a paper towel-lined plate. The almonds will still be shiny and oily to the touch.

Recipe: Rosemary-Lemon Wafer Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cook’s notes: Note that the recipe requires fresh rosemary don’t try to substitute dried, as the needles are too tough and dry to incorporate smoothly. Also, the 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary called for might seem like a lot, but is actually just the right amount.

1. Set out six large sheets of baking parchment and a baking sheet.

2. In a food processor, process the sugar, lemon zest and salt for several minutes, until the sugar is pale yellow. Add the rosemary and extract and continue processing just until the rosemary is finely pulverized. Set 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture aside to use as a garnish. Add the flour to the processor, stirring it in with a spoon until partially incorporated.

3. Sprinkle the butter over the mixture. Process just until no bits of butter are visible the dough should not be clumping or coming together. Drizzle the orange juice over the top. Incorporate using 10-15 one-second pulses, stopping and stirring to lift and fold in the mixture on the bottom as necessary. Check the dough consistency by pinching it between the fingers if it is too dry to hold together, add up to 1 tablespoon more juice, incorporating it using 4 or 5 more pulses for the most tender wafers, don’t overprocess.

4. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Gently knead just until evenly blended and cohesive. If it is very soft, wrap the paper around it and refrigerate for about 10 minutes, until firmed up slightly if it is dry and crumbly, gradually knead in a little cold water until cohesive.

5. Divide the dough into thirds. Roll out each portion to a generous 1/4 inch thick between sheets of baking parchment. Check the undersides and smooth out any wrinkles. Stack the dough portions (paper attached) on the baking sheet. Freeze for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, if desired. Let completely frozen dough warm up just slightly before using.

6. Position a rack in the middle of the oven preheat to 350 degrees. Grease several large baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray. Working with one dough portion and keeping the others frozen, peel off one sheet of paper, then pat it back into place. Invert the dough, then peel off and discard the second sheet. Using a 2 1/2-to 2 3/4- inch (or similar) round or scalloped cutter, cut out the wafers. Using a spatula, place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Sprinkle a little of the reserved rosemary-sugar mixture over the cookie tops, patting down slightly to embed. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, return it to the freezer to firm up, then continue. Repeat the process with the other portions. Combine the dough scraps and continue rolling, chilling and cutting out until it is all used.

7. Bake (middle rack) one sheet at a time for 9 to 12 minutes or until the wafers are just faintly rimmed with brown watch carefully, as they brown rapidly near the end of baking. Let the pans cool on wire racks until the wafers firm up, about 3 minutes, then gently transfer them to racks using a wide spatula. Cool thoroughly. Chill about 30 minutes before filling with ice cream.

8. Pair cookies of similar sizes together. Gently spoon some ice cream on flat side of one cookie. Top with flat side of second cookie. Press down gently, just enough to make top cookie stick. Seal in individual zipper-style freezer bag. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream.

Nutrition information (per serving with ice cream): 180 calories (60 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 487 mg sodium, 1.1 g fiber

Source: adapted from “Simply Sensational Cookies” by Nancy Baggett (Wiley, $29.99)

Coffee and Ginger Ice Cream Sandwich

Now that we’ve broken the 67 consecutive days of 100 degree temperatures , it almost feels like fall here in Austin. So gearing up for fall, I thought it might be time for me to attempt my first blog post with possibly the best two (fall-ish) flavor combinations…coffee and ginger.

Both of these recipes are great as stand alone recipes, but my idea was to make the ultimate ice cream sandwich. Smooth, creamy coffee ice cream sandwiched between two soft and chewy gingersnap cookies. If this isn’t a flavor combination you have tried before, you definitely need to experience it!

First I made the gingersnap cookies. They are one of my favorite cookies to buy from Whole Foods, but I’ve never tried making them before. I was slightly surprised to find that crystallized ginger and ground cloves are so expensive to buy…but I most definitely could have found them for cheaper at a bulk foods section in a grocery store.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat the interior with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, egg white, honey, and flour. Whisk until white is frothy, about 2 minutes. Add almonds and cherries and stir until they are coated and entire mixture is uniformly combined. Pour mixture into cake pan. Bake until the mixture is golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan at least 1 hour, then cut into wedges.

Watch the video: Summer Basics: No-Cook Pasta Sauce u0026 3-Ingredient Sangria (December 2021).