Chocolate-Almond Meringues with Creamy Mint Ice Cream
These cookies are a perfect way to use egg whites leftover from making the ice cream custard.
2 7-oz. tubes of almond paste 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar ¼ teaspoons salt 5 tablespoons flour 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted ½ cup egg whites, unbeaten 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Creamy Mint Ice Cream 3 cups half and half 5 large eggs, separated ¾ cup sugar Pinch of salt 1 cup heavy whipping cream ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract 1 tablespoon peppermint schnapps ¼ teaspoon green food coloring
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
In large stainless steel or copper bowl, soften almond paste with hands. If very hard, place bowl in larger bowl filled with hot water. Slowly work in sugar, salt, flour, confectioners' sugar, egg whites and chocolate. Using an electric beater, set on medium, beat until well combined and all the lumps have disappeared. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls 2-inches apart on parchment paper. Pat tops lightly with fingertips dipped in ice water. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set and delicately browned. Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper. Set aside until ready to assemble ice cream sandwiches.
In a heavy saucepan, heat half and half until just boiling. Meanwhile, separate 5 eggs, reserving egg whites for Chocolate-Almond Meringue cookies. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Slowly add hot half and half. Be patient, if you add it too quickly, the custard (eggs) may curdle. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly just until mixture coats the back of the spoon. (Do not boil or custard will curdle). Strain custard and add whipping cream, flavorings and food color until well mixed. Place in a 1½ to 2 quart plastic container in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or until well chilled. Churn in an ice cream maker per the manufacturers instructions. When set, remove from ice cream maker and put in a plastic (airtight) container in the freezer until half frozen, 1- 2 hours. When ice cream reaches a soft frozen consistency, place a generous scoop on bottom cookies, top with top cookie, press down slightly and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, return to freezer until ready to eat.