Sunday, 4 December 2011

Cookie Monsters Delight

Semifreddo di Ricotta & Biscotti Speziati, con Arancia, Rosmarino e Granatina
Cream Cheese & Gingerbread Semifreddo with Orange, Rosemary and Grenadine

Here is another one of my improvised dessert ideas for you- something light and easy and with no apologies for it's simplicity! Sometimes it is a spur of the moment thing, you don't have extravagant ingredients available and you don't have hours on end to spend on preparing your little sweet finale to your meal. And that's when you reach out for your cookie jar...

Yes- crumbled-up cookies! You may frown- but you like them in your ice cream, right? A pastry base made of old cookies? Which may not be the high art of pastry making... but it works! So- being as it is " that time of year", the cookies I used were German "Spekulatius"- a kind of gingersnap with cinnamon and ginger. I crumbled up 5 of those per person (it was just me in this case!!) and added 2 tablespoons of cheese curd. In Italy it would be ricotta- and I guess so in the USA as well, but here in Germany, cheese curd is a very common and inexpensive product. I got a low fat version, but of course that is a personal choice too- the flavor does not REALLY change all that much. To this I added a little orange juice, a little orange zest, a little finely chopped rosemary, powdered sugar to taste and a little more cinnamon. I added only a very small amount of sugar as I found the cookies made it sweet enough for my taste. I stirred this all together well, scraped it into a small container and popped it into the freezer for between 30 minutes and an hour. Being as it is such a compact mass in itself, it does not need to freeze  to attain the right consistency and just needs to be thouroughly chilled before serving.

I served mine along with some fresh cookie crumbs for a nice crunch a texture and a drizzle of grenadine, which goes really well with the spicy cream and crunchy cookie crumbs, bringing out all of the flavors and rounding them off perfectly. So apart from the cookies there is hardly any fat added and it is indeed a filling but at the same time, "light" alternative to ice cream- and much to be recommended at this time of the year...

I am sure you could do the same thing with any other cookie- or maybe add raisins or chocolate chips- The main thing is that the cream cheese and crumbs make for a yummy, firm cream, with a sweetness and texture that is really nice. Give it a try sometime- and enjoy!

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