Welcome to the Alpha Bakers bake-a-long, an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared, but I will post my commentary followed by a full photo tutorial.
This week's selection - Praline Meringue Ice Cream Sandwiches. Brown sugar and pecan meringue cookies filled with vanilla or coffee ice cream.
Optional ingredients and/or equipment suggested - #50 scoop.
How do they taste - Absolutely delicious! I preferred the coffee filled ones to the vanilla. And honestly, the cookies are utterly amazing all by themselves.
How do they look - Not the most attractive ice cream sandwiches out there, but you'll be won over by the flavor.
Level of difficulty - Easy.
Were the directions clear - Yes.
What would I do differently next time - I'd chop the pecans into much smaller pieces so it would be easier to spread the cookie batter.
Okay, here's my photo tutorial.
Start by toasting pecans in a 350F oven to intensify their flavor
Chop the toasted pecans and set aside until needed.
Then switch out the BeaterBlade attachment for the whip and mix on high for 5 minutes until the mixture looks like this.
Time to fold in the chopped pecans.
Use a spatula to gently fold. This is a very fast step - like less than 30 seconds.
To make even 1 tablespoon blobs, I used #50 scoop.
Bake the blobs "as is" if you plan to enjoy the cookies without turning them into ice cream sandwiches.
If you do want to turn them into ice cream sandwiches, spread the blobs a bit with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Here's what they'll look like after baking. They're not pretty, but boy do they taste good!
Rose suggested filling the sandwiches with vanilla or coffee ice cream. I had vanilla in the freezer, but no coffee so I picked up a cute little single-serving size at the grocery store. It was enough to fill 3 small ice cream sandwiches.
Let the ice cream soften a bit before filling sandwiches, being careful not to crush or break the meringue cookies in the process. Eat immediately or wrap well with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
As much as we liked the cookies filled with ice cream, we actually preferred them without. Something about the cold ice cream actually masks the flavor of the cookie. Try both and see which you like better. Happy baking!
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