Monday, November 14, 2011

Pear Caramel Ice Cream with Pecan Shortbread Cookies

The hunt for new Christmas cookie recipes has started.   I love giving bags of cookies to friends and family and to make it fun I try new cookies every year.  My stack of Christmas cookie magazines increases every year, so does the list of delicious cookies I tried.   I like to choose cookies that have interesting texture and color so when paired together they visually please the eyes.  I love making small cookies, almost like miniature, so you can taste more than one and don't feel guilty.  These are keepers.

The first new recipe I tried this year comes from the book A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti, a simple and delicious pecan short bread. Emily is the executive pastry chef at Farallon and Waterbar restaurants in San Francisco, and has published many amazing books, and has also been writing a blog for years (which I just discovered, not sure why I didn't find it earlier, she is one my favorite pastry chefs).

I will definitely make these cookies again, they are buttery shortbread cookies, studded with pecans, and they melt in your mouth.  The only drawback is that they are a little too fragile and crumbly, maybe adding a tad less butter would help.  They are not too sweet, and don't they look great as ice cream sandwiches?

Since I had some pears that needed to be used and some left over caramel sauce I decided to try the ice cream recipe that was paired with the cookies in the book.  I used the most amazingly colored crimson pears I have ever seen, which I bought on a whim, just for the color. 

Isn't the color amazing?

The ice cream is delicious, the flavor of the pears is intense, and the swirls of caramel bring it to a different realm.  However I decreased the sugar by a 1/4 cup and it was still too sweet, maybe it was the omission of the pear liquor, which Emily adds in the recipe but I didn't.   The ice cream  was perfect paired with the cookies since they are really not sweet at all.

You can find another pear ice cream recipe from David Lebovitz clicking on the link.

Pear-Caramel Swirl Ice Cream
adapted from Passion for Desserts

Six ripe pears (about 3 pounds)
3/4 cup plus 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup cold Caramel Sauce

Peel, halve, and core the pears.  Slice them 1/2 inch stick.  Cook the pear slices, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice over medium heat, until the pears are soft and the juices have evaporated.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then puree until smooth.  Refrigerate until cold.

In a bowl, whip the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar.  Bring cream to a boil, then pour onto the yolks to slowly temper them until they are thickened into a custard.  Immediately strain and add the cold milk.  Refrigerate until cold.  Stir together the pear puree and the egg custard.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker.   (Note:  the yield is more that my ice cream maker could freeze, so I had to freeze in two batches).

Pecan Cookies
3 1/2 ounces butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup pecan pieces

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth, 30 seconds.  Add the flour, salt and pecans.  Mix just until combined.  Roll dough into a log, 1 inch thick, using a sheet of parchment paper.  Chill or freeze until hard.  Pre-heat oven to 325F, cut log into 1/4 inch thick slices, place on a paper lined baking sheet and bake until light golden.  Let cool.


Y said...

Wow - not sure which I love more.. the pecan cookies or THAT pear ice cream!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a delicious dessert! Both the ice cream and cookies look amazing. Lovely clicks too!

Reagrding your question concerning my blog's makeoever, yes I did it all mby myself using the BLOGGEr tools. Like you, I am always sacred of changing something and losing everything... ;-P



Gaia said...

non saprei da dove cominciare, per farti i complimenti..

Laura said...

Y, you will have to try both!

Rosa, thanks for your response. I think I have to play around with a different template, with mine I can't adjust the width of the post without going into the program. You inspired me.

Gaia, grazie per i complimenti, mi sto divertendo ;o)

Simona said...

The combination looks very nice!

lisa is cooking said...

This dessert was made for me! I love these flavors, and those cookies look fantastic. They're so cute as ice cream sandwiches.

Christine knapkins_com said...

Hey Foodies, Laura's Ice Cream and Shortbread recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Invite fans to play:

Sandra said...

Laura, this pairing looks AMAZING! Your pictures are so awesome that I can almost taste the food from seeing the pictures. The color of those pears are stunning, and the mini ice cream sandwiches look beautiful. Goodness, I'm salivating...

Laura said...

Grazie Simona!

Lisa, the flavors are so good together and perfect for Fall.

Thank you Christine!

Sandra, you are such a great supporter. Thank you! I love making miniature desserts or cookies, it is like playing. The pears look stunning, you are right, if I had to choose a color to decorate my house it would be that.

Piluchi recetaspasoapaso said...

Hello: I really liked your blog, but I wish you had the option to choose the language as I am Spanish and little English.
a hug


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