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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ice Cream and Cookies: Maple Ginger Gelato and Maple Pecan Crisp Cookies

Here's a match made in Vermont:  creamy maple-ginger gelato with crispy maple-pecan cookies.  Comfort food for the wilderness.  

Gelato appeals to me because many of the flavors don't require egg yolks, and it uses less cream than
 standard ice cream does.  I own a few books with gelato recipes, but they all seemed more like ice cream, which I found unsatifactory.   

So I tried research:  Gelato is mostly milk with some cream, has quite a bit of sugar in it, and dry milk solids are added.   There are different temperatures for cooking the bases for different types of gelato.  Many of the references were in Italian, and I don't speak Italian.   I looked at the types of bases commercially available, and thought about the basic things I already knew;  whatever I did, I knew I didn't have the patience for cooking a base and then waiting for something boiling hot to cool off enough to go in my ice cream freezer.  It's so not me.

There was a photograph of a big factory with smokestacks, where they make the gelato bases.  I thought it must take heavy equipment, and possibly nuclear power, to convert ingredients into the magic substance, gelato base.  Then I woke up.   According to Wikipedia, "...the Florentine cook Bernardo Buontalenti is said to have invented modern ice creams in 1565, as he presented his recipe and his innovative refrigerating techniques to Caterina de' Medici."  So we can all relax.   This is definitely pre-industrial revolution food.  Just my kind of thing.

Maple Ginger Gelato

In Preparation:
  • prepare Ice Cream freezer


1 cup caster sugar (very fine sugar, dissolves easily)
1 cup dry milk powder
2 cups fresh milk
3/4 cup Vermont maple syrup, grade B
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 T crystallized ginger, finely chopped


1. In food processor bowl, combine the caster sugar and dry milk powder.  Process until very fine powder.
2. Add the milk, one cup at a time, and process until smooth.
3. Add the maple syrup and cream; process until smooth.
4. Add the chopped crystallized ginger, and pulse a couple of times, just to blend in.
5. Pour all into the ice cream freezer, and freeze until firm; place in freezer to complete hardening.

The gelato is extremely delicious, but the cookies are addictive.  My husband told me to hide them.
But here's how to make them:

Maple Pecan Crisp Cookies

In Preparation:
Heat oven to 375F
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray paper with cooking spray.
Get out a pastry bag with a large plain tip, for piping out the cookies.

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Vermont maple sugar 
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped best-quality pecans (must fit through piping tip)
small pinch of salt
1 T Vermont maple syrup, grade B


1. In electric mixer bowl, combine butter and brown sugar.  Mix until well-blended, about a minute
2. Add maple sugar, mix in.
3. Add the egg and maple syrup.  Mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes
4. Add the flour and salt.  Mix until blended.
5. Add the chopped pecans and mix briefly to incorporate.
6. Place mixture in the pastry bag, and pipe into finger-length lines on the parchment, about 2 inches apart.  Do not crowd the cookies, because they will spread quite a bit during baking.

7.  Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes, or until browned around the edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on the parchment, then remove.  

8.  Serve with gelato, and Enjoy!


  1. My my, that's a great combination-Those crisps on the side of the gelato is the perfect dessert. Whey to go!

  2. Thanks for the Gelato Recipe. I never tried making it with Milk Powder before.

  3. Every ounce of this post screams for me to try it!

  4. Those cookies look scrumptious! Can't wait to try!


  6. ;-) Like I said, my husband said to hide the cookies! Sue

  7. what is a Ice Cream freezer? Not a maker right? Can you please advise. I am eager to try. looks so so yummy

  8. Can you please tell me what ice cream freezer you use? I see ice cream maker. thank you.

    1. Hi Manda, Thank you, I use a Cuisinart refrigerated ice cream maker.... Sue

  9. Hi Sue, I am so grateful. I found it. Can't wait to try!

  10. Hi Sue, I got my cuisinart. Quick question. Based on the ICE-100 model, I don't need to pre-freeze the bowl. Your instruction is to mix all the ingredients and put it into the freezer bowl. Not a problem. Do I need to turn on the machine to have it churn or just pour and let it sit to firm up? many thanks!


Your feedback matters! So please leave a comment. I will do my best to answer all comments! Cheers, Sue