Showing posts with label almond. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almond. Show all posts

Greek Almond Macaroons with Chocolate Mousse Filling

I've been wanting to make my Greek Almond macaroons, or amygdalota as they are called in Greece, with some type of a filling.  In Greece I had them with mastic filling (resin from the mastic trees on Chios island).  It's a sweet spoon dessert that's served on a spoon over ice cold water, mostly during the summer hot months.  It's chewy and very sweet. That's why you need a glass of cold water to accompany it and wash it down.  Unfortunately, I didn't think of bringing a jar of the sweet mastic dessert back with me.  And so far, I haven't figured out how to make that mastic spoon dessert ... well not yet any way.  

Since everyone in my family loves chocolate including my granddaughter -- she is over a year old and has become my newest taste tester in my kitchen -- I thought of making my chocolate mousse filling and use that.  Also, this time I thought of using almond meal instead of grinding almonds for the  cookies.  I used Bob's Red Mill almond meal.  It's a little easier and it doesn't make any difference in the cookies, either you use almond meal or finely ground almonds (if you'd rather use fine ground almonds, here is the link for that recipe:  Also, both recipes are gluten free. 
And voila -- the cookies came out tasting chewy, as that is their trademark, and the chocolate mousse filling came out creamy.  So here is my take on Greek almond macaroons filled with chocolate mousse.  Enjoy! 

Ingredients (Makes 23 sandwiched servings – approx. 1.5 oz each )

3 cups almond meal
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Chocolate mousse filling
1 envelope  dream whip
6 tbsp. icing sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder

Melted butter for the cookie sheets and the palms of your hands to roll the cookies -- about 3 tbsp.

Beat the egg whites with the sugar. Add the almond meal, and vanilla. Mix well together. Grease 3 cookie sheets generously with butter. Also, grease your palms with butter while shaping the cookies. Shape them into 1 1/4" balls. Roll in slivered almonds. Place on cookie sheet far apart. Cookies will spread.

Bake at 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes till the edges are brown and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Let them cool and place them in an airtight container or they will dry out. 

This recipe will make about 46 cookies.  Sandwiched together with the chocolate mousse you get about 23 cookies.

Chocolate mousse:
Beat 1 envelope of dream whip topping according to package directions. When soft peaks form, add the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Beat well till it's all incorporated. Refrigerate.

When the cookies are cooled take one tablespoon (approx.) of the chocolate mousse and spread on bottom of cookie. Take another cookie and sandwich together. When done, refrigerate them in air tight containers.

Nutrition Facts (the nutritional value is per sandwiched cookie--each cookie alone is about 80 cal)
Serving Size 1 serving (40.2 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 84
Total Fat 9.3g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Potassium 155mg4%
Total Carbohydrates 21.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.4g
Sugars 17.9g
Protein 4.4g

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust

It's fall again, and time for pumpkins and fall dishes and desserts. This is a pumpkin cheesecake that I've been making for the last few years. I wanted to get that baked type cheesecake that you get at a restaurant, like a New York style cheesecake. So I've been playing around with a few recipes and came up with this one. The difference is that I didn't use graham crackers for the crust. I used Anna's Swedish almond thin cookies since they have no soy in them. As for the gluten free version, I took the leftover cheesecake batter, placed in ramekins without a crust and baked them in the oven along with the cheesecake. Since my daughter is gluten free she was able to enjoy the cheesecake without having to worry about gluten. It's a delicious dessert and can be enjoyed during this time of the year. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 18 servings = 4.2oz each serving)

5 ¼ oz Anna's almond thin cookies crushed (about 1.5 cups)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter
16 oz. cream cheese
16 oz one third less fat cream cheese (cream cheese that has 1/3 less fat)
1 ¼ cups sugar
16 oz canned pumpkin
½-cup sour cream
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs


Crush the box of Anna's almond thin cookies. It will make 1 and 1/2 cups.
Melt the butter. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the crushed cookies along with the butter. Mix together and press into a 9" spring form pan. Refrigerate.

At room temperature mix together the regular cream cheese with the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and the sugar. Mix till well blended. Add the canned pumpkin packed solid, the sour cream, the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Mix well together. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Pour into the 9" spring form pan and the rest into 9 ramekins without crust. Place the 9" spring form pan into a 350°F preheated oven. Place the 9 ramekins into a baking sheet that's 1/4 filled with lukewarm water. Place those in the oven too. Bake the 9" spring form pan for 1 hour and 30 minutes and the ramekins for 1 hour and 15 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Some oven temperatures vary so it's best to use the toothpick method as a guide. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving.

Nutrition FactsServing Size 1 serving (117.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294
Calories from Fat 180
Total Fat 20.0g
Saturated Fat 12.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 263mg
Potassium 107mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 19.0g
Protein 5.6g

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust
 Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust and Dream whip cream 

 Gluten free cheesecake baked in ramekins
Gluten free cheesecake in ramekin sprinkled with icing sugar

Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

I’ve been making this cheesecake for the past 35 years. It’s a Canadian recipe that I used to use. Both my daughters love this cheesecake. It’s light, easy to make and needs no baking. The original recipe asks for graham crackers crust. I found out though that graham crackers have soybean oil and since I am trying to stay away from any foods that contain soy, I experimented with a different crust. I found these almond thins at the European section of our local market. They are called Anna’s almond thins and they are Swedish.

 They contain no soy or any hydrogenated products (I used only one box).  This is a great desert to take to pot luck dinners or holiday parties. Enjoy!

 Cherry Cheesecake with Almond thin cookies for crust

Makes 35 pieces (approximately 2.4 oz each)

1.5 cups crushed almond thin cookies
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp sugar

1 – 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup Realemon Lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

1 – 21 oz can cherry pie filling

For the crust, crush the cookies by placing them in a ziplog bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. In a 12x7.5 pyrex pan pour the crushed cookies, add the melted butter and the sugar. Mix well and pat it at the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate.

For the filling: in a bowl put the cream cheese and beat with an electric beater. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk while beating. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and continue beating till light and fluffy. Take the crust out of the refrigerator and pour the filling in. Smooth the top and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. It chills quite fast, but overnight will chill it quite firmly.  

When chilled pour the cherry pie filling on top and serve. You can cut it into individual pieces and then top with the cherry pie filling. 

Note 1: The above ingredients will also accommodate a 9” pie plate
Note 2: You can substitute the almond thins with graham cracker crust or nila wafers crushed. They are both equally good.  
Note 3: For topping, you can substitute blueberry or strawberry pie filling. They both taste good.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (66.6 g)
Amount Per Serving 
Calories 233
Calories from Fat 82
Total Fat 9.1g
Saturated Fat 5.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 218mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Sugars 19.5g
Protein 4.5g

If you try this recipe and like it, please comment below.  If you like what you see on this blog, please feel free to follow it. Thank you.