Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mexican "Unfried" Ice Cream Truffles

Birmingham is blessed with a large Hispanic community, so Mexican fried ice cream is one of the many treats we enjoy when visiting our favorite mamá-and-papá Mexican restaurants.

A few weeks back I decided to take the notion of this classic, South-of-the-border dessert, and turn it into something a little more managable without giving up any of the yummy flavor or texture.  Plus, my wife and I needed an easy, go-to treat for those afternoons when it feels like every child in the neighborhood is standing in our kitchen looking for something sweet.  (You know what I mean?)

The truffles are super-easy to make and fun for the kids.  In fact, we now keep a big bowlful of the nut-cornflakes mixture on hand (which is also terrific using pecans or walnuts). In addition to using it for this recipe, my wife and kids love the mixture sprinkled over yogurt and fresh fruit.  I've even caught them stirring it into milkshakes.  I typically eat it by the tablespoonful for a quick, crunchy pick-me-up.  Feel free to switch up the ice cream flavor too — I typically use vanilla, but it works with just about any flavor in the ice cream case.

Mexican “Unfried” Ice Cream Truffles
Prep: 25 min., Stand: 15 min., Freeze: 30 min.

Makes 16 truffles

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup frosted cornflakes

1 qt. vanilla ice cream

Parchment paper

Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until butter is melted.  Stir to combine.

Place almonds in a small bowl; pour over butter mixture, tossing to coat.  Spread almonds in a single layer on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place in freezer.

Pulse almond mixture and cornflakes in food processor, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pour almond mixture into a shallow dish.

Let ice cream stand at room temperature 15 minutes to soften.

Scoop ice cream into small balls using a 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop, and roll in almond mixture, gently pressing onto balls.  Arrange on prepared baking sheet in freezer. Freeze truffles at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

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