Back in May I had the opportunity to attend a food blogger event for the launch of Safeway’s Open Nature Super Premium Ice Cream. This post is a recap of the food and fun that led to the creation of these Smoked Almond, Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies!
It’s not everyday that you get invited to taste ice cream. Well, okay. It probably happens a little more often for a food blogger than the average person, but that makes it no less exciting.
Back in May I got invited to hang out with a great group of food bloggers to learn about the launch of Safeway’s Open Nature Super Premium Ice Cream. I’ve been really curious about the Open Nature brand and I was completely sold on checking out Safeway’s commercial kitchen so I took the short drive to Pleasanton for an incredibly fun few days.
I have to be completely honest. You know I make a lot of things. Many things from scratch that most people buy at the store. But after several years of my from-scratch lifestyle there are a few things that I’ve voted best made by the professionals. Ice cream is one of those for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the homemade, summertime, churn-your-own ice cream we used to make as kids. But I make ice cream, time and time again in my countertop maker and it never turns out to be quite what I want.
I’m stuck on the smooth, creamy ice cream from local shops and a few store-bought varieties, but of course, minimal ingredients are key.
I’ve really been enjoying this ice cream from Safeway. And that is saying something considering that I had two days of indulging in it under my belt. You’d think all of us at the event would have been sick of it after the all-you-can-eat affair, but from the looks of the post reports, we went right out and got some more after the event!
Speaking of that event. Along with a room service delivery of an Open Nature breakfast and excellent meals at Handles Gastropub and Wente Vineyards, we got to spend a day in Safeway’s commercial kitchen exploring the science behind ice cream, learning about the launch of the new product, creating new ice cream flavors and tasting every flavor we wanted to. Did I mention it’s not only ice creams in the super premium line? There are gelatos, sorbets and frozen yogurts, too.
Once I got back home and the ice cream cravings returned, Safeway sent a gift card that allowed me to pick up a few pints. I viewed it as the perfect invitation to make a little something to go with the ice cream.
One of the top flavor winners at the event was the Salted Caramel Butter Pecan, and wow, is it good. But when I went to pick out a few pints the Swiss Almond caught my eye. Trust me, it is a huge contender for that butter pecan.
We kind of have a thing for cookies and ice cream around here, so I knew I wanted to make some cookies to go with the Swiss Almond ice cream.
Since the event, another thing I’ve had on my mind is smoking foods. I know this sounds completely unrelated, but during our downtime at the kitchen, Chef Jeff showed some of us how a food smoker works by smoking almonds. I’ve been intrigued by this gadget every since. It’s on my wish list!
While I couldn’t smoke my own almonds just yet, I wanted to add smoked almonds to the cookies. After that, chocolate chips and coconut seemed like a logical choice. I used my favorites, coconut oil and white whole wheat flour to complete the cookies.
Now this ice cream will go with just about any cookie you have on hand, but I’m partial to these homemade beauties. Like most of my baked goods, they are only slightly sweet and they are well balanced with a touch of smokiness. Both characteristics are outstanding with the super creamy, super premium ice cream.
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil*
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chopped smoked almonds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unsweetened medium shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the coconut oil and sugar to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low and then turn to medium and cream together for about 1 minute. Scrap the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the eggs until combined and then add the vanilla.
- Next mix in the salt and baking soda. Add the flour a little a time, mixing on low, just until it is incorporated into the dough.
- Mix in the almonds, chocolate chips and coconut.
- Use a small cookie scoop to transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or covered in parchment paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are browned and the centers are baked through. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- *For best results when baking with coconut oil, be sure the oil is at room temperature and the same consistency as softened butter.
Disclosure: The media event I attended was organized through FleishmanHillard and provided by Safeway. I was also provided a gift card to purchase the ice cream pictured in this post. I was not required to write about this event or product and received no additional compensation to do so. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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