Mamma Mia! That's a Semifreddo!

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

In Italy, people love their frozen desserts almost as much as they love their espresso - and so do we Mamma Mias! We aren't particular about whether it's granita or gelato, as long as it is easy, delicious, and kid-friendly is definitely a plus. This handheld treat is easy to make, doesn't require any special equipment, and is bursting with some of Italy's favorite flavors: nutmeg, lemon, almond, and pistachio! The Amoretto is very nice for the adults, but can be omitted..

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the well beaten egg, blanched almonds, sugar, extract, spices and flour. Mix until the mixture is well combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll the almond cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut with round cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place the almond cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake the almond cookies at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, toast the additional chopped nuts in a nonstick pan over medium heat.
  6. When the cookies come out of the oven, spritz or drizzle hot cookies with Amaretto, then allow cookies and nuts to completely cool. Completely. Really. Keep your mitts off of them! :) (This is where the extra 20 minutes of no-work time comes from.).
  7. Pour the toasted, chopped nuts onto a plate. Then take one cookie and spread a scoop of gelato (about 1/8 cup, although you can certainly use more if you would like!) onto it and top with another cookie. Roll the sandwich in the toasted nuts so that they stick to the exposed gelato on the edge.
  8. You can eat these right away, or place in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap, for a yummy treat later. The serving size is entirely dependent on the size you cut your cookies. Remember to cut two for each sandwich.


Most Helpful

This was great. the amaretto gave the cookie almost a marzipan flavour. I love chocolate and almonds so I melted some semi-sweet chocolate and spread it on the cookie. I used finely chopped almonds and chocolate and candied sprinkles to roll the semifreddo in. Delicious. Will make this again thanks.

Marlitt July 01, 2008

These were great. I had a bit of trouble cooking the cookies. I may have made them a bit thick, I turned out with 16 cookies and had to increase the cooking time to about 12 minutes at 350 for the cookies to set. Also I only have one sheet pan so I chilled the left over dough before making the second batch and found that made it much easier to roll out the dough without it sticking to my board while cutting out the cookies. I used Frangelico on the cookies and chopped almonds for the ice cream rolling. Oh, yeah, I didn't have an egg on hand, so I used Recipe #19402 which worked really well, though now that I think about it may, be the reason I had trouble getting the cookies to set up.

MC Baker July 01, 2008

I found the cookie dough to be fairly easily to work with, but would caution against over working the dough. I rolled it out fairly thin and ended up with 21 cookies using a biscuit cutter. I did skip the Amaretto step. After the cookies cooled, I used purchashed vanilla bean gelato & sliced almonds to make 6 sandwiches. They were very good and I am happy I made several for the freezer. The rest of the cookies will be enjoyed plain. Made for ZWT 4.

Susie D June 29, 2008

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