One of the things I love about the food blogging business, is getting surprises in the mail. They usually involve…well, food. And that always makes me happy. So when a company I’ve been working for sent me a beautiful box of deep red cherries, just because…I swooned a bit. I will come clean and tell you that those beauties never made it into this recipe. They pretty much made their way directly into our bellies…straight up…no fancy stuff.
So, I headed to the grocery store and bought more of their yummy cherries just for this frozen yogurt I’ve been dreaming of lately. The marriage of cherry and almond has always appealed to me. Remember these Fresh Cherry and Almond Paste Scones or this Cherry Almond Soda Bread? I almost forgot about these Cherry Almond Cinnamon Rolls!
Roasting cherries brings out their sweetness and really deepens their flavor. I love it in this recipe. And, if you’re a fan of almond cookies like I am, you will love the bits of nutty cookie dough in this yogurt.
Roasted Cherry Almond Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and quartered
32 – 35 ounce container plain Greek yogurt, size depends on the brand you use (use what works best for you, but full-fat yogurt yields the nicest texture)
1/4 cup honey (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the almond meal, honey, vanilla and almond extracts and the salt. Use a rubber spatula to get the ingredients to come together. Once you have a ball of dough, dump it onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Use the paper to help form the ball into a log about 8 inches long. Wrap the log up, twisting the ends of the paper and place in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the frozen yogurt.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the quartered cherries on the sheet and roast them in the oven for 15 minutes. Give them a stir, then roast for another 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and leave the sheet out on the counter to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Place in your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions. Process until thick, creamy and frozen.
Remove the almond cookie dough from the freezer and cut into bite sized bits. Carefully blend the cookie bits and the roasted cherries into the frozen yogurt. Don’t over blend, or the cookie bits will fall apart and the cherries will turn the yogurt a darker color.
My favorite way to eat this is right away! The texture is like a creamy soft-serve yogurt. You can freeze any leftovers for later in a sealed container. Just remove from the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving to soften up.