Hello! Brittany here & I am so excited to be introducing you to one of my favorite spots in Austin! It would be an outright lie if I said that I didn’t indulge in gelato on a weekly basis. I’m not much of an ice cream gal myself – blasphemous, I know! I much prefer the unique flavor combinations and “light” feeling of Italian gelato.
I’ve had the pleasure of making friends with the lovely folks at Dolce Neve, a local gelato shop here in Austin, TX, whom opened their charming storefront last year.
Marco Silvestrini, one of the three shop’s owners, left the corporate world as a management consultant in New York to open the shop after feeling unfulfilled and looking at his past to see what truly makes him happy. “I had great memories of my childhood, when almost every day I was paying a visit to my favorite local gelato shop,” says Marco.But, what exactly makes gelato different from ice cream? Well, for starters, it has a 6-8% fat content versus 15-50% in traditional ice creams. In my mind, that means I can eat three times more gelato without feeling guilty….Right? Additionally, Marco points out that, “gelato has less air than ice cream, so it’s denser and creamier.” It’s also served at a higher temperature, so your palette can pickup the flavors easier.
It goes without saying that gelato’s my top choice for dessert at a dinner party. You can bring a few flavors in a to-go carton and provide everyone with spoons to eat directly from the package. Simple and no fuss! Or, bake the cookies below and guests can make their own gelato sandwiches at your next gathering.
Marco recommends bringing two flavors: Stracciatella, the Italian version of chocolate chip (and my personal favorite), as well as a specialty flavor, Pistachio,. They make theirs from a raw pistachio paste.
As a small business owner myself, I also love that Dolce Neve keeps much of their business local. They source their coffee beans directly from the Austin-based roaster Texas Coffee Traders, shop at local farmers markets, and most of their suppliers are local farmers.
It goes without saying that gelato’s my top choice for dessert at a dinner party. You can bring a few flavors in a to-go carton and provide everyone with spoons to eat directly from the package. Simple and no fuss! Or, bake my favorite chocolate-chocolate chip cookies from Epi Curious and make a gelato sandwich. Bonus: You can freeze them for up to 2 days, so make them ahead of time and eliminate any day-of stress.
CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE &
STRACCIATELLA GELATO SANDWICH
• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• Fresh Stracciatella gelato, slightly softened
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Add the first 4 ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add in both sugars, then eggs, individually. Beat in extracts, then the flour mixture. Next, fold in chocolate chips.
- Drop a tablespoon of batter onto baking sheets, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart. Flatten the batter mounds to 3⁄4 inch thickness.
- Bake cookies for 5 minutes. Reverse sheets. Bake until cookies are soft to touch, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Freeze on baking sheets for 15 minutes.
- Spoon 1/3 cup stracciatella gelato onto flat side of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, flat side down; press together. Wrap and freeze.
YIELD: Makes about 12 sandwiches
Story by Brittany Pigorini
Photography by Chelsea Laine Francis