Hye Thyme Cafe: Amaretto Grapes

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Amaretto Grapes

We're not typically a family of dessert eaters; those are usually served up when company is joining us, on holidays, sometimes when restaurant dining, but not generally in the course of normal events. Dinner went together so quickly/easily the other night that I felt like I had forgotten to do something, so while that was in the oven, I decided to use the time to throw this light dessert together. This was inspired by a recipe I saw a few years ago that had something to do with grapes and amaretti cookies. You can't get much simpler than this, and it was very refreshing, with just enough sweet to satisfy everyone.

2 T cream cheese, softened
6 oz container Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
+/- 1/2 c almond slices

I went with the yogurt to keep this dessert on the healthy side. Because I knew adding the Amaretto would thin the yogurt, I decided to mix in the cream cheese for stability and to cut the tartness. If you want to use Greek yogurt but can't find it where you are, just strain your "regular" yogurt through a cheesecloth, paper towel, or coffee filter to remove some of the liquid. If you don't want to do that, you could always just add more cream cheese.

The almonds were for texture and visual appeal. To toast them, simply toss them in a dry nonstick pan and set them over medium heat, stirring frequently (to prevent burning) until golden. Pour them out of the hot pan so the residual heat doesn't scorch them before you're ready for them.

Stir together the yogurt, cream cheese, and amaretto until smooth, then stir in a large bunch of grapes and about half of your almonds, crushing them in your hand as you sprinkle them in. Allow to chill while you have dinner.

To serve, scoop into bowls and top with the remaining crushed almonds.

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