Summer came and hit us all in the head this weekend – I must say, there wasn’t much of a Junuary this year, which is a good thing, and a bad thing. Of course we had our share of rainy days, but nothing like our normal kick-off to summer vacation. I am sitting here typing at almost 8pm, sweating bullets in my non-air conditioned home, where the temperature on the thermostat is reading 83 degrees (and that is on the main floor, it is hotter upstairs). Ok, yes, I am officially a wimp. After almost 18 years in Seattle – I have forgotten what it is like to live with hot weather. The funny thing is each summer when we travel back-east for the summer grandparent tour – if it is not in the 90s, I am disappointed. But I am usually on vacation at that time, and most places have AC…unlike here.
Last night my husband and I had a date night – it was the first in many weeks, and we were really looking forward to it. We decided to try a new place – a new restaurant opened by a Chef/Restaurateur that we really love – it got a lot of local hype, and the space and menu looked amazing. The space was even more beautiful in person, really high ceilings, more of a modern rustic feel, and extremely bright – but when we got there our table wasn’t ready so we decided to sit at the bar. This was actually the highlight of our meal. The bartender did a really nice job with the drinks – the bar was not extensive, which again proves, you don’t need a lot to make really good drinks. The problem was the bar stools were too low – and the counter came up to my upper chest. I felt like a kid. If it wasn’t for that, we probably would have just eaten at the bar (which is definitely something we love to do), but I didn’t think I could comfortably eat my meal – so we waited for our table to be ready. 45 minutes after our reservation, they finally sat us. If we were not paying for a babysitter, it probably would have been fine – but the one drink they took off the bill, didn’t really make it even.
The biggest disappointment was the food – although it tasted good, it was not noteworthy – I would rather eat my husband’s chicken on the egg any day of the week – and the pork he had was fine, but nothing to write home about. Even though we had 2 appetizers and 2 main courses, we were still hungry at the end of the meal. At that point we were both sweating – there was no air-conditioning (which is not uncommon), and the delay in getting our table and the slow service afterwards just made things a bit worse. There was no way we were waiting for dessert – especially when the 3 choices didn’t really appeal to us.
So, what is the best dessert for a hot summer’s night – what would have actually gotten me to sit there longer and endure the heat and slow service? Definitely these ice-cream sandwiches from Bon Appetit. We changed the recipe slightly to appeal to our cinnamon loving tastes – and all I can say is WOW. The cookies are on the softer side, so they are perfect for ice-cream sandwiches, and that coffee ice-cream with that chocolate and cinnamon cookie, it is exactly what this summer weather needs. Who needs air-conditioning when you can cool off with a summer treat like these.
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 60%–72% cacao), chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 quart coffee ice cream
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl; set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Combine almonds, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until almonds are finely ground. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture in 3 additions, mixing well between additions. With motor running, gradually add dry ingredients; mix well. Scoop out a rounded tablespoonful of dough. Use another spoon to help push dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to make 27 more portions, dividing between sheets and spacing dough 1-inch apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops begin to crack and cookies are set, 12–14 minutes (don’t overcook; cookies will firm up as they cool). Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Place a large scoop of ice cream on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down; press down lightly. Freeze on a baking sheet while preparing remaining sandwiches. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream.
DO AHEAD: Ice cream sandwiches can be made 30 minutes ahead. Keep frozen until ready to serve.
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