time for bed, for some of us ::::
A frequent bedtime scenario: my kids, giggling and laughing, making the occasional fart sounds with their lips and arms, and guffawing some more. While the behavior is usually endearing and adorable to watch in the right context, it is an antecedent to making the next morning very early for them.
You see, it is waaaaay past their bedtime. After struggling a couple of weeks of them goofing around at bedtime in the same room, beds side by side, peeking out the window, trying to make each other laugh, talking in high whispers after we admonish them one more time to be quiet and lie down, Eat and I gave up. With our limited bedroom space, we felt the late spring was a good time to do “big kid” bedroom transitioning before Baby Girl arrived. Now that she’s here, we’re still working on the sleeping situation.
But it’s never as easy as it seems. Unless Peach and Grub are absolutely thread-bare worn, they do not fall asleep quickly or quietly, even with threats of moving Grub back to our bedroom initially (with howls of discontent from both) or taking away reading bedtime books for the next night (which is so easily passed off in the moment of laughter and like a slap in the face the next night when pleas for reading go unanswered). One deal we tried: they can stay up one night and get up extra early with me, without complaint, and go for a walk, they in the stroller, me huffing along. If there is complaint, privileges like watching The Lion King on the weekend: gone. Book reading: gone. Grumpy, sleep-deprived children: yes.
That morning walk actually went better than expected, Grub only complaining about the early rising. They had a long day, exhausted by the end of it, still not sleeping enough until the next night. We all, even the the adults, slept in to the late hour of 7:30AM Sunday morning. For me and Eat, this was a treat as usually we are up at 6AM or so everyday, even on the weekends. I felt like a new woman! Even with the infant awakening every two hours!
So what does a semi-well-rested woman decide to eat? Grown-ups, here is your escape for non-kid dessert: homemade coffee-almond ice cream sandwiched with black cocoa cookies. No caffeine for the kids: they already can stay awake without it. No sugar-rush eruption needed for them.
One year ago: clam chowder with old bay seasoned popcorn
Two years ago: dukkah
This cookie recipe from Heather Christo’s beautiful blog. And she’s much more neat and tidy than I am. Her ice cream sandwiches are pinnacles of neatness; mine are like the sloppy, messy cook I feel like right now, in my happily chaotic home.
- FOR THE ICE CREAM: 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- a pinch of salt
- ¾ cup (150g) sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided (I made my own)
- 1 cup almonds, chopped and toasted, plus more for decorating edges of ice cream sandwiches
- FOR THE COOKIES: 1 cup butter, browned
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso or strong coffee
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1¾ cups flour
- ¾ cup black cocoa powder (I bought mine online at the King Arthur Flour website.)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- FOR THE ICE CREAM: Heat the milk, salt, coffee, and sugar in a saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for one hour.
- Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gently rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour.* Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. There might be some stringy, eggy bits: no worries. See the next step.
- Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the other teaspoon of vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. I did this step overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions, adding the almonds just before finishing the mixing. After the ice cream is made, transfer to an airtight container. This recipe makes 1 quart. If not using for ice cream sandwiches, cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
- FOR THE COOKIES: While the cream mixture is cooling in the fridge, make the cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare a sheet pan with parchment or silicon mat.
- Melt the butter in a small pan or in microwave.
- Mix in coffee or espresso to the melted butter.
- Add the coffee-butter mixture to the sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk together on high for about 2-3 minutes. It will look like a smooth caramel type sauce.
- Add the eggs one at a time and continue whisking on high.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the chocolate chips.
- Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until you have a smooth cookie dough.
- Scoop the cookie dough and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool before assembling sandwiches.
- ASSEMBLY: Match up the cookies that are the exact same size as each other in pairs.
- Slather a cookie with softened coffee ice cream and top them with the top half of the cookie pair. Roll in toasted almonds, if desired (I desired, and did.)
- Freeze the sandwiches at least an hour, and then smooth the ice cream around the edges, scraping off any extra. Serve immediately or freeze until you are ready to eat.
- Makes 1 quart of ice cream and 12 ice cream sandwiches. I recommend using a small ice cream scooper, #60 perhaps, for smaller cookies if using for sandwiches. They are very rich.