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Not only is it not freezing cold outside, but there is no precipitation falling from the sky and it actually appears the sun might be shining!  I think I might go for a walk outside instead of going to the gym.  I love walking around Jamaica Pond in the afternoon on my way home from work.  Feels like pushing an internal reset button and I arrive home relaxed and refreshed.  And since The Ice Creamsmith has reopened and Chris is back to working his standard Tuesday/Thursday night shifts there, I’ll be home all alone tonight.  This is kind of fun at first–I’m much more productive when I have to entertain myself and don’t have my husband to distract me from all the projects and chores I should be working on with Wheel of Fortune/Jeopardy (yes, we really do watch both) and a real meal (as opposed to an apple with peanut butter or cereal, but go-to standards for eating by myself).  It gets old fast, though.  We are both the type of introverted, quiet people who are slow to warm up so we do much better the more time we spend together.  Plus I go to bed early so on the days he works we usually don’t see each other at all.  No biggie, though!  I actually really enjoy being by myself.  And I have a recipe for coffee toffee bars that I’m excited to make–and will try to report back on (I still have a peanut butter cup cookie recipe I’ve been meaning to get on here…).  And Chris will come home with pints of Bailey’s Irish Cream and oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream (if he knows what’s good for him)!

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I threw my little brother a going-away party this weekend in honor of his year-long round-the-world trip (which he clearly didn’t appreciate, even though it was tons of fun).   We did indeed have lots of yummy food.

June 22 004Of course, I had to bake something, so I made cookies for ice cream sandwiches.  There’s nothing worse than a crunchy cookie that smooshes out all your ice cream when you bite into your ice cream sandwich, so these fudge brownie cookies were perfect because they stay soft but are firm enough to hold the ice cream.  They’re pretty delicious just own their own, too.

ice cream sandwhiches

Fudge brownie ice cream sandwich cookies

Adapted from Big, Fat Cookies

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone/non-stick baking mat (don’t skip this!).

Put the chocolate chips, butter and dissolved coffee in a bowl on top of a pot with half an inch to an inch of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).  Stir the mixture until it’s melted and smooth, then remove from the pot and let cool slightly.

Using an electric mixer on medium, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until thickened and light yellow (approx. 2 minutes).  On low speed, mix in the chocolate mixture, then the flour until just incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.  Set aside for 15 minutes to firm up slightly.

Scoop or spoon the batter onto the baking sheets, pressing down to flatten the cookies, and spacing them 2-3 inches apart.  Bake about 13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs and not wet batter.  Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, flip one upside down and scoop ice cream onto it, then top it with another.  Eat immediately, or wrap in plastic and freeze for later!