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Three Years: Ice Cream Sandwiches

On our first date, Matt tried to convince me to read his favorite book, Infinite Jest (I had no intention, he would soon find out just how stubborn I am). On our second date, we ate sushi and then had a lengthy discussion about religion and the neighborhood homeless people (two separate discussions, two topics I wouldn’t normally recommend chatting with your date about on your second date unless you’re already pretty sure you’re a good match). We had a ‘moment’ which was supposed to be our first kiss, but ended up being an awkward hug. A friend of mine suggested it was partially a result of the ‘tall man syndrome,’ when a split second decision must be made or abandoned entirely. I don’t remember our third date, specifically, but I do remember our first Valentine’s Day together, when Matt came over to my apartment to make sushi and tempura (this was before he knew I don’t like tempura). He melted my roommate’s spatula. I wore stripes. He snapped a photo of me. We’ve been on a lot of dates since.

I really loved all of those ‘getting to know you’ dates, when I’d get butterflies in my stomach every time I saw him, or the phone would ring and his full name would pop up on the screen. For a long time, I called him ‘Matthew’ and only Matthew, as that is how he introduces himself to new people. I can’t explain it, but something in me knew Matt was ‘the one’ on our second date. Of course I never would have said such a crazy thing so early on, or even a few months into our relationship. But in retrospect, I knew. That’s why I never hesitated when we decided to move in together, or when Matt proposed. I know that my last post was sort of a love letter and I apologize to those of you rolling your eyes at me over the interwebs, but today is the 3 year anniversary of our wedding day and I just couldn’t let it pass without reflecting. Thing is, you can get totally distracted by pictures of delicious ice cream sandwiches and glaze over the sentiment, so we’re all good.

I’m not a particularly sentimental person, or even that romantic, for that matter, but I will say that everything’s been better since I met Matt. Today is an extra special anniversary, because it is the last one we’ll enjoy as a family of two. We’re going out on a nice dinner date tonight, and this weekend we’re celebrating the wedding of one of my best friends. Silly as it may sound, but this site and the Pairings Box have played a significant role in our relationship. After all, we spend most nights and many weekends ‘working.’ But when you’re cooking and listening to music with your best friend, it hardly ever feels like work. In fact, in meeting Matt, I didn’t just meet the love of my life, but I discovered my life’s passion. He’s helped me channel my creative drive, my desire to tell stories, my love of cooking, and my stubborn spirit into something that I am so proud of. If it wasn’t for Matt, I wouldn’t be here, talking with you, sharing photos of ice cream sandwiches. I probably wouldn’t be writing for a living. And I would be thinking ‘what if?’ more often than “I can’t believe this is actually happening.’ I could write him a million love letters.

Chocolate, Cardamom, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwiches

adapted from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, via Bon Appetit
*makes about 8 sandwiches

Note: don’t make more ice cream sandwiches than you are going to serve/eat in one sitting. They taste best freshly-made. However, you can store the cookies in an airtight container and make ice cream sandwiches to order over the course of a few days. The cookies vaguely resemble macarons, especially when they are baked; they are delightfully chewy, chocolate-y and definitely benefit from that magical, exotic spice β€” cardamom. We opted for whole pods, grinding the seeds ourselves, though you can certainly use ground cardamom (it won’t be as potent). The original recipe calls for coffee ice cream, but I thought a good quality vanilla bean was perfect here. We halved the original recipe and also used slivered, as opposed to sliced, almonds. I prefer to bake one sheet at a time in my oven; I find my cookies bake more evenly. But, you can choose to bake yours at once.Β Lastly, I should be honest here: my friend Lindsey took the lead in making these cookies; there were plenty left for Matt to sample πŸ˜‰

4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (we used Valrhona)
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly-ground cardamom (from about 2 green cardamom pods)
1 large egg
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Ice cream: good quality vanilla bean or coffee (we used Talenti Gelato in Tahitian Vanilla Bean)

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Add the chopped chocolate and butter to a medium heatproof bowl. Add about two cups of water to a medium pot, bring to a simmer and place the bowl over the pot. Stir the chocolate and butter together until melted and combined.
3. Add the almonds, flour, baking powder, salt and ground cardamom to a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground.
4. Add the egg, sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add 1/3 of the melted chocolate mixture, beating to combine. Add another third, beat, then add the rest and beat to combine. Gradually add the dry mix and beat to incorporate.
5. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto each of the lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between each round. Place one of the baking sheets in the oven and place the other in the refrigerator.
6. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the tops of the cookies develop light cracks and the cookies are set (approximately 12-14 minutes).
7. When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to let cool and bake the second sheet.
8. To assemble the ice cream sandwiches: place a cookie flat-side up. Top with a scoop of ice cream and a second cookie, lightly pressing down to make a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the cookies (depending on how many ice cream sandwiches you’re making). Place prepared ice cream sandwiches in the freezer while you assemble the rest. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

Musical Pairings: The Fresh & Onlys – Long Slow Dance + Chocolate, Cardamom, and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwiches

Β More on the Turntable side of things.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I am, frankly, all for sentiment, and I think that yours here is lovely! Hope your anniversary is really wonderful, with new memories made. And congratulations! : )

  • Denise

    Happy Anniversary. Funny, I use to call Lenny by his real name (Laudalino) when we first started dating. I loved how it sounded as it rolled off my tongue – my foreign boyfriend. I still do, but not often enough, kind of like dates. We need to make them happen more often! Lovely post – thank you for sharing your love with all of us.

  • Aw, feelin the love, you two. Happy, happy anniversary. Enjoy your special meal together, and whatever funny memories are made tonight and this weekend!

  • Megan Gordon

    Happy Anniversary to Kasey and Matt! Sending you lots and lots of love from Seattle! Oh, that part about Infinite Jest made me giggle. Sam and I have those conversations weekly, as I’m sure you can imagine (hmmm, biography of Teddy Roosevelt? Maybe later). xox!

  • Sarah B.

    Awwwwwww !! Been staring at that very gorgeous wedding photo posted this morning, happy anniversary you two! Very inspiring and touching post. x

  • naturallyella

    Happy anniversary and what a wonderful post! What great memories you guys have already had together!

  • What a beautiful story. And I talked to my gentleman about Infinite Jest on our first date too!

  • Thanks, Stacy! It was so wonderful to meet you at Sara’s book signing. Your blog is truly lovely and I’m just starting to dig in. I’m looking forward to celebrating tonight πŸ™‚

  • Thank you so much, lady! I love that you used to call Lenny Laudalino! His full name sounds very mysterious πŸ˜‰ I agree that dates are important! We don’t normally call hanging out ‘dates’ anymore, but when we tack on this name to an evening, it randomly feels a little more special. xo

  • Thanks, Kate! I’m sure plenty of funny memories are ahead πŸ™‚ We’re checking out a new Scandinavian restaurant in the city – I’m exciting to try it out!

  • Thank you my dear! I can definitely imagine you and Sam discussing your favorite reads in much the same way Matt and I do πŸ˜‰ I can’t wait to hear about your trip/train travels and of course…the big concert! xo

  • Thank you, lovely! That one is a favorite of mine…every time I look at that photo, I feel little butterflies. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and so appreciate the sentiment! xo

  • Thank you, Erin! We do have some pretty great memories together…and many more to create. xo

  • Thank you, Diane! How funny–I may not be giving Infinite Jest enough credit for being the ultimate match-maker πŸ˜‰

  • Nicole

    This post is incredibly sweet, Kasey! You never have to apologize to me for getting sentimental, I love your love story πŸ™‚ Goodness, the ice cream sandwiches look wonderful. I adore drippy ice cream shots.

  • Happy anniversary! Those ice cream sandwiches look so good I cannot handle it!

  • Nina

    I love reading about your dates and what you are to each-other. Your love story sounds so simple and effortless and in that so perfect. I hope that I will also have that feeling of “he is the one” once and be able to say that “if it wasn
    ‘ t for him, I would
    ‘ nt be here”. That
    ‘ s just so beautiful. Happy Anniversary! What a lucky child who will be born into a family of such loving parents πŸ™‚

  • WithStyleGrace

    What a beautiful post and [belated] happy anniversary you two!! Oh and how I wish these ice cream sandwiches would just appear right now – minus the gluten πŸ˜‰

  • Aw thank you, Nicole! I appreciate that πŸ™‚ These were ridiculously addictive. I literally had one every night for 3-4 days straight. I’m a sucker for drippy ice cream shots myself..

  • Thank you so much, Jess!

  • Thank you, Nina! I guess we’re pretty in love ;0) Really appreciate the thoughtful comment and I hope you enjoy your Pairings Box! It’s a good one πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, sweets! It’s actually today so you’re not late at all πŸ˜‰ I wonder if you cut the flour out entirely and replaced it with almond flour, if they would turn out just as well…my suspicion is yes πŸ˜‰

  • kickpleat

    Oooh, I’m feeling the love too! I was just mentioning that I love this time of year so much and I realized that I really fell head over heels in love with my husband during September. There’s definitely something in the air this time of year. And I’ll take an ice cream sandwich or two. Looks lovely and drippy and delicious.

  • sara forte

    happy anniversary you two! such a great pair and sweet people. love getting to know you guys through this space, and see the passion you cultivate here. Thank you for sharing that with us! I hope you have a fabulous celebration and years of even more bliss as your family grows! happy happy day!

  • Carla Nico

    kasey, this was such a sweet post! you are both very lucky people to have each other, and the little one is going to be even more lucky to have you BOTH! … andddd i really need to make these delicious-looking treats! πŸ™‚

  • Yay – love is all around πŸ™‚ I totally agree that September is a romantic time of year – pairs well with ice cream sandwiches πŸ˜‰ Hope you’re having a great one!

  • Thank you for the kind words and well wishes, lovely! I really appreciate you stopping by and I am so happy I got to see your face in person (if ever so briefly). I hope the book tour is going well and you’re enjoying it all – you deserve it! xo

  • Thank you, Carla! You’re such a sweetheart! I hope you and Clay are doing well – I miss you! x

  • Renee

    So sweet! Happy Anniversary!

  • Kasey. Love everything about this. Perfect start to my day. Happy Anniversary, friends πŸ™‚

  • Molly

    Aw, happy anniversary. My husband is a huge David Foster Wallace fan, and I can never get past the second paragraph when I try to read his stuff. No matter. Mates don’t need the same taste in books to know they are with the right one. A mutual love of ice cream sandwiches does help, though.

  • Happy (slightly belated) anniversary, I hope you had a wonderful date! I do so love the way you write about your relationship; your love for each other really shines through.

  • Thanks, Renee!

  • Thank you, friend!

  • Thanks, Molly! I agree that mates don’t need to have the same taste in books (but a love of ice cream sandwiches is a must!). David Foster Wallace is clearly the driver of many a great romance.. πŸ˜‰

  • Thank you, Kathryn! We had a very special day. And I’m glad that our love shines through here! After all, this is a labor of love for the both of us πŸ™‚

  • sarah kieffer

    Gosh, I’m all teary-eyed. What a lovely post. So happy for you two, and you three! So much love to you.

  • This is beautiful. Really warmed my heart.

  • Gosh, I’m touched! Thank you so much, Sarah!!

  • Steph

    aww, too cute. It’s always a good sign when the boy you’re with brings you closer to being the person you want to be. Miss you guys LOADS! Happy (late) anniversary! Can we make these when I get back?!

  • Thank you, David! I really appreciate that.

  • I couldn’t agree more! Our pairs should make us better people for ourselves. I miss YOU loads! And we can DEFINITELY make these when you get back πŸ™‚

  • Absolutely lovely. I know the feeling. My wife and I are approaching our 3rd year milestone. And it gets better with someone you love. As for these ice cream sammies? Winner winner perfect anniversary dinner..well, dessert.

  • I have a copy of Infinite Jest I started 6ish year ago, I just can’t finish!
    I remember my first “date” with my husband, we watched The Virgin Suicides in his dorm room and he made me peanut butter toast. I knew then, that we’d be bff’s. I swoon for posts like this! and, the sandwiches don’t look bad either.

  • Nann

    Wondered if I can substiuite almonds for something nut free? Friends with nut allergies.

  • It definitely does get better with someone you love. I hope you have a wonderful anniversary, Michael!

  • Hilarious! I love your first date story – how romantic!

  • Hi Nann, you can certainly experiment, though the texture would be very different.

  • Stephanie

    Praj has been wanting to make these for forever, and we finally brought them over to two friends’ place last night. They were a hit! Just one note for anyone making the cookies- the batch is fairly small (Kasey’s right- 8 ice cream sandwiches, though small ones at that), so I think we’ll double it in the future (since 16 cookies is never enough) :-).

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