Hello and welcome to the final installment of our 2015 Jeni’s Spinalong Project! There are no plans yet to carry this into 2016, but I’m pretty sure Ms Table is going to try to talk me into it… We’ll see.
In case you just got here, this is what you’ve missed so far:
- March: Lucky Charm Ice Cream with Salty Cereal Gravel & Sticky Bun Ice Cream
- June: Watermelon Lemonade Pops & Grilled Cantaloupe Sorbet
- September: S’mores Ice Cream with Toasted Marshmallow and Fudge Ripple & Buttermilk Sage Ice Cream with Toasted Cumin Honey and Cornbread Gravel
- October: Salty Vanilla Frozen Custard with Halloween Candy Swirl & PB+J Sandwich with Milk Ice Cream Terrine
- November: Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Torched Marshmallows & Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream with Black Walnut Praline and Singed Marshmallows
Which brings us to…. December! Ms. Table created icelandic wedding cake frozen skyr with lingonberry swirl and kransekake (what a mouthful!).
My December theme was a sort of “cookies for Santa” type of deal. Except I filled these cookies with delectable coffee ice cream, because I imagine that Santa get pretty sleepy traveling house to house all night long. Since we all know that Santa loves cookies, I couldn’t think of a better delivery system for the caffeine than in a cookie (ice cream) sandwich!
So, this project was twofold: 1> Make the macaron sandwich cookies 2> Make the coffee ice cream. Since I had extra coffee ice cream (this recipe made two pints), I filled a second container with those good ol’ Nabisco Famous Wafers, for more cookie & coffee deliciousness.
I chose to go with the chocolate version of Jeni’s macaron cookies, thinking that the coffee and chocolate would complement each other perfectly, and I was right. This match is reiterated again in the coffee & cookie ice cream.
My piping bag was way to small for all of the macaron batter, so as I got closer to the end of my batch, the macarons started coming out a bit flatter. I suspect this was due to over-mixing the batter (as scooping and stirring was required in between each fill of the bag).
The cookies were a bit lumpy because, although I would normally sift the almond flour/sugar mixture, I did not opt to sift these because I am pretty sure that when I get the cookies at Jeni’s they are actually a little bit lumpy themselves and I’ve grown to appreciate the extra texture it adds to the ice cream sandwich. If you would like to ensure a nice, smooth batter, then go ahead and sift your flour/sugar mixture to remove any clumps that might be hiding in there.
So this year, pull out your ice cream maker for Santa. But maybe just leave him a note to check the freezer. You don’t want these babies to melt before he gets to them! Maybe if you’re lucky he will leave you one of the Jeni’s books!
- 8 oz almond meal
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup egg whites (from 6 to 7 eggs) room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup coarse-ground dark roast coffee beans
- 7 to 14 nabisco wafers
- Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, trace 12 circles onto the parchment paper to use as a guide for when you pipe, then flip the parchment over so the drawings are on the bottom side. (They should still be plenty visible from the top).
- Pulse the powdered sugar, cocoa, and almond flour in a food processor until incorporated.
- Sift the powdered sugar mixture through a sieve onto a clean sheet of parchment paper, discarding any large pieces that remain in the sieve. (I skipped this step)
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy.
- Once frothy, add the granulated sugar a tablespoon or two at a time, until all the granulated sugar has been added. Continue whipping until the meringue becomes shiny and holds medium peaks, about 5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the almond mixture into the whites. Repeat with the remaining 2/3 of the mixture, adding 1/3 at a time. Be careful not to overrmix.
- Fit a large pastry bag (or gallon size Ziploc) with a 1/4-inch plain tip and fill the bag with the macaron batter.
- Pipe in a spiral into the circles you traced onto the parchment, reducing the pressure as you reach the end of your spiral to allow the edge to taper off. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have piped all of your batter.
- Lightly tap the the baking sheet on the counter twice to remove any bubbles and set aside for 30 to 40 minutes until the tops become dry and take on a matte finish.
- While the cookies are resting, preheat the oven to 300F degrees.
- Bake cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until they are baked through.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Using an offset spatula, lift the cookies from the parchment. Move to a baking sheet and place in the freezer approximately 30 minutes. Once frozen, transfer to a gallon size freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. Note Be careful, they can be very fragile!
- In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of the milk with the corn starch; set aside.
- Place cream cheese and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high hea. Allow to boil for 4 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the coffee.
- Let the coffee steep for 5 minutes, then strain the milk mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible and discard the grounds.
- Return the cream mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the corn starch slurry, Return the mixture to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until completely combined. Carefully add remaining milk mixture, whisking to combine, then transfer the mixture to a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag, ensuring the bag seals completely.
- Submerge the bag in a bowl filled with ice water until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, you may spin your ice cream immediately, or place it in the fridge overnight until you are ready to spin.
- Pour ice cream base into the ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer's directions until it is the texture of soft serve ice cream.
- Transfer to a storage container (mine filled two pint containers), stirring Nabisco Wafers into one (or both) if desired.
- Place in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until you are ready to make your ice cream sandwiches.
- Place your ice cream out to soften, if it's not already softened.
- Once slightly soft and easy to scoop, remove cookies from the freezer and place them on a baking sheet that will fit into your freezer.
- Top half of the cookies with a generous scoop of ice cream and, using the palm of your hand, gently press another cookie on top of it until the ice cream spreads towards the edge.
- Place baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until the ice cream has firmed back up, then remove the sandwiches from the freezer and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Store the ice cream sandwiches in a gallon-size freezer bag until you are ready to eat them.
* In case you're wondering, the other ice cream sandwiches are filled with this delightfully chocolatey ice cream , also from the Jeni's book (of course).
Thinking of starting your own spinalong? Here’s what I used along the way:
- An ice cream maker – Last year I upgraded from this guy to this beast, and I love it so much! Not only do I not have to give up precious freezer space to freeze the canister, but I can spin multiple batches back-to-back (like I did this day with the coffee ice cream and Mr. Eat’s favorite chocolate)! That being said, either one will work just fine. So long as you aren’t going to be making ice cream on the reg, you should be just fine with the cheaper option!
- Jeni’s books, of course – Her first one is chock-full of ice cream recipes (including both recipes above) while her second book has some ice cream recipes, but really focuses on desserts and add-ins – ways to upgrade your regular ice cream game.
- Storage – Far too late in the game, I finally picked up a pack of these pint containers. (Previously I was just using large plastic Glad storage containers). The pint containers are 4 for $10.00 at our local Sur la Table, or I could get 25 on Amazon for practically the same price. So it was really a no-brainer. Plus, they’re good for more than just storing ice cream – they’ll make great containers for holiday cookies and treats.