Love Letter in a Hazelnut Macaron Coffee Ice Cream Sandwich

stacked 1 I became a regular coffee drinker late in life. I had my first cup of coffee when I was in university and I needed to stay up late to study. I put 50 cents into the vending machine in the library lobby and a stream of steaming hot black sludge was emptied into my styrofoam cup. (This was before the days of Starbucks.) I took a sip, spit it back into the cup and never drank a drop of coffee again for the next 15 years.

Then when my kids were little I started going away on “girl’s weekends” with all the other harried moms in our neighbourhood. We traded up from morning playdates with apple juice and cookies to weekend getaways with wine and cheese. In those days we all bought cute new pyjamas for the weekend and gathered in the living room of my cottage on Saturday and Sunday mornings for breakfast. My friend Brigitte was shocked when I said that I didn’t like coffee. She made it her mission to convert me from tea to coffee. She filled a large glass measuring cup with milk and heated it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Then she put the immersion blender into the measuring cup, turned it on, and “whoosh”, the milk foamed up like magic. She got a huge cereal bowl and filled it with about 1/4 coffee and 3/4 hot milk. She tipped in about 2 teaspoons of sugar and handed it to me. I took a sip, and fell in love. It was like having hot coffee ice cream. None of the bitterness of my first coffee experience. Saaaay, I do like coffee!!

When I got home I was so excited to tell my husband that I was now a coffee drinker. The next morning he made me a cup of his coffee. It tasted nothing like Brigitte’s! As soon as I lifted the cup to my mouth, an overwhelmingly strong unpleasant aroma hit me. Hazelnut vanilla?? What the f**k?? I affectionately dubbed his coffee “smelly coffee” and promptly bought my own plain coffee.   Gradually over the years I increased the amount of coffee and decreased the volume of sugar and milk. My husband is still a proud card carrying drinker of Van Houtte Vanilla Hazelnut Coffee.

Because I occasionally give him a hard time about his “smelly coffee”, I decided to make him a special treat to make up for it. I made hazelnut macarons and sandwiched them with vanilla and coffee ice creams. An edible love letter!

Ground hazelnuts replace ground almonds in the classic macaron recipe. Bob’s Red Mill sells hazelnuts already ground. Hazelnut meal and icing sugar get pulsed in the food processor and then get pushed through a sieve.putting thru sieveEgg whites and  sugar are whisked into stiff peaks.whites whipped to perfectionEverything gets mixed together and then piped into circles for the cookies. I made a template for piping so I would end up with even sized macarons.making templatemacaronagepipingI briefly contemplated  making my own ice cream but I don’t love my husband that much! I did splurge and buy Haagen Dazs vanilla and coffee ice creams. I let the coffee ice cream soften and spread it out on a baking sheet. I froze it for several hours and then spread softened vanilla ice cream over the coffee. I let the whole thing freeze for several more hours.spreading ice creamAssembling the sandwiches was easy with a cookie cutter.cutting out circlescutting out circles 2making sandwichesThese ice cream sandwiches are quite versatile. They make an excellent late night snack.excellent midnight snackThey are also eminently suitable for breakfast with a cup of coffee (smelly or not, your choice!)coffee and sandwich 625 sq

Click here to print recipe for Hazelnut Macaron Coffee ice cream Sandwiches.

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7 thoughts on “Love Letter in a Hazelnut Macaron Coffee Ice Cream Sandwich

    1. faith feingold

      Mmmmm delicious!! I guess we didn’t drink coffee because Mom didn’t like it, and don’t think that the coffee we used to buy for Dad from that restaurant across the street from his office (it’s still there!!) was very appealing (it was burnt and it only had one drop of milk). They say smells bring back memories – maybe our early memories of Dad’s coffee is also mixed in with the smell off the abattoir and the cleaning solutions they used in the bathroom on the second floor with those huge round big sinks that sprayed water.

  1. Marla DiGi

    beautiful photography. the ice cream macaroon sammies look delicious! where does the bourbon enter the picture; a little after baking delight for the baker?


  2. Bob Vivant

    Whooaa, ice cream sandwiches for breakfast? How naughty! Greg was peeking over my shoulder as I read this and asked (begged) me to make them for him ASAP. It’s been years since I’ve eaten an ice cream sandwich and probably decades since I’ve made one. Thank you for the inspiration. And Greg thanks you too. Coffee is our favorite ice cream flavor, but Greg can’t stomach the stuff by the cup. Maybe I need to try Brigitte’s recipe for him too.


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