6.30.2013

popsicle summer | personal.

I feel like summer is just now starting. Maybe it's because the weather is finally steady-hot, or because our beach vacation is just around the corner, or the fact that Quinlan now has no less than five bathing suits just waiting to be filled with sand, but we're just settling in. In some ways, that's crappy because it's already one calendar square away from July, but also awesome because our kid doesn't go to school yet so there's nothing stopping us from carrying summer clear through September.

A few weeks ago, I made homemade fudgsicles. I've made them before, but it was during the winter when I had a wicked chocolate craving (pregnancy, hi!) and I remember them being good, but not enough to get another batch going. I came across the recipe in my little wooden box, the one that is held together with a rubber band and sits at the ready on the counter top, and thought I might give it another go. Quinnie and I licked the warm chocolate from the pot while we waited for them to freeze and, once they were ready, we split one. Then another one. Then a few hours later on the back porch swing in the  golden evening light, another one. Melting chocolate dribbled down her pudge chin and onto her hands, her romper, and the somehow she even managed to get it between her toes. Tastiest toes I've ever had.

You see, Quinlan is my Summer Girl. Born in late spring, she spent her first few months of life on the back porch, in her Moses basket, laying on a sheet in the shade of the backyard. Even on the fussiest of days, a quick trip to the porch swing and she was instantly soothed, eyelids growing heavier by the second, perhaps going to dream of the day when she might go to town on an ice cream sandwich, our latest obsession because it's so delicious no matter what you stick in the middle. And this summer has been no different, she loves to be outside, she will bang on every window and door in the house until someone takes pity on her and releases her from this air conditioned prison. She gets in the pool, plays in the creek, chases birds and rabbits through the yard, coming inside with watermelon juices stained across her belly and sunscreen tangling up her curls. 

And so this year we embrace the homemade frozen treat. Today, THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH. It's going to be a popsicle summer. We can't wait.

Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Adapted from Dinner, a Love Story

Sift together the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar

Then beat in:

1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, blending on low speed until just combined. The dough will be super thick.

Divide it into two pieces and shape each one in an 8-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 6 weeks (flexibility, hi!). 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375. Slice the frozen dough into 1/4 inch rounds, place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes. The edges should be firm with a slightly soft center. Allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.

Smoosh a scoop of your favorite ice cream between two of the cookies for an ice cream sandwich. We used coffee ice cream and it was INSANE. Bitter, spicy, sweet, cold...delicious. Quite grown up, actually. But my friend Kristen ate hers with vanilla ice cream, also declared it INSANE, although she did admit to craving a cuppa coffee along side it. Wherever you heart takes you, go.
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