We celebrated Todd's birthday this past Tuesday. He doesn't get into celebrating his birthday the same way I like to celebrate mine. I plan my birthday celebration a couple weeks before my actual birthday and Todd is the opposite....no planning...zip, zilch, nada. We had burgers for dinner (a bacon blue cheese for the birthday boy) and then continued the celebration at the golf course. Preston made me hit a few shots just so he could get a good laugh and Noah is certain that he only needs his 5 and 7 iron to play the game. Stella was driving the cart with me riding shotgun and Todd riding on the back of the cart. She took a really sharp turn that nearly tipped the cart on its side and left Stella swinging out the side of the cart hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life. After we stopped and the cart was still in an upright position, I started laughing and couldn't stop. I just kept seeing Stella in my mind swinging outside of the cart. Poor Stella on the other hand was in tears. We finished the night off brownie ice cream sandwiches, a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, and an episode of Last Man Standing. Happy Birthday Toddy boy! We love you!!
Birthday Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups of ice cream (more or less depending on how thick you want the ice cream layer)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter 2 8-inch square pans. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pans with parchment paper with the parchment overhanging opposite sides a bit. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until full melted. Remove pan from the heat. Add the sugar and stir well. Add the eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder, whisk until blended. Whisk in the salt and flour until batter is smooth. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread it evenly. Give the pans a few quick bangs on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place pans in oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, remove the brownies from pan and chill on wire rack in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Next, line the bottom (again) and the sides that aren't covered with another piece of plastic wrap. You are essentially making a plastic wrap sling. This will make it easier to wrap up the brownie and ice cream.
Place one of the cooled 8-in brownies, top side facing down, in the bottom of the plastic wrap lined pan. Working quickly, cover with ice cream. Use a spatula to smoosh down the ice cream and smooth it out on top. Place the second 8-inch brownie top side up on the ice cream and press down a little (not too much or the ice cream will squish out). Leaving the giant ice cream sandwich in the pan, wrap the ice cream sandwich up with the plastic wrap sling and place in freezer to freeze until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
Remove ice cream sandwich from pan and place on cutting board. Remove plastic wrap and cut into quarters. Cut quarters into strips or squares. Serve immediately. (Oh and a little ganache and flaky salt never hurts!)
I have two favorite brownies and these are one of them. I have yet to do a side by side taste test to determine if there is a clear winner. I make these most often because they are so quick to make.
Brownie recipe slightly adapted (and doubled) from Delancey: A Man, a Women, a Restaurant, a Marriage