This is a guest article by my dear friend Meagan.
One of the quirks I share with my boyfriend is an inordinate fondness for buying iced-blended coffee drinks at bookstore cafes and, drink-in-hand, wandering around the store for hours. He likes the late-day caffeine buzz, while I enjoy the icy-chocolaty goodness. However, those prissy coffee drinks can be expensive, and the cost really adds up when it becomes a habit. So, I broke out my blender and experimented with a recipe for a homemade version so we can enjoy this nice treat at home for a lot less!
Before I begin: I learned to cook from my mother, who has a recipe-less “everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink” philosophy on cooking. I follow in her footsteps, so this recipe is written to include everything my taste buds enjoy. It’s perfectly adaptable to whatever you can think of that you’d like to add to a coffee drink, as long as the ratio of coffee : cream : frozen stuff : “filler” stays roughly the same. It can also be increased or decreased to the number of servings you want; this recipe makes roughly 3 servings.
Here’s what you’ll need:
~ 2 c. coffee
~ 2 c. ice cream (I used cheap grocery-store brand cookies ‘n’ cream for $2 per 1/2 gallon)
~ 1 square or packet unsweetened chocolate
~ 1 tablespoon or so of vanilla extract/flavoring
~ a few shots of Kahlua (but only if you have a D.D.)
~ some ice
Brew some coffee ahead of time and throw it in the fridge or freezer to chill. I’m a massive chocoholic, so I even used chocolate-flavored coffee for this. You don’t have to add cream or sugar to it, since we’re going to add plenty later on. Once it’s cooled down somewhat, add two cups of it to your blender.
Add about the same amount of ice cream to your blender. I used 2 cups of coffee, so I added about 2 cups of ice cream as well.
(If you prefer icy drinks to creamy ones or are dieting, you can absolutely substitute ice for ice cream. But in this case, you’ll have to add some cream or milk to your mixture, probably a cup or so, to cream-up your milk and add some sugar content to sweeten the chocolate you’ll be adding later. I’ve also heard that sweetened condensed milk can be used, although I haven’t personally tried it… I’d love to hear from someone who’s willing to experiment!)
Add a tablespoon or so of vanilla extract, as well as your unsweetened chocolate. Don’t worry that it’s not sweetened; the sugar in the ice cream will more than make up for it. This step is optional and/or can be amended to your tastes.
(A lot of my friends don’t know about this, so I thought I’d throw it in: For the novice bakers out there, Nestle makes unsweetened chocolate that comes pre-melted in packets instead of squares. These are a godsend and a staple of any baker’s kitchen! You don’t have to melt them before using them, and therefore you don’t have to worry about scalding your chocolate in the midst of your baking. Also, 1 packet = 1 square, so it’s mathless. Trust me, it’s well worth keeping a box on-hand at all times if you do any cooking at all!)
A combination of a warm kitchen and already-soft ice cream made my mixture a little runny, so I added some ice to the blender. Not much, maybe 2 handfuls… just enough to make it icy again!
Now, here comes the fun part! If you want an alcoholic drink, add a few shots of a liquor of your choice to your blender. I used Kahlua on the first round, but mixed Kahlua + Bailey’s Irish Cream + a touch of Malibu (because dear god, I love Malibu in everything!) on the second round later on in the evening. These guys don’t add a lot of liquor-flavor to the drink; they just help make the existing flavors a little richer.
Once you tweak it to your tastes, pour into a glass and serve with a straw!
And there you go…A tasty, caffeinated, chocolicious beverage for those warm summer evenings!