October 2, 2015
You guys, I totally missed National Coffee Day! I had it on my editorial calendar as October 1 (yes, I have an ed calendar even though I hardly ever manage to stick to it) and then with all my packing and running around I haven’t been on Instagram and it passed me by completely. I was devastated for a couple of minutes (I didn’t get to party with other over-caffienators!!!!), but then I decided to turn it into an opportunity: September 29 was Coffee Day, but I hereby declare October 1 to be National ICED Coffee Day, so, turns out, my post is right on time.
And do I have some deliciousness for you today! Last summer I happened upon this doughnut shop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and had the best iced coffee of my life. Which is saying something as the first thing I do when I hit a town is ask the locals where the best iced coffee and shoe stores are (my husband LOVES traveling with me). The secret to Coloradough’s icy goodness? These crazy iced cubes, made not from the coffee cubes we so often see, but from cream and sugar!
OMG. It’s like the coffee started out lovely enough, but then it just kept getting better and better as the ice melted until I was literally licking the sides of the cup. I went back the next day to get another one and THEY WERE SOLD OUT. And then I went back this summer, after thinking about it for six months, and THEY NO LONGER MAKE THEM. You want to see a broken heart in action? Check out a grown woman, drowning her sorrows in doughnuts to make up for her iced coffee sadness (the donuts did an excellent job, by the way).
The good thing is I figured out how to make it at home. It’s been a lot of trial-and-error, but I am committed because this is something I’m truly passionate about and, heaven forbid, your cubes come out mushy.
A couple of things I’ve learned along the way:
- Make sure your iced coffee is cold to start with, otherwise it melts the cubes on contact and the party’s over before it starts.
- Don’t forget to mix your concentrate with water (like I did in the above photo, whoops) because all your hard work will fall apart from the bitterness of the concentrate.
- You’re going to want to take the lazy girl route and just mix some half and half with sugar or simple sugar. This is a terrible idea. It makes for mushy cubes, which is not the end of the world, but close. Stay the course!
- Your waistline is going to tell you this is a once-in-awhile treat. She is wrong and is a bossy little gal who is probably best quieted with a donut.
Don’t you think this would be totally amazing for a baby shower or a brunch with friends or a morning pick-me-up after your kids have been fighting over the same stuffed animal all morning, even though there are clearly 1700 other ones they could choose from?
Iced Coffee Cubes
This looks hard and like a lot of steps, but, I promise, it’s totally easy!
- 2 cups half and half
- ⅓ cup sugar
- dash of vanilla (optional)
1. Heat up half and half with sugar and vanilla on the stove to boiling point, stirring the entire time. (You’re going to want to skip the stirring step and unload the dishwasher but that’s a bad idea as then your milk will probably burn. Not that I know that from experience.)
2. Once it’s boiling, turn down heat to simmer and leave for ten minutes (okay, now you can go do the dishwasher).
3. Take off heat and let cool fully. Pour through sifter to get rid of chunky bits from boiling (“chunky bits” is a highly technical term).
4. Pour into ice cube tray (two cups fills one tray to perfection) and freeze overnight.
5. Add to your favorite iced coffee and send me well wishes.
Photos by Erica Bean Photography.