Maple Bourbon Affogatos

It was important to me to post this for you before Thanksgiving. Not because I think you’ll be so enchanted with it that you cancel all pies and serve these instead (though on second thought that’s not a bad idea). No, consider this a gift from me to you as we head into open season for Gloriously Overdoing It. Food. Relatives. Cooking. Travel. Flinging ourselves with abandon into the season of gathering and feasting and hoping to high heaven our pant seams and halos make it out intact.

One of the things I had in common with my late Grandma Jean, aside from a name and a deep love of tiny backyard strawberries, was an unshakeable belief that ice cream could solve most tummy troubles. Ice cream has a way, we observed, of settling down into the cracks between whatever you’ve just overindulged in. (Weirdly, when I was pregnant with Jack, milkshakes were one of the few things that soothed the waves of ick crashing around in my stomach, particularly in the first trimester.)

Which brings us to today. Or rather, a few days from now. Say you’ve got all your ducks (or should I say turkeys HEYO) in a row for the Thanksgiving meal, but beyond that you’ve got nothin’. Sure, Black Friday turkey sandwiches are a given. But you cannot look at another slice of pie. And quite frankly, more than anything, you feel like you need a drink. Or maybe a coffee. Or maybe some ice cream to coolly work its way through your overtaxed tummy. Or just… all of that, please.

Traditionally, an affogato is simply a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of ice cream and is a thing of beauty in its own right. But right now, or soon, what you’ll need is an affogato, but fashion. Enter a hit of maple syrup and a splash of bourbon. You can vary ice cream flavors here — cinnamon or butter pecan would be great (I got lucky and found some Jeni’s honey vanilla this time) — as well as boozes, like spiced rum or even a super-smoky scotch.

I see this as the light at the end of your tunnel; the secret dessert-after-dessert reserved for the people who stay to help clean up and help you finish the wine; the gift you give yourself after a heroic weekend of superhosting. In fact, I’m writing this recipe as a single serving because that’s kind of how I want you to think of it. It’s for you, and if you choose to share in this season of sharing, so much the better.


Maple Bourbon Affogatos
Makes 1 affogato, easily multiplied

  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream

  • 1 shot espresso

  • 1 shot bourbon (I do an ounce for these)

  • 1 teaspoon dark maple syrup

Scoop the ice cream into a glass or mug. Immediately pour over the espresso and bourbon, and drizzle the maple syrup on top.

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