Line a 9-inch round baking pan with foil. Spread softened ice cream in pan. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze about 2 hours or until firm.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine chocolate and coffee crystals. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour by hand. Divide dough into two equal parts.
Stir chocolate mixture into one portion of dough. Stir chopped almonds into remaining dough.
Shape each portion of dough into a log that is 2 inches in diameter and about 4 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper; chill 5 to 24 hours. Cut each log into 1/4-inch thick slices. (Or, omit shaping dough into logs and simply wrap and chill dough 1 to 2 hours or until easy to handle. Roll chilled dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter.)
Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Place cookie rounds 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use a meat mallet to gently create a design on top of each cookie. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Transfer cookies to wire rack; let cool.
Remove plastic wrap or waxed paper from ice cream. Lift the ice cream from pan using the foil. With a 2-inch scalloped or round cutter, cut out 12 rounds of ice cream. Place an ice cream round on the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side toward ice cream. Wrap each ice cream sandwich securely in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours . Makes 12 ice cream sandwiches.
Prepare as directed above. Cover and wrap for freezing for 2 weeks.