Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwiches

I can’t believe it has actually been ice-cream weather all summer.  Ice-cream weather is when it is so hot after dinner, that you need something to cool yourself off with before going to bed.  I didn’t have a ton of ice-cream growing up, except for when I spent time at the beach.  The ice-cream man was definitely the highlight of the day.  I swear that music will always go down in history as the music that makes kids go absolutely nuts.  There is almost a panic that goes on – kids running around yelling “ICE-CREAM MAN!!!”, parents frantically trying to find money, and then the mad rush to the truck – just in case they run out.  One of these summers I will need to take a video of the chaos.

But wait…I have another idea.  What if I was the ice-cream man?  What if I got a big cooler, filled it with homemade ice-cream bars, and walked around to the people sitting on the beach.  No music, no panic, no pressure.  That does sound like fun, doesn’t it.  I always envisioned making different cookies, filing them with different ice-cream – your ice-cream sandwich, your way.  But to tell you the truth, that is really not my ideal ice-cream sandwich.  I am a traditionalist when it comes to ice-cream sandwiches – I still absolutely love those vanilla ones with the thin chocolate cookies – am I the only one?  Don’t get me wrong, I have made some delicious (ok, tremendous) ice-cream sandwiches for this blog, but my heart still has a special place for the traditional ones.

So – when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit for Ice-Cream Sandwiches, and saw that the recipe was for making very thin cookies, I could hardly wait.  Of course, when I was done with the cookies, and asked the girls what kind of ice-cream I should use – it was a unanimous vote for mint chip.  I would have actually gone for vanilla, but I have to admit, mint chip sounded pretty darn good.  Wow, these were definitely the real deal.  They were chocolaty, slightly crunchy but soft at the same time, and just the perfect wrapper for the mint chip.  I think I could do pretty well on the beach with these – hey, a girl can dream, right?

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking  soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher  salt
  • 6  tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light  corn syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure  vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sour  cream
  • 1 pint ice cream (any flavor)

Preparation

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium  bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and corn syrup in another  medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla;  beat until combined.

Reduce mixer speed to low, add dry ingredients, and mix until  just combined. Mix in sour cream. Form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick square, wrap  tightly in plastic, and chill until firm, 2–3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of  parchment to about 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough (still between parchment)  to a large baking sheet and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes. Remove top  sheet of parchment (it will come away easily if dough is well chilled) and trim  to a 14×10-inch rectangle. Bake cookie until dry and just set at edges, 8–10  minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cookie cool.

Trim cookie to a 12×9-inch rectangle, then cut into twelve  3-inch squares. Scoop ice cream into a medium bowl and mix just until softened,  2–3 minutes. Turn 6 cookies bottom side up. Dividing evenly, scoop ice cream on  top and flatten slightly; top with remaining cookies, pressing down gently.  Place sandwiches on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm, at  least 4 hours. Cut sandwiches in half on a diagonal to make triangles. Wrap in  parchment, if desired, and freeze until ready to serve.

DO AHEAD: Ice cream sandwiches can be  made 1 week ahead. Keep frozen.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry season is in full swing here in Seattle, the farmer’s markets are packet with all different varieties.  We even have cherry trees in our back yard, although it is always a race to get them before the crows do.  Unfortunately they don’t mind eating them when they are not so ripe – and we are always waiting until they are perfect to pick.  Every year we lose – don’t you think that after a while we would learn?  This year I decided to support the local farmers instead.

Where do I start with cherries – there is just so much to talk about.  When I was younger, cherry was my absolutely favorite flavor for just about everything – we are talking about that fake cherry flavor.  I hated real cherries – in fact, I am not sure I even had a real cherry until I was well into my 30s.  The cherries they use in Shirley Temples do not count – and I hated those – because they were close to real cherries.  I still am not a huge real cherry fan, but love the flavor – and the color.  The other weekend I ordered a drink that came with a real cherry on the bottom – no, I didn’t order a Shirley Temple at a restaurant, as much as I love them.  This was called the Corpse Revival #2, and was actually pretty decent.  I almost ate the cherry, but them remembered that there was probably a pit – which scared me off.  My husband popped it in his mouth – and would you believe there was no pit?  I have no idea how they managed to take the pit out without any type of hole – could there be such a thing as a pitless cherry that is fresh from a tree?  Of course not.

So in walks the cherry pitter.  The invention that can really change lives.  The other week at Book Club, one of the moms brought a bowl of pitted cherries – all the other moms were in awe.  They couldn’t believe there was such thing as a cherry pitter that was so easy to use and actually worked.  One of them said it was life changing.  So – even though I would never think about eating a real cherry, do you believe that I actually got one of these as a wedding present?  Yes, it is amazing – and pits cherries in a matter of seconds without hurting your hand one bit.  My younger daughter can pop them in her mouth though as fast as I can pit them.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – and with all the hot weather we are having, I knew I had to give it a try.  Plus, it gave me an excuse to use that life changing tool.  I found some beautiful cherries at the farmer’s market, and secretly pitted a bunch without my daughter seeing me.  She thanked me later – because this sorbet was the bees knees.  I am telling you – there is nothing better than a bowl of icy cold sorbet that is naturally flavored with wonderful cherries and grapefruit – and did I mention that undertone of basil?  Wow.

Cherry lover or not – do not waste your time on anything else this weekend.  Oh, and did I mention that when I looked up the recipe online it only got 1 star (exactly why I never look at ratings before I make anything) – that person is obviously on a different planet – one in which all fruit is fake.  These cherries were real and they were spectacular.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in basil; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.

Place cherries in a food processor; process until smooth. Add sugar mixture, grapefruit juice, and lime juice; process until well blended. Strain cherry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Pour cherry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet

Cherry-Grapefruit Basil Sorbet 2