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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Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate, Cinnamon and Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summer came and hit us all in the head this weekend – I must say, there wasn’t much of a Junuary this year, which is a good thing, and a bad thing.  Of course we had our share of rainy days, but nothing like our normal kick-off to summer vacation.  I am sitting here typing at almost 8pm, sweating bullets in my non-air conditioned home, where the temperature on the thermostat is reading 83 degrees (and that is on the main floor, it is hotter upstairs).  Ok, yes, I am officially a wimp.  After almost 18 years in Seattle – I have forgotten what it is like to live with hot weather.  The funny thing is each summer when we travel back-east for the summer grandparent tour – if it is not in the 90s, I am disappointed.  But I am usually on vacation at that time, and most places have AC…unlike here.

Last night my husband and I had a date night – it was the first in many weeks, and we were really looking forward to it.  We decided to try a new place – a new restaurant opened by a Chef/Restaurateur that we really love – it got a lot of local hype, and the space and menu looked amazing.  The space was even more beautiful in person, really high ceilings, more of a modern rustic feel, and extremely bright – but when we got there our table wasn’t ready so we decided to sit at the bar.  This was actually the highlight of our meal.  The bartender did a really nice job with the drinks – the bar was not extensive, which again proves, you don’t need a lot to make really good drinks.  The problem was the bar stools were too low – and the counter came up to my upper chest.  I felt like a kid.  If it wasn’t for that, we probably would have just eaten at the bar (which is definitely something we love to do), but I didn’t think I could comfortably eat my meal – so we waited for our table to be ready.  45 minutes after our reservation, they finally sat us.  If we were not paying for a babysitter, it probably would have been fine – but the one drink they took off the bill, didn’t really make it even.

The biggest disappointment was the food – although it tasted good, it was not noteworthy – I would rather eat my husband’s chicken on the egg any day of the week – and the pork he had was fine, but nothing to write home about.  Even though we had 2 appetizers and 2 main courses, we were still hungry at the end of the meal.  At that point we were both sweating – there was no air-conditioning (which is not uncommon), and the delay in getting our table and the slow service afterwards just made things a bit worse.  There was no way we were waiting for dessert – especially when the 3 choices didn’t really appeal to us.

So, what is the best dessert for a hot summer’s night – what would have actually gotten me to sit there longer and endure the heat and slow service?  Definitely these ice-cream sandwiches from Bon Appetit.  We changed the recipe slightly to appeal to our cinnamon loving tastes – and all I can say is WOW.  The cookies are on the softer side, so they are perfect for ice-cream sandwiches, and that coffee ice-cream with that chocolate and cinnamon cookie, it is exactly what this summer weather needs.  Who needs air-conditioning when you can cool off with a summer treat like these.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 60%–72% cacao), chopped
  • 3  tablespoons  unsalted  butter
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking  powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine  sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground  cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla  extract
  • 1 quart coffee ice cream

Preparation

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds  of oven; preheat to  325°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine chocolate and  butter in a medium heatproof bowl; set over a medium saucepan of simmering  water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Combine almonds, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a  food processor. Pulse until almonds are finely ground.  Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a  medium bowl until pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture in 3  additions, mixing well between additions. With motor running, gradually add dry  ingredients; mix well.  Scoop out a rounded tablespoonful  of dough. Use another spoon  to help push dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to  make 27 more portions, dividing between sheets and spacing dough 1-inch apart.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops begin to  crack and cookies are set, 12–14 minutes (don’t overcook; cookies will firm up  as they cool). Transfer cookies  to wire racks and let cool completely.

DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight  at room temperature.

Place a large scoop of ice cream on flat side of 1 cookie. Top  with another cookie, flat side down; press down lightly. Freeze on a baking  sheet while preparing remaining sandwiches. Repeat with remaining cookies and  ice cream.

DO AHEAD: Ice cream sandwiches can be made 30  minutes ahead. Keep frozen until ready to  serve.

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