Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’m a closet baker. I love to do it, but you’d probably never know because our house is rarely filled with the sweet, scrumptious aroma of some finger-licking sweet treat rising away in the oven. SM’s idea of dessert is a jar of pickles. (Not one of my favorite characteristics of The Beau.) Alas, I rarely bake because if I do, there’s no one to help me eat it. And for the sake of my favorite jeans, that’s just a bad thing.

I was able to feed the baking bug at my last job. Once a month, the office would come to a screeching halt and everyone would congregate in the conference room to celebrate the birthdays of the month with crappy Safeway cake and ice cream. It wasn’t long before someone figured out that I liked to cook, and the next month I made the cakes instead. It was fantastic – I got a chance to try recipes and there were people who wanted to eat them!

My first month I was a little apprehensive; I hadn’t worked there long, and I hadn’t made the cake recipe before. To boot, I was told one of the birthday honorees was Scottish and he took advantage of his birthday to celebrate his heritage wearing a kilt. A coworker asked that I please, please make a cake that would celebrate Scottish-ness. I actually contemplated piping out icing in the guy’s family plaid onto a sheet cake. Fortunately, that aspiration didn’t last very long. I ended up making a triple layer lemon blueberry pound cake with cream cheese frosting, and depicted the Scottish flag out of blueberries. It was quite a site! (Unfortunately, no one took a picture.)

So I take the cake into the office, stomach filled with butterflies, and the party begins. We all sing Happy Birthday and the Scottish birthday boy is sort of looking a little perplexed. Someone comments on his beautiful cake and doesn’t he love how we’re celebrating him. The conversation goes something like this:

Birthday boy: Yes, it’s a nice cake. Is it some sort of nautical symbol?
Coworker: No! It’s the flag of your motherland! The flag of Scotland!
Birthday boy: I’m Irish.

I all I can say is thank goodness he would still eat the cake.

That month I also made my famous ice cream sandwiches, because I knew even if the cake was a flop, I could redeem myself with these babies. Even with the cake tasting pretty delicious, the sandwiches went like hotcakes. And they were hands down the most requested birthday treat of my office birthday baking tenure.

These are an easy (and fun) dessert that’s perfect for a fun celebration. You can make pretty much any flavor of cookie, and mix it with any complimenting flavor of ice cream. The first time I made these, I ended up sandwiching about 80 ice cream sandwiches for an engagement picnic we threw for our good friends. They went like hotcakes.

Here are the tricks:

  • Make the cookies all about the same size. When they have cooled, match them up in pairs that are about the same size and shape.
  • Freeze the cookies for a half hour or so ahead of time so they don’t break during assembly.
  • Thaw the ice cream so it’s slightly softened – it’s much easier to squish the sandwiches into a neat, uniform width.
  • Wrap them individually in foil or wrap and stock them in the freezer, even if you have a ton of them, they don’t take up much room since you can stick them in all the crevices and little (useless) freezer door shelves.

I had a batch of my chocolate-chocolate-chocolate chip cookies staring up at me, and a gallon of my favorite peppermint stick ice cream in the freezer, begging to be united. The result? About as yummy as it gets. Even SM traded in the pickle jar for one tonight! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Click here to print this recipe.
From: Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
Time to prepare: 90 minutes

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces white chocolate chips
8 ounces bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well.

Add the cocoa and mix again.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, then add to the chocolate mixer slowly on low speed until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a tablespoon.

Bake for 13 – 14 minutes. The cookies will look underdone.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes:

Baking is all about precision. Be sure to soften the butter to room temperature, and bring the eggs to room temperature. Incorporating them into the batter at a different temperature will alter the final product.

To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, freeze the cookies for about 30 minutes, and soften the ice cream slightly. Using a large ice cream scoop, drop one full scoop onto a cookie and sandwich a similar sized cookie on top, pressing down slightly. Roll the sandwiches in sprinkles or mini chocolate chips to decorate, if desired. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze.

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1 comment

  1. Sue December 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm Reply

    I would like to add my vote supporting this fabulous dessert treat. Under Amy’s phone-guidence, I made 3 kinds of cookies, bought 3 kinds of favorite ice creams and made a huge mix ‘n match batch of the yummiest dessert ever to hit the Baby Shower scene. My gal pals, who frequently hold back on the calories, were knocking each other over to grab an ice cream cookie sandwich (or 2) off of my fancy-dancy baby shower plate. Dad was quite worried that there would not be any left – but I had made a zillion of them and he was happily fed from the freezer for weeks! Love ya – Mom
    PS NO ONE remembers what I cooked that day for lunch, but they all remember dessert!

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