DIY: Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Finally the weather gods are smiling on the good citizens of Ontario. When the warm weather is upon us, our culinary inclinations turn to the great outdoors; to snack foods that are easily transportable via the cooler to parks and beaches, to fresh fruit and vegetables ready to be eaten raw or grilled along side burgers and steaks, and to cooling beverages and ice cream, yes, summer definitely screams for ice cream. And one of our favourite ways to make sure we are getting the necessary amounts of the stuff is to stuff it into a sandwich.

But I’m never super impressed with the average utilitarian ice-cream sandwich. The cookie/cake that holds it together is often too soft and weirdly sticky, there isn’t much variety, and the so-called gourmet ice-cream sandwiches are either gonna break your back or break the bank. Why not make your own? This way you can choose your favourite cookie recipe to act as the biscuit portion of the sandwich, and fill it with your favourite ice cream flavours. And while you’re at it, you can make them as large or as small as you want in the time it takes to make a batch of cookies.

 

Flatten the dough onto the pan...

Flatten the dough onto the pan…

 

Think of the possibilities! Your favourite crunchy peanut butter cookie recipe stuffed with chocolate ice cream, maybe a little banana mashed into the ice-cream. Or chocolate cookies with strawberry ice cream, or neopolitan. How about a ginger snap cookie with pistachio? See how much fun this is? You could also fill your sandwiches with Yonanas vegan ice cream or how about some water buffalo ice cream from Hope Artisan Dairy? If you’re feeling slightly more ambitious, how about making your own ice cream with this super simple ice-cream that doesn’t require an ice cream maker?

 

Bake for 20 minutes...

Bake for 20 minutes…

After whipping up you’re cookie dough, lay a piece of parchment paper on your cookie sheet. Press your cookie dough onto the sheet, flattening it down to about 1/3 of an inch. Leave about an inch and a half around the perimeter as the dough will expand as it cooks. Basically you are making a giant, rectangular cookie, and it takes a little longer for this to bake. The recipe for chocolate cookies that I used makes 3 dozen small cookies and called for a baking time of 10-12 minutes, but the giant cookie took twenty minutes.

Cut and let cool...

Cut and let cool…

You will want to cut the cookie into sandwich-sized pieces while it is still warm, but not hot. After taking the cookie out of the oven, let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer it to a cutting board. You can use another baking sheet of the same size to assist with the transfer; place the second sheet on top of the cookie and, grasping firmly, flip both over. Remove the original sheet and the parchment paper and slide the cookie onto a cutting board. Cut five or six vertical slices and one horizontal slice down the middle. Let the cookies cool completely; now would be a good time to take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften a bit so it easy to work with. When the cookies are totally cooled and the ice-cream has tempered but not melted, take a teaspoon and scoop the ice-cream onto the “bottom side” of one cookie. Use as much as you want, this is your deal! Take the other cookie and place on top, and evenly and firmly squeeze down with three fingers of each hand, so the top cookie doesn’t break. Use a spatula to clean up any dribbles. Make one cookie at a time and place on a plate in the freezer. When frozen, wrap with cling wrap.

 

Go for it!

Go for it!

Here is the recipe I used for my sandwiches. If you use a 9×13 pan you may have a little dough left over, which you can save, or make a few extra bonus cookies out of.

Chocolate chip cookie dough

Makes 6 large sandwich cookies or 12 small

¼ lb butter

½ cup sugar

¼ brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

1 C (6 oz) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butters and sugars til fluffy, beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, add to egg mix and combine well. Fold in chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press dough into pan, making as even a rectangle as possible. Leave a perimeter of about 1.5  inches around the dough. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before proceeding as described.

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