Ice Cream is the very best way to stay cool during the hot summer. And, not just plain ol' regular ice cream outta the tub. We're talking Homemade Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.
These have a big ol' hunk of cool, creamy, refreshing ice cream sandwiched between two sink-your-teeth-into homemade chocolate cookies. Oh yeahhhhhh... Now we're talking!
Why Most Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches Don't Work
Now, I've attempted to make my own ice cream sandwiches at home many times before.
And, to be completely honest, each time they've been less than stellar. I mean, it's just regular cookies with a scoop of ice cream sandwiched in the middle, right?
Oh no, I was so very wrong. I tried this using my best chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate chip ice cream.
Not only were the cookies way too thick for use in ice cream sandwiches, but the cookies were rock hard when frozen.
Next time I tried, I quickly realized I couldn't quite get the cookie to ice cream ratio right to create a good bite.
Either the cookies slid all over the place when taking a bite and the ice cream shot out the back. Or, the whole thing melted into a soupy mess before I could get a bite in. Ugh!
Discovering the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich Formula
So, I studied up on what types of cookies make for the very best cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
And, I tested out the right cookie to ice cream ratio for the best ice cream sandwich. I tested a few variations and finally nailed it! Hallelujah! Here's what I've learned.
First, the cookies with which you're sandwiching your ice cream need to remain soft when frozen. How, you ask? Well, my friends, I created cookies that are thin enough to bite into in sandwich form.
And, I needed said cookies to actually soften as they freeze so my guests don't break a tooth trying to take a bite. Cookies that soften as they freeze?! Mind blowing, right?
Now, this requires a couple of important to-dos on your part. First, follow the cookie recipe below to achieve the perfect cookie for ice cream sandwich assembly.
These cookies contain the right proportion of liquid and dry ingredients (hello, brown sugar!) that allow them to actually soften as they freeze.
Next, assemble the ice cream sandwiches and allow them to freeze for a little while before eating. I know, what a bummer, right?
The good news is, with some planning ahead, this becomes very easy to achieve. (And, you may want to have a scoop of ice cream for a snack while you're assembling to tide you over till these are ready. Just sayin'.)
Finding the right Ice Cream-to-Cookie Ratio
Another critical step in this ice cream sandwich making process is ensuring your ice cream is properly prepared for assembly to achieve that perfect ratio of cookie to ice cream.
You can always just lay a scoop between the two cookies. Nothing wrong with that.
However, the method outlined below produces evenly sized ice cream sandwiches with the right ratio of ice cream to cookie and it produces smooth edges to your sandwich.
These babies become much more appealing to the eye when assembled like this and the smooth edges allow you to add toppings around the edges evenly, if you so choose.
See below in the 'Tips' section for a how-to on creating even ice cream rounds for your ice cream sandwiches.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- The first step in making any recipe is to read through the recipe completely at least twice before you begin. This Ice Cream Sandwich recipe should be no exception to that. There are lots of steps – you’ll want to know what lies ahead and, more importantly, you’ll want to be prepared so everything goes smoothly. For example, you don’t want to get to the part where you need to allow the cookie dough to chill for two hours before baking without having thought through the timing (aka, you wanted to have these ice cream sandwiches prepared for your backyard bbq two hours from now!).
- In order to create cookies and ice cream rounds that are the same size, I recommend using a 3-inch cookie cutter with a handle for this recipe. Some may refer to this as a biscuit cutter. In this case, it's a cookie and ice cream cutter, thank you very much! The handle will allow you to press down into the ice cream and pull the cookie cutter back out without having to make a big ol' mess. Trust me on this
- For a tutorial on how to prepare the ice cream to be sandwiched between the cookies, check out this link from Bon Appetit. The ice cream needs to first be scooped out of its container and softened. This is done by cutting it into small pieces, then mixing it with a wooden spoon until it smoothes out. Next the ice cream is placed in a baking dish lined with plastic wrap and smoothed into an even layer. Then you freeze it again! This ensures the ice cream used to fill your ice cream sandwiches are equal in size. And, they'll look pretty, too!
Useful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
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If you are an ice cream lover like me, try one of my homemade ice cream recipes in these Ice Cream Sandwiches!
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 pints ice cream any flavor
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and 2½ cups flour.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium and add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until very fluffy, about 30 seconds.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, beating just until combined (use a to incorporate any dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl).
- Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap, pressing down to form into ½”-thick disks. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Roll out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper into a large ⅛"-thick rectangle (about 16x12"), dusting lightly with more flour as needed.
- Use a 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can fit, then use a thin metal spatula to transfer rectangles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1" apart. (If at any point the dough becomes too soft and sticky, slide dough with parchment onto a baking sheet and chill until firm.)
- Chill dough on baking sheet while you repeat the process with the second disk of dough.
- You should end up with approximately 30 cookies total. Save scraps for another use or discard.
- Bake, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until edges are firm, 12–15 minutes.
- Let cool on baking sheets. Turn half of cookies over so the flat side is facing up.
Prepare the Ice Cream:
- Remove both pints of ice cream from containers (just peel away container if it’s paper, or use a rubber spatula to help slide ice cream out intact if container is plastic).
- Cut ice cream into 2” pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Scrape ice cream into chilled pan and smooth into an even layer with a small off-set spatula.
- Freeze uncovered until firm, 15–20 minutes.
Assemble Ice Cream Sandwiches:
- Remove ice cream from freezer, unwrap, and invert onto a cutting board; remove pan and peel off plastic.
- Working quickly so ice cream doesn’t melt, press cookie cutter straight down into ice cream.
- Working with 1 round of ice cream at a time, use a thin metal spatula to place it on a flat-side-up cookie and top with a right-side up cookie.
- Transfer sandwiches to a rimmed baking sheet set in the freezer as you work.
- Freeze sandwiches until ice cream is hard, about 2 hours.
- Cover tray with plastic wrap and freeze at least another 8 hours (This allows the cookies to soften so they are easier to bite into).
- Do Ahead: Cookie dough can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled. Cookies can be baked 1 week ahead; transfer to a resealable plastic bag and freeze. Ice cream can be made and prepared 1 week ahead; keep frozen in pan. Sandwiches can be assembled 5 days ahead; keep frozen
- Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.com
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