At this fantastic Cape Cod wedding earlier this summer, we were treated to the most satisfying and easy to eat late-night dessert: the ice cream cookie sandwich. I've been awaiting the perfect opportunity to make ice cream cookie sandwiches and finally did for a Labor Day BBQ at my parent's house in Palmer Lake.
I have made ice cream sandwiches in the past (Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl) but these were simpler and tastier. The chocolate chip cookie recipe I used comes from Alexandra's Kitchen and is my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. These are delicious. Make them! Better yet, make a batch and freeze 3/4 of them in ready-to-go balls in your freezer so you can bake off amazing cookies on demand (unless, of course, your husband eats the dough balls periodically without you knowing....).
Back to the ice cream cookie sandwiches! Due to time constraints and, let's face it, practicality, I used store-bought chocolate ice cream to fill my sandwiches. I am sure these would be even better with homemade ice cream and next time I'll make a point to make them completely homemade. After freezing the sandwiches, I put each one in a wax paper sandwich bag. I ordered the plain bags before I discovered these bags with chevron stripes (love!) or these with bright stripes or dots were an option. Next time, next time. They were a huge hit and were ready to be served the day before the party. The cookie sandwiches would be delicious served with vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate chip or sweet cream ice cream, too (the possible combinations are numerous).
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield = 16 ice cream sandwiches
Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Alexandra's Kitchen
Yield = 32 cookies
10¾ oz unsalted butter (1 1/3 cups)
10¼ oz light brown sugar (1½ cups packed)
7¾ oz granulated sugar (1 cup)
2 large eggs
1 T. pure vanilla extract
17 oz unbleached all-purpose flour (3¾ cups)
1¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl, beat again on high for one minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended, about another minute on medium-high speed. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together in separate bowl. Add to butter mixture and combine with a spatula or wooden spoon until just blended. Add the chocolate chips and stir till combined. The dough will be stiff.
Portion into 32 small balls. The original recipe calls for 1 3/4 oz balls, but I wanted to be sure to have an even number. If you have a digital scale, you can use the 1 3/4 oz size as a guideline. Otherwise, use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. At this stage, you should chill the portioned balls for at least three hours prior to baking the cookies. I was, unfortunately, in a bit of a rush, so I froze mine for 30 minutes and then baked them.
Preheat oven to 375°. Place portioned balls nicely spaced (they will spread) on a baking sheet lined with a piece of parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake the cookies for 8-11 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through cooking. Keep a close watch as you'll want to remove the cookies from the oven when they still look slightly raw—you will think you are removing them too early. The cookies will continue cooking as they sit on the tray out of the oven. Let sit for 5 minutes on tray before removing to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before assembling sandwiches.
Creating the Sandwiches
Once your cookies have cooled, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and ensure you have a place in your freezer to accommodate the baking sheet and the sandwiches that will be placed on it. Scoop ice cream onto the flat side of a cookie -- I found the most effective way was to scrape a thin layer of ice cream, place it on the cookie and repeat. I filled mine about 1/2 inch full of ice cream -- I've seen them filled with an inch of ice cream and it is really up to you. I asked people at the BBQ and they felt that there was enough ice cream. I'd estimate that it was about 3 tbsp of ice cream per cookie. After you have covered the cookie with ice cream, place the flat side of another cookie on top, press slightly (but carefully) on the top of the cookie and place it on the baking sheet.
You must work quickly to assemble the sandwiches and it is best to work in batches - create 4-6 sandwiches (depending on how quickly they are melting) and transfer them to the freezer. You don't want them melting too much or they'll lose their shape as the ice cream melts over the edge of the cookie.
Once you have filled all the cookie sandwiches, freeze for at least 30 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer the sandwiches to the wax paper bag or wrap them in plastic wrap.