This Sunday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (why does this exist). In honour of this ridiculous holiday, I’ve decided to try out two things I’ve always wanted to do: making my own ice cream, and then sandwiching it between two home-baked cookies. Technically I think the “national” part is referring to the States, but us Canadians can borrow it.
I got my boyfriend this little ice cream maker as a birthday present last year and ever since I’ve been thinking up ideas for flavours. I won’t bore you with all of them, but I thought peanut butter, root beer and pistachio would all do nicely. I was so excited to put it to the test, but come cooking time I was missing a piece so ended up using store-bought ice cream that I melted down into a baking sheet and cut into shapes once frozen. I know, not as exciting, I’m also disappointed. But I’m still planning on making ice cream soon and you can use whatever recipe/flavour you want for this.
Since I was going to be sandwiching (apparently this is my new favourite verb) the ice cream, I decided to go the simple route and avoid any overly creative flavours. Plain vanilla worked fine, and it gives you the option to use candy, sprinkles and chocolate chips as coating. I was hoping to show a bit more of the coating I had planned like shredded coconut, skor bits, etc. but the photos turned out to be a pain with the heat wave going on in Toronto (note the melted ice cream).
Makes roughly 8 sandwiches
- 4 cups of any homemade or store-bought ice cream of your choice
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. instant coffee
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4+ tbsp. water
For the cookies:
IF MAKING YOUR OWN: Follow the instructions on the ice cream maker. Each one will vary, but it will most likely say that you have to put the bowl of the machine in the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours. Your recipe won’t work otherwise so don’t try to shorten the time to 2 hours and cry when you have a sweet puddly mess.
Get ice cream to a room-temperature level. Pour into a clean, non-stick baking sheet, and stick in the freezer. If you want taller sandwiches, pick a container with high sides such as Tupperware or casserole dishes.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar with electric beaters for 2 minutes until well mixed. Add baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Mix in 1 cup of the flour, using your hands if necessary, followed by 2 tablespoons of water, and then add the remaining 1 cup flour and another 2 tablespoons of water, mixing well until no dry ingredients remain. Make sure the flour is mixed in each time before adding the water; I made this mistake, and had to pick out white bits of doughy flour that had become gummy. Once mixed, the dough should be soft and consistent—add one or two more tablespoons of water if needed.
On a lightly floured surface, turn out half the dough and roll it to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut dough into 3-inch squares. Feel free to use cookie cutters for fun shapes as well.
Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a thin skewer, poke an even pattern of holes on each cookie’s surface. After a few trial-and-error ones, I worked out that 16 was my magic number. You’ll figure yours out. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps as you work. Place sheets of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.
Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until tops are matte and cookies are just set. Try not to overbake, or you won’t achieve that chewiness in classic ice cream sandwich cookies.
Remove from oven and let cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to cooling racks to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze cookies until ready to use.
To assemble sandwiches, remove ice cream from freezer and cut into 3-inch squares or the shape of whatever cutter you used. Place each ice cream piece between two chilled cookies, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer until ready to eat. You can get creative and roll each one in coatings just as candy, sprinkles, coconut, mini chocolate chips, etc.
— Veronica Sheppard (@RonnieSheppard) July 31, 2015