Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches Are a Great Start to Summer Vacation | Features
One of the best things about summer, especially if you have kids or grandkids, is all the ice cream you eat to cool off, no excuses necessary. And it’s relatively easy to make, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, if you opt for a no-churning recipe in which the whipped cream is gently folded into a sweetened condensed milk enriched with vanilla and other flavorings, like fresh fruit. or spices.
My 2 year old granddaughter Greta’s current favorite is the “pink” ice cream, both colorful and sprinkled with strawberry bits. She also recently discovered ice cream sandwiches and is such a fan that on a recent visit I saw her trying to eat the wrapper after polishing the cookie in an attempt to get every drop of possible flavor in his mouth. .
This made me decide that we should try our hand at making these at home, mixing chocolate cookie dough in a large bowl on the kitchen counter after mixing the ingredients for the ice cream and pouring it in a loaf pan to freeze overnight.
It was a fun way to spend some one-on-one time together, and the joy she expressed when we unpacked “her” finished sandwiches the next day at her baby brother Sean’s christening party was priceless. . My adult children loved them too, as late night snacks.
This recipe, adapted from Smitten Kitchen, is both super easy and super satisfying. I went slightly off script by cutting the pan-sized cookie into individual squares to make the individual sandwiches, which meant that some of my cookies fell apart before they were stuffed. (I didn’t have an offset spatula to smooth the batter.) As a result, the sandwiches weren’t perfect. (I saved the broken pieces to crumble over the ice cream like a sundae). But they were still quite tasty, a great introduction to baking for a toddler – and a great start to anyone’s summer vacation.
HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
For the ice cream
1 pound frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
One 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of fine salt
2 cups heavy cream, cold
For the chocolate sandwich cookies
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold is fine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
3 tablespoons milk, any type
1 large egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa)
Prepare the ice cream: Process the strawberries in a food processor until they form small pieces the size of peas. Add condensed milk, vanilla and salt. Pulse to combine then remove to a medium bowl and set aside.
Whip cream with mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gently fold about 1 cup of whipped cream into strawberry mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold light mixture into whipped cream until combined.
Pour mixture into a chilled 9 x 5 x 3-inch metal loaf pan and freeze, covered in foil or plastic wrap, until thick and creamy, like soft custard, about 2 hours. Stir in any desired mixtures with a spoon, if using. Continue to freeze, covered, until solid and scoopable, at least hours more or overnight.
Make cookies: Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a 9 x 13 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper that spans both short sides of pan. Coat the exposed sides with butter or nonstick spray. (A little more under the parchment helps it stick.)
Melt the butter halfway in a large bowl, then whisk until completely melted. (This keeps it from getting too hot.) Whisk together sugar, salt and milk. Whisk egg white and vanilla; make sure the egg white is well mixed; it can be stubborn. Add cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well. Add the flour and stir until it disappears.
Pour into prepared pan in small dollops and spread – an offset spatula is great here – in a thin, even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Let cool, then cut into squares.
Prepare sandwiches: before unmolding, let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Divide cookies in half. Scoop the ice cream in small dollops over half of the cookies and spread evenly. Press second cookie half, right side up, on top of each cookie. Gently press into sandwiches, then wrap in plastic wrap or foil and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour to set. Otherwise, they will melt.
Makes about 12 ice cream sandwiches.
— Adapted from smittenkitchen.com