In 2006, just weeks after launching my internet food blog, I shared the recipe for Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies I had made for a rooftop birthday party for a close friend. What could go wrong with a batch of delicious, oversized cookies and a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer? Several things. First, cookies in the freezer can become so hard that they will break your teeth. The ice cream sandwiches you make and don’t return to the freezer after filling them melt too quickly, mostly down your arms, which delights the bugs around but maybe not anyone else. It’s important to note that no ice cream or cookies were wasted, but we all thought it was a bit much. I didn’t learn my lesson and made the same mistake a few years later, with a slightly softened, but not enough, soft cookie. It was still so much work that I hadn’t made them since. I have also made them using brownies and salty caramel crackers. Both were delicious, but I wanted the classic American ice cream sandwich at home.
After 15 years, I am taller, more competent, and more experienced in the kitchen. After making my family and friends suffer through endless ice cream sandwiches over the past few months, I’ve finally developed the recipe that I hope will be the last one we ever need or want.
This recipe is perfect for several reasons: we’re making an ice cream-filled cookie in a single 9×13 pan. It’s secretly half a cake. So when you bite into it, it won’t feel like concrete. This is made in one 9×13 pan. We then cut it in half and used the same pan to add ice cream. Pressing the halves together, we get a medium-sized slab. Once it’s firm, you can cut it into eight perfect-sized or twelve petite-sized (i.e., The size of ice cream sandwiches I like for children is 9×13. Did you read about the “one-bowl-one-pan” part? It takes me less than 20 minutes to make these. I have timed it. This means we’re about to enjoy a summer filled with ice cream sandwiches.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
You can substitute half the cocoa for black chocolate powder, making everything taste and look like Oreos. I use two tablespoons of dark cocoa and two tablespoons of black.
Cold butter is fine. 1/4 cup (or 2 ounces or 55 grams).
Half a cup (100 grams) of Granulated Sugar
14 teaspoon table or sea salt
Milk, any type: 3 tablespoons (45ml)
Egg whites: 1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon
3/4 cup (100 grams) of all-purpose flour
Any cocoa powder (see Note), 1/4 cup (20g)
Vanilla ice cream or any other ice cream you like, 2 1/2 cups
Make the cookie. Line a 9×13-inch cake pan with parchment that extends to the short sides. Butter or nonstick spray the sides that are exposed. It helps to add a little extra under the parchment.
Butter in a large dish should be melted halfway and whisked until thoroughly softened. This will keep the temperature low. Add sugar, milk, and salt. Mix vanilla and egg white; thoroughly mix the egg white, as integrating can be challenging. Mix baking powder, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add the flour and mix until all of it is gone.
Spread the offset spatula thinly and evenly over the pan.
After 15 minutes, transfer the baked goods to a cooling rack. Dock all over the sandwich with a skewer. Let the sandwich cool down completely. It takes 15 minutes to transfer it to the freezer. Transfer your ice cream to the refrigerator for 15 minutes if it is too hard to scoop.
Assemble sandwiches: Use a knife to loosen the cookie from the pan when the cookie is cold. Then, slide the sandwich out using the parchment. Cut in half widthwise. Use the parchment that was used to form the sandwiches. Press the short side’s edge with the cookie’s first half. Place it back into the pan, upside down, over the parchment. Spread the ice cream evenly by scooping small spoonfuls of ice cream all over. Then, press the second cookie, right side up, on top of the ice cream. Place the pan into the freezer and use the parchment paper and sides to keep the ice cream in its cookie shape.
Freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours and ideally overnight.
Finish: After the ice cream has re-solidified, place your ice cream sandwich on a cutting board. Cut it into 8 or 12. You can either eat them or put them back in the freezer.
Plan: Keep ice cream sandwiches in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months. However, some freezers impart a “freezer taste” sooner.