Grown-Up Ice Cream Sandwiches
The current weather: One bazillion degrees, with equal humidity and an excellent chance of thundercrackers. All across America.
Looks like it's time for ice cream, boys and girls. It's the only way to forget the barometric pressure and lick our way into oblivion.
Just before the skies opened yesterday, I was paging through "The Perfect Scoop," a new title by pastry chef David Lebovitz, who also writes a lively food blog from Paris.
In addition to all the weird and wonderful flavors of ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt, Lebovitz has included a chapter on "vessels," because as he writes, "Everything in the world deserves a proper, final nesting place."
My eyes locked on the page for ice cream sandwich cookies. Now there's something I haven't tried at home. I closed my eyes and traveled back to the mid-1970s. Summer on the beach at the Jersey shore, waiting in earnest for Paul the ice cream man. For me, it was a tie between the chocolate-covered on a stick and the sandwich, but mainly for the licking opportunities around the edges. But in all honesty, those ice cream cookies of my youth were gummy and soggy, and not very chocolate-y.
Excited about the prospect of real ice cream sandwich cookies, I quickly got to work, and the recipe is a real cinch. I even substituted the lower-fat Earth Balance shortening with terrific results. The hardest part was shaping the cookies so that they'd be similar in size, which gets a whole lot easier if you use a round cookie cutter.
The finished product is a tantalizing mix of fudge and shortbread, with a welcome note of salt. They were good enough to eat all by their lonesome, so I really needed to act fast and decide on a frosty filling
There was not enough time to make ice cream, which requires about eight hours of chilling time for the custard, but there was enough time for frozen yogurt. The beauty of making your own frozen yogurt is the absence of stovetop cooking and only about two hours of pre-ice cream maker chill time.
I deliberated between vanilla and coffee, ultimately deciding on the latter when I realized I still had cold-brew coffee concentrate in the fridge.
The yogurt couldn't have been easier to make, a simple mixing of all ingredients, a two-hour chill and then churning in the machine. The final result is luscious albeit a little like soft-serve ice cream. This is my lesson learned along the way -- let the yogurt sit in the freezer overnight young lady, or else you'll have melted ice cream sandwiches.
Oh well. They were wonderful for breakfast. No, they weren't wonderful. They were OUTRAGEOUS.
Chop-chop. There's no time to spare. This one's a serious keeper.
Recipes below the jump.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies
From "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (KOD note: I substituted equal amounts of Earth Balance brand shortening)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Beat together butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients gradually into creamed butter mixture until completely incorporated and there are no streaks of butter.
Form dough into sixteen 1 1/2 -inch rounds. On the baking sheets, flatten rounds so they're 3 inches across, spacing them evenly. You can 8 on a normal 11x17 baking sheet, with 3 going lengthwise down the sides and 2 in the center in between.
Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, then remove from oven.
Once cool, sandwich ice cream between 2 cookies, then wrap each ice cream sandwich in plastic wrap and store in freezer.
Makes 16 cookies, for 8 ice cream sandwiches.
Coffee Frozen Yogurt
From "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature (KOD note: Alternatively, use Â¼ cup cold-brewed coffee concentrate)
1/4 teaspoon finely ground dark roast coffee
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth and well-combined. Pour into a container with a lid and chill for two hours. Freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
May be eaten immediately, but will be more like soft-serve ice cream. To use as part of an ice cream sandwich, put frozen yogurt in freezer for at least two hours to set up.
Makes about 1 quart of frozen yogurt.
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