Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches

I don’t know about you guys, but I lost count of how many hours I spent in front of my computer streaming Olympic events this weekend. At one point, between my computer, phone and iPad, I was streaming three different events, plus watching a fourth on the tv in the background. Since NBC isn’t airing most things as they happen, it’s pretty much the only way to ensure the results aren’t spoiled before I can see them.

The only significant time I spent in the kitchen was preparing these ice cream sandwiches. Different versions of this idea have been popping up on blogs like crazy in the past few months and I’ve been itching to make them for a while. They’re so nostalgic, and a fun change of pace from the standard bowls/cones of ice cream we’ve been enjoying this summer.

Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches

The trickiest part of making these ice cream sandwiches, at least for me, was working quickly enough while assembling them to keep the ice cream from melting. Maybe tricky is the wrong word – it just required a lot of patience because I had to keep sliding the ice cream back into the freezer to let it firm up. I took a shortcut and used store-bought ice cream, but maybe I’d have had better luck with homemade. I plan to make them again soon with homemade mint chocolate chip so I guess I’ll find out!

They were worth the effort though; I was really pleased with both the appearance and taste of the finished product. It’s been a while since I’ve had a prepackaged ice cream sandwich, but I’m fairly sure these cookies are thicker than you’d typically find. They don’t get rock hard in the freezer though so you can pull a sandwich out and eat it immediately. And not surprisingly, the flavor is a big improvement over the ice cream sandwiches you unwrapped as a kid :)

Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches

Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
cookies adapted from Tartlette (via Annie’s Eats)

{Note: I made most of my ice cream sandwiches in the classic shape, but I also did a few stars using a cookie cutter and would recommend going the cookie cutter route – it definitely simplified the process.}

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 qt ice cream (homemade or store-bought), softened

Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on opposite sides so you can lift it out afterward. Spread the softened ice cream into an even layer in the pan. Freeze until very firm (the time will vary depending on a lot of factors, but I let mine go about 8 hours).

Meanwhile, make the cookies: Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, oil and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two additions, beating just until a soft dough comes together. Turn the dough out and shape into a disc, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (the dough will still be somewhat soft after chilling).

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough to between 1/4 and 1/8-inch thick. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to about ¼-inch thick. Cut into 2×4-inch rectangles (or really, any shape you want – I did a few with a star-shaped cookie cutter). Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps to cut as many cookies as you can (you may need to bake in two batches). Use a skewer or the tip of your food thermometer to make small holes in the cookies, if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are set (they middles will still feel a bit soft). Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for several minutes on the sheet before removing them to the rack to cool completely.

Match the cookies in pairs by size. Remove the ice cream from the freezer, and use the parchment overhang to lift from the baking pan. Cut into 2×4-inch rectangles (or use whatever cookie cutter you used to cut the cookies) and place on one cookie in each pair. Return to the freezer for a few minutes to harden, them remove the top with the second cookie. Wrap each sandwich individually with plastic wrap.

{Note: The ice cream may soften as you assemble (mine did) – if it does, just pop it back in the freezer for a bit before continuing.}

Makes about 8-10 sandwiches