Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches, found over at Smitten Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

When Nance suggested this recipe, I was COMPLETELY on board. I love a good ice cream sandwich, and since the weather turned brain-meltingly hot, I’ve been eating Mayfield ice cream sandwiches because they are gooooood. But the day I made this recipe, I started off in a rotten mood because it was MOTHERFUCKING HOT AS SHIT and I didn’t want to do anything but lay on the couch under the ceiling fan. But I’d been a slack-ass slacker, putting off making them all week because that’s just how I am, and I needed to get them done. I suspected they were going to be awesome, but before you can eat the finished product you’ve got to MAKE the finished product, and I didn’t wanna. But I did. See? I do and do for you people!

The recipe, as written, has you make the cookie part of the recipe and then while they’re baking, you’re meant to spread your softened ice cream into a baking dish and putting it in the freezer to re-freeze. I opted to do the ice cream part first because I had other shit to do (somehow, the world doesn’t stop turning and kittens don’t stop screaming to be kissed just ’cause I’ve got baking to do.), and I figured that was going to be a pain in the ass, and wanted to get it over with.

So anyway, let your half gallon of ice cream sit on the counter for, oh, half an hour or so? I think I set it out and then vacuumed the house, so maybe more like 45 minutes. Then line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper, dump the ice cream in the baking pan, smooth it out, and put it into the freezer to harden.

By the way, I used Publix vanilla ice cream because (1) it’s damn good, and (2) a lot of the name-brand ice creams have quietly reduced the amount of ice cream in their “half gallon” container so that it’s less than a half gallon. The recipe called for a half gallon, I wanted a damn half gallon.

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I forgot to get a picture of the part where I dumped the softened ice cream in and smoothed it out. You’ll have to use your imagination. I used a plastic spatula.

So then I made the cookie part. These are the ingredients:

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All-purpose flour, special dark Dutch-processed cocoa powder, softened unsalted butter, granulated sugar, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla extract.

Sift the cocoa and flour together into a bowl.

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Then realize that you weren’t supposed to sift it into your mixing bowl, and be all like “Motherfucker!”, and get out another bowl and dump the sifted stuff into that.

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Then toss the butter, sugar, and salt into the mixing bowl and beat it all together ’til it’s light and fluffy.

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Add yolks and vanilla, beat some more, then add the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix until combined.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and divide it into two equal pieces. Now, first of all, I SUCK when it comes to dividing dough into two equal pieces, and then also I knew that I was going to have to roll that shit out and EXCUSE ME NANCE. What the fuck with the using the damn rolling pin all the damn time all of a sudden? First the crackers, now this? This aggression will not stand!

So I divided the dough and I think I did a somewhat decent job of making two equal pieces.

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It’s a really stiff dough, by the way, and apparently if it’s too soft to work with, you should stick it in the fridge for a bit. If you’re under a time crunch, this might not be the recipe for you – on the other hand, you can make the whole thing ahead of time so, you know. Whatever works for you.

Then I had to roll out the dough (NANCE), and while the instructions say to roll each batch into an approximate 10 x 8 inch rectangle, you will see that I clearly said “Fuck this, that looks good enough to me.”

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And then, since I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, I used my round biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies. I think it worked pretty well.

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But THEN, my friends, that is not all. The horror doesn’t end there with the rolling out of the dough and the cutting of the cookies. Then, you’ve gotta poke FUCKING holes in the cookies for some probably scientific reason that makes perfect sense, but I do not know what that reason is. I started out using a toothpick and being careful about spacing the holes equally, but after about cookie #2 I lost what little patience I had, and I went to using an oral syringe (we have a million of them around here for medicating kittens. It worked perfectly.) and just kind of jabbing holes in the cookies.

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So I get the first pan of cookies into the oven, and then what happens? I’ll be damned but the friggin’ INSPECTOR showed up to inspect my damn kitchen.

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“Sink full of dishes? Inspector Stompers give you ten demerits for that.”

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“Inspector Stompers think you a slob. Why you never do dishes? That’s horrifying.”

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“Tomatoes on the same counter near where you make cookies? Twenty-three demerits! That’s just wrong.”

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“Inspector Stompers disapprove of the “Smitten Kitchen” business. It supposed to be smitten KITTEN, and Stompers not appreciate the play on words. That’s IT. You close this operation down!”

I paid the inspector off with crunchies and packed him off to his room for a nap, and continued with what I was doing.

The cookies were ready to come out of the oven after 16 minutes, and I put the second pan of cookies into the oven to bake, then put all of them on wire racks to cool.

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When the cookies were completely cool (I will neither confirm nor deny the allegation that I took a nap while they were cooling.) I got out the ice cream, lifted it out of the baking pan, and started cutting it with my biscuit cutter. It was relatively simple to do, and I got the ice cream put between the cookies (you know how to make a sandwich, I trust – two cookies, one slab of ice cream, put ’em together) pretty quickly. But let me reiterate, it was FUCKING hot, and the ice cream started melting immediately.

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I wrapped each sandwich in plastic wrap, and stuck them in the oven freezer.

And the verdict? I didn’t like them. The cookies were too hard, and the layer of ice cream was too thick. I tried one bite, the cookies broke, the ice cream started to squirt out, and that was it as far as I was concerned. When I can get a tasty box of chemical-filled ice cream sandwiches with only the effort of tossing them in the cart, I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend the time to make them from scratch.

On the other hand, after they sat in the freezer overnight, Fred liked them quite a bit. He agreed that the cookies were too hard (I’m thinking I cooked them too long) and that the layer of ice cream was too thick, but he told me he thought they were really really good, so there you go. I’d be willing to try making them again just for him because I am a good subservient wife (HA HA HA), but he said they weren’t so good he wanted to listen to me bitch about the annoyance of having to roll out the dough. Ha.

If I were going to make them again, I’d cook them for less time (I’d start checking them at 12 minutes), and I’d make the layer of ice cream thinner, maybe by using a larger pan to spread the ice cream into.

The pigs each got one as a special Saturday night treat.

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They gave them two snouts up.

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Nance’s Take:  

I freaking love ice cream sandwiches!  LOVE THEM.  So when I saw this recipe I was all over it and I had faith that Robyn would be right there with me.  This is why I tolerate having to make things like the roasted chickpeas (barf) recipe that Robyn suggested.

True Confession Time:  Rick (my husband) is out of the country and I’ve been having a helluva time dealing with how different it is without him here.  Between the time difference (he’s 6 hours ahead of me) and our co-dependent marriage (only when he’s away, hee) neither one of us is getting much sleep.  Another thing that happens when Rick goes out of the country is that this family shuts.the.hell.down.  It takes us 3-4 days to get enough dishes in the dishwasher to run a full load and it’s mostly just coffee cups and glasses.  We don’t eat, we just graze and pick at whatever might be available.  I have pretty much existed on cheese, saltine crackers and Hershey kisses because none of us can be arsed to make or bake anything. Why am I telling you all this? Because I felt the need to explain why I was so late posting this entry and hell yeah, I’m trying to get some sympathy!

As excited as I was to try out these ice cream sandwiches, I definitely put it off until (much later than) the last minute. My friend, Regan was over visiting yesterday and she was so disgusted with my lackadaisical attitude that she took matters into her own hands.

I was allowed to take pictures.

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I really wish Regan’s mother (Hi, Pat!) would talk to her about this whoreina fingernail situation.  I see the bright red tips and I can’t help but wonder if my soccer-mom friend is fixin’ to start a new career that involves dancing with a pole.*

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My favorite food group. Pulled fresh from the freezer and trying to soften. Hey, I already warned you that I was unprepared (see big word above: lackadaisical).

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I need to tell you about a small personality quirk (please note: I did not say FLAW) that I have. I am a control freak and I may be a little bit obsessive compulsive.  I want (need!) order in my life when it comes to anything that I do. Especially cooking. The picture above does so many things to my head that I feel faint every time that I look at it. I believe that is butter on the lid of my Hershey Cocoa can. Good Lord.

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As I was trying to gain some control over the situation and get a grip on my OCD, I pulled an apron out of the drawer and handed it to Regan. The next time I looked over at her I saw this.**  I’m also ashamed to say that my very good friend has a Jorts*** situation going on.  She says they are comfortable.  There are no words.  But it does give me an insight into why she’s not offended by my mother’s tube-top/pajama bottom combo.  Can you say fashion victims?

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She’s using the wrong bowl and making a mess! Ugh! I probably should have just went and laid down right then and there. But somebody had to take the pictures so I soldiered on.  I do want to mention that Regan did clean up her mess.  Wearing that goddamn apron around her neck the entire time.

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All I can see is that flour/cocoa on the top of the paddle that will not get mixed in correctly.  I may have developed a twitch.

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This is what it looked like rolled out. Regan made the executive decision (before she tried to roll that shit) that we would roll out and bake 2 giant cookies. Then we would slather the softened ice cream in between them and throw the whole thing in the freezer.  After the ice cream firmed back up we would cut them into individual sandwiches. I agreed with her because it made sense to me too. Do you know what this means?  It means that Regan and I are both dumber than dirt.

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Regan allowed me to help out by having me poke holes in the whole mess. Can you see my hidden message? We giggled like 12 year-old girls. After the cookie part was baked Regan went home and left me to figure out the rest of it.  How rude!  Okay, she does have a family to tend to, but still.  LEFT ME HIGH AND DRY.

Turned out that the cookies were still a bit too fragile. I grabbed the parchment paper underneath the cookies to put them on my counter (for the slathering of ice cream) and it all went to shit. It started cracking and I had to stand there pressing it back together. It was time for me to pick up my son from work so I left the cookies on the counter thinking that maybe they needed to cool more. By the time I came back they were hard. Real hard.

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We did manage to get one put together for a photo and I forced my kid to try it. He said, “Oh, gross. It’s too sweet. I can’t eat this.”

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Proof that he tried it. Heh.

I put another one together for my mom and she said that they weren’t very good and maybe I baked them too long. I thought the cookie part was pretty good when I was munching the broken pieces, but it was not anything like the ice cream sandwiches that I remember.

I think if you have the time and patience to babysit this recipe (hell, just to read it because whoa, WORDY) and you’re one of those people that wants homemade treats then give this recipe a shot. But if you’re like me and just want a tasty ice cream sandwich go buy a box at the grocery store and save yourself the mess.

* JOKING!
** Nutbags Magee wore that apron around her neck the entire time.  I couldn’t even look at her.
*** Jorts = jean shorts. A huge fashion no-no. Don’t kill the messenger.

 

Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Original Source/Author:
: snack, dessert
Serves: 10 - 12
Ingredients
  • Cookies:
  • 2⅔ cups (335 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup plus ¼ cup (75 grams) extra dark or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks or 285 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Filling:
  • ½ gallon (8 cups or approximately 1050 grams) ice cream, your choice of flavor, softened
Instructions
  1. Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing it to overhang on two sides so it will act as a sling. Spread the softened ice cream into the pan, smooth the top, and freeze until firm - 1 hour or longer.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour and cocoa together into a bowl that is NOT the mixing bowl you're about to cream the sugar and butter together in.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment beat butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. (If the dough is too soft to handle, wrap and chill in the fridge for no longer than 30 minutes.)
  8. Roll each batch into a ¼-inch thick rectangle, about 10x8 inches. Cut into 2x4-inch rectangles or use your favorite cookie/ biscuit cutter.
  9. Reroll the scraps of dough and create more triangles if that floats your boat.
  10. Transfer rectangles to the prepared sheets, leaving only an inch of space between them. Use the tip of a thermometer, toothpick, oral syringes, whatever is close at hand, to poke the cookies with holes. Smitten Kitchen recommends more than 14 holes per cookie.
  11. Bake the cookies for 16 - 18 minutes or until they stay firm when tapped in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, rerolling scraps as needed (or not).
  13. Remove your pan full of ice cream from the freezer and run a knife along the exposed sides of the pan to loosen the ice cream.
  14. Lift ice cream out of the pan and onto the work surface. Using one of the cookies as a template (or using cookie cutter again), cut ice cream into bars (the number of cookie pairs your batch yielded.)
  15. Assemble sandwiches (one cookie, ice cream on top, second cookie on top of that), wrap in plastic wrap, and stick in the freezer.