Not an ice cream sandwich as in two thin, soft, chocolate wafers with ice cream in the middle, but ice cream sandwich as in two homemade cookies with ice cream in the middle. But what to call it? It's not really an ice cream sandwich in the classic sense, but Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich is kind of clunky and Cookiewich, well, that just makes me think of the not-so-great storebought variety.
Whatever you want to call them, this is one treat that I don't make nearly often enough. We love them and they are really quite easy - no harder than baking up a basic batch of cookies, really - but I still never think to make them. Fortunately I did think to make them a few weeks ago and boy were they delicious.
I started off with a chocolate cookie dough from Martha Stewart that I made a while back. I thought the cookies would be the right consistency for a ice cream sandwiches and I was not disappointed - they are sturdy, slightly soft with just the right touch of chewy. Though this cookie recipe calls for dried cherries, once again I made them with a combination of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. One of these days I'll actually get around to the cherries.....it sounds delicious that way too!
Once you have the cookie batter made, you scoop it out by the scant 1/4 cup. The recipe actually calls for making the cookies this large, but I usually use my standard cookie scoop as I tend to like to make smaller cookies - better for snacking. Going by the 1/4 cup, there is just enough dough to make 24 largish cookies or 12 ice cream sandwiches. I baked them for about 12 minutes at 325º.
Once the cookies were baked, I allowed them to cool completely and then I froze them overnight. Freezing the cookies first makes them sturdier for assembling the sandwiches. Once the cookies were frozen, it was just a matter of scooping out some ice cream, placing it on one cookie, placing another cookie on top and pressing gently but firmly. I've done a better job at getting the ice cream to come a bit more evenly to the sides of the cookie for a nicer presentation but one, I was in a rush as these were a surprise for DH and I didn't have much time and, two, I didn't really care all that much. So there. I chose a simple vanilla ice cream in this case, but be creative and choose whatever you like - even better, make your own!
It does pay to keep things moving - the ice cream tends to soften up pretty quickly. As each sandwich was assembled, I quickly wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer before moving on to the next one. Allow the cookies to freeze for several hours or overnight before serving. The cookies taste better and are easier to eat if they sit out a few minutes before eating them.
Hopefully I'll remember how easy these are to make and make them more often. I think it would be fun to make them with regular-sized cookies - these larger cookies make for quite a large ice cream sandwich and I had a hard time finishing a whole one - a smaller one would still be a nice treat without feeling like you were over indulging.