From the Kitchen – Kicking it Up a Notch

by Joan Saunders | photos by Amanda Cribdon Photography

I’ll take ice cream any way I can get it. Artisan gelato? You bet. Generic ice cream bars? Yup; I’m not proud. But this month I wanted to try making ice cream sandwiches. It was worth it.

I started with the idea of ice cream for all ages and went from there. The, as I call them, “Party On” cookie sandwiches I wanted to be joyous. Once you throw mini M&Ms into a cookie recipe that spreads out to create massive ice cream sandwiches, then roll the edges in colourful sprinkles, you’ve created a party.

For adults, I wanted to kick it up a notch, so went for a thin brownie which sandwiches vanilla ice cream swirled with vodka-laced raspberry purée. Yes, I know that the alcohol helps with the freezing of the raspberry, but it’s fun to say there’s vodka involved. A smidge, anyway.

Play around with these recipes and add in any type of ice cream you’d prefer. Have kids create their own ice cream/cookie combos. Whatever you do, if there’s ice cream involved, there’s definitely a party happening.

Kick It Up a Notch Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 cup flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 litres/8 cups ice cream (any flavour)

Raspberry Swirl (optional)
6 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/8 cup sugar
½ tbsp vodka (optional)

Put all in bowl; smash with fork until puréed. Break up berries as much as possible.

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter jelly roll pan (15 x 11 inch pan); line with parchment, leaving enough to hang over sides.

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder. Set aside.

In medium pot, over low heat, slowly melt butter, chocolate, vanilla, salt. Stir constantly. Once melted, remove from heat.

Put chocolate mixture, brown and white sugars into bowl. Mix. Add eggs, stirring to combine. Fold in flour mixture.

Spread batter into a thin, even layer in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. When baked, brownie should be puffed up a little; top should look a bit dry. 

Once cool, use parchment to lift brownie slab out of pan. Place on large cutting board. Cut brownie in half, down middle. You should have two pieces about 7.5 x 11 inches. Put one brownie slab on top of the other; ensure they are the same size. Trim edges as needed.

You are making one large sandwich and wrapping, freezing and cutting into individual sandwiches later.

Place piece of plastic wrap on baking sheet. Leave enough hanging over sides to wrap entire brownie once you’ve assembled sandwich. Place one slab on plastic wrap.

To soften ice cream, put it in bowl of stand mixer. If using homemade ice cream, you won’t need to soften it. Use paddle attachment. Beat on low just until it reaches consistency of soft serve ice cream. Spread softened ice cream in an even layer over brownie base. If adding raspberry swirl, now is the time (see directions below); if not, top with remaining brownie slab, wrap in plastic; freeze for at least two hours.

Once refrozen, remove from freezer. Place on cutting board. Use sharp knife to cut into desired size, shape. Rewrap individually; freeze or serve immediately.

Adding purée: use butter knife to scrape deep furrows into ice cream, spoon purée into furrows. Swirl ice cream/purée around a bit; not too much or it will turn pink. Smooth top of ice cream, finish as at right.

Party On Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups mini M&Ms

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt; set aside. In bowl cream together melted butter, brown, white sugars until well blended.

Beat in vanilla, egg, egg yolk, until light and creamy. Add flour mixture until just blended.

Stir in M&Ms by hand with spoon. Drop dough, ¼ cup for big cookies, one or two tbsp for smaller cookies, one at a time onto cookie sheets. Space cookies about three inches apart; they spread.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes (about 12 minutes for smaller cookies) or until edges are slightly toasted. Cool.

To make sandwiches: freeze cookies to have a stronger base. Once frozen, add a scoop or two of ice cream, gently create sandwich. Can roll edges of ice cream in sprinkles. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap, then freeze.

Recipes slightly adapted and amalgamated from:

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