Obviously along with being a food lover, avid cook, and culinary adventurer, I also consider myself an opportunists here at Leon’s — constantly looking for ways to make the best out of what’s in season, and always trying to take advantage of what’s at hand in the easiest and most delicious way possible. What’s more, I have never said no to any cravings we have, and instead try to satisfy every single one.
Thanks to Katie and her love of our house made gelato and ice cream – she wants to begin offerring these in sandwich form. A beacon of our past, reminding us of when we’d anxiously wait in the front yard for the ice cream truck, an ice cream sandwich is the perfect example of how one can take full advantage in the culinary world. You don’t just get to enjoy ice cream for dessert, but you enjoy a cookie, too, and even better, they’re sandwiched together, satisfying not one but three different summertime cravings.
As the weather warms and ice cream becomes a popular treat, we look forward to capitalizing on our love of cookies and sandwiches in conjunction with the cold dessert. Along with eating lots of ice cream sandwiches, we plan to perfect our own version by exploring all of the different ways there are to make them, starting with the ice cream and finishing with the cookies used for the sandwich.
Making ice cream sandwiches is a time when being well-prepared is a huge help. Everything from making the cookie dough and baking the cookies to churning your ice cream can all be done ahead of time, and we usually get it all over with well in advance of serving. “I prefer to assemble my sandwiches ahead of time [as well] because, wrapped in plastic, they will keep for about a week in the freezer, making serving much easier.”
“Whoopie pies — those traditional New England treats — are like little cakes in the shape of cookies, and they typically sandwich a thick layer of frosting. Chocolate whoopie pies sandwich fresh cherry ice cream to make a frozen version of Black Forest cake. You don’t have to be from New England to enjoy these sandwiches.”
While you may not want to make one of the boozy ice cream sandwich recipes I encourage you to add a tablespoon or two of alcohol to the ice cream mixture before churning if you’re making sandwiches for adults. A light, tasteless alcohol such as vodka helps make the ice cream softer.
The texture of the ice cream is one of the most important parts of making the sandwiches. When making either a custard-based ice cream of Philadelphia-style ice cream, I advise to make sure the mixture is thoroughly chilled to about 40 degrees before pouring it into the ice cream maker to churn. If it’s too warm, your ice cream will come out soupy rather than what you need for an ice cream sandwich: luscious and thick.
If you’re trying to cut down on the fat in your diet, your homemade ice cream for sandwiches is not the time to do so. I warn against using low-fat dairy ingredients or reduced sugar with your ice cream recipe, because that will prevent you from making an ice cream that’s malleable and easy to work with for sandwiching.
While there’s nothing better than a freshly baked cookie, you need to cool yours down before assembling the ice cream sandwiches. Freeze the baked cookies until firm for about 30 minutes or up to an hour. This not only helps you avoid melting the ice cream during assembly, but prevents the cookies from becoming soggy, as well.
It’s great to be prepared and make your sandwiches ahead of time to be stored in the freezer, but to let them sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes before serving so that they’re not too hard for your guests to bite into. Not even the best-tasting ice cream sandwich out there is worth a chipped tooth.
Everyone’s idea of a what one scoop of ice cream is can vary, but when making ice cream sandwiches, it’s important to be consistent. To make sure your ice cream is evenly shaped for the cookies.
“Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and top with a scoop of slightly softened ice cream. Cover the scoop with the plastic and use a measuring cup or the bottom of a glass to press down on the ice cream until it matches the size of your cookies. Now you have perfectly shaped ice cream for sandwiching.”
Ice cream sandwiches lend themselves to so many mix-and-match ideas and decorating options. Get creative with your ice cream and cookie flavors. Roll the edges in sprinkles, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, or even crumbled bacon and pretzels, and dust sandwiches with cocoa, cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar, or even drizzle with caramel or chocolate sauce.
We will soon show you what we have come up with for this summer ice cream sandwich! Let me know what you are working on.