A dessert so ideal for entertaining because it is made in advance. A few hours head start is fine but making these ice cream sandwiches a day or two ahead of the party is an even better strategy.
This was Sam’s most recent weekend project. I wouldn’t have dared make them because it’s just too much work and too much mess. But Sam has more patience prettifying food for better presentation so she meticulously shaped the cookie dough to make sure that the cookies were flatter than usual. Then, after the cookies had cooled, she piped softened ice cream between the cookies, rolled the exposed ice cream in crushed nuts and nonpareils (a.k.a. sprinkles), then wrapped each ice cream sandwich in cling film to allow the ice cream to harden.
There are two ways to serve ice cream sandwiches. The first is kid-friendly enough.
Just hand out the individually wrapped ice cream sandwiches to kids and they can just peel off the wrapping bit by bit as they nibble on the sweet ice cream filled cookies.
But you can also transform ice cream sandwiches into a more sophisticated-looking dessert for an adult sit-down dinner. The idea hit me after I unwrapped one of the ice cream sandwiches from the freezer to take photos. I couldn’t quite decide how it should be photographed because the sides looked rough and uneven. Speedy, who had been mowing the grass in the garden, walked into the kitchen, saw the frustration on my face and said, “Cut off the sides,” as though is was the most obvious thing to do. Well, he was right.
To make the dessert neater looking, just slice off the sides. Rectangular ice cream sandwiches are easier to trim; you can make squares out of round ice cream sandwiches (you can eat the trimmings as you cut them, naturally). Then, re-roll the exposed ice cream in nonpareils, grated chocolate or crushed roasted nuts, arrange on a dessert plate and serve with a dessert fork on the side. You can even do the trimming in advance too. Do it after the ice cream has hardened then just rewrap the trimmed ice cream sandwiches in cling film and keep in the freezer until needed.
Rolling the ice cream in nonpareils, grated chocolate or crushed roasted nuts is not even mandatory. You can serve the ice cream sandwich as it is. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or confectioner’s sugar for a polished look.
What cookies to use for making ice cream sandwiches? I used the chocolate chunk cookie recipe but I substituted semi-sweet mini-chocolate morsels for the chocolate chunks. To make the cookies flat, Sam spread them one by one on the cookie sheets instead of dropping the dough from a teaspoon. That was how she was able to make rectangular cookies.
And for the ice cream? If you have an ice cream maker, check out the ice cream and sorbets archive for ice cream recipes. You can also use store bought but you have to choose really good quality ice cream that won’t melt too fast the moment it comes out of the freezer.