My Favorite Ice Cream Sandwiches
Tips: I find regular ice cream sandwiches rather lacking
in excitement. Here's a combination I like much better: a pair of
soft chocolate cookies surrounding a coffee ice cream studded with
chunks of chocolate-covered toffee bars. You'll need large cookies
for this, and I've found Archway Dutch Cocoa to be a reliable and
widely-available brand; they're about 3-1/4 inches in diameter each.
If you cannot find these, use a reasonable approximation; after
all, if your cookies are a bit smaller, you'll only have a few extra
sandwiches. Do not use crisp cookies, though, as they will become
unpleasantly soggy if frozen for any length of time. I like to use
a brand of ice cream that isn't rock-hard directly out of the freezer,
as it makes these easier to eat.
I buy the correct amount of chocolate-covered toffee and chop
the bars by hand, as the prepackaged chopped toffee bar bits tend
to be tiny and often aren't chocolate-covered. You don't want huge
chunks of toffee in these (I'll usually chop 0.7 ounces of toffee
into about 24 sections), but you don't want all of the toffee in
tiny bits, either. If some of your chopped sections split into smaller
pieces, that's not a problem. The finished sandwiches will keep
in your freezer for at least a week. Because these are large, you
might want to share them. Hot fudge sauce dresses these up nicely,
but it isn't a necessity.
- 8 to 12 soft chocolate cookies, each about 3-1/4 inches in diameter
- 6 to 7 ounces crisp, chocolate-covered toffee bars
- 1 pint best-quality coffee ice cream
Optional for Serving:
- A good hot fudge sauce, slightly warmed
Before making the sandwiches, clear a space in your freezer so
that they can sit flat while the ice cream refreezes. Line a shallow
baking pan with aluminum foil (I have used a 7 by 11 inch pan for
this, and 5 sandwiches will fit comfortably in it), and place it
in the freezer.
Chop the toffee. Unwrap the bars; using a large, sharp, straight-edged
knife, chop the bars into reasonably good-sized chunks. The chocolate
coating may split off from some chunks, and you'll end up with a
number of smaller pieces, too--OK. You want to keep the chunks to
a maximum of about 1/4 inch on each side, but a few larger pieces
are fine. Once the toffee has been chopped, lay out 12 cookies,
each flat side up, on a sheet of wax paper on your work surface.
You'll have to work quickly once the ice cream mixture is completed,
and it really helps to have the cookies ready to go.
Soften the ice cream. Remove carton lid and liner (if any). Microwave
at 50% (medium) power for 10 to 20 seconds, or just until ice cream
is softened. With a large spoon, scoop out chunks into a medium
metal bowl. Work quickly from here on out. Add the toffee chunks
to the ice cream, and work them in with the large spoon just until
the ice cream is in one mass and the toffee chunks are evenly distributed.
Form sandwiches by placing a large scoop of the ice cream mixture
onto the upper (flat) side of one cookie. Place another cookie,
flat side down, on top, and press gently. If the sandwiches aren't
perfect now, don't worry about it, as they can be corrected when
partially frozen. I like to place each sandwich in the freezer as
soon as it's finished, but the most important thing here is that
the ice cream melts as little as possible. You should have enough
of the ice cream mixture for 4 to 6 sandwiches.
When the sandwiches have frozen for about an hour, check them.
Ideally, the ice cream mixture will come right to the edge of the
cookies. If it doesn't, press down gently on the top cookie in each
sandwich until it does. Return the sandwiches to the freezer if
you removed them to do this.
Freeze at least 3 hours longer. Wrap airtight, and store in freezer
until just before serving. If desired, serve with a slightly warmed
good hot fudge sauce.
Yields: 4 to 6 sandwiches
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