Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwiches

We have a rule at our house that we do not buy sweets if we want a sugar treat/dessert we must make it our selves. So this summer the kids asked for ice cream sandwiches and I was happy to help them make some. These are absolutely delicious and can be made as big or small as you would like. They take a bit of time and are fairly messy but well worth it in the end. We ended up with about 20 of them which I think is just enough to last us most of the summer.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup salt
2 cups all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and the sugar. Beat in the eggs and then the vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Slowly beat into the butter mixture. Beat until well combined gather into a ball cover and refrigerate about 1 hour.
Roll out the dough onto a well floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Using the shape cutter from an ice cream sandwich mold* cut out and even number of shapes. Be sure to ave a top and bottom for each sandwich.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 8 min at 375ยบ. As I took the hot cookies off of the baking sheet I gently pressed the shape cutter back over them to be sure they were still the correct shape. Some needed a little trimming before cooling and I put the mold impression on half the cookies before they cooled. Allow the cookies to cool completely.

Putting together the sandwiches
This is where I am happy I had the molds. Using very slightly softened ice cream, it must not be too hard or too soft or you will end up with a big mess, follow the mold instructions to put together the cookies. Place them in a single layer on a freezer tray and freeze till solid. I put the tray in the freezer and the ice cream in a large bowl filled with ice. Each time I made a sandwich I would put it on the tray in the freezer. This way nothing melted during the process.

*We used some Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds to create ours. I am not one for using many fancy gadgets but these made the sandwich making quite easy and I would recommend them to any one making these. The recipe for the molds came with a brownie type cookie but I like these better. They took a bit more work but I think it was well worth it since I like a crunch in my Ice cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream

We love ice cream! Growing up my family made homemade ice cream at every holiday and family gathering. It is so much tastier then the store bought and very easy especially if you have and ice cream maker. With a good base the possibilities of flavor combinations are endless. Here is the basic ice cream we make it Philadelphia Style because It is delicious and a bit easier then making an egg custard ice cream. When we add egg yolks to the ice cream we do not cook them. We believe, after much research, that when properly handled fresh farm eggs (not the store bought junk eggs) are safe for raw consumption.

Basic Vanilla
1 cup milk
2 tbs- 2/3 cup sweetener
2 cups heavy cream
dash of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan stir the milk and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolves. In a large bowl mix together the cream, salt, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the cream stir till combined, cover and refrigerated for 1 hour. Place in ice cream maker following manufactures instructions. Makes about 4 cups ice cream.

-Add 3-6 egg yolks to the cream mixture for added vitamins, protein, and nutrition.
-Use sugar, maple syrup, or honey as the sweetener.
-Replace the milk and cream with a combination of yogurt, sour cream, and or dairy kefir, the more cream in the mix the richer the ice cream. 
-Replace milk and cream with non dairy substitute which as nut milk or coconut milk/cream.

Flavor Ideas
Chocolate- Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and up to 1/4 cup more sugar to the milk before heating.

Peppermint- Replace the vanilla with 1 tsp peppermint extract and add 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy to the ice cream following manufactures directions.

Pumpkin- add 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to the cream before refrigerating.

Fruit- Instead of vanilla extract add 1 1/2 cups of mashed fruit or 1 cup of pureed fruit. Some good options are berries, peaches, plums, even melons will work. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit more or less sugar may be needed.

Mint/Basil- Add 1/3 cup fresh basil or mint leaves to the milk and sugar before heating. Let cool and blend until smooth before adding to the cream mixture. Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate to the ice cream following manufactures instructions on the ice cream maker.