While deciding on dessert for a dinner party at the beach one summer, I remembered that my childhood beach-time treat was always an ice-cream sandwich. And then, I reasoned, if kids get them, why not grownups, too? With that in mind, I came up with a way to make a sophisticated ice-cream sandwich with great flavors and textures.
My recipe begins with a soft cookie that’s sturdy enough to handle during assembly (yet not so rigid that the ice cream squishes out when you bite down), but that’s soft and tender enough to remind you of the traditional ice-cream sandwich. The soft cookie, which I bake in a sheet pan, is a bit like a very thin brownie. Ithen sandwich store-bought ice cream between two layers of the brownie-cookie and cut the whole thing into easy-to-handle squares (from there, you can cut triangles, rectangles, or mini squares).
These ice-cream sandwiches are perfect for picnics. Wrapped individually and stowed in a portable cooler with some ice packs, the sandwiches will stay good and firm up until serving time, even on the hottest summer day.
Garnishes need to be finely chopped. For uniform pieces of peppermint, crush the candies first with a rolling pin in a plastic bag. Transfer to a food processor, pulse, and sieve out big chunks with a colander.
Mix and match flavors
You can design your own sandwich combinations by choosing the ice cream, adding flavor to the chocolate cookie, and picking your favorite garnish. The flavoring possibilities are endless, but I especially recommend the following:
• chocolate-mint cookie with vanilla ice cream and crushed peppermints
• chocolate-orange cookie with raspberry sorbet
• chocolate-ginger cookie with vanilla ice cream and minced crystallized ginger
mint chocolate chip
hard peppermint candies, finely crushed
finely chopped or grated bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
crystallized ginger, minced
pecans, finely chopped and toasted
sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
amaretti cookies, crushed