~by Marillyn Beard
Hola! My name is Marillyn. I am a deaf mama living in Central America with four cross-cultural kids and the voice behind the food and lifestyle blog Just Making Noise, where I share lots of yummy desserts, ice creams and whole foods with “edible” pictures.
Almost everyone loves a big slice of warm, gooey brownie and a creamy scoop of ice cream to go along with it, right? That is a treat that never fails and can be served any time of year, for any occasion.
What most don't realize is how super easy it is to transform those two into one thing: an ice cream sandwich.
Just a few weeks ago, we planned a surprise birthday party for a special friend. I asked the friend's husband what she would like for dessert. He suggested a chocolate cake and strawberry ice cream, as they were her favorites.
But I wanted to go the extra mile and make it a memory that she wouldn't forget.
In came the idea of making ice cream sandwiches.
Really, sandwiching ice cream between two layers of brownies or cookies is the easiest thing in the world. Allow me to show you.
To start, choose your favorite brownie or cookie recipe. For these sandwiches I use my favorite brownie recipe, which I doubled and spread out onto a large cookie sheet. I wanted thin brownies, but you can make them thicker if you prefer—just use a smaller cookie sheet. After you've baked your brownies. Allow them to cool completely before you cut into the brownies.
For cookies, simply proceed like normal and allow the cookies to cool completely when done.
This is where you can choose to make it simple and just cut the brownies into squares or you can do what I did: go the extra mile and use a fun cookie cutter. As you can see, I went with stars because my friend's birthday was the day after the Fourth of July. Once you’ve cut the brownies, store them in the fridge to get them firm and cold before adding the ice cream.
Wondering what to do with all the leftover pieces of brownies? Stir them into ice cream, use them to make a piecrust, or just eat them!
Next, choose your favorite ice cream, homemade or store-bought. Personally, I think homemade is so much better, both health-wise and flavor-wise. Here I used dairy-free and sugar-free Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Ice Cream that I made using my ice cream machine. I love ice cream so much that I wrote an ebook with lots of delicious recipes, pictures and valuable information. I even wrote about all the different ways you can make ice cream without an ice cream machine. It is much easier than you think!
If you are making homemade ice cream, be sure your brownies or cookies are cooled and ready to use before making the ice cream so you can easily scoop the fresh ice cream right out of the container onto your brownies or cookies. I’ve found that this is much easier to do than to let the ice cream harden in the freezer. Scoop your ice cream into a few small containers and only have one out at a time to prevent the whole batch from melting quickly while you are making your sandwiches.
If you are using store-bought ice cream, leave it out on your counter for about 10 minutes (depending on how warm your kitchen is) to soften. Stay close so you can check it and know when it is ready to use.
Now, shall we begin?!
Cover your counter or table with wax paper. Set the bottom piece of the sandwich on the wax paper and, if you used a cookie cutter for a fun shape, set the cookie cutter on top of the bottom piece. If you did not use a cookie cutter and are just doing squares or circles, you can simply scoop the ice cream onto the sandwich bottom and spread it a bit to cover.
Now, working quickly, scoop ice cream into the cookie cutter and press down firmly with your fingers. I find that keeping my fingers warm and wet helps prevent the ice cream from sticking to them. Once the cookie cutter is full, carefully pull it off using your fingers to push the ice cream out. Carefully press the top piece of the sandwich firmly onto the ice cream.
Using a metal spatula, transfer the finished sandwich onto a plate or cookie sheet and keep in the freezer while you finish up the rest. Allow the sandwiches to firm up for several hours or overnight.
Not planning to eat all of them right away? Wrap each sandwich with parchment paper and enjoy them when your sweet tooth kicks in or a friend shows up at your door unexpectedly!
Remember, you can use your favorite brownies or cookies to make these sandwiches, too. Next time you feel the urge to make brownies or cookies, I challenge you to go the extra mile and use them to make ice cream sandwiches!
Have you ever made your own ice cream sandwiches? Which do you prefer to use to make your sandwiches: brownies or cookies? What ice cream flavors would you use? Please do tell us in the comments below!