Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And I Like Ice Cream Sandwiches Too

And I like fish sticks, but I love you.

Oops, wrong part of the song. Sorry.

I've been going mad here making ice cream sandwiches now that the weather has finally decided to act somewhat summery. I have remembered once again that unless it is incredibly, unbearably, drippingly hot I don't actually like ice cream. Not that that matters, though, because every single other person in this house adores ice cream. And there is, I admit, a certain pleasure to be gained in watching someone eat something I've made with enormous gustatory devotion.

FDPG and I trolled through Martha Stewart's ice cream offerings last week for some inspiration. As usual they are all staged to perfection. I'm one of those people who deeply admires MS (in case you hadn't noticed). Sure, she features items that look impossibly difficult to make, but she's challenging. Anyone can bake but only Martha (and perhaps Bakerella) can make it distinctive. Me, I love distinctive. Not enough of us strive for culinary distinction, if you ask me. And really, it's mostly smoke and mirrors. Go on, check out those ice cream ideas from Martha: a little coloured sugar, some fancy cake tins, and a little dramatic lighting and you too can have adorable coral-coloured fishie madeleines.
Anyhow, I noticed (I might even have gasped a little) that Martha was using purchased ice cream. She hadn't lovingly churned it in her imported-from-Italy made-especially-for-her-by-Ladurée-or-someone-like-that ice cream maker (you know, the one that only uses imported French rock salt from the deepest cracks in the Pyrenees)! After I recovered from that little shock and considered how hot it would make my kitchen to bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches, I thought "Heck, if Martha can use purchased ice cream I can use purchased cookies."

So I did.

I bought a package of oatmeal cookies. Biggish ones. I even squeezed the packet a bit to make sure they were not the hard-as-nails variety, because I figured those would shatter when frozen. I also bought some vanilla ice cream. We've bought a lot of vanilla ice creams around these parts (two summers ago we got a teeny bit obsessive about making ice cream cakes) and in our opinion the best are not the tiny-horribly-expensive-promise-you-the-world premium vanillas but the big round pails they sell at big no name stores. They taste like the ice milk they sell at Dairy Queen, an ice cream even I like.

So, you've got your cookie. You've got your ice cream. The idea is this: you let your ice cream soften a bit, then you scoop out some with a big round spoon, keeping the scoop rounded. Plop it on one cookie, then top with another cookie, pressing gently. Tip: I lined my cookies up before doing this.

I made them in batches of six at a time, because our ice cream was of the Fast Melting variety. You need to have a really cold freezer (which in my case was not the fridge freezer) so they harden without oozing out of their little cookie prison.

After that I melted some chocolate chips and plopped a bit spoonful on the frozen cookie sandwich. Smooth it out towards the edges and place in freezer until firm. If you were feeling so inclined you could even sprinkle something on top of the melted chocolate.


By the way, I've used Hob Nobs, Digestives, and regular bargain brand oatmeal cookies and they've all been received enthusiastically, but if you want to make your own chocolate cookies or something along those lines check out the Martha link because she has recipes.


Samantha said...

Ha ha! My baking always looks distinctive, but definitely not in a Martha way!!! hee hee hee

I think I might make some of these when it warms up. I'll definitely receive the Super Wife and Mother Award for this treat.

DavePR said...

Hey! Those look amazing, I love this post! If your looking for a lower calorie option, or one that doesn't require the hot stove, a Deep Chocolate VitaTop (a muffin top) makes for a fantastic ice cream sandwich "bun." Only 100 calories and full of fiber and vitamins. I look forward to reading your future cook conquests!

-Dave with