The chocolate dip takes this playful riff on a classic Italian dessert to the next level. For even more texture, roll the edge of the ice cream sandwich that hasn't been dipped in chocolate in chopped pistachios.
Make Ahead: The ice cream base needs to be refrigerated until thoroughly chilled. The ice cream needs to be frozen for at least 4 hours before it is used to make the sandwiches. The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for several hours or up to overnight. The baked cookies need to be frozen for at least 1 hour before they are used to make the sandwiches, or they can be frozen for up to 1 month. The ice cream sandwiches need to be frozen for at least 2 hours before the chocolate dip is applied. The dipped sandwiches need to be frozen for at least 1 hour and up to 4 days before serving. The dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; bring to room temperature before using.
Servings: 12 ice cream sandwiches
- For the ice cream
- One 15-ounce container high-quality whole-milk ricotta
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- For the cookies
- 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For assembly
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the ice cream: Combine the ricotta, milk, heavy cream, sugar and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture is completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and press parchment paper against the surface of the ice cream; freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. The yield is about 1 quart.
For the cookies: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the egg and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to form a very soft dough. Shape it into a 6-inch-long log. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Use a small, sharp knife to cut about twenty-four 1/4-inch-thick rounds of dough from the log. Space them at least an inch apart on the baking sheets.
Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Freeze the cookies for at least 1 hour before using them to make sandwiches.
When ready to assemble, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place it in the freezer. Have ready 12 squares of parchment paper or plastic wrap that are big enough to wrap each ice cream sandwich.
Invert half of the cookies on a clean work surface; top each of them with a small scoop of the ricotta ice cream, then top with another cookie (bottom sides down), gently pressing to form a sandwich and making sure the ice cream filling goes all the way to the edges. Place the sandwiches on the baking sheet in the freezer; freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Combine the chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on LOW in 20-second increments, stirring between each one, until melted and smooth. Cool until just warm.
Working with one frozen sandwich at a time, dip half of the sandwich into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl. Return to the same baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and chocolate. Return the sheet of ice cream sandwiches to the freezer and chill until the chocolate has set, about 1 hour.
Serve, or wrap the sandwiches individually and return to the freezer.
Adapted from "Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich," by Tessa Arias (Running Press, 2013).
Tested by Becky Krystal and Bonnie S. Benwick.
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