For years, I’ve been simultaneously intrigued and frustrated by those kits that promise to help you make ice cream sandwiches just like the classic ones you find at the store. Don’t get me wrong; I adore those childhood favorites, so the temptation to do a from-scratch version is there. But, then again, if I wanted one, I would probably just buy it, as I’m not sure I could reasonably improve on it — or that I would miss that kinda-not-great-but-kinda-amazing quality of the store-bought variety.
What also gets me is that there are so many more sweets you can use in your ice cream sandwich beyond that caky cookie that sticks to your fingers. A few years ago, I set about concocting ice cream sandwiches using only grocery store ice creams and cookies. They were all delicious and fun to assemble. Still, homemade baked goods are hard to beat, so if you’re looking to add a little more DIY magic to your ice cream sandwich creations, here are some recipes from our archives to consider. (And if you want to go all in and make the ice cream too, I can help you there.)
Sardinian Almond Cookies, above. I tweaked this recipe for ideal ice cream sandwiches. Instead of using 1 tablespoon of dough, form each cookie using about 2 tablespoons. Roll into a ball, place on the baking sheet and flatten into a fairly even round about 2 1/2 inches wide. The end result is a chewy, deliciously aromatic cookie. Combine it with cherry ice cream for a stunning result. Let the sandwiches soften ever so slightly on the counter so the cookies aren’t quite as hard.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies. Pair with chocolate ice cream for a classic flavor combination. Anything with caramel would be spectacular, too.
Brave King Elvis Pound Cake. One of the MVPs of my earlier endeavor was the grilled poundcake. Store-bought got the job done well, but I know this hybrid pound cake I created by grafting together three recipes would make it even better. For summer, I like the idea of combining the pound cake with strawberry or peach ice cream.
Brownie Sandwich Cookies. These are very large cookies, so I’d recommend knocking back the size a bit if you intend to make ice cream sandwiches with them. Aim for about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie, as with the almond cookies at the top. With ice cream, they’ll be plenty indulgent at the smaller size. I think a classic vanilla would be lovely here, or you could just double down with something rich and chocolaty. Mint is good, too.
Very Soft, Very Chewy, Kinda Thin Chocolate Chip Cookies. A thinner cookie keeps the size of the sandwich manageable, and because it’s designed to be chewy, you don’t have to worry about it getting too hard once it’s frozen. Vanilla is an obvious choice for the filling, but wouldn’t it be fun to combine worlds with a cookies and cream ice cream? Butter pecan or pralines and cream would be top-notch as well.
Mexican Chocolate Chip (or Funfetti) Cookie Cream Pies. Cookies and cream ice cream would also be right at home sandwiched between these chocolate-studded sugar cookies. Or for something colorful, go with the funfetti option, which adds rainbow sprinkles to the batter. Try the rainbow cookies with a flavor that includes white chocolate or cheesecake.
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