Light and pretty in their color contrast, these sandwiches are a nice change from chocolate-cookie ice cream sandwiches.
You'll need a 3-inch round cookie cutter or a glass with a 3-inch opening. For best results, dip the rim of the cutter/glass in flour between uses. The cookies can be made several days or weeks ahead and frozen. The ice cream mixtures need to be refrigerated overnight, and the assembled sandwiches need a few hours to firm up in the freezer before serving. After you've made 10 sandwiches, you'll have ice cream left over for enjoying on its own.
Food-grade dried lavender and lemon zest oil are available at Sur La Table.
Servings: 20 cookies and 2 quarts of ice cream
- For the cookies
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
- 2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
- 2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- For the ice cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream, preferably not ultra-pasteurized
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers (culinary variety)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pint blueberries, preferably fresh
For the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer on medium speed, combine the butter, sugar and salt and beat for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the yolk and whole egg in separate additions, then add the lemon oil and zest, beating until well incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour, mixing until well incorporated. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to form the cookies. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes or until the cookies have browned slightly around the edges. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cookies well and freeze until ready to use.
For the ice cream: Have ready a large bowl filled with ice water and ice cubes.
Combine the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the lavender in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Be careful not to scald; do not allow the temperature to exceed 175 degrees. Strain and discard the lavender and return the mixture to the stovetop over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt until the mixture is fluffy. Temper the egg yolk-sugar mixture with a ladle of the warm milk-lavender mixture, whisking constantly. Add the tempered mixture to the saucepan and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring, until the custard begins to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and place the bowl in the ice-water bath to cool completely. When the mixture has cooled, add the remaining 1 cup of cream, stirring to combine. Cover and refrigerate the custard overnight.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a lidded container and cool completely. When it has cooled, combine the custard with the blueberry mixture and churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Cover and freeze the ice cream for 1 hour; the ice cream should soft enough to scoop onto the frozen cookies.
To assemble, scoop about 3 tablespoons of the ice cream onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down. Wrap well and freeze for a few hours, until the ice cream is quite firm.
Adapted from Lisa Herlinger of Ruby Jewel Treats in Portland, Ore.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick and Hal Mehlman.
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