I’m the first to admit that sometimes when craving an ice cream sandwich, the classic version, consisting of vanilla ice cream between two rectangular, chocolate wafers really hits the spot. It’s the one wrapped in paper, served at ball games, on school lunch trays on certain special days of the year. The one that seems to melt so quickly, so that just holding the sandwich makes the ice cream squish out the sides and through the little pinholes on the surface. And these were ever-present in my husband’s grandparent’s freezer. His grandmother would press them upon us and our kids whenever we visited (or sometimes it was a Skippy cup… that little cup of half vanilla, half chocolate ice cream with a wooden spoon like a mini tongue depressor. Also a classic!)
While I can’t deny the appeal of the classic frozen treats (classic… and cheap, which is why they were so prevalent in summer when we were kids, along with red, orange and purple Popsicles and long pouches of Fla-Vor-Ice), sometimes I need more: an ice cream sandwich that is unique and really feels indulgent! (A Chessters Ice Cream Sandwich definitely falls into that category.) Something I would not dare eat two of in one sitting because that would just be gluttonous.
Unless no one was watching, then that would be okay.
When dreaming up Red, White and Blue Desserts for the upcoming holiday, I created this indulgent treat. On the outside, two, homemade sugar cookies coated in red and blue decorating sugars. These cookies just on their own are a perfect, soft and sweet sugar cookie. And between the two colorful cookies: rich, lemon-vanilla ice cream. There is something about that combination: lemon and vanilla ice cream, that is just so exceptional.
The tart lemon tamed by creamy dairy and vanilla. It is very summery and special, and way too easy to eat way too much of it. But remember: this is no Skippy cup. Just one Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich for you! (Unless no one’s watching, then take two.)
The recipe is below, and check out these other Red, White & Blue Desserts!
Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1 half-gallon container vanilla bean ice cream, softened
- 1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
For the cookies:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Red decorating sugar
- Blue decorating sugar
- Find a large bowl and make sure there is space in your freezer to hold the bowl. Scoop the vanilla ice cream into the bowl and add in the lemonade concentrate as well. Stir to mix the two together: you want the lemonade to be well-combined with the ice cream, but work quickly so that the ice cream does not become liquid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream. Place the bowl in the freezer and keep it there until the ice cream is firm, about two hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium for 4-5 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla, and mix them in. Add in half of the dry mixture and mix it on low, then add in the rest of the dry mixture and mix until everything is combined, scraping the bowl a few times as needed.
- Divide the dough in half. Pour the red and blue decorating sugars into separate small bowls. Scoop 1-1/2-inch balls of dough from one of the halves and roll them in the red decorating sugar. Make sure the dough balls are well-coated and then place them on the prepared sheet, with about two inches of space between them. Bake the cookies for 10-11 minutes until they are set. (Keep the rest of the dough cool in the fridge.) Remove the cookies to cool completely on a cooling rack. When the first half of the dough has been scooped and rolled in red sugar, and baked, scoop and roll the second half of the dough in the blue decorating sugar. Bake these as above and let them cool completely. You should have about 22 cookies in each of the colors.
When the cookies are cool and the ice cream is ready, assemble the sandwiches. Have plastic wrap ready to go for wrapping the sandwiches:
- Take one red and one blue cookie. Place a 1/4-cup scoop of the lemon ice cream onto the bottom of one of the cookies, then sandwich it with the other. Wrap the sandwich up with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Continue with the rest of the cookies and the ice cream until they are all assembled, wrapped and in the freezer. Freeze the sandwiches until they are firm, at least two hours before serving or overnight is ideal.
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