When the dog bites; when the bee stings; when I’m feeling sad…I simply eat ice cream tucked between thin layers of chocolate cake…and then I don’t feel so bad!
With apologies to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein (who and who?), let me tell you about my new, favorite things: homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches! They’re cold, comforting, and not too sweet. They’re easy enough to make, too, and you can use store-bought ice cream for the filling.
Here’s the recipe in photographic steps, followed by a printable version:
First, spray a 13×18-inch baking sheet with vegetable spray. Then line the baking sheet with parchment paper. The vegetable spray will keep the parchment from moving around when you spread it with cake batter.
Next, throw some flour into a medium size bowl. Then add each of the following:
Good-quality cocoa powder…
And kosher salt.
Whisk thoroughly to combine.
Next, tip some melted butter into a large bowl.
Add some sugar…
And whisk vigorously until the mixture turns thick and creamy.
One at a time, whisk in 2 large eggs…
Followed by a splash of pure vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and beat them with a stout spoon until a perfectly smooth batter springs forth.
Please forgive me.
If you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to eat the batter just as it is. Restrain yourself. There’s a nice reward coming your way in just a minute.
Scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread it out with an offset spatula, leaving a narrow, exposed border of parchment paper all around the edges.
Pop the batter into a 350°F oven, and let it bake until set — about 10 minutes. Then let the pan cool on a wire rack.
Here’s the reward I promised you: Lick the bowl, the spoon, and the offset spatula.
When the cake is completely cool, pick up the ends of the parchment paper, and transfer the cake to a cutting board.
Grab a knife or a pastry cutter, and trim the cake to achieve a 10×14- (or 9×13-) inch rectangle.
Ready for another reward? Eat the trimmings.
Now cut the cake crosswise in half…
And top one half with a full quart of slightly softened vanilla ice cream! Just plop it on with a large ice cream scoop or spoon.
Note: You can certainly make these sandwiches with homemade ice cream. If using store-bought, select a variety that is high-fat and low-air. Aerated, low-fat ice cream is not suitable because it melts too quickly.
With the patience of a saint, and aided by an offset spatula, spread the ice cream all the way to the edge. Do not attempt perfection here, because it’s almost impossible to spread out cold ice cream in an even layer.
Grab the end of the parchment that supports the naked section of cake…
And flip it over the ice cream-covered portion. My top layer cracked a bit when I flipped it, but that’s okay. Cracks in the cake won’t affect the final, frozen product.
Tightly wrap the big sandwich in plastic wrap, and pop it into the freezer until solidly frozen — about 8 hours.
For the sake of beauty, you can tidy up the fat, frozen sandwich by trimming its edges. You already know what to do with the trimmed-off parts.
Cut the sandwich into rectangles of any size you like…
And then cut the long rectangles crosswise in half to make shorter rectangles or squares. Freeze individual sandwiches in plastic wrap.
Arrange the works on a platter…
And invite some friends to your ice cream sandwich party!
Although my ice cream melted like the Wicked Witch of the West while I adjusted my camera settings, I found the sandwiches were very easy to make, and oh, so refreshing to eat! Promise me you’ll try them some day, okay?
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Here’s the printable: