These homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches are super easy to make, gluten free optional and SO MUCH FUN! The old school ice cream sandwich that we all grew up with is elevated with a homemade chocolate cookie and filled with whatever ice cream your heart desires. Let this be the one dessert you make before summer ends!
One more week until Labor Day. That’s it folks! Summer came and went, just like it always does. I’ve been a little MIA here for the past few months, so I’m going to make up for lost time by posting a few of the recipes I’ve been dying to share with you all summer. Cool?
I couldn’t let August go by without sneaking in a little something sweet. Homemade ice cream sandwiches are exactly what I’m talking about. There is nothing more fun to hand out at the end of a barbecue or at a summer party.
That’s exactly what I did last year on Labor Day Weekend. We had a few people over, and at the peak of the party, when everyone was feeling all warm and buzzy, I reached into my freezer and started handing out homemade ice cream sandwiches. And let me just say, they went over even better than I had hoped they would.
How to make homemade ice cream sandwiches
The process is pretty simple. First, make the “bread” for the sandwich. This recipe is adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour and is sort of like a soft, cake-like cookie. The cookie part of an ice cream sandwich needs to be very soft, otherwise it will be impossible to bite through once frozen. A soft shell ensures that you’ll be able to sink your teeth right into it along with the ice cream.
The batter needs to be spread out onto a parchment lined sheet pan as smoothly and evenly as possible, as it doesn’t spread at all during baking. I’ve found this to be the most difficult part of the job, as it’s not the easiest batter to spread. Do the best you can. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter – they’re still going to taste incredible.
Once baked – it only takes 10 minutes! – you have the option of using a fork to poke holes in the top to mimic the old school ice cream sandwich appearance. I did it here for visual effect, but I probably wouldn’t again. I think it’s kind of a stupid step, but the choice is yours! Slice the sheet cookie into two perfectly even halves (this is important), then wrap them tightly and freeze until solid. Now it’s time to fill!
Fill Them However You Like!
The beautiful thing about these ice cream sandwiches is that you have the option to fill them with whatever ice cream you want. Strawberry? Go for it. Moose tracks? Hell yes. Butter pecan? WHY NOT?? You can go the super homemade route and make a homemade ice cream to go inside, but let’s be real, store bought is really the way to go here. It’s the end of summer, and it’s in our best interest to keep things as simple as possible. I promise they’ll go over just as well.
At the party, I filled some with mint chocolate chip, some with vanilla and some with cookies and cream ice cream. The mint was fantastic – I highly recommend it. But otherwise, I think pure vanilla is really where it’s at because the flavor just screams nostalgia. Everyone knows those old school ice cream sandwiches that we all grew up with, and having a slightly elevated version as an adult is about as good as it gets. It probably goes without saying that kids love these, too.
You need to let your ice cream slack out a bit before you start spreading, otherwise it will be next to impossible. It also helps to keep your cookie pieces in the freezer until right before filling so that they stay nice and firm. You’ll need to work quickly as you spread the ice cream onto the cookie pieces, and if things start to get a little too melty, just pop them into the freezer for a bit to firm back up before proceeding. Being even is key here, otherwise you’ll wind up with ice cream sandwiches with very different proportions.
Make them gluten free
You have the option of baking these cookies with your choice of regular all purpose flour, or a gluten free flour blend. I’ve been using the Cup4Cup brand of GF flour in baking recipes for months now, and I LOVE it. It’s works seamlessly in just about every recipe I’ve tried it in, including this one. This isn’t sponsored by Cup4Cup, I just really love their product. It was developed by Thomas Keller’s team of chefs, so you know it’s good stuff.
If this wasn’t enough to convince you to make homemade ice cream sandwiches this weekend, let this next little tidbit be the factor that pushes you over the edge: You can make these up to a month in advance, and as long as they’re kept tightly wrapped in your freezer, they’ll be ready to go whenever you are. They’re such a fun and exciting little snack to pull out of the freezer to surprise your gusts, just like I did last Labor Day.
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One Year Ago: Eggplant Caponata
Two Years Ago: Maryland Crab Cakes
Three Years Ago: The New York Times Famous Plum Torte | Warm Potato Salad with Bacon + Long Hots | Best Ever BLT’s
Four Years Ago: Blueberry Peach Crostata | Heirloom Tomato Toasts with Feta + Herbs | Salted Chocolate + Caramel Ice Cream Cake | Sun Gold Tomato Pasta
Five Years Ago: Where Fruit Flies go to Die | French Tomato + Goat Cheese Tart
Six Years Ago: Beet, Green Bean + Fennel Salad with Blue Cheese + Hazelnuts
These homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches are super easy to make, gluten free optional and SO MUCH FUN! The old school ice cream sandwich that we all grew up with is elevated with a homemade chocolate cookie and filled with whatever ice cream your heart desires. Let this be the one dessert you make before summer ends! Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour or a cup-to-cup gluten free all purpose flour replacement * (see note)
- ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder ** (See note)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 gallon vanilla ice cream, or any flavor of your choice (mint chocolate chip is especially good)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, then line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, salt and milk, then mix on low speed until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, then add it to the mixuture and beat on low speed until combined. Don’t overmix.
- Transfer the batter to the parchment lined pan, then use an offset spatula to spread the batter all over to every edge, making it as even and as smooth as you can. This batter won’t spread out during cooking, so it’s imperative that you make it as even as possible during this step, or you’ll wind up with wonky ice cream sandwiches. It can be finicky, just do the best you can. They’ll be delicious no matter what.
- Bake the giant sheet cookie for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cookie to cool, then use a fork to prick the top in neat rows, just like the top of an old school ice cream sandwich (this step is optional).
- Cut the cookie slab crosswise into 2 even halves – make sure they’re as close to the same size as possible! – then trim the edges if desired to make more uniform sandwiches. Wrap each half (with the parchment still attached) tightly with plastic wrap, then freeze until solid – preferably on a sheet pan, if your freezer has the room. Having a cold work surface will help with assembly.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften about 15 minutes before you’re ready to assemble.
- Unwrap the cookie halves, then carefully peel the parchment from the backs. Place one half, bottom up, on the frozen sheet pan or other cold surface. Spread with ice cream, making the layer as even as you can. Place the second half over the ice cream, top-side-up. Press down gently to push the ice cream evenly between the cookie halves. Wrap with plastic wrap, then freeze until firm.
- Use a very sharp knife to trim the edges, if desired, then cut the slab into 10 individual sandwiches. First, cut down the middle lengthwise, then then cut each half into 5 even bars.
- Serve immediately, or wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in a zip-top bag, in the freezer, for up to a month.
* I prefer the Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend and is what I used in this recipe.
** It is important to use Dutch process cocoa powder, or it will affect the leavening.
Keywords: dessert, ice cream, frozen, sandwich, chocolate, easy, kids