As a kid, one of my all-time favorite summer treats was the classic ice cream sandwich. Remember the ones that came out of a bell-ringing tricycle cart? The jingle-ling from the Good Humour or Dickie Dee guy sent us all running home begging for change. Because July is National Ice Cream month, and because it’s hot and I want ice cream sandwiches, and because they are so cute tied in neat little packages when company’s coming, I had to make them.
How cute would you be pulling these little parcels of frozen good stuff out of your picnic hamper? Martha says wrap it in plastic; I say wrap it in parchment and store for a week in the freezer, if it lasts that long.
Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Butter a pan and line it with parchment, leaving extra on ends for grip. I didn’t have a jelly roll pan, and used a 9″ x 13″ pan instead. Not all the batter fit, so the excess went onto a lined cookie sheet.
Martha Stewart’s recipe is quick and simple to put together. To the melted butter, add sugar, egg, vanilla and salt.
Add cocoa and flour, and mix until smooth.
Spread an even thin layer, and bake till cake begins to pull away from the sides.
Cool cake completely. Cut in half, and place it back in the pan (lined in plastic wrap). Spread softened ice cream. Sandwich other half over the top. I found it helpful to put the whole pan with the cake in the freezer for a few minutes just before assembly. Wrap tightly in plastic, and chill in freezer until hard.
Remove from freezer, unwrap plastic and cut with a serrated knife. Have your parchment and string ready. Wrap individual sandwiches and put in freezer before they melt.
You can serve them in an ice bucket.
These are actually mini sandwiches, just enough to hit the spot. Next time, I will try a no-bake version of a coconut cream pie: with graham crackers, coconut ice cream, and sides rolled in toasted coconut. The possibilities are endless, use your favorite ice cream and have fun.
Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe
Makes 8 bars, or 16 mini-bars
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 pints ice cream (any flavor), softened
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 15-by-10-inch jelly-roll pan (a cookie sheet or rectangular cake pan would work too); line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two shorter sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until combined; whisk in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add flour and cocoa, and mix just until smooth. Spread in prepared baking pan. Bake until cake is dry to the touch and edges begin to pull away from the sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface. With a serrated knife, halve crosswise. Place one half of cake, flat side down, on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread with ice cream, then top with remaining half of cake, flat side up. Return ice-cream sandwich to baking pan, and wrap tightly in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Unwrap sandwich; using a serrated knife, cut into 8 rectangles, wiping off blade between each cut. Serve ice-cream sandwiches immediately. To store, wrap individually in plastic (or parchment and tie with baker’s string) and freeze up to 1 week.
All photos styled and taken Jill Chen.
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