Friday, August 01, 2008

When You Tire of Plain Old Ice Cream

Ice cream is all well and good, but an ice cream sandwich takes the pleasure up a notch. The nostalgia factor, the portability, and the combination of cookie and ice cream all add up to a refreshing break from a plain ol' bowl of ice cream. (Boooooring!)

My favorite homemade ice cream sandwiches (incidentally, the only ice cream sandwiches I've ever made) combine coconut and vanilla. They're Coconut Cream Sandwiches, and while the original recipe suggests you buy two pints of vanilla ice cream for the filling, would it really kill you to make a batch of homemade ice cream? No French-style, egg-based seriousness needed; a simple Philadelphia-style ice cream fits the bill just fine, especially since the cookie part of the ice cream sandwich is pretty rich, made with sweetened shredded coconut, butter, sugar, flour and salt.

You'll probably find the cookies expand in the oven--it happens to me every time--so shape the unbaked cookie dough into a smaller piece than you'd ideally want for an ice cream sandwich. And when the cookies have cooled and you're ready to make the sandwiches, make sure the ice cream is slightly softened, otherwise you'll break the cookies. And then you'll have to eat them on the spot.

It's August, summer's half over, and you're probably sick of ice cream. Okay, you're not sick of ice cream. I still recommend these ice cream sandwiches!--S

Coconut Cream Sandwiches

Makes 12

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
3/4 c all-purpose flour
7 oz sweetened shredded coconut
2 pints vanilla ice cream, slightly softened (recipe below)

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt until smooth. Mix in flour, then coconut, beating until a dough forms. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper; pat into a rectangular log, about 3" wide and 6" long. Wrap with waxed paper; freeze until firm, about 30 min.
2. Preheat oven to 350, with racks in upper and lower thirds. With a serrated knife, slice log of dough crosswise 1/4" thick (you should have about 24 slices); arrange slices on two baking sheets. [Leave plenty of space between the cookies; as mentioned above, they will spread.]
3. Bake until golden, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes (watch closely toward end of cooking time to avoid overbrowning). Cool completely on sheets.
4. Dividing evenly, spread ice cream on flat side of half the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies, flat side down. Freeze on a baking sheet until firm, about 3 hrs. (To freeze longer, up to 1 week, wrap sandwiches individually in plastic.)

Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food

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