HOMEMADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

These are the ultimate make-ahead dessert. Bake some cookies, stick a little ice cream between them, and leave them in the freezer until you want to eat them. You can get extra credit for making your own ice cream, but in a pinch, I just buy my favorite flavors from the local ice cream shop. My favorite part are the toppings, and I went a little crazy.

Pistachio is one of my “litmus test” flavors when it comes to ice cream and gelato. If they get that right (not too sweet, not too almond-y, and just a touch savory), I’m sold for life. Especially with bittersweet dark chocolate? MWAH! Heaven! And with all of the dark, rich flavors in the cookies, which aren’t too sweet because they’re meant to be paired with ice cream, pistachio was a must try. Also, cayenne pepper and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations that I go back to again and again. Sprinkle a little around the edge and you have a surprising kick on an icy treat. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

For 24 cookies (12 sandwiches)

8 ounces butter, room temp

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup grated or finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

1 quart of your favorite flavor (I chose vanilla and chocolate)

Toppings (I did vanilla + sprinkles, vanilla + grated chocolate, chocolate + salted pistachios, chocolate + cayenne pepper)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. With a mixer, blend together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixer on low speed. Add the vanilla and chocolate and blend until the dough becomes a rich, dark brown. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and top with sugar crystals is you like. Bake for 15 minutes and cool completely on a rack.

You can make the ice cream sandwiches ahead and refreeze them, or make them to order. Just pick your favorite flavor, scoop out about a 1/2 cup, and press onto the cookie (softened ice cream works best). Top it with another cookie, and roll the sides in your favorite topping (nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, whatever!).