Cookbook review: ‘Cookies & Cream’

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 16, 2013 

The concept behind an ice cream sandwich is easy. Put a slab of ice cream between cookies or cake, freeze until solid, then eat before it melts all over your fingers, clothing or sun-burned skin. Sounds simple, right? Not.

Tessa Arias had me at the recipe for the snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich.

Arias, of the “Handle the Heat” blog, has taken the humble ice cream treat to new levels of deliciousness in “Cookies and Cream.” She has assembled a multitude of ways to get creative with ice cream sandwiches, including a recipe for a boozy Sangria ice cream sandwich for those above the legal age of consent for liquor.

All of the ice cream and the cookies are made from scratch in these recipes. It won’t entail the purchase of a dairy cow or chickens, but you will be buying a great deal of heavy cream, whole milk, and eggs.

Arias starts the book with the admonition that you should “read the entire recipe before you start” to keep yourself from “following a recipe as we go, only to unexpectedly encounter something like ‘chill overnight’ ” or having to find a tablespoon of vodka for the Peaches and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich.

It’s really worth reading the “Getting Started” part for the note on food safety about the use of eggs. She notes that in the book’s recipes the “eggs are cooked thoroughly, destroying any bacteria.” Good move.

She provides lists of equipment that would be helpful and lists of ingredients such as mascarpone, espresso powder and dulce de leche.

Then you go to work making the ice cream using all that heavy cream and milk.

Some of the recipes are paired, such as the peaches and cream ice cream and cinnamon honey cookies, but don’t let that stop you from trying mixing or matching any of the other cookie recipes.

Banana oat cookies with peanut butter ice cream is a substantial treat to be pulled out of the freezer as desired. Try the Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich for an end-of-year holiday dessert.

If you’re a vegan, there’s the dairy-free banana ice cream, paired with vegan chocolate chip cookies.

As for the snickerdoodles, mix up the cinnamon ice cream, sandwich it between sugar cookies made with sea salt and cream cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon and freeze.

Pull them out of the icebox for a brain freeze on the hottest days of the year. Hello, summer!

To see a printable version of this recipe, click on the link below:

Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwiches

Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwich From “Cookies and Cream,” by Tessa Arias (Running Press, 2013) Ice cream ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 1/4 cups whole milk 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 3/4 cup granulated sugar Pinch of fine sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract Cookie ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder Pinch of fine sea salt 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring

PUREE cream cheese, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth in a blender or food processor. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 30 minutes.

POUR chilled mixture into the ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Line a large rimmed baking pan or another similar large flat container with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Spread freshly churned ice cream evenly over the lined baking sheet. Press additional plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream. Freeze until totally firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. The longer you freeze it, the easier it will be to form the ice cream sandwiches.

SIFT together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl for 2 minutes or until well combined and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla extract and food coloring and continue beating until thoroughly combined. On low speed, add flour mixture and beat until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.

LINE large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place chilled dough in between two large pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. If the dough is too firm, let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling. Using tall round cookie cutter, carefully cut out rounds of the dough and place on prepared baking sheets. Chill the baking sheets in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes until firm.

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.

REMOVE baking sheets from refrigerator and prick the dough squares all over with a skewer. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, or until cookies are set. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Freeze cookies until frozen, at least 1 hour. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

ASSEMBLE: remove ice cream sheet from freezer. Using same cookie cutter, cut out a round of ice cream and sandwich it between two cookies. Repeat with remaining cookies, working quickly. Freeze sandwiches until firm, about 1 hour before serving. Yield: 12 ice cream sandwiches

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service