Today marks the first official day of Summer (best day ever), which means the hot sunny days of ice cream and BBQs are finally here. Last week I was in Miami and had my first ice cream craving of the summer. So I stopped by Whip N Dip (a staple for all born and raised Miami folks) and decided to buy an ice cream sandwich that was, no joke, the size of my face. It was incredible. I’m not sure if it’s because it was crazy hot outside or because it was the largest ice cream sandwich on the face of the earth, but I started wondering why I don’t make these more often. When I was in college I used to make ice cream sandwiches all the time for my roommates and myself……….that could explain why we all weighed a good 5 to 10 pounds more back then. To me, ice cream sandwiches are synonymous with Summer. When I was a little kid, I used to love getting a Chipwich from the ice cream truck. There was just something about those soft chocolate chip cookies and cold vanilla ice cream rolled in mini-chocolate chips that spoke to me. It was and still is the perfect dessert for a long hot summer day.
This week I wanted to create a Chipwich for the grown-up crowd. Something reminiscent of the ice cream truck treat we all loved as kids, but with a little bit of a twist. It wouldn’t be an ice cream sandwich without a deliciously soft chocolate chip cookie, so I decided to make a Browned Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie. Once I settled on that, I needed the perfect ice cream – cause let’s face it the key word (or words….) in ice cream sandwich is “ice cream.” I wanted the best ice cream I could get and immediately knew where to go……..Big Dipper Ice Cream, which is now being sold at Roost Fried Chicken.
First of all, let’s talk about Roost itself. We all know how much I love my Southern food and I’ve been having a hard time getting my fix in Bozeman. Luckily, Roost Fried Chicken came to my rescue and is serving up what I love best – fried chicken, biscuits, fried okra, and (my all-time favorite food ever) cheese grits. Seriously, so good. The biscuits are light and fluffy and pair perfectly with the crispy fried chicken. And you can never go wrong with fried okra and cheese grits, so you kind of have to get those as well…….it’d be wrong not to. Okay, now let’s talk about Big Dipper Ice Cream (the reason we’re here today). Big Dipper is the kind of ice cream people dream about. It’s cold, creamy deliciousness and, best of all, comes in unique and creative flavors like Salted Caramel, Maple Walnut, and Cardamom. It was exactly what I needed to complete my ideal homemade Chipwich.
I decided to get the Espresso Heath, Butter Pecan, and Salted Caramel ice creams to pair with my cookie. The next step was determining what toppings to roll on the outside. Half of the fun of making ice cream sandwiches at home is tailoring them exactly how you like. I wanted a combination of fun toppings like sprinkles and ones that were a little more sophisticated like crushed dark chocolate covered espresso beans. I paired the Salted Caramel Ice Cream with chopped dark chocolate and toasted pecans and paired the Espresso Heath Ice Cream with the crushed chocolate covered espresso beans. But these are just a jumping off point and you can get as crazy (or not crazy) as you like. The whole point is to be creative and come up with your absolute perfect ice cream treat. You could pair Mint Ice Cream with chopped up Andes or Chocolate Ice Cream with pistachios and dried tart cherries. You could even get really wild and do two different cookies…….the possibilities are endless.
I really hope you have fun with this recipe. It’s a great one to do with kids or as a cool dessert for a BBQ. Just make up the cookies ahead of time and have an assortment of toppings and ice creams for everyone to play with. I mean who wouldn’t love something like that? So get those creative juices flowing and let me know what fun combinations you come up with!
Makes about 12 ice cream sandwiches
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Assortment of ice creams (at least 2 pints worth)
Assortment of toppings such as sprinkles, toasted nuts, chopped chocolate, etc
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Place butter in a small saucepan. Cook the butter over medium heat (stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking), until the butter is brown and smells nutty and fragrant. Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and set aside to let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
When butter is cool, add the granulated and brown sugars and mix together on medium speed. Note that the mixture will not get light and fluffy like a typical cookie dough. Beat until well combined.
Add in eggs one at a time, adding in the vanilla with the second egg. Then beat mixture on medium speed for about one minute or until the mixture looks lighter in color and increases in volume.
On low speed, add in dry ingredients and mix until the flour is partially combined. Then add in the chocolate chips and mix only until just combined. Let dough rest on the counter for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a large cookie scoop (about 2.5 tablespoons), scoop out the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place the balls on the lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a little crushed Maldon salt on the top of each cookie.
Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. The cookies will look underbaked, but this is okay. They will set up as they cool. It’s important not to overbake these cookies – you want them to be soft. Cool cookies on sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
When the cookies are completely cool, it’s time to assemble the ice cream sandwiches! Place your desired toppings in small prep bowls and line a small baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Let ice cream sit on counter for about 5 or so minutes to soften a bit.
When ready to assemble, scoop about ⅓ cup ice cream and place on the bottom side of a cookie. Then top with another cookie and gently press together. Immediately roll the sides of the ice cream sandwich in your desired topping (roll it as many times as you need to get a decent coating). Then place your assembled ice cream sandwich on the prepared baking sheet and place in the freezer. Continue this process until you have all the ice cream sandwiches your heart desires.
If you’ll be serving them the same day, you can leave them unwrapped in the fridge. If you’d like to serve them at a later date or just want to save them, wrap each ice cream sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.