July 7, 2011

4th of July Ice-Cream Sandwiches

My apologies to those of you that follow my blog. I realize I've been neglecting both of my blogs a bit, no posts at all through June. Well June was quite a crazy busy month. I was offered a position in pastry at a lovely new french restaurant in Seattle. Everything has moved so fast...out with the old and in with the new. So I have been working at the restaurant and teaching on my days off so it's left little time for blogging. But I'm here, baking & cooking away. Below is a melting version of the ice cream sandwiches I made for the 4th. We had a BBQ with our family and this was the sweet I served before the Fireworks started. Finally the sun has peaked out here in the PNW, just in time for BBQ's and sticky, messy and gooey desserts!

Melting in the gorgeous sunlight my ice-cream sandwiches. The key to making ice cream sandwiches is having all of your ingredients cold. Even your cookies can spend some time after baking and cooling in the freezer for a bit. These cookies are a cross between a brownie and a cookie. A recipe I tried from Jill O'Connor's adorable "desserts for the serious sweet tooth" Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. The Cookie, O'Connor's Triple-Chocolate.....The Ice-Cream, Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio....The Chocolate, Theo (of course). The Ice-Cream Sandwich, scrumptious!

So I altered O'Connor's recipe a smidgen, due to her chocolate selection, she uses a mixture of Semisweet, Unsweetened and Milk Chocolate. I decided on a blend of Theo's Classic 70% Dark & 45% Milk Chocolate. You'll find her original recipe below along with my chocolate notes!

Sticky Fingers Triple-Chocolate Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Makes 12 Ice-Cream Sandwiches

For the Triple-Chocolate Cookies:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (For those Theo Fans try a blend of 70% & 45% Milk)
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (If using Theo, no need for this addition)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour (I ALWAYS use Unbleached, you know less chemicals for our bodies!)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks (Again, Theo 70% works beautifully here)
1 1/2 Quarts Ice-Cream of your choice
Confectioner's Sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the cookies: Combine the semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir until completely melted. If the mixture is not completely melted, continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, and stir until smooth.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, sugars and vanilla with an electric mixer set at medium speed until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Drop the batter into 24 dollops (about 1/4 cup each) onto the baking sheets at least 3 inches apart. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are firm and have a glossy, crackled exterior similar to a brownie but are still moist inside, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheets.

When the cookies are completely cool, sandwich with the ice cream. Gently spread a 1/2-cup scoop of softened ice cream onto the flat side of a cookie. Top with a second cookie, flat-side down, and press together gently. Store the finished sandwiches in the freezer while you continue with the remaining cookies and ice cream. Serve immediately, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar if desired.

The only change I'll make for future decadent Ice-Cream sandwiches is to make miniature versions. As these were large and difficult for many to finish. So maybe 3-4 bite sandwiches in the future.

Happy Summer to you all and Buon Appetito!

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