It’s always fun to treat yourself to an ice cream sandwich, but we think it’s really a celebration when it’s one made with fresh baked cookies and ice cream made at home. We feel like a kid again sitting on the back steps with an ice cream sandwich in hand—no utensils needed!
To us, the perfect ice cream sandwich is one with great textural contrast and complimentary flavors. At the creamery, we’re making a Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle and Chocolate, which is perfect between two of our Sweet-and-Salty Peanut Cookies. We love the way the shortbread-like texture of the cookie pairs with the crunchy bits of peanut brittle and chunks of chocolate in the ice cream.
We like to put our ice cream sandwiches together ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for a few hours. There are a couple reasons to do this: first, so that the ice cream regains its firmness and doesn’t squish out the sides of the sandwich when bitten into, and second, so that the cookies and the ice cream meld slightly and become a bit more cohesive.
Another important consideration is to choose a cookie that will hold up well once it’s been sandwiched with the ice cream and kept in the freezer. Some of our favorite cookie/ice cream combinations include Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Ice Cream, Lemon Gingersnaps with Ginger or Meyer Lemon Ice Cream, and Dark Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chip Ice Cream. Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream with Sugar Cookies is a flavor we always make during the summer months. With its intense berry flavor from the ice cream and a sweet chewiness from the cookies, it’s like strawberry shortcake in frozen form. Balsamic Strawberry also pairs well with our Dark Chocolate Cookies, crisp but still a little chewy, making a wonderful sandwich.
—Kris & Anne of Bi-Rite Creamery
Baked and cooled cookies of your choice (two per sandwich)
Ice cream (for 3" cookies, you'll need about 1/2 cup of ice cream per sandwich)
In This Recipe
- A large rimmed baking sheet that fits in your freezer
- ½ cup dry measuring cup (optional)
- Small offset spatula (optional)
- 20 minutes to soften the ice cream
- At least 2 hours to solidify the assembled ice cream sandwiches
For the crispiest cookies and brightest flavors, assemble the ice cream sandwiches the same day you plan to eat them. You can assemble these up to one week ahead of time, but the cookies will soften and the flavors will mellow the longer that the sandwiches are stored.
To prepare the ice cream, put it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to let it soften slightly. (Set a timer!)
Get the cookies ready, arranging half of them upside down on a baking sheet.
At Bi-Rite Creamery we use silicone molds to create perfectly round “pucks” of ice cream for ice cream sandwiches, though you can get a similarly uniform shape by using a dry measuring cup as a mold for the ice cream. Or, you can get a more handmade look by simply scooping a large scoop of ice cream onto a cookie, sandwiching it with a second cookie, and pressing on the cookies slightly.
Freeze the sandwiches, putting the baking sheet in the freezer to let them harden for at least two hours. If you’re storing the sandwiches for longer than one day, transfer the hardened sandwiches to zip-top freezer bags, being sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing.
We're the owners of San Francisco's Bi-Rite Creamery, where we make ice cream, soft serve and baked goods in small batches to taste like the stuff we grew up with.
Early on, we became obsessed with making the most intensely flavored ice cream possible; we felt that all too often, ice cream didn’t taste enough of whatever it was supposed to be. We believed that lemon ice cream should be really lemony, butter pecan should taste like butter and pecans, and chocolate should be intensely chocolatey. We strive to create unique and delicious flavors with local, handmade and organic ingredients in a responsible and sustainable way.
In April, we published our first cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones (Ten Speed Press).