Make Ahead

Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

June 13, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Makes at least 10 sandwiches
Author Notes

To us, the perfect ice cream sandwich is one with great textural contrast and complementary flavors. 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. —Kris & Anne of Bi-Rite Creamery

What You'll Need
  • Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 1 1/2 pints strawberries, preferably organic, hulled and halved or quartered
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Dark Chocolate Cookies
  • 2 2/3 cups unbleached ?all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder, measured then sifted
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 15 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream
  2. Cook the berries: Combine the berries with the 21?2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons vinegar in a large nonreactive skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the strawberries are soft and the liquid they release has reduced somewhat, 6 to ?8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer the berries and their juice to a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make the ice cream base: In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of sugar (1?4 cup). Set aside.
  4. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (1?4 cup) and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Carefully scoop out about 1?2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1?2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
  6. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  7. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Freeze ice cream: Whisk the strawberry purée and the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar into the chilled base. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  1. Dark Chocolate Cookies
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and both sugars. Mix on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and, with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time, completely mixing in each egg before adding the next.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture, and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together, about ?30 seconds.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until the dough is firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  6. When you’re ready to bake, position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick mats. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of dough (we use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop) and form the dough into a ball. Repeat until all the dough has been shaped. Place the balls 21?2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand so that they’re about 1?2 inch thick.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes, and then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continued to bake until the cookies are slightly cracked on the surface and feel dry and slightly firm in the center, 5 to 6 minutes longer. (If they feel airy, like a soufflé, they’re not ready.) Let cool for a minute on the baking sheets, then transfer to a rack. Bake the remaining dough balls. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.
  8. Tip: Sometimes having 50 cookies in your kitchen is more temptation than you want at one time! If that’s the case for you, try what we do when making cookies at home: After mixing the cookie dough, shape the dough into balls and line them up snugly on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid (about an hour), then transfer to a zip-top storage bag and store in the freezer. They last for weeks this way, and you can bake as many or as few as you like at a moment’s notice. When you’re ready to bake, arrange the dough balls on the baking sheet and let them sit at room temperature to thaw slightly before putting them in the oven.
  9. For ice cream sandwiches: Get the cookies ready, arranging half of them upside down on a baking sheet. You can get a 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Starchgirl
  • AAavecsucre
  • chezmoi
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).

3 Reviews

Starchgirl July 3, 2017
These cookies make perfect ice cream sandwiches. I cheated and mixed peanut butter into vanilla ice cream.
AAavecsucre August 13, 2013
These came out delicious and beautiful! The dark chocolate cookies are deep, rich, & could even be served on their own they are so delicious but really taste amazing with the ice cream ( which have such sweet strawberry tones & a great balsamic kick at the end!) Also preparation is so easy with sophisticated presentation!
chezmoi June 18, 2013
This is the most wonderful, strawberry-y ice cream. Bought the BiRite book and made this last week. Love the fact that the strawberries are pureed, so you don't get frozen chunks of strawberry. The ice cream is so mouthfully satisfying!