This recipe is inspired by my pal, Jane's espresso brownies—favorite bites that have graced countless celebrations through many years. We decided to morph the brownies into cookies and sandwich around vanilla ice cream. The recipe yields close to four dozen cookies for twenty ice cream sandwiches, give or take. We like to save a few cookies to enjoy with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea—and there are always a few casualties that barely make it off the baking sheet. Nonetheless there's still plenty left for a party. —Ann S
about 20 3-inch sandwiches
2 1/4 cups
sticks butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups
packed brown sugar
espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
semi-sweet chocolate chips
premium vanilla ice cream (or less if you plan to make fewer sandwiches)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl
Place butter and sugars in a large bowl and cream thoroughly with an electric mixer for 2 or so minutes. Add dissolved espresso powder mixture and vanilla and briefly mix on low speed. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add flour mixture at low speed until ingredients are just combined, and the dough is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop cookie dough with a soup spoon, dropping in dollops of about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving space between dollops for cookies to spread as they bake. These cookies turn out wide and thin so they need plenty of elbow room in the oven. Bake for about 9 minutes, until edges turn slightly brown. You'll have about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies in all.
Remove cookies from baking sheets as soon as they are done baking and cool on a wire rack.
Remove ice cream from freezer and allow it to soften slightly for about 5 minutes. Match cookies in pairs of about the same size. Work with one pair at a time to assemble sandwiches. Place a scoop of softened ice cream in the middle of the flat side of one cookie. Place the flattened side of the cookie's mate against the ice cream scoop. Hold the sandwich between two hands and press gently on both sides, using flattened palms. As you press on the sandwich the ice cream will squish and spread across the cookie surfaces, toward the other edges. Place sandwich flat on a rimmed baking sheet and stow on a shelf in the freezer. Repeat with as many cookies as you have (though you may want to keep some for eating without ice cream). You may not use the entire amount of ice cream. Freeze sandwiches for at least one hour before serving. If you plan to freeze for longer wrap tightly in plastic wrap.