This might be my last attempt at clinging to summer. I missed national ice cream sandwich day by about a mile, I know.
You've already heard me not-so-poetically whine about my dislike for summer. You guys, I am READY for fall. I started on the pumpkin shit like two weeks ago. I cannot be stopped. The pumpkin spice candle is a-burnin'. I will fill your October (and possibly parts of September and November) with pumpkin.
Sort of unrelated: I may or may not have almost burned our condo down the other weekend. I woke up on a Sunday morning to find I had left a candle lit and unattended (well, attended by cats, which basically means attended by chaos) over night. Dumb. Yeesh.
HOWEVER. I will admit one thing: because fall means being proverbially punched in the face with all things cookie-y, loaf-y and pie-y, I do end up missing ice cream and popsicles. This is my answer. DIY ice cream sandwiches, to be slowly consumed throughout fall and winter, when you just need a break from your umpteenth slice of pie.
This is almost a no-brainer. Use your favorite brownie recipe, your favorite ice cream recipe, your favorite boxed mix, your favorite store bought ice cream...who cares? Acquire brownies, acquire ice cream...voila, brownie ice cream sandwiches. I did the brownies from scratch (recipe below), and went with store bought chocolate chip ice cream. If you wanted to be extra crafty, you could dip them in chocolate, or roll them in nuts/sprinkles. You could use blondies instead of brownies. You could swirl two kinds of ice cream together. You could add a layer of fudge or caramel. Then, once they're good and frozen, you slice, wrap individually in plastic, and store the lot in a zip top bag in the freezer.
Note: You can use either a square (8x8 or 9x9) pan, or a 9x13 pan here. I used a square, and you can see my sandwiches are more brownie than ice cream. If you want thinner brownies, use the larger pan. Square-edged pans are better here, but rounded-edge is fine if that's your only option.
BROWNIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
brownie recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1/3 cup cocoa powder (onyx, if you have it. dutch process, if you don't.)
2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 cup boiling water
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 cup + 2 TB vegetable oil
4 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz chopped chocolate/chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet are good here, but use what you have/like)
1/2 gallon ice cream (homemade or store bought)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line your chosen pan with foil, so you can easily remove brownies later. Grease foil with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder, espresso powder, and boiling water until smooth. Add your 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate, and whisk until melted.
- Whisk in oil and melted butter.
- Add eggs and vanilla; whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Whisk in sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Fold in flour and salt until combined.
- Stir in chopped chocolate/chocolate chips.
- Pour HALF of the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth/spread with a spatula.
- Bake until done -- a toothpick inserted into the center should have a few crumbs, but no wet/gooey batter. For me, this took about 25 minutes, but depending on your pan, it could take as little as 15. Start checking at 15 minutes.
- Let pan cool on rack for 30 minutes, then use foil to lift brownies out of pan. Wrap brownie slab in foil, and stick it in the freezer.
- Re-line the same pan with foil, grease it, and cook the 2nd half of your batter the same way. Again, let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan, wrapping in foil, and freezing.
- Freeze brownie slabs for at least 2 hours.
- Let ice cream sit out for 30-ish minutes. You want it to be pliable, but not super melty.
- Line the same pan you used to bake the brownies with plastic wrap.
- Unwrap one frozen brownie slab, and place it into the bottom of the lined pan.
- Add ice cream in an even layer (really, you can use as much as you want.)
- Unwrap the second frozen brownie slab and place on top of the ice cream layer. Push down gently. You should basically have a giant ice cream sandwich in your pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and freeze for several hours.
- When you're ready to slice, remove the giant ice cream sandwich from the pan, and unwrap.
- Dip a sharp knife in hot water, remove excess water, and slice into desired sized pieces. Re-dip your knife in hot water occasionally -- it helps you make clean cuts.
- Wrap your ice cream sandwiches individually in plastic wrap, and then put all individually wrapped sandwiches in a large zip top bag. Stick em in the freezer.