Monday, May 30

Ice Cream Cookies

My family has two holiday seasons.  The first holiday season is the traditional one - Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's...  At the moment, we're in the middle of the second, mid-year holiday season.  Basically, we celebrate my parents' anniversary, my dad's birthday, my birthday, and my sister's birthday in one 26-day period.  And in case we feel as if we have not consumed enough cheese, champagne, and favorite-dinners, this whole season of festivities is bookmarked on either end by Mother's Day on one end, and Father's Day and the Fourth of July on the other.  Occasionally we sprinkle graduations in there.

Anyway, we just celebrated my dad's birthday.  Instead of ordering an ice cream cake, I decided to make ice cream sandwiches.  I tweaked the recipe a little bit, but here's the original:

Ice Cream Cookies
from 500 Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (you know, that Crisco stuff)
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups cornflakes or crisped rice cereal
1/2 cup melted semisweet chocolate
4 cups vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two baking sheets (I'd recommend using little bits of the vegetable shortening.  It should be out on the counter already anyway).  Sift the flour and baking soda.  Beat the butter and shortening with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and gradually add the flour and cereal.  

the crispy rice-infested dough

Roll the dough into small balls (there should be 24 of them) and place them on the baking sheets.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then allow them to cool on a baking rack or something.  

When they are totally cooled, coat the bottom of each cookie with a layer of melted chocolate.  Put the cookies in the refrigerator to make sure the chocolate hardens.  

I'm just impressed I was able to clear out this much space

Spoon about 1/4 cup of ice cream onto the chocolate side of a cookie and then make a sandwich with another cookie.  Put the cookies in the freezer as you work to prevent the ice cream from melting.  

the first cookie

When all the cookies are finished, transfer them to an air-tight container and store in the freezer for up to 4 days.

I've never been a fan of crispy rice or cornflakes or whatever you want to call them.  Plus, I made some (minor) changes to the recipe.  As a result, I was deeply suspicious of what would become the finished product.  I was horrified at the thought of ruining precious ingredients (just think of the ice cream!), but I decided I had to trust the cookie book because it has yet to disappoint me.

I had to taste ahead of time to ensure the utmost quality

I ended up making mint chocolate ice cream sandwiches instead, with only a few changes.  I subtracted 2 tbs of flour from the whole cup and added 2 tbs of cocoa to the cookie dough instead.  The cookbook suggests crushing peppermint candies and adding them to the dough in addition, but I just couldn't do it.  I considered adding mint chocolate as well, but I honestly forgot to.  However, I did manage to get mint chocolate in there.  After melting 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I would recommend adding another small handful to the 1/2 cup just because I started to run out), I added peppermint extract - somewhere between 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp.  When you melt the chocolate, make sure you do not anger it or the oils will start to separate and you'll end up with a weird half-boiled, half-crusty shell that is only vaguely reminiscent of its previous glory.  Use a spatula to coat the bases of the cookies.  I had some problems with the chocolate starting to harden, so I submerged the chocolate bowl in a larger bowl of hot water and stirred frequently.  Instead of vanilla ice cream, I used mint chocolate ice cream (the kind with the chocolate chunks in it).  Finally, you will want the ice cream to be fairly soft to ensure ease of scooping, and the edges of the ice cream will melt and drip regardless.  I would recommend using a circular 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the ice cream and freeing the ice cream using that trusty spatula. That way, the ice cream will already have some semblance of a disc-shape and sandwiching the ice cream will not have an incredibly lop-sided effect.

I added frosting to make them as
ice cream cake-like as possible

Despite the crispy rice things, these actually turned out really well.  In fact, I'm guessing the crispy rice is what made the cookies so, ahem, crispy.  When I pulled the cookies out of the oven, however, it seemed as if they were a little gooey so I'd recommend flattening the dough more than just a little (make sure they don't burn).  That said, sitting in the freezer does have the lovely effect of solidifying any unruly bits.  And, to make the cookies more like an ice cream cake, I made some frosting (here) and decorated the ice cream cookies.

In honor of my dear father, here is the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams", a song to which he cannot resist dancing with unabashed zeal:

Vanstone, Philippa.  500 Cookies: the Only Cookie Compendium You'll Ever Need.  Portland, Me.: Ronnie Sellers Productions, 2005.  Print.

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