Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

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Tuesday, August 2nd, is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

A Little History, Please

Ice cream sandwiches are cousins with the Renaissance-era Trifles and 18th century Charlottes, both composed of sweet cream and layers of biscuits or cookies.  When freezer technology made ice cream available readily available, Victorian cooks began crafting fancy ice cream and cake creations.
Ice cream sandwiches as we know them were introduced in the late 19th century.  Inexpensive novelty treats, these sandwiches were sold by street vendors in cities, vacation resorts and fairs.  The earliest written reference to ice cream sandwiches was published in August of 1928.
Whether fact or fiction, Blue Earth, Minnesota claims to be the birthplace of the Ice Cream Sandwich here is the U.S. Blue Earth is also famous for the Jolly Green Giant in case you make the trip!
So, what better way to celebrate this cool and creamy treat than to whip up your own delicious dessert!  This kid-friendly recipe comes to us courtesy of Emeril Lagasse.  An oldie, but a goodie, it combines a M&M cookie with homemade chocolate ice cream.  Thanks, Emeril!

E.J.’S First Ice Cream Sandwich CookiesRecipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005

 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
Plain chocolate covered candies for cookies, (recommended M&M’s)
1 recipe Chocolate Ice Cream, recipe follows
Sprinkles, for decorating, optional


Chocolate Ice Cream

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cups milk
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Adjust the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Place the butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream the ingredients on high-speed. Add the vanilla and egg to the mixer and mix on medium speed. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture and combine on low-speed.
With a tablespoon, form the dough into balls, using about 2 spoonfuls for each. Divide the balls of dough among 3 large baking sheets and press to slightly flatten. (The cookies should be about 2 inches apart or 8 cookies per baking sheet.) Press 5 or 6 chocolate candies into the top of each cookie, if desired. Bake in batches in the oven until golden around the edges, about 13 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely. You will need 12 cookies for the ice cream sandwiches. Extra cookies can be stored in an air-tight container or enjoyed immediately.
To build the ice cream sandwiches, soften ice cream at room temperature for 15 minutes and line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and set aside.
Using a small, tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop, place 3 to 4 scoops of ice cream on the bottom side of one cookie. Working quickly, top with a second cookie and press lightly to push the ice cream to the edges of the cookie. Use a small spatula to smooth the ice cream around the edges of the sandwich. If using sprinkles, place sprinkles in a shallow container and roll the edges of the ice cream in the sprinkles, pressing lightly to coat.
Place ice cream sandwiches on the prepared tray and freeze immediately, until firm, about 2 hours.

Chocolate Ice Cream

In a non-reactive metal, or glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon colored. Combine the cream and milk in a non-reactive saucepan and heat to the scalding point (when bubbles form around the edge of the pan). Gradually add about 1/2 of the cream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the egg yolk, sugar and cream mixture to the saucepan with the cream and milk, and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly. Be careful not over-cook or boil, as the custard will curdle.
Remove the custard from the heat, add the chocolate and vanilla, and stir until the chocolate is melted. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a cold bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.
Pour the custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s suggested instructions. (Use a 3 or 4-quart ice cream maker, or churn the ice cream in batches.) Place frozen ice cream in a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight until firm.

Serves:  6 large ice cream cookie sandwiches

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3 Responses to “Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!”

  1. August 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Awwww shucks! We will be celebrating this next year! What are the other “Chocolate-oriented” holidays throughout the year?

    • Chocolate Guru
      August 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Joe! I’ll keep you updated–many celebration-worthy days ahead!

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