brownie ice cream sandwiches Recipes

brownie ice cream sandwiches

Within reason, I think if you’re craving something, you should go for it, although this theory is mostly born of my own poor logic. I’ve all too many times craved, say, a brownie but thought I shouldn’t eat a brownie and so instead snacked on (just for a completely random example) 12 almonds, 1 slice of cheese, half an apple, 1 banana and then, oops, a handful of chocolate chips, amounting roughly 3x the calories of a brownie, a brownie that I craved exactly as much as I did 500 calories ago. And so, when I really want a brownie, I make my favorite brownies and we each eat one and then I stash the rest in the freezer, so they are not out on the counter, calling to me that we haven’t been cut in a straight line and you should really even us out or we’re going to go bad soon and you don’t want us to go to waste or any of those things that brownies tell me when we’re alone together.

salt, chocolate, vanilla, eggs, butter, flour and sugar

[Hm, here I should probably interject some sort of “sure, okay, brownies talk to me but I’m not like crazy or anything; it’s not weird. Brownies talk to everyone, right? Haha?” reassurance but I’m not going to. I’m going to make this as awkward as possible.]

melt the chocolate and butter

a bloop of brownie batter
brownie batter, divided
all baked

Unfortunately, or maybe predictably, the only thing years of stashing brownies in the freezer has taught us is that frozen brownies are very, very good. They’re chewy but not hard, fudgy and intense and I know this sounds like madness but I’d take a cold brownie over a freshly baked, warm, squishy, steamy one any day.

neapolitan ice cream filling
smoosh and smooth the ice cream
frozen brownie lid
from the freezer, weighted
cutting into squares

Thus, this was inevitable. If brownies are good frozen, they’re even better enlisted as the header and footer of an ice cream cloud. This might actually be both the easiest and winning-est summer dessert. The one-bowl brownies bake in 15 minutes, head directly to the freezer until cold (another 15 minutes), after which they are filled with ice cream (or ice cream combination; I went for Neapolitan because: summer), lidded, and cut into squares. You will be a hero among your people. Most importantly, the ice cream sandwiches are stored in the freezer, away from temptation, and nothing bad ever comes of that.

brownie ice cream sandwiches

Ice Cream, Previously: The insane Hot Fudge Sundae Cake I made last summer, Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches, Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce, Ridiculously Easy Butterscotch Sauce and A Deep Dark Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

One year ago: Grilled Bacon Salad with Arugula and Balsamic
Two years ago: Bacon Corn Hash
Three years ago: Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
Four years ago: Light Brioche Burger Buns and Blueberry Boy Bait
Five years ago: Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint
Six years ago: Chocolate Sorbet
Seven years ago: Quick Potato Pierogi



Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

This uses the recipe for My Favorite Brownies, but I drop the sugar by 1/3 cup for more of a bittersweet contrast with the sweet ice cream; you won’t miss it at all. The batter is divided into two 8×8 pans (although you can use a single 9×13 for a teensy bit thicker brownie that you can later cut in half to form a top and bottom layer) and bakes in half the time. You can tweak the brownie flavor by adding ground cinnamon, mint extract or some espresso powder. I used a little shy of 3 cups ice cream for this (1 1/2 pints, although I took a 1/2 pint from three flavors, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, to be difficult) though I think they’d be just fine with only 2 cups ice cream filling, and easier to bite into. For extra fanciness, you can swirl in some homemade hot fudge (with or without the mint), butterscotch, or salted caramel sauce, or you can roll the sides of the ice cream sandwiches in colored sprinkles, toasted and chopped nuts or cookie crumbs.

For the brownies
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour

For the filling
2 to 3 cups ice cream (see Note up top)

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.

Divide batter between two prepared pans and spread it evenly — an offset spatula will make this easier. Bake on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out batter-free. Transfer hot pans directly to freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove first pan from freezer, and, working quickly, cover with ice cream. (I did this in a patchwork 1-tablespoon scoops of each flavor for a mottled look.) Use a spatula to smoosh it down and smooth the top. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use parchment sling to life the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place it on top of the ice cream. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes. Run a knife around brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting bard. Cut into squares — we cut it into 16 (4×4), but I might make 25 (5×5) tinier ones next time instead.

You can store the cut sandwiches in an airtight container or bag in the freezer as-is, or individually wrapped in squares of waxed paper. They should keep for at least two months in the freezer, but good luck with that.

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192 comments on brownie ice cream sandwiches

  1. Sarah

    Loving this! I wanted brownies last night but it’s too hot to bake right now so opted for ice cream instead. But this would be the perfect mix of two of my favorite things. Makes me think of the pancakes video, “And ice cream!”

    Also, what brand/size do you use for your flour and sugar containers? I’m in the market for some since I just moved into my first apartment. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Sarah — I use these for flour and sugar. It’s a LITTLE tight for 5lbs of flour, I have to do some shimmying to get it all in. Find someone to split the 6 with if you don’t buy a lot of bulk flour.

  2. Jersey Shore or one of those “hidden” Brooklyn gems I keep on reading about? I’ve heard good things about Rockaway tacos. Like, need to get in my car and don’t bother about the bathing suit, good things.

  3. Kalisa

    Ooh, BROWNIE ice cream sandwiches? How decadent, how delicious! I have already made a few batches of ice cream sandwiches but I don’t mind buying another pint or two of heavy cream if it gives me an excuse to try this recipe out!

    Your one bowl brownie recipe is already a staple in my recipe collection as it is perfect for any get-together. Everyone loves the brownies and I get the simple pleasure of being smug about not using boxed mixes. ;)

  4. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a COLD brownie in that regard like you’re talking about, out of the freezer. I’m a big fan of warm and gooey brownies, but I think I’d be a fan of these sandwiches for SURE. Why isn’t this a thing already?! This is groundbreaking. Cookie ice cream sandwiches, we have heard of, but brownies are going to be far superior in my mind! I will definitely try this next time that craving strikes. And it will.

  5. Deb, I am dying over these! I accidentally found out the same thing about frozen cookie dough. I thought it would be safe in the freezer but it turns out that it doesn’t get hard enough to keep me away from it. Those frozen morsels are even better than warm baked cookies. I love these sandwiches and am making them this weekend for sure.

  6. Oh gawd. Oh stop. Oh no! I’m going to have to make these! I’m 20 weeks pregnant and brownie sundaes are my weakness. But a brownie sundae that you can eat with your hands? Agggggghhhh! Delicious!

  7. Rachael

    this is next on the list to make with HOMEMADE ICE CREAM, which i can’t believe you didn’t mention. i did make your hot fudge sundae cake for my husbands birthday (yes, all from scratch!) and it was a hit! i suspect these will help me keep up my kitchen stardom.

  8. Teresa

    Any ideas how can these be made without two identical square pans? I saw your suggestion to bake the brownies in a 9×13, but then what can be used for the stacking/freezing part?

  9. You know, I just scheduled a housewarming party in a few weeks for my very first home and I told myself nothing more than fresh fruit as a sweet treat because it will be peak fruit season and I don’t want to make myself crazy with more stuff to do, but, well, crap. I can make these this weekend and that wouldn’t even count as work for the party. Though then they’d actually have to survive until the party…taste-testing and quality control of course.

  10. sally

    Ok, since I only have one 8×8 pan, I’d use a 9×13 pan and cut. LOVE this idea.

    How long would I bake for a 9×13 pan? THANK you!

    (And BTW, that salted caramel sauce is TO DIE FOR. And the easiest thing to make – no one believes me, because it is that amazing, but it is really super easy.)

    1. deb

      sally, Terese — The 9×13-inch pan would require roughly the same baking time, at most, 2 minutes more. Once it’s firm and cold, cut it in half, but keeping on half in the baking pan. Place the ice cream on the side in the baking pan (you might need slightly less because half a 9×13 is less area than an 8×8), place the other half on top, press them down. You’ll have one messier side because the pan will be bigger than the ice cream sandwich slab, but it shouldn’t be a big deal, nothing that cannot be trimmed.

  11. Rhonda

    Oh, brownies do indeed talk to me too as does chocolate cake. Made ice cream last weekend so I need to bump up the excitement. And my family likes brownies, cakes better the next day after being refrigerated – cold is better.

  12. Joy

    Yum, I totally agree that brownies belong with ice cream! I made something similar last year with homemade marshmallow ice cream and graham crackers for a s’more brownie ice cream sandwich. Soooooooooooo good!

  13. fusilliamy

    Everything about this is why I love you. Food initiates all sorts of conversations with me. Sometimes just with their eyes and a raise of an eyebrow. Yes, food has faces.

  14. Reshma

    Ok just stop!!! This is too much!
    I’m with you on the learning-to-bake-quick-things-while-a-cute-monster-sleeps-nearby. Oh, how many under-45-minute baked good recipes I have due to new motherhood! I think it’s the universe’s way of rewarding us!

  15. Anne

    These look like nothing but trouble. I imagine that they have a very loud voice that can easily be heard through the walls of the freezer. I’m not going to let that stop me from making them, though!

  16. Frankie

    Thanks to you I now have my sister’s birthday “cake” all figured out. Perfect solution for my need to make something homemade with the reality that I have zero time. Smitten strikes again! Why would I ever look elsewhere?

    1. deb

      Frankie — Whoa, birthday cake! Have you thought of doing a double or triple stack of this (definitely with only 2 cups ice cream per layer)? Maybe one of those sauces marbled in or draped on top? Sprinkles patted onto the sides? You’re giving me crazy ideas here.

  17. Laurie

    Yes, indeedy, it is true: brownies are among the most talkative desserts, hands down. Best reason to freeze them is to muffle that incessant chatting. Nothing odd about that.

    But now for a REALLY embarrassing question: when you divide the batter, do you not have to spread it to the edges? I would’ve assumed so, but the picture of “brownie batter, divided” gave me possible hope it might do that job for me on its own as it baked?

  18. Brownies most definitely talk to me, although putting them in the freezer doesn’t shut them up. In fact, it makes them scream louder…

  19. DN Waters

    I also love cold brownies, Deb! When I make your cheesecake-swirled brownies I only eat them straight out of the freezer!
    And brownies haunt me, too :)

  20. Lev Kolinski

    Hi Deb, these look great! My sister loves chocolate chips in her brownies, so would it work if I added them to the batter, or would they get to hard in the freezer? Thanks and I can’t wake to make these!

  21. Laura

    Hey Deb, wanted to let you know that one of your advertisers did something kinda funky today. I loaded this blogpost via RSS, and was reading it, and then I was redirected to some site called sponsor.adverstitial.com/view/advertisement… which is not my favorite to begin with, but on top of that the go back to site link didn’t work, so I had to close the tab and try to access your site again. :/ I took a screenshot of it, but wasn’t sure how to make it available to you in case you’re curious, so I stuffed the screenshot in an evernote here:
    https://www.evernote.com/shard/s301/sh/eeb4918c-76eb-43e5-b733-4410c85282b4/4e5552a7ede3412229628f86b4f01e06

    I’ve gotta say some of the advertisers on your site have gotten a bit grabby this last year. This is definitely the worst, but it’s not the first time I’ve had to close the tab before I was done reading.

    1. deb

      Laura — I’m sorry, and I agree. I feel like web ads are going downhill on all sites (I get stuck by all-page ads on almost every magazine and newspaper site these days), getting more aggressive. I remove the ads as soon as I know of the offenders, but I do feel that, increasingly, the inventory available to any web publishers is less and less pleasant, as illogical as it seems because why would you feel anything but negativity towards a company that had an invasive ad? Ugh. Still, this is the worst I’ve seen and it will be gone shortly. FWIW, I have but two small ad spaces on the entire site (I have room for so many more, and you’d see more on any other site, but I don’t want them to trump the content or your experience) and we do really, really try to manage them tightly.

  22. I just want to say this makes me so happy! There is nothing like ice cream in the summer (or any time) and the next best thing is brownies. I’m on a total neapolitan bend right now and seeing those scoops and then seeing the ice cream blended together like that…swoon! You really rock. Have a great weekend ahead!

  23. Susan

    I flip-flop between the Favorite Brownies and Best Cocoa Brownies. It depends on whether I’m in the mood for fudgy (Favorite) or chewy (Cocoa) brownies. Did you, by chance, audition these ice cream sandwiches using the cocoa brownies? If so, did you tweak it?

    1. deb

      Susan — I thought about it, but I prefer the Favorite Brownies frozen — I think they’re less sticky. But I also prefer the Favorite Brownies in general; easier and, to me, a deeper bittersweet chocolate flavor.

  24. Duncan

    Deb – this. is. amazing. I love it all. I could listen to these brownies talk to me all day long.. and I think I might!

    HOWEVER, I’m really worried about the offset spatula you use in the recipe. I know it’s crazy, BUT I JUST DON’T HAVE ONE! What about a regular spatula (is there such a thing as an “onset” spatula?)? Alternatively, I had thought about using a wooden spoon. Do you think this could work?

    ALSO, I would love to use this in a summer party, but some of my friends have problems with dairy! (How???). Have you tried using non-dairy ice cream substitutes (such as soy ice cream or coconut dream?)? I think it should still be ok (BUT not as delicious as REAL ice cream).

    Thanks deb!

    1. deb

      Duncan — You’ll be fine without it. But, if you get a chance to buy one, it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools. They feel like an extension of your hand. I use them for everything from flipping cookies to icing cakes to schmearing/smoothing anything. And they’re cheap!

  25. Bridgit

    I can hardly wait to make this with gluten free brownies (which to my mind are the easiest and most delicious gf dessert) with some fresh raspberries smushed in with the ice cream. We have a monthly dinner date with friends, one of whom requires gf and ALL of whom enjoy ice cream. Thanks for the idea!

  26. Elise

    Is there a reason these go directly into the freezer? I don’t have enough unused freezer space to be able to shove hot things in there, can I freeze the brownies after they cool?

    1. deb

      Anna — It is. I blame Luisa Weiss. She posted that the day I used up my last drop of $20 extract and there I was, ordering vanilla beans online and draining grandpa’s (yes, really) vodka we keep in the freezer to make a bottle. It’s wonderful. I highly recommend it. Unsolicited advice: always buy vanilla beans by weight, not count, whenever possible. By count, you can get stuck with very tiny ones. By weight, it’s fair whether you’re sold dozens of skinny ones or one dozen fatter ones.

  27. I’m sooo with you on cold brownies. The dense, chewy, sink-your-teeth-into-it goodness of a cold brownie? Warm brownies ain’t got nothing on that. The only comparable dessert is cold, homemade peach pie. Ooooh yeah.

  28. Abbie

    Hi Deb,

    I love homemade ice cream sandwiches, but I’ve never tried them with brownie. How eatable are these? Do they keep there sandwich shape while they’re being slowly savored? Do they hold up under the kid test?

    1. deb

      Abbie — Well, I studied carefully after dinner tonight, and the grownups have no trouble biting right through them without the ice cream squishing out. The 4 year-old had a mess on his hands by the end and is now in a soapy warm tub. But he can manage that kind of mess even without ice cream. ;)

  29. Beth

    This is even more amazing than what I anticipated from your earlier photo on Instagram. Really a brilliant idea and method.

  30. Ohhhhhhh! I can’t hear you over these heavenly, delightful, perfectly perfect brownie ice cream sandwich confections. Goodness, they are relentless little buggers. Why did I not see this before the evening got so late? These are a must for the upcoming weekend!

    (Ummm . . . and, Deb, I think the problem would be if you couldn’t hear the brownies calling your name. But, . . . I may be biased. Chocolate anything practically starts screaming anytime I get anywhere near. I can hear the muffled grumbles even from the freezer. Only one way to shut it up . . . eat it!)

  31. I’m with you! Snack subbing is so unsatisfying and my baked goodies always talk to me, too! These look amazingly decadent. My sensitive teeth would disagree but man am I tempted!

    xo julesinflats

  32. Well this is just a revelation; if only for the idea of eating frozen brownies! I’m not usually a fan of them as they’re so mega rich, but I love the idea of them being cold and chewy – plus, I guess the sweetness is tempered when they’re frozen too! Genius!! Thanks lady :b
    Mandy

  33. We had a brownie taste test last fall, my husband and I: your cocoa brownies, your fav brownies, my choc-chip brownies. Your fav brownies are now our favorites!
    This recipe is another WOW! Thanks, Deb.
    PS-I hear much of the fresh produce at our local farmers’ markets talking to me all the time- they have a different cadence, though-right?

  34. Brownies talk to me too {sigh} I thought I was the only on who had this affliction. I don’t make too many desserts because since we’re empty nesters — I would have a chorus of desserts singing to me to take a taste. Well one taste would lead to another. I try to tell myself that if no one sees you eat something that the calories don’t count — my hips and thighs tell a different story. :-( Great recipe!!

  35. Oh, my god. Deb… you are so smart. I made homemade ice cream for the first time yesterday and I might just have to take advantage of it with this recipe. Hope you’re staying cool!

  36. Maggie

    Deb, I’ve long wondered if a slab method like yours could be used to recreate the famous San Francisco oatmeal cookie sandwich called Its-It. I’m not the kind of patient cook to individually fill round cookes, which many bloggers have tried to do in duplicating the Its-It. I’m as mad for oatmeal cookies as for brownies, and may have to try your method with an oatmeal cookie batter. Or –gasp– brownie on top, oatmeal cookie on bottom? Now I feel dizzy.

  37. Nicole

    Maggie, I just read the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Dessert cookbook and she has a recipe in there for oatmeal cookies that are the right “softness” for an ice cream sandwich. I put it on my make ASAP list – and now this recipe goes there too! Just think – a marriage of the two sounds delightful! Perhaps a smooch of dulce de leche, cinnamon and vanilla…mmm.

    1. deb

      Bob — I haven’t hadn’t noticed a problem with the photos in my RSS feed. I use Feedly. What reader are you using? Hope to help.

  38. I love your writing so much! Girl, brownies talk to me too. Brownies talk to all of us. I’m so tempted to chop up some nuts and chocolate and double-dip these!

  39. JanetP

    This is a great idea. At the farmer’s market this year, there’s someone selling adventurous ice cream sandwiches — shortbread with strawberry ice cream, anyone? I have not tried them yet, but they sound very promising.

  40. Leanne

    Holy smokes, this is genius, GENIUS!!!!!! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one to whom brownies speak when we’re alone together : )

  41. Katie

    I made these today! My friend and her two little girls are staying for the weekend, so the most perfect excuse, though my husband and I have already tried them this evening and they are fab! I used half vanilla ice cream and half salted caramel ice cream – fabulous combo with the salted caramel in particular! Thank you!!

  42. Amy

    I know Anna already asked about the homemade vanilla, but can I pry a little deeper as to what your ratio of beans to vodka was and how long you let it steep? Did you prep the beans in any way before adding them to the vodka? I made homemade vanilla once and it was such a mild flavor I could barely use it (I really love vanilla in my baked goods, and I found the flavor to be lacking when I used my homemade version). I let mine steep for three months before I first used it.

    1. deb

      Amy — For the big one you see here, I used a 16 ounce bottle and 8 vanilla beans, which I halved and scraped into the jar. (People say you don’t need to do this but I see no reason not to get the flavor outside the bean ASAP.) I used vodka. I used half vodka and half bourbon in another one, but I know this sounds blasphemous, but I didn’t care for it. It might be because I was trying to use up a too-harsh bourbon. Regardless, I just use vodka now. They say it takes 6 to 8 weeks to be really awesome, and I’d agree. Be patient. Before it’s “ready”, it will seem like vanilla bean vodka. When it’s ready, it’s clearly and unquestionably vanilla extract. Mine is now almost 6 months old and it’s dark and very very intense. They also say you can keep topping it off with fresh vodka as you use it, but I’m not sure if I’d do this too much as you’d eventually weaken the beautiful liquid you made.

  43. KimP

    Definitely sounds like Frozen Brownie Nirvana, yes indeed…my wicked chocolate-obsessed brain just can’t wait! Ummm, I might have to chop up some York peppermints to press into the ice cream layer just ’cause, well, it would be so refreshing in this flipping heat. Love your layering technique, Deb…thank you!

  44. Bob Y

    Deb – sorry for the name confusion. I read you both every day and one time thanked Elise for a recipe of yours :). The feed reader I use is called NetVibes and I moved to it when Google shut down the iGoogle homepage. It was the closest I could find to the Google experience. I so enjoy your blog and its been a treat watching your adorable son grow up. They grow so fast!

  45. amy

    Brownie sandwiches are already singing to me. Thanks for the brain-invading recipe! Frozen brownies are indeed the best. (Especially cream cheese brownies. Learned that the hard way one Christmas when no one got any but me…oops.)

  46. Sabina

    You know those nailed it pinterest fails? My version of this totally qualifies. I didn’t work quickly enough with the ice cream and 30 minutes was nowhere near enough time for the ice cream to reset. I could tell it was a bad idea to keep cutting the squares but I stubbornly kept going because that is how by the book I am when baking. Needless to say, we had ice cream soaked brownies for dessert. Still good, but I really can’t call what we had ice cream sandwiches.

  47. Wow I knew it was bad for me to even look at this recipe, I am trying to quit sugar for July – once this month is over I will definitely be trying this!!!

  48. anne

    This is exactly the recipe I needed last week, when I had to make a (preferably frozen and chocolaty) dessert for a hungry crowd of 25. There’s always next year!

  49. CJ

    Had these last night, they were fabulous. So easy to make and so satisfying – the frozen brownie layers are fudgy and dense and chewy and a wonderful texture contrast with the ice cream. I used a 9×13 pan and it worked perfectly. When the sandwich is assembled just smooth the parchment from other side over the top and pop a smaller pan on top to press down the layers in the freezer. I cut mine into 16 — I don’t think I would have been able to cut them smaller — actually cutting them was the most challenging part.

  50. Maggie

    @ Nicole — Thanks so much! I don’t know that book but will look it up immediately. And Hella Yes to the dulce de leche addition … oatmeal cookie/vanilla ice cream/dulce … gotta do that. And dip it in chocolate! We’ve gotten a little off topic from Deb’s original post, but still in the same family, right?

  51. Eliza

    We just made the brownies (not the ice cream sandwiches). They’re excellent. Delicious! My 10 year old made them herself, super easy and super rich. Very moist too.

  52. Deb, I am also in the frozen brownie/cookie camp. I have always preferred frozen over warm, just baked from the oven. Probably stems from sneaking the icing off the frozen Sara Lee banana cakes when I was a child.
    These ice cream sandwiches look good and so easy. I am envisioning filling mine with salted caramel ice cream!

  53. Megan V.

    My boyfriend brought home ice cream last night that is peanut butter cup/cookies and cream, along with a package of Peanut Butter Cup Oreos. If I were to chop up the Oreos, maybe sprinkle some in the brownie batter and mix the rest into the ice cream…..GROAN. Why oh WHY am I on a diet? If anyone else tries something similar let me know please! Deb, your sweets recipes are like a delicious torture sometimes. I can’t stay away!

  54. Bill

    Fun to make, and extraordinarily yummy! But I only had a single 8×8 pan, so I went with a pair of round cake pans. Then my OCD kicked in: how do I cut them into 24 equal-sized chunks? Here’s how I did it: http://goo.gl/rsU0jt . Classic Ben & Jerry’s vanilla complemented the brownie perfectly, and when the finished sandwich came out of the pan, it looked like an enormous whoopie pie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  55. Kerri

    Yum! I just ate one of these that I made a few days ago. I can’t wait to experiment with different flavors of ice cream. I used a rich chocolate this time, and they are s-in-ful! I think coffee ice cream will be next, followed by vanilla with globs of real peanut butter mooshed in between.

  56. Sounds familiar to me – the “put them in the freezer right away lest I eat them all part”…along with the “craved something that is high in ‘bad for me’, so, instead, eat everything else in sight that is ‘healthy’ then proceed to eat the ‘bad for me’ thing anyways”. So, why did we not all just eat the brownie in the first place? Oh, I know. If we had, this delectable ice cream sundae sandwich would not exist. Nice one!

  57. I love love love brownie ice cream bars! Way back in my college days, my then boyfriend /now husband and I went through a phase of daily trips to the corner deli JUST to get Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brownie bars (so decadent, shortly thereafter we started jogging) and I have been obsessed ever since! I have made them with a layer of vanilla and another of raspberry sorbet, but your swirl idea looks fantastic too and your photo of the ice cream balls is both adorable and divine.

  58. …Can I use a smaller amount of vanilla ice cream, swirl homemade fudge sauce into it AND roll the edges of the brownie in chopped nuts? Because I feel like that might result in something that will leave me making embarrassingly happy noises as I eat it.

    Also, how do you swirl sauce into an already-frozen, firm icecream without first softening the icecream and risking nasty ice crystals forming when it goes back in the freezer?

    1. deb

      Bunny — I would just work quickly and fold it in. It doesn’t need to get too soft; you just have to use a strong arm to mix it. You can also drop little scoops all over, as I did, drizzle the fudge on top (which would stay on top of some and in between others) then smooth the top of the ice cream-fudge. It should be pretty marbled by then.

  59. Kim

    I made these for my sister’s birthday party last night and they turned out just like yours! The batter was a little thick when spreading it out, so I had to hold the parchment kind of strategically. Subbed gelato for ice cream, worried it would be too soft but it was great. Cut them into squares and then in half again for more bite-sized sandwiches. Loved the contrast of neopolitan + bittersweet brownie. These were a HUGE hit at the party, perfect for a summer evening in California! Super happy I had the good sense to hoard a few in the back of the freezer so I can enjoy them the rest of the week. Thanks Deb!

  60. I love your logic about going for it. Your photo of the chocolatey dough was mesmerizing. Ice cream sandwiches are my novelty ice cream of choice. I think you recipe is one that would actually work—-that you could pick it up and eating it. PLus the brownie for the ‘bread’ of the sandwich—-perfect.

  61. Liz

    I just made these and used the 9×13 pan since I only have one 8×8. They taste delicious ( I used Cherry Garcia in the center) but I had a problem with execution. The brownies were still a bit warm when I put the ice cream filling in and since the pan was bigger than the entire slab, about half the ice cream oozed out the sides. If I do them again I’ll definitely get two matching pans, or wrap the slab tightly in plastic wrap before putting it back in the freezer.

    Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious and I’ll be eating every one – just not sharing them on my Facebook feed!

  62. Aisha

    Ooooh! This recipe came just a day late (more precisely, just a few hours late). I was trying to figure out what to bake for my daughter’s first birthday and my initial thoughts were “ice cream sandwich-y cake thing” with homemade ice cream of course. My husband talked me out of it, citing the insane heat here and my ensuing disappointment over the melting of the ice cream that would inevitably happen while songs would be sung, pictures would be taken and candles blown out. I “settled” for a checkerboard cake, because my husband wanted valerie’s chocolate cake but i thought it was too boring alone and I wanted my daughter to get to eat something formerly “forbidden” (nuts!). So I baked the hazelnut brown butter cake and valerie’s chocolate cake, froze and sliced them into rings to make a checkerboard, frosted with banana whipped cream and decorated with chocolate ganache and chopped hazelnuts. Over the top? Yes definitely! Delicious? Absolutely! Both the husband and the daughter highly approved, the guests as well. I wasn’t too happy with the texture of the cakes (I hate working with egg whites and might have overwhipped them). But no one seemed to mind! Thanks for such great inspiration for my daughter’s first birthday. Side note: I ended up making ice cream anyway the next day with the leftover yolks from the hazelnut cake. Made an almond and honey ice cream (again going with the formerly forbidden foods) using almonds I had toasted and blitzed into almond butter and honey replacing all the sugar in the custard base. The leftover ganache was thinned into a chocolate sauce. Waste not want not, right? ;)

  63. Aisha

    That was all to say that if you had posted this recipe earlier, I probably would not have heeded my husband’s warnings and made this brownie ice cream sandwich instead, which would have been a shame because then we wouldn’t have had the joy of tasting two cakes and extra ice cream the next day…

  64. Oh my gosh!! This looks amazing. And I totally relate to the accidental-oversnacking-while-trying-to-behave phenomenon. Might as well give up the pretense and make some brownies and ice cream and eat them together, right? Can’t wait to try this!

  65. Trisha

    Hi, would you put hot glass baking dishes into the freezer? I couldn’t bring myself to do it but then didn’t cool the dishes down enough before the shaping step. A gigantic mess ensued. But the brownie part was tasty. I think next time I’ll just make the brownie part in the morning, freeze them all day and fill later.

    1. deb

      Trisha — Ooh, I didn’t think of that. Most oven glass dishes are Pyrex so they shouldn’t crack under a quick temperature change. Regardless, the straight-to-freezer step is just to save time. You can definitely cool them on the counter most of the way before sliding them into the freezer.

  66. Karen

    I love how you say that if they’re in the freezer, they’re out of tempting reach. That doesn’t really work for me because I KNOW they’re in the freezer, mere steps away!

  67. Matt

    Did anyone else notice that six years ago today there was a recipe for chocolate sorbet? I think I’m going to try making that for the filling between the brownies.

  68. Amanda

    I need to eat these today, but have absolutely no chocolate in the house, so I’m going to try them with your “best cocoa brownies” recipe instead. Somehow, I can’t imagine this going wrong.

  69. alex

    Deb (or someone else!), can you help me problem-solve? I’m about to reveal my extremely high levels of OCD-ness here. I have some odds and ends of ice cream in my freezer, and this seems like a great way to turn them into more than the sum their parts. But they don’t all go together – think Vietnamese iced coffee and strawberry. How can I mark boundaries so that when I cut, they turn into separate sandwiches? Is this possible? Am I being ridiculous?

  70. Glynis

    Hmmm…I’m thinking Toasted Pecan Blondies with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche swirled in…
    I also can’t wait to try the pickles!
    thanks for making my day…again!

  71. Michelle W

    Deb- I made this this past weekend and they were unbelievable! So delicious… just finished my last one and will definitely be making a new batch tomorrow! Where have these been all my life? THANK YOU!

  72. I’m totally making these this weekend. Think I will make some Maldon salt and cream cheese ice cream to go in the middle – love a bit of salty cream cheese and brownie action. I have just done that same thing of grazing lots of unsatisfying things rather than eat what I actually want. I too will not be stopped by frozen cake or cookies. I have so much jealousy for people who have that self control.

  73. It is not madness to prefer frozen brownies, I’m with you on that one.
    And thanks for this idea — I just so happen to have a whole lot of a brownie-like chocolate cake sitting around. I got it from a student, and it’s delicious but we haven’t been eating it quickly enough. Into the freezer it shall go then, for ice cream sandwich making this weekend.

  74. Kate E

    I made these last night and they are outstanding. The ice cream to brownie ratio is perfect. They are definitely not going to make it through the weekend.

  75. Alexis M

    I love the idea of this, but I was a little disappointed that these brownies are very fudge-like and dense. I was imagining a lighter, more chewy brownie (box texture with homemade flavor is my ideal). The brownies have great flavor though and I will make these again using a different brownie recipe.

  76. Lizzie

    Hi. I just wanted to report that I tried this in a 9×13 pan and it was not very successful, but it might have been my fault. I let the brownie freeze for about 30 minutes, and I may have used particularly soft ice cream, but a large majority of the ice cream melted and smooshed out of the exposed side and refroze in the pan.

    1. deb

      Trouble with the 9×13 directions — I’m sorry to hear this. Do those of you who have tried it feel that just wrapped the exposed end with parchment, foil or plastic would have done the trick to hold it in?

      For anyone that prefers more of a boxed mix flavor/texture in brownies but wants to make them from scratch — You can use the Best Cocoa Brownies here instead.

  77. Laura W.

    In case anyone else runs into this problem–the store I was at didn’t carry unsweetened chocolate (which was unexpected–I didn’t think unsweetened baking chocolate was a niche type of thing), so I bought the lowest-sugar content they had (70% cacao), used 4 oz. instead of 3 oz so that the cocoa solid content would be similar, and reduced the sugar in the brownies by 1/3 C. It was delicious!

  78. I had the same problem as Lizzie with the 9×13 pan. I realized what was happening and course corrected by lifting the top brownie, smooshing the ice cream back into the sandwich, and then wrapping the whole thing tightly with plastic wrap so the ice cream had no where to go. If anyone else is planning to use a 9×13 pan and you are reading these comments, do that to avoid a big ole’ mess! These were ridiculously good and worth the extra plastic wrapping effort!

    1. deb

      TerryB — I just used a sharp chef’s knife. They should be easy to cut. I cut them right from the freezer. If they begin to soften, return them to the freezer to re-firm before you finish cutting them. You can wrap them in individual squares of wax or parchment paper.

  79. Matt

    I made the brownies substituting chia seeds for the eggs. In other recipes this was successful, but this time the brownies boiled in the oven and turned out about 2 cm high with lots of holes. They are very similar to fudge in texture without any crumb. I will be trying a different brownie recipe again tonight to use the chocolate sorbet linked to above the recipe.

  80. Gegp2000

    Made this for my work’s potlock. A big success and a complete decadent dessert. I used pecan and vanilla ice cream.

  81. Katherine

    Big hit with adults and kids at the BBQ last night! Thank you for being you and making such glorious food to share with us.

  82. Amy

    I made these for a party but was concerned that a) one batch wouldn’t be enough and b) double the batch in two 9×13″ pans would make them too thick. So I made 1.5 recipes and divided them evenly between two 9×13″ pans. They were PERFECT. Then I made home made peanut butter ice cream for the middle. Amazing.

  83. Jane

    Has anyone tried this idea with the blondie recipe? I want to do a non-chocolate ice cream sandwich and I’m looking for guidance!

  84. Ashby

    I had a similar issue using a 9×13″ pan and sadly, although wrapping tightly in plastic wrap helped them look solid, even after a full night in the freezer as soon as I tried to slice all the ice cream oozed out the sides. I think the issue may be the ice cream, though? I used Breyer’s which is always much softer than other commercial ice cream. They tasted so delicious that I’ll definitely be trying again, but with a harder-freezing ice cream.

  85. Patricia

    This recipe is an absolute dream! I made this for my family last week, posted a photo of a huge pile of these beauties, and a horde of friends came by, asking for a piece. The brownie recipe is the perfect one to use for ice cream sandwiches! I am in love.

  86. HA

    Your earlier reply (#34) about stacking layers and rolling the edges in sprinkles sold me on this as the perfect birthday cake for my sister. I made three layers of brownie (1.5x your recipe) in 8×8 pans and then made David Lebovitz’s mint chocolate chip ice cream for two layers of filling (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/05/mint-chip-ice-cream-recipe-chocolate/). I sliced the whole thing into 12 pieces and rolled the edges in rainbow sprinkles. They were a tad too thick to eat by hand but were a t..o..t..a..l hit.
    I was worried they would be difficult to slice and would end up with ice cream oozing from the sides, so I made the whole thing over a three days – one to make and freeze the brownies, one to assemble and fully freeze overnight before slicing and serving on day 3. Perhaps a tad overboard, but they turned out perfectly!

  87. Laurie

    Made these for dessert Sunday night. Big hit with my family – will definitely be making these again! Only issue I had was cutting brownies and ice cream getting smushed out. Maybe next time I’ll cut brownies 1st then fill with ice cream. Also, I used 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate and a bit less sugar. Came out great!

  88. Renee

    I just made these with a 9×13 inch pan because i didn’t have identically sized square pans. When the brownies were frozen, I lifted them out of the 9×13 inch pan with the parchment paper still attached. Then I cut the whole thing in half and lifted half of it carefully away from the parchment. Then, to make this whole thing more manageable, I put the first layer (the layer with the parchment still attached) into a 9×9 inch pan. I then put the ice cream (and chocolate sauce!!) on that layer, put the second half on top and brought the long end of the parchment up and over. This helped to keep the ice cream in between the layers. All good. (I wish I could attach a photo…. :)

  89. 20 mins wasn’t long enough to cool mine… warm brownies = melted ice cream oozing down sides. tasted great but lesson learned for next time: take more time to ensure it is COLD.

  90. Becca

    This looks so good that I’m making it for my son’s birthday, as a cake (along with your hot fudge sauce). Any suggestions about storing it as a whole cake, so I can make it a day or two in advance? Would you store the entire cake, wrapped in wax paper, maybe? Or how do you think the brownies would hold up stored whole and individually, in the freezer, before adding the ice cream? Or would you store the brownies outside the freezer and then just cool them off for a few minutes before adding the ice cream? Sorry for the nitpicky questions.

    1. deb

      Becca — I would probably make the whole thing, wrap it in anything (waxed paper, plastic, etc.) and keep them all together so that they adhere a bit. Also, seriously, you really just gave me an idea for my own son’s birthday, just over two weeks away. I’m totally stumped this year!

  91. janmaus

    Brownies do indeed talk to everyone! Love the idea of freezing the whole batch, and these brownie sandwiches, once introduced to my grandsons, disappeared even faster than a pan on the counter. Sigh–just as well, cause I didn’t even really need to one I craved, and snatched before anyone else learned they were in the freezer.

  92. Peggy

    I just ate part of one of these ice cream sandwiches at my sister’s and am totally over the moon! Yummmmm! I’m not supposed to eat chocolate due to health issues (but had to taste anyway). Do you have a non-chocolate substitute for the brownie that would still stay soft in the freezer?

  93. T

    First, the brownies are awesome and thanks for the recipe!

    Second, what kind of magical, industrial strength freezer do you have? After 20 minutes in the freezer the brownies were still straight up warm, and even 15-20 minutes after that, they were only coolish. I was impatient and proceeded with the ice cream part, which was a mistake because it oozed out of the sides and made the whole thing impossible to cut (after the additional 30 minutes in the freezer).

    Kidding aside, I think the difference might lie in the materials – I used two pyrex pans, and maybe they take longer to cool? I saw that a few other commenters has a similar problem, so for all future recipe triers: the brownies might need considerably longer than 20 minutes if you bake in glass pans, and make sure they’re very cold before adding the ice cream.

    Thanks again for the recipe – it was still delicious!

  94. deb

    T — I have a pathetic, weak freezer so perhaps I need to make these again — WOE IS ME — to re-check the time. Definitely that I used a metal pan might have helped. But yes, better to have them cool to the touch, no matter how long it takes. Sorry for the trouble.

  95. ann

    thank you for this delicious recipe, and i have a cautionary tale to share. i made an error in judgment in the store, and bought edy’s slow churned ice cream for the filling. while delicious, it is just too soft, and the ice cream oozed out the sides when i was cutting the sandwiches, even though it had been chilled for several hours. the ice cream is just too soft, and it oozed all over the cutting board and counters (much to the delight of my toddler, who was standing by). i will make this again, but i will use straight-up, full-fat ice cream (which is in keeping with the spirit of this recipe, after all)!

  96. Charlotte in Toronto

    I made these this weekend and took them into work today. They were outstanding. The brand of ice cream that I used didn’t freeze firmly enough so they were messy to cut but once they were wrapped up and put in the freezer they were fine. I’ll definitely be making these again. Soon.

  97. Rachel

    Deb, do you think these are sturdy enough to cut into shapes to build a skyline scene around the sides of a round two later cake?

    1. deb

      Rachel — You’ll keep the cake in the freezer? And I want to say probably but the firmness of the sandwiches has the most to do with how cold your freezer is. Mine isn’t terribly and ice cream sandwiches stay a little soft.

  98. Kailee

    I just love this dessert! Minimal effort (and dishes!) for a really delicious and impressive summertime treat! I used Neapolitan ice cream for my first batch, but I’m already dreaming about other favors to try!

  99. Em

    Hi Deb,
    What brand 8×8 baking pan do you use? I have the pyrex kind but it’s actually 7×8 at the top and only 6×7 at the bottom of the pan, and I’m looking for one that is the same 8×8…if you could let me know, I’d really like to try these brownies – I’ll be making a fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream and sandwiching that in between the brownies! :) Thank you!

    1. deb

      Em — Mine is from Williams-Sonoma, from the Gold Touch line. (Actually, I have two.) I’ve been very happy with it. I’d say it’s probably 7.6 square at the bottom and a little over 8 at the top, but it’s more squared off than most, with real corners, which I prefer in a baking pan.

  100. Em

    (I did check your Build your own Smitten Kitchen page, but it didn’t look like the 8×8 baking pan was mentioned…? Sorry if it’s just me not seeing it!)

  101. SwissMiss

    I made these for my husband’s birthday and was so pleased with how they turned out. I baked them in 2 9″ round baking pans (since I don’t have 2 8″ square). I put two strips, about 2 inches wide, cross-crossed at the base of the pan to act as handles with getting the brownies out and then a round piece of parchment to line to base of the pan. It worked perfectly and had even more of a layered birthday cake feel. Thanks for a great recipe!

  102. Trisha

    I baked these in a 9×13 metal pan then used a square biscuit cutter before they had completely firmed up. I froze those then sliced them diagonally before filling with ice cream. That worked better for me than freezing the pans. Everyone at the party loved them (the Cherry Garcia ice cream didn’t hurt).

  103. Lauren

    So I had the same issue as many above with the 9 X 13 pan and with it oozing because I tried to cut into it too early. It was absolutely delicious all the same! Next time I would probably keep it in the freezer overnight before cutting. But of note – if you just fold the parchment, it keeps everything in just fine on that side! Love this recipe Deb, will try again soon!

  104. Jennifer

    **Please read comments before you attempt to make these**
    Had I read through the comments, I might have avoided the absolute disaster sitting in my freezer, and not found myself without a dessert for my work event tomorrow.

    I doubled the recipe in two 9×13 sheet pans, because I was hesitant about how many a single cut in half would make. They cooked well, though I did miss the classic brownie crinkle on top. Straight to the freezer for around 45 minutes. Added the ice cream (mint chip + vanilla), topped, and back in for another 30-40 minutes. Remove to cut, and suddenly ice cream soup all over my countertop. the ice cream had completely meted, they were unsalvageable for a work potluck.

    so, future bakers, take care to not rush this recipe, per the directions. it would be more beneficial to simply let them cool at room temperature for most of the day, and then stack.

    also, buy a firm ice cream and save yourself a headache.

  105. erin

    These were unreal! The perfect consistency of chewy brownie with creamy ice cream. I have to admit, I was not confident they were gonna turn out as the brownies were rock hard coming out of the freezer and I thought in order to serve them I’d have to let them sit out for a while which of course would melt my ice cream. Alas, they were perfect. I don’t know if refreezing them once assembled caused the ice cream to soften up the brownie or what. So good!

  106. sweatyforthewin

    Hello! Has anyone made these far in advance before? I know the recipe says they can be frozen for 2 months, but I’d like to hear from someone who has actually done it! I’m considering making about 120 for a party, and would need them to keep frozen for about 3 weeks.

    Thanks!

    1. deb

      Well, they’ve never lasted two months here but I wouldn’t be worried about keeping them that long. If the ice cream is good for two months, no reason the sandwiches cannot be. A bigger concern in my freezer at least is a freezer-y smell; I find after about 4 to 5 weeks, it’s too much for me so I don’t keep things longer. This doesn’t mean things aren’t good for longer, though.

  107. M.R.

    I want to make these for a dinner party of 4 people but don’t want too many leftovers in my freezer (I know, I know, I’m crazy). I’m thinking I should bake one 8X8 pan and then fold in half. Is there anything to take into consideration when half-ing the brownie recipe? Thanks!

    1. deb

      I think it will work just fine. I’d cut the 8×8 in half and build the sandwiches up against the inner edge of the pan, to make it easier. Use plastic or parchment or foil on the exposed side.