In 2006, mere weeks into launching this internet food blog presence, I shared a recipe for ice cream sandwich cookies that I’d made for a friend’s rooftop birthday party. Oversized, utterly delicious cookies plus a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day, what could go wrong? Alas, several things. First, regular cookies in the freezer become tooth-breakingly hard. Second, assembled ice cream sandwiches that are not returned to the freezer for several hours after filling melt way too fast, mostly down your arm, delighting the bugs around you but perhaps nobody else. Do know that none went to waste, but I think we all agreed it was all just too much, both massive cookies and massive messes of ice cream. Not learning my lesson, I tried again several years later with a slightly softer, but still not soft enough, cookie, yet it was still enough work that I’ve not made them since. I’ve also tried them with brownies (better) and salted caramel crackers (wildly delicious) but I still wanted to get the classic American ice cream sandwich right at home.
Fifteen years later I’m taller (whoops, no), have more time on my hands (yikes, no), smarter (not always), and a much better cook (ding ding ding!), and over the last few months of making friends and family suffer through rounds and rounds of ice cream sandwiches, I have finally created the last classic ice cream sandwich recipe I hope we will ever want or need.
Several things make this perfect: We’re making a hand-whisked, one-bowl cookie that’s (secretly) halfway to a cake, which is why when it comes from the freezer, it doesn’t feel like you’re biting into poured concrete. We’re making it in a single 9×13 pan, then cutting this slab in half and using the very same pan to fill it with ice cream, pressing the halves together for a moderately-sized slab that, once firm again, can be cut into exactly 8 perfectly-sized or 12 petitely-sized (i.e. the size I prefer for kids) ice cream sandwiches. Did you read the one-bowl, one-pan part? The active work of making these is barely 20 minutes; I’ve timed it. What that means is that our summers are about to have a lot more ice cream sandwiches in it, lucky us.
New: I’ve launched a new SK YouTube channel! There will be new recipe video every Wednesday morning through the end of July. If you subscribe to the channel, you won’t miss even one. Here are the first two episodes; I hope you enjoy them:
6 months ago: Brussels and Bacon Frittata
1 year ago: Smashed Potatoes with Sweet Corn Relish
2 year ago: Chocolate Budino
3 years ago: Garlic-Lime Steak and Noodle Salad
4 years ago: Grilled Pepper and Torn Mozzarella Panzanella
5 years ago: The Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Revisited
6 years ago: Crispy Frizzled Artichokes
7 years ago: Coconut Brown Butter Cookies
8 years ago: Rhubarb Cream Cheese Hand Pies
9 years ago: Asparagus with Almonds and Yogurt Dressing
10 years ago: Fudge Popsicles
11 years ago: Spring Asparagus Pancetta Hash
12 years ago: Grilled Shrimp Cocktail and Graham Crackers
13 years ago: S’more Pie
14 years ago: Zucchini Carpaccio Salad
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces, or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cold is fine
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) milk, any kind
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cups (100 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder, any kind (see Note)
- 2 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, or anything else you prefer
Melt butter in a large bowl halfway, then whisk it until fully melted. (This keeps the temperature down.) Whisk in sugar, salt, and milk. Whisk in egg white and vanilla; make sure the egg white is fully mixed; it can be stubborn. Add cocoa powder and baking powder and thoroughly mix. Add flour and stir just until it disappears.
Spoon into the prepared pan in small dollops and spread — an offset spatula is great here — into a thin, even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Purely for classic sandwich aesthetics, dock all over with a skewer. Let cool completely. I transfer mine immediately to the freezer to do this quickly; it takes about 15 minutes. If your ice cream is rock-hard in the freezer, transfer it to the fridge for these 15 minutes so it will be easier to scoop.
Assemble the sandwiches: Once cold to the touch, run a knife around the cookie to loosen it from the pan and use the parchment to slide it out of the pan. Cut in half widthwise. Return the used parchment to the pan; we can use it to help shape the sandwiches. Place the first cookie half back in the pan upside-down over the parchment, and press it against the short edge. Scoop the ice cream in small spoonfuls all over and spread it evenly over. Press second cookie half, right-side-up, onto the ice cream. Use the sides of the pan and the parchment paper to help the ice cream keep its shape in the cookie and place the pan in the freezer.
Freeze for 4 to 6 hours, minimum, and ideally overnight.
To finish: Once ice cream is fully solid again, transfer your ice cream sandwich slab to a cutting board and cut it into 8 or 12 rectangles. Eat or return to the freezer right away.
Do ahead: Ice cream sandwiches keep in a freezer bag or airtight container for 3 months, although some freezers will impart a “freezery” taste sooner.
146 comments on chocolate ice cream sandwiches
These look fabulous and I want them now. To that end, do you mean cut the cookie in half as in down the middle, making two 4.5×6.5 pieces, or into two 9×13 layers?
I think you have it right, down the middle so it’s two 9×6.5” pieces.
Halved widthwise will make 2 6.25″ x 8.6-inch rectangles. [The top of my 9×13 is indeed 9×13, the bottom is more like 8.5x12ish.]
Oh God, me and maths. Maths and me. Yes, got it. Thanks!
Hi Deb! These look great. I have made all other of your ice cream sandwich iterations. If I were to double this and bake one layer, remove it, and then follow your instructions but instead of cutting the cookie/brownie piece, using the full 9×13, would it work? I.e. do you think the single layer that needs to be removed from the pan in order to bake the second layer will be removable? Thank you!
Absolutely will work! It will be removable if you use a parchment sling.
Thank you Deb! You are the best!
This looks great! I can’t wait to make it with my kids this weekend.
Coincidentally, I just borrowed Bravetart from the library and that also has a recipe for ice cream sandwiches in it. I’ll have to compare your two recipes and make them both for, like, science. Woe is me! ;)
Oooo… I have Bravetart too, good idea!
So curious how they compare!
OK, So… two weeks later, here are my notes!
Clearly, Deb’s and Stella Park’s recipes are both delicious (they are made by two incredible bakers, no surprise there) and thoroughly tested. They are both one bowl, simple recipes that were easy to make and quick to bake – a bonus in the summer when you don’t want to warm up your kitchen too much. When I tasted both wafers, I was delighted to find that both of them were deeply chocolaty and not overly sweet (particularly as the filling will be incredibly so, I wanted to maintain that the first flavor is chocolate and not sugar). Both of them were soft enough to bite down on without squeezing the ice cream out. Park’s recipe is softer – I had to lick chocolate off my fingers after finishing my sandwich, ugh, how inconvenient! – but Deb’s is sturdier. No doubt this is the presence of egg white versus egg yolk in both recipes – egg white in Deb’s will contribute more structure, whereas the fat of the yolk in Park’s will contribute to it melting more with the heat of your fingers. Despite this, I wouldn’t call either wafer crumbly. They both held up well throughout the eating process!
I truly I don’t think I could pick just one recipe to make. For future batches (and oh, there will absolutely be future batches), I think it will depend on whether I’m making my own ice cream. The one thing that I think I will adapt is taking the method from Bravetart – which instructs you to trace a rectangle on parchment paper, flip it upside down, and spread the batter with an offset spatula – then bake. This made it easier for me to ensure the batter was smooth and baked evenly. I do like that Deb’s recipe only uses an egg white, because it will be easier to double the recipe and bake accordingly. Particularly if I make my own ice cream (love the suggestion of PB ice cream below), which typically uses a lot of yolks, I’ll have plenty of spare whites around to use!
Deb, I’m sure you’re sick of making this recipe so many times, but truly from my perspective I’m so grateful to know you’ve tinkered so much. It’s so reassuring to know before I start baking that you are reasonably confident of success! Thank you.
I absolutely love this comment and level of research — thank you!
I was just bemoaning the fact that it is impossible to find gluten-free ice cream sandwiches that taste at all like the real deal. I cannot wait to make this recipe with gf flour! Thank you so much – I think you’ve made my summer!
Abilyn’s Frozen Bakery (which does gluten free ice cream cakes) is coming out with gluten free cookie ice cream sandwiches soon! I’m not sure exactly when, but I think within the next few months!
Me too! I have had 100% success with all of Deb’s recipes on here by simply substituting Bob’s 1 to 1 GF flour mix… and will try these this weekend! Cheers!
Which of her recipes have you made this way? (And do you make any other regular substitutions?)
I would love to hear how the GF experiment goes! Please update us — my celiac family thanks you!
Me too! I’m also making this with gluten-free flour this weekend for our celiac kiddo and would love to hear about other SK recipes that convert well!
I’ve made it several times swapping cup 4 cup GF flour and they came out fantastic!
Reporting back for future GF bakers: I subbed Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour (measured by weight) and it was perfect. The batter was a little sticky but it baked up into a wonderfully supple sheet that was easy to cut and shape into the ice cream sandwiches. It probably goes without saying, but they were absolutely delicious.
Gorgeous ice cream sandwich. How did you shoot this with melting the ice cream?
Ha! In stages, I definitely had a moment this morning, grabbing the top picture while getting kids ready for school, where I wondered why I am still shooting and styling my own photos like a crazy person. I had tried to shoot them last week with just a 4-hour chill and they cut too messy (fine for eating, not photos), so I made them a nth (I don’t want to talk about the number) time yesterday and let them fully chill overnight. But my freezer isn’t great.
omg I want to make this right this minute. Question, though: I hate having an extra egg yolk. (Extra whites I freeze, but the yolks never work right). If I used the whole egg instead of just the white, I assume that would be a texture change? Probably make the cookie part a little tougher, especially when frozen?
I found it too cakey with a full egg, if I remember correctly. I also tested it with just a yolk but the texture was best from just a white. You probably also beat an egg, divide the liquid in half, and save the second half for an egg wash on another baked good if needed, or to throw in with scrambled eggs.
This is the recipe I’ve been waiting for! Thank you. Can’t wait to make it.
I make the saltine sandwiches every June to celebrate the start of summer – even tho our local pool is closed to due to rationed chorine, just when you think all the shortages are easing – and was just about to initiate toffee proceedings so this is awesome timing. I mean I’ll probably still have to make the others just for tradition and all…
Oh no! I hadn’t heard about rationed chlorine; what a huge bummer.
I’d love to make this for a family July 4th but my SIL is allergic to eggs. Is there a substitute you’d recommend?
You can probably substitute about 2-3 tbsp of aquafaba for the egg white. It works in every other egg white baking recipe I’ve tried. Aquafaba is the liquid out of a can of chickpeas. If you whisk it, it holds air like egg whites and if you whisk it long enough, it will even make meringue.
Do you have a good way of keeping aquafaba around to use for baking, or you just so happen to use a can of chickpeas before you bake something calling for eggs?
You can freeze aquafaba in ice cubes. Just tell your family to pay attention which cubes they take ;)
Thank you! I’ll mark the bag carefully.
I am so excited to make these. As a celiac I can finally have a hand crafted ice cream sandwich again. Yahoo. Thank you
I haven’t tested this with gluten-free flours, but I feel pretty confident that a gluten-free flour blend would swap well here, especially one intended for baking.
It’s winter here, but my constant refrain all summer was the complete lack of ice cream sandwiches. No classic ice cream sandwich, no chipwiches, no It’s-It’s, no cool-a-coos…nothing. I’d tried making them, but I kept making inedible dense cookies or brownies or it was so much work (Bon Appetit) and not exactly right. I’m so excited to make these and keep a stash in the freezer even though it is currently winter.
I think an ice cream sandwich in front of a roaring fire might actually be amazing.
It would be! I might just have to eat one with the heater on instead
These look delicious! If I wanted to use homemade ice cream (like the peanut butter ice cream from David Lebovitz, YUM), would it be too soft straight from the churn? Should I let it firm up a bit in the freezer before filling the sandwiches?
I plan on putting mine in the cookie straight from the churner. I’m thinking coffee!
These look amazing! Do you have any suggestions for what will work best to replace the egg white? Kiddo’s egg allergy means a lot of trial an error.
Can your child have aquafaba? If so 2 Tablespoons would probably work as a replacement for the egg white.
i did — had a bunch left over from a bean dish earlier this week. worked just fine!
Oh, I can definitely try this! Thank you!
Thank you! I was wondering the same thing as I am in the same predicament with an egg allergy kiddo! He wants ice cream sandwiches, but usually we can’t find any that work for his allergies.
Flax seeds also make a great egg white substitute.
½ tbsp of ground flaxseed + 1 ½ tbsp water = 1 egg white
OH YUM!!! Having a Father’s Day BBQ this Sunday and was planning to make an Icebox Cake but may have to do these instead – having 14 people so that’s an excuse to do 2 flavors of ice cream:)
First time I made a recipe as soon as I saw it on Instagram!
I misread the instructions and used the parchment sling to take it out of the pan hot and put it in on a cooling rack in the freezer. Still worked great.
These are amazing (even though they’re officially still firming up!)
Oh, boy, is anything better than an ice cream sandwich? Even a bad ice cream sandwich is a good ice cream sandwich, and the best part may be licking the cookie off your fingers at the very end. I will definitely be making these. Today is the hottest day of the year, so far, in the Bay Area. These will really come in handy. I love all your frozen treats!! Thanks!
Can your child have aquafaba? If so 2 to 3 Tablespoons would probably work as a replacement for the egg white.
i opened up SK tonight to snag a brownie recipe, when this one smacked me in the face. i asked my spouse and could barely finish the question “should i make these instead?” before he replied YESSSS. So, they are in the freezer firming up and the bit i pinched off was perfect — can’t wait for tomorrow!
These look amazing! Stella Parks of Bravetart puts just a teeny bit of coconut extract in her Oreo-style cookies; they don’t taste coconutty, but it makes them taste a little more like oreos. Could be worth trying here too.
What are you all using to wrap these once cut? Advice please!
You can put them in a container or freezer bag. You can use squares of parchment paper to separate or wrap them. Waxed paper might work too, and stay folded better.
I just used wax paper to individually wrap the ice cream sandwiches and it worked great! I would recommend precutting your wax paper so you’re ready to go and you can do the wrapping faster. (I didn’t do this and my double batch was starting to get a little messy. Still delicious though!)
Is there a reason you don’t give the grams on the cocoa powder? Just curious more than needing them. Thanks
I put it off then I forget — it’s so hard to get a consistent weight. I generally go find it to be 80-85 grams per cup, so 20 to 22 grams for 1/4 cup, and will update that here.
Thank you! Now that I’ve started baking with weights I find it so much easier and less messy. I’m really enjoying your you tube channel!!!!
These look absolutely delightful! And I certainly did not miss the “one bowl, one pan” part! *cue the Hallelujah Chorus here*
I do want to put in a good word for the 2006 ice cream sandwich cookies – the chocolate sugar one is still in my regular rotation for homemade cookies!
I just made these for fathers day. I divided the cookie batter into 2 8×8 pans (the area is only 9% bigger, so it should be fine). Although I had an extra pan to wash, assembly was easy in the square pan.
Now the only remaining challenge is to cut that into 12 (or 16?) pieces. How do you wrap them to keep in the freezer?
How about just doubling the recipe and making a 9″x13″ cookie twice? Then there is no using half the pan, etc. Except, then, 16 ice cream sandwiches….too many, right? Ha-ha-ha!
I cut off the rough edges and made only two giant cookies…so yes, I will do what you suggest next time :)
This looks delicious! One question – do you think this same cookie recipe could be used as a base for your baked Alaska recipe? We made that for my daughter’s birthday last year and it was epically delicious but its one challenge was the difficult to cut brownie base layer. I’m thinking this could be a great alternative??
I think it could!
This looks sooo amazing. Question, my dad doesn’t like chocolate, what can I do to make a sandwich that has a soft caramel or vanilla or something like that wafer, so the classic ice cream sandwich but with a different flavor wafer
Who knows if this would work but kinako powder might be an awesome replacement. It’s Japanese and is toasted soy powder. Kinda a nutty peanut buttery flavor but more mild.
You might like the wafers on these! I bet it could be made in a 9×13 pan using the techniques in Deb’s recipe…
hi deb! these look amazing. i’m wondering, can i make a vanilla cookie instead of chocolate? i really hate being That Person who asks about changing a crucial part of a very simple recipe but hear me out haha! we love the classic chocolate ones but my sister doesn’t care for chocolate and i would like to make a batch for us and a batch for her, too.
I made these today for the last day of school. The kids loved them!
Long time fan, first time commenting. Deb, thank you for curating this community that is so encouraging, enlightening, and cooperative about my favorite subject (food). I gain so much from your blog and from others sharing their recipe experiences, so it’s time I did my part.
Solely out of curiosity piqued by previous comments, I made a vanilla version. I only made a half batch of the batter as a test run. I used a 50/50 mix of AP flour and spelt flour in place of the total weight of the flour+cocoa (30g AP and 30g spelt). I used 15 grams of egg white, but used the full amount of vanilla, and reduced the sugar to 40g (again, this was only a half batch). I had to bake it in a glass 8×8, and I was worried the pan wouldn’t heat up enough in the short 15 minute bake, so I preheated the pan in the oven while I made the batter. It was difficult to spread the small amount of batter evenly over parchment, but it baked up fine in 15 minutes. Since I haven’t made the original recipe, I can’t say how the texture compares, but once frozen, my vanilla version was still easy to bite into, and had a plesantly dense cake-like feel. It was a little brittle in the areas where I had spread it thinner on accident, but definitely edible and delicious. Might need a few tweaks to make it more tender (my sugar reduction probably didn’t do me any favors), maybe less flour overall, but the spelt imparts a nice honey flavor. It went well with a mango froyo (David Lebovitz recipe), although if you’re using homemade ice cream, I suggest making sure it’s one that doesn’t freeze really hard… I imagine replacing the cocoa powder with something like almond flour or another low/no gluten flour would also work. I’m thinking a graham cracker flavor could be easily achieved with a little molasses, whole wheat flour and cinnamon etc, or an almond flavor, or cardamom. Between the cookie and the ice cream choices, the sky’s the limit!
Apologies for the essay, but I really love your recipes, even though I have an incredible aversion for following any recipe as written. Thank you for all your work!
Seems you could double the cake and bake a top and a bottom into separate pans instead of having to halve it. Then you could just spread the ice cream over one of them and put the other one on top.
I think I will do this exact thing the next time I make it!
Hi Deb, two comments: The grammar police thinks you might have left out a word in the first paragraph, the sentence that begins with “Second” I think you meant to include a timeframe for returning to the freezer. Also, I firmly believe the words “ice cream” and “suffer” never belong in the same sentence, and I will gladly “suffer” through rounds and rounds of ice cream sandwiches should you feel an irrational need to create another ice cream sandwich recipe. Come to think of it, I will make the supreme sacrifice and offer myself up to “suffer” er, I mean, taste test any of your recipes that contain ice cream…..and of course chocolate. (Although I realize your husband is rather stiff competition; know that I, too, am on team ice cream and chocolate.) Just send the stuff to Boston, ‘kay????!!!
Thanks! Now fixed.
Absolutely delicious, easy, and taste just like the ones that you’d beg your mom to buy!!
Just made these today. They look brilliant. The sandwich part is fabulous, I love how super shiny it turns out. I should have spread it more evenly but whatever. Took 30 minutes in my weirdo oven also. Finally, I should have cut it into 6 rather than 4 but , like I said, they look amazing :)
Update: they were as awesome as they looked. I made them for Father’s Day. What a treat. The kids were wild for them. The bumpy surface on my bake seemed to disappear after a good sandwiching and freezing. My son came up with a good twist; how about these with strawberry ice cream Mommy? Whaaaat? Mic drop…
What great timing. Just last week I did exactly what you described above— cookies + ice cream— and was disappointed with the result. Excited for this version instead.
The original Ice Cream Sandwich recipes on Smitten sent me on a sandwich bender years ago. It turns out using the Smitten Oreo cookie frozen, then putting ice cream inside and refreezing makes the most perfect tiny ice cream sandwich of incredible cuteness. Also almost any cookie works. I will need to try this version, it has been a very hot summer.
Deb, I love, love, love that this was the recipe you just had to master. It is such a funny thing – you think normal cookies can do this, but no! They’re too dang hard. Thank you for doing all the trial and error for us. and thanks for the heads up on black cocoa powder – I didn’t even know that was a thing!
I’ve just made (for the 4th time) your delicious shortbreads, and since I watched one of your new videos this afternoon, I can now imagine you telling me about the shortbread recipe and wish you had a video of it, it’d be so much fun to see you poke holes in the dough and all :) I hope you make a lot of videos in the future, not because your written descriptions were bad but because it’s just fun to watch you!
Why did I wait so long to make these? These are delicious and surprisingly rich! And they are easy. They were the perfect ending to a barbecue. Thank you again!
These sandwiches are incredible! Love the texture, recipe is great. One thing I’ve learned from years of ice cream sammich making – warm the ice cream and spread into a 9 x 13 pan, lined with parchment. Freeze it and then slice it up and you’ve got a bunch of perfect rectangles of ice cream goodness that you can just pop onto the cookies.
I am confused about the cutting. At first I thought you meant to cut the cake horizontally in half, like cutting a cake to become a layer cake, but now I don’t think so. What is “widthwise” — so you have two long rectangles, half the width of the pan? Or do you cut the short distance? Sorry, but I don’t understand your response to the first question, the numbers mean nothing to me.
You’d cut between the midway points of the long edges. So, set the cookie base in front of you in “landscape” (i.e., a long edge closer to you) and cut from far to close down the middle (NOT left-right), parallel to the short edges. I think the shape you end up with would be closer to square-ish (emphasis on the ish!) than “this is definitely a rectangle” :)
So no, don’t try to cut it in half like you’re making a layer cake!!
We are cutting the rectangle slab into two equally smaller rectangles, cut along the short side. So, a 9-by-13 slab becomes two 9-by-6.5 slabs.
Seems you could double the cake and bake a top and a bottom into separate pans instead of having to halve it. Then you could just spread the ice cream over one of them and put the other one on top. Did I miss why you decided to make it half-sized?
i think just to keep it one pan. plus i think if she made an entire 9×13’s worth of sandwiches lots of people would be asking if it could be halved. (i’m also grateful for the way it was written because i only have one 9×13 pan.) but definitely make as many as you want!
I made it half-sized because I didn’t want to make too many, or cause us to need two pans. I loved the simplicity of a small yield (12 small or 8 larger sandwiches) from a one-bowl, one-pan quick recipe. For a crowd, definitely double it!
What is the weight of the cocoa powder
20 to 22 grams for 1/4 cup. Will edit!
What a timely recipe! Thanks for never steering us wrong, Deb. Have you come across this novelty gadget?! I wonder what Alton Brown would say about it. https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/chefn-ice-cream-sandwich-maker/?clickid=TrdzcsVyoxyLR5wwUx0Mo37DUkB1l5StyXsJ3o0&irgwc=1&cm_cat=57486&cm_ven=afshoppromo&bnrid=3917500&cm_ite=collective&cm_pla=ir&irpid=57486#reviews
Ha! No, but it’s very cute.
These look delicious, I can’t wait to make them! I expect I will use a stand mixer for all of the whisking steps, but is there a good indication as to when the egg white is “fully mixed?” Either a texture I should be looking for or roughly how long it took to whisk the egg white in? I imagine overdoing it will be halfway to a soufflé and I don’t to whip in too much air. Thanks!
You won’t see any clear spots in the batter. Cold egg whites are a little thicker. It just takes a few more whisks than it would seem.
Keep for 3 months??? Hahahaha..not in this house! I made these for my hubby on Saturday ….8 reasonable sized sandwiches…today is Monday..there are two left. Hubby said..”these things are outstanding”…..per the suggestion from another commenter on this site…I will be making double the cookie recipe and baking in two 9×13 pans…..maybe 16 sandwiches will last a week. They really are fantastic!
Ooh yum, just in time for summer. I can’t wait to try these. My son will gobble them up.
Do you have a recipe for Gingerbread cookie for ice cream sandwiches? I love your web, I have followed you for years and you recipes are wonderful. I could be attracted to them because I am Eastern European.
A gingerbread ice cream sandwich cookie would be amazing! Great idea!!!
I can almost taste that with pumpkin ice cream..or cinnamon….
I’ll work on one! In the meanwhile, this graham cookie for an icebox cake might be a good start; I’d bump up the spices.
Hey, congratulations on the YouTube channel – I can’t wait to check it out!
Also, I’m so pleased to see this recipe. I made the brownie ice cream sandwiches a few years ago, and while they were very tasty, the effort/messiness/deliciousness ratio was a bit out of balance – i.e., I didn’t feel compelled to give it another go. A few years and a celiac diagnosis later, I miss the taste of a classic ice cream sandwich.** And here you are with a recipe! I look forward to trying this when I return from our trip away from home since the pandemic took hold. Yay!
** Any celiacs from Metro Vancouver here? If you’re craving an ice-cream sandwich, I highly recommend Innocent Ice Cream on Main Street. They have quite a few different cookie/ice cream combinations – you can either pick from their menu of existing flavours or combine your own! There are also quite a few dairy free ice-cream options. No affiliation, I’m just a big fan. :)
Has anyone tried making these without using parchment paper when baking the cookie layer? I’d rather not buy it if not necessary.
It’s more of an insurance thing — if your pans are solidly nonstick, you might be fine. Mine are but I prefer not to find out. Plus, I use the parchment to shape the bars.
Thanks! Does glass count as solidly nonstick, or is that solidly stick?
Tip: don’t spray the parchment with non-stick spray. Deb instructs to “coat the exposed sides with butter or nonstick spray.” That’s just the sides of the pan uncovered by parchment. I went to town and spayed the whole surface, which made it very hard to spread the thin layer of batter because, well, it didn’t stick! Lesson learned, and lesson shared.
These are a fun cooking project with young person!
Thanks so much for this comment – you saved me from likely making the same mistake!
OK, I made this, and it was delicious. But, I am still partial to your browniest cookies as ice cream sandwiches, and am very slightly offended that they could be considerd to hard. They´re perfect!
I just made these and my batter turned out quite thick, like much thicker than yours looked in your Instagram video. It was very difficult to spread. I froze the assembled sandwiches overnight and the cookie is rock hard. Any ideas of where I may have gone wrong?! I followed the recipe as detailed but is there one particular cause for too thick of batter? They still taste delicious! I just want an idea of what I can do better next time :).
I take back my prior comment^ they were so hard for me to cut, but once cut, they were the perfect texture. Not too hard but not so soft the ice cream spilled out. Definitely will make again!
It could be measuring but it could also be from resting. I tend to move quickly with this but if I let the batter sit, I could see it thickening as it stands. You can try whisking in 1 more tablespoon of milk or water and see if that helps. Or, just roll it between two sheets of parchment paper, since it sounds almost cookie dough-thick.
It’s gonna be 100 degrees in Seattle this weekend – I’m definitely making these! I happen to have black cocoa powder, yay, but going to attempt to use a vegan egg – not sure yet which route I’ll choose: powder/flax/tofu? If any experienced vegan bakers want to suggest a route I’d be grateful, Thank You!
These are perfect! I happened to go to Kalustyan’s a couple weeks ago and stocked up on all manner of things, including black cocoa and I was over the moon to bust it out! These bake quickly and freeze and are the perfect texture. (Used the spare egg yolk to make aioli and felt very efficient and crafty). I used a whole pint of vanilla ice cream because why not. I cut mine into 9 squares, which turned out to be the right size. I had been making different ice cream sandwiches (peanut butter/honey cookie base from Eventide cookbook – check those out!), but these are much easier. Will definitely make again!
These came out great! I was a little worried that the cookie part would come out too thin in parts because the batter seemed to be barely covering the bottom of the pan. But it puffed up when it baked and came out just fine. These are definitely going into my VIP recipe book for being 1) fast 2) easy 3) made of ingredients I always have in the house and 4) of course delicious!
I don’t know what I did wrong here but getting this batter in the pan was so annoying, I almost gave up multiple times. I doubled the recipe because I wanted two 9×13 cookies so I could do one half strawberry, one half vanilla… But the amount of batter it made was not enough to fill them both. I maybe could have made it work but each layer would have been soooo thin and it was very difficult to smooth out in the pan with the parchment paper (yes, it had butter underneath to help it stick).
I eventually gave up and put all the batter in one pan. It smoothed out easier this way but my cookie is in the oven and it’s looking pretty thick. Now I’m regretting not splitting it in two but maybe I can try to cut it in half lengthwise… We’ll see.
Otherwise, it was easy and quick to whip out. Simple recipe with easy to understand instructions. I just think for myself, if I want to do two 9×13 pans next time, I might do 2.5x the recipe. Just doubled didn’t seem enough for each pan somehow.
This recipe is perfect. The flavor and texture of the finished cracker is just what you’d expect of an Ice Cream Sandwich. I’ve made it twice already – fresh mint ice cream on Father’s Day and dulce de leche ice cream for today.
The hardest part, I found, was spreading the sticky batter into the prepared pan. The offset spatula worked somewhat, especially in the corners, but I found a plastic bench scraper, lightly sprayed with cooking spray, was the best thing to spread the mounded batter evenly around the pan. Then the spatula could move in to spread to the corners.
Thanks for the recipe Deb.
Just made these, and they are super fast to whip together. I made a double batch, in two 9x 13 pans. A note of caution: my cookies did not release cleanly from my parchment (which is a crap brand, but consider greasing parchment if you have any doubts about yours) and the uncut cookies are VERY hard to transfer without unsightly breakage. This is not surprising- it’s a big, thin slab of tender deliciousness, after all, but be warned. Next time, I’ll cut them in half before I move them. I managed to more or less reassemble my pieces, and the whole thing is layered with ice cream and chilling back together in the freezer. The bits tasted perfect- what grocery store ice cream sandwiches dream they taste like. I have no doubt the final product will be gleefully inhaled, but it’s MUCH less photogenic than Deb’s. I’m already plotting another batch to improve my technique!
Reporting back to say- looks aren’t everything. These are so delicious! After the freezer glued everything back together, they cut cleanly, in spite of my mangling the assembly. A perfect summer recipe- thank you!
AMAZING! Made these this weekend for my birthday, and they were a big hit! In case you’re wondering, the cookies are plenty soft for a candle :)
1) Made a double batch of standard. Similar to @Rebecca above I also had them fall apart a bit when transferring the cookies. I pushed it back together with my fingers and then after freezing overnight the cookies were good as new so would recommend not worrying if that happens to you.
2) Also made a gluten free/dairy free version for a friend and she couldn’t believe how similar they tasted to the childhood one’s she can’t eat anymore. Used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF baking mix, oat milk, and mykonos vegan butter (I’m obsessed with the stuff, but sure you could use any vegan butter), and some strawberry dairy free ice cream (I think DF ice cream benefits from some flavoring).
I would love to make these for a dinner this week but one of the people is dairy free and I want us all to have the same thing. Is the butter an integral part of the cookie flavour in these or would they be fine with a sub? Thank you!
I think it will be just fine as a sub. I don’t think the butter flavor comes through in particular from the freezer.
I made these as prep for the PNW heat wave and they are SO good. Actually almost too rich for ultra heat – (due to the black cocoa but probably more because it’s difficult to get the batter spread super thin) but almost anything but watermelon is too much during a heat wave.
But as a homemade all natural replica for store-bought, this is the recipe. FWI I used two tablespoons or so of garbanzo aquafaba (freeze in ice cube trays whenever you open a can of beans and stockpile for recipes like this) to replace the egg – worked perfectly.
Hello—long-time follower, first-time commenter. I’m getting ready to move, and I have a few pints of ice cream that have collected in my freezer that I’ve not been super-enthused about finishing up for one reason or another. So when I stopped by the site to check new recipes, an idea hit—I could use up my ice cream, and could make either specifically-flavored bars, or make a kind of neopolitan bar of multiple flavors. It was just the thing to rekindle my interest in the rest of my ice cream—no having to heart- (and wallet-)achingly toss the pints upon moving day, and I get to eat something amazing. Win-win.
A few notes:
—I made these with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. Pretty great deep chocolate flavor. Had never heard about the Black Cocoa Powder until this recipe, and now I MUST get some.
—I have no off-set spatula, but this might be the recipe that gets me to buy one. The process of trying to get the batter smooth in the pan with a regular spatula just never seemed to finish…
—The only 9 x 13 pan I had was a glass pyrex one with tall sides, so that also made the make-smooth step hard. I bet that step would be easier with like, a jelly-roll pan.
—I believe I had to bake my cookie 5-10 extra minutes; not sure if that is the glass dish’s doing or my humble apartment oven’s.
—I had a bag of toffee-covered almonds (also trying to use up in moving prep), and I pressed several into one of the flavors. I think they worked out great, and I’m already scheming about what other cool things I can add.
Love the ideas others are coming up with—my favorite so far is the gingerbread ice cream sandwich. YES PLEASE.
There’s a recipe in one of Alice Waters’s books for gingerbread ice cream sandwiches with plum ice cream. Have never made it, but sounds amazing…
Would this cake-y cookie recipe hold up as the base for your baked alaska? Wanted to attempt the later for my daughter’s birthday next month but was feeling a little timid based on your caution over the frozen brownie…
Yes, I think it would work well there, albeit thinly.
Like others, my batter came out too thick to spread in the pan with a spatula. I discovered that it was much better to use my greasy fingers to pat it into the pan. When the greasiness on my fingers was gone, I just swiped my fingers around in the unwashed pan I melted the butter in for more.
Not sure what exactly caused my thick batter, but I did use Irish butter (measured it by weight) and I reduced the sugar by maybe 40 percent. They are now in the freezer for tomorrow. They seem like they’re gonna be fab! : )
Another SK winner! I made this in a quarter sheet pan and even though I didn’t spread it out completely evenly, they still baked well! I used half King Arthur black cocoa and half Hershey’s dark cocoa and the flavor was great!
The taste and the texture are great in the finished product and I’m really enjoying noshing on one right now, but the cookie half that I lifted out completely crumbled to bits as I was working on assembly (maybe because I cooled them on the parchment paper on a rack instead of in the freezer?). Luckily, like another commenter, I was able to mush it back together with my fingers. May try again with the freezer cooling method to see if that fixes the issue.
have made these repeatedly as they are EASY, STORE WELL IN A ZIP LOC, and above all: delicious. Cutting them into small ‘sandwiches’ allows to eat just a little and get that sweet satisfaction. Can’t wait to make them for children.
Just made this and love it. Only issue I had was I absolutely could not get anything close to a smooth layer with an offset spatula or other tool. The batter would stick to the spatula rather than the parchment paper! So, I decided to try rolling it out between 2 parchment paper sheets and then transferred it to the baking pan and removed the top paper. I had to fiddle around with it a bit to get it to 9×13, but in the end, the result was worth it. Didn’t see anyone else having this problem so maybe I don’t have the right kind of spatula? Anyway, in the end, I love the results and even better that I get to use up some of my extra egg whites from making ice cream with egg yolks.
These are delicious. I’d like to try making some with a vanilla/yellow cake rather than chocolate. Can anyone recommend a recipe?
I have made all sorts of delicious dishes from you however I’m not a baker or experimenter with desserts. For the thought of homemade ice cream sandwiches I bought the right pan and spatula and made them last night! Can’t wait to surprise and give to my visiting grandchildren this afternoon!
Thanks for something fun and something I will do again!
I love getting your lovely emails to inspire me.
These ice cream sandwiches are wonderful.
The recipe has been shared with friends and relations near and far. The near ones might even get one! I always double the recipe (like I do most cos….more…and less cooking.)and bake it in a 17 x 12 1/2 cookie sheet.
This time cos I had trouble spreading it nicely so I put parchment paper on top and spread it with my metal spatula. It worked great. This after I’d tried butter smeared hands. Didn’t work so well.
I also got the boxed ice cream and cut slabs the thickness I wanted and that worked well.
Thanks for all your work trying things out for us to enjoy.
Next recipe will involve tomatoes. Yum
I love ice cream and love your recipe very much. Especially ice cream with chocolate!
Scrumptious – the cookie part made the perfect ice cream sandwich. I had to use a glass pan since that’s all I had and it worked just as well (maybe slightly rounded edges). I was attracted by the one bowl cookie prep.
I just made these and for some reason, mine came out dry. I have a convection oven; could that be the reason? I haven’t been adjusting for that, so maybe I needed to lower the time. Or maybe my use of dutch processed (alkalized) cocoa powder? Everything was measured exactly on a calibrated (restaurant) scale, so these are the only two things I can think of. I would love for these to work since the flavour is great and it seems everyone is having great success with them.
Ideas? Thank you!
I’ll try to recreate this chocolate ice cream sandwich for my kids this weekend! They’ll surely love it!
These came out great! I follow the recipe exactly, using Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder. The cookie part was SO good; it tasted like brownies. I don’t have an offset spatula, so it was a little hard to spread the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan, but in the end I prevailed.
I made these for Father’s Day and they were a HUGE hit. I cut them in squares and wrapped them individually in wax paper with a cute sticker. My family cannot wait to try with other flavor combinations!
omg bless you for this recipe!!! I live in the U.K. where there is a tragic absence of ice cream sandwiches.
What should the consistency be out of the oven? I’ve baked them for 30 minutes and it seems like it’s still raw
wow! the taste and texture is perfect. I also swapped out bob’s 1 to 1 G.F. flour. I’m sensitive to processed sugar so I did half coconut sugar and half maple sugar. I am a happy camper. Thank you!!
Oh. My. Gawd. These are amazing. I highly recommend the black cocoa powder – it made a real difference and gives it the ‘ice cream sandwich’ flavor of your childhood. I doubled the recipe and made two sandwich layers in two quarter sheet jelly roll pans instead of just making one and cutting it in half. (I mean, you totally need more of these in your freezer anyway!) The first time, I used vanilla ice cream. The second time, I spread a layer of vanilla and then a layer of strawberry.
My gluten free daughter and family are arriving for the 4th so I am going to try this with gluten free flour mix. I know they won’t be perfect, but I will also make a ‘real’ batch for the rest of her family. (If anyone on here has adapted for gluten free, let me know your tips!)
Made a double batch, good thing too… Klondike who? The Fat Boys are on notice!