Ice Cream Sandwiches!

As I mentioned here, the very best thing about being a grandparent is having grandkids.  Really, I wouldn’t want to be one without them.   And I just have to say that they’re way more fun than having kids ever was.  Sorry, kids, but your kids are way more fun than you were.   Oh, you guys were lots of fun, but did we EVER make these?  Oh, I see what you’re getting at.  Maybe I’m just a funner grandma than I was a parent.  Hmmmm....

Be that as it may, I had all the grandkids over this week and we made ice cream sandwiches and it was a blast.  First we made the ice cream, then we made the cookies,

and then we decorated them.  Then they trashed the house, but that’s just part of the fun, right?  Funny how (unlike with my kids) when my grandkids do it, it’s so cute.

Previously, I had made some mango frozen yogurt (I know, right?), so after the kids left and things got quiet again, I made a bunch of ice cream sandwiches that I would want to eat…. Vanilla ice cream with English toffee bits, a 50/50 one (mango and vanilla), and a mango with tiny chocolate chips.

These were just so good.  I would say if you don’t feel like making everything from scratch, you could just buy some little chocolate wafer cookies and vanilla ice cream and then gather together a bunch of fun little things to roll them in.  But I must insist that you make the mango frozen yogurt.  It’s easier than anything, and is now our favorite ice cream.  Even though it’s not technically ice cream.

It would be great fun to do this with your kids or your own precious grandkids.  I guess you don’t actually have to have kids around to make ice cream sandwiches, it just gives you a great excuse to make stuff like this. 

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Lower Fat Vanilla Ice Cream

3 cups half and half
3 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 T vanilla or vanilla paste (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)

Bring the half and half, sugar, salt and vanilla to a boil.  Whisk the egg yolks together.

Once the cream mixture has come to a rolling boil, turn off the heat. Take 1 cup of the hot cream mixture and stream it slowly into the yolks, whisking.

Slowly pour the egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk. Turn the flame on low and cook until the base thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the mixture will curdle.

Place in your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Chill 2 to 3 hours or preferably overnight.

Mango Frozen Yogurt

1 quart good quality yogurt (low fat is fine)
3 tsp vanilla1 large mango, peeled and diced
½ to ¾ cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Mix all the ingredients and chill 2-3 hours or preferably overnight.  Place the yogurt mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions.  Remove to a Tupperware and freeze for several hours (preferably overnight).

 Chocolate Cookies
Recipe Adapted from Dave Lieberman

1 cup vegetable shortening (I use Earth Balance shortening sticks)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Miniature chocolate chips, English toffee bits, sprinkles, chopped nuts, etc. for finishing

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, mix the vegetable shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Beat in the egg until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda until smooth and combined. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until fully incorporated. Do not over mix or the dough will become tough.

Form about 1 tablespoons of dough a ball and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Press down lightly and gently round edges. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

(I use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out nice-looking rounds after the cookies have cooled.)

To assemble the ice cream sandwiches:

Set a wax-paper lined cookie sheet in the freezer.

For the 50/50 sandwiches, place some of the vanilla ice cream on a cookie half and top with some frozen yogurt.  Top with another cookie and lightly and carefully press the two cookies together until the filling is a fairly uniform thickness.  Place the sandwich on the cookie try in the freezer.

For the rest of the sandwiches, place some ice cream or frozen yogurt on a cookie and place another cookie on top.  Lightly press to squeeze the filling out to just beyond the edge of the cookie.  Roll in desired topping and place on the try in the freezer.

Freeze sandwiches for at least an hour before serving.