you guys, this was one of my best ideas yet. everyone knows that ice cream sandwiches are awesome. everyone also knows that the most annoying part of eating an ice cream sandwich is when you bite into it and the cookies smush together and all the ice cream oozes out the sides. you’re basically left munching on cookies while licking ice cream off your fingers (what?! you wash your hands when they are covered in ice cream? that can’t be right.). the solution is to make the sandwich with cookies that are soft enough that you can bite right through them without them smushing together. some people have come up with great recipes for this, but it’s still always a little risky – if the cookies aren’t baked perfectly, then you’re back to the cookie smushing problem. oh, and another problem with making ice cream sandwiches is that to get them looking really clean and perfect, you have to put in a lot of work. lindsay has a great method for it using cookie cutters and parchment paper, but if you don’t time everything perfectly, you’re left with a giant mess (not that i know from experience…).
well, people… i have found the perfect solution! enter (drumroll please…) the brownie ice cream sandwich!
the brownie ice cream sandwich solves the above problems. there is no cookie smushing problem because the brownie is nice and fudgy (but even cakey brownies will work), so your teeth sink right in without compromising your ice cream’s sandwich center status. plus, these are easy as pie (or brownie) to put together since you make everything in one giant block, then slice it into beautifully perfect looking little squares. the world’s ice cream sandwich problems, solved!
oh, and then there’s the taste. i (hopefully) don’t have to convince you that brownies and ice cream is a great combination. the deep, chocolate fudginess of the brownie, combined with the smooth, creamy richness of the ice cream… it’s the perfectly decadent answer to all of your ice cream cravings, in an easy-to-eat pretty little package. for the sandwiches pictured here, i used my favorite brownie recipe, which made the perfect base, and the roasted strawberry ice cream that i made recently. the taste was like all of the best parts of strawberries, roasted fruit, and chocolate, all combined into a cold, fudgy, creamy treat. needless to say, these were some truly special ice cream sandwiches… and i can’t wait to try this method with other flavor combinations. the possibilities are endless!
ice cream sandwiched in the middle of a fudgy brownie!
- using a sharp knife, carefully cut the entire brownie block in half horizontally (like when you slice open a hamburger bun). try your best to keep the thickness of the two halves as even as possible - this is easiest if the brownie is chilled.
- line an 8x8-inch pan with plastic wrap. you want to have enough excess wrap hanging over the sides so that you'll be able to cover your entire block of brownie sandwiches. then, put the bottom half of your brownie in the pan.
- dump all of your ice cream into the pan on top of the bottom brownie. spread it out so that it fills the pan and is even on top (you need it to be soft so that you can do this - see note).
- put the top brownie half on top of the ice cream. using your hands, press down lightly so that the ice cream and brownie halves all become one. then, tightly wrap the entire block with your over-hanging sides of plastic wrap.
- put the pan into the freezer for at least a couple of hours. you want the ice cream to become completely firm so that you can slice through it cleanly - the time it takes to get to this point will vary depending on what type of ice cream you use.
- working quickly, take the block of brownie/ice cream out of the freezer and unwrap it. you will have one giant ice cream sandwich at this point. using a sharp knife, cut the block into smaller sandwiches. i like to cut it into 16 little squares - they are so cute!
- individually wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap, then put them all in an airtight container in the freezer until you're ready to serve.
if you want to get really creative, you can use cookie cutters to cut out fun shaped sandwiches. just work quickly!