chocolate-buttermint ice cream sandwiches

You know what the best kind of sandwich is? An ice cream sandwich. It’s only fitting that I’d end my National Sandwich Month series with one!

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I’ve never met someone who would turn down an ice cream sandwich, even those little rectangular storebought ones with the chocolate cookies that stick to your fingers. I’d be really suspicious of a person who’d turn down one of these, made with soft, crumbly chocolate cookies and smushed with Jeni Britton Bauer’s outstanding Savannah Buttermint ice cream!

I don’t know how long I’d been dreaming of having the Jeni’s Ice Cream cookbook. On occasion, when my money was burning a hole in my pocket, I’d pick up a pint of Jeni’s at my local AJ’s store. $12 a pint is not exactly a cheap snack, but ohhh, it was so worth it. But! — Now that I have this book in my possession, I no longer have to shell out tons of money for probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life. I can make it at home now! It’s the perfect ice cream for sandwich-making.

Hooray, it’s National Sandwich Month! The whole month of August, I’ll be bringing you piles of sandwich recipes so you can celebrate to your stomach’s content. Come back every Sunday this month for a new, kickass sandwich recipe!

chocolate-buttermint ice cream sandwiches

makes about 20 sandwiches

chocolate-sour cream cookies

1 1/2 c (315 g) granulated sugar
1/2 c (4 oz / 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 c (230 g) sour cream
1 Tbs (15 g) vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 g) baking soda
1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
1 1/2 c (120 g) natural cocoa powder
3 c (424 g) flour

buttermint ice cream
(adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home)

2 c (492 g) whole milk
1 Tbs + 1 tsp (11 g) cornstarch
3 Tbs (1 1/2 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/4 c (292 g) heavy cream
2/3 c (144 g) granulated sugar
2 Tbs (44 g) light corn syrup
3 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled (or just chopped finely)
8 drops all natural butter flavoring (use more if you’re using imitation butter flavor)
3-4 drops peppermint oil (use more to taste, if you’d like)

For the cookies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter with the sugar on low for 30 seconds, and then on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth. Scrape the bowl and paddle well and mix again briefly.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, cocoa, and flour. Add these dry ingredients in two batches to the creamed butter mixture, mixing on low until just incorporated, and scraping the bowl well between additions.

Chill the bowl of dough while you make the ice cream base.

For the ice cream: Stir together 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.

In a medium sized bowl, stir the softened cream cheese, salt, and turmeric until smooth.

In a sauce pot, combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.

Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the softened cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture into a large zip-top bag and set in a shallow container in the fridge until fully chilled, 6 hours or overnight.

(Now’s the time to roll out and bake your cookies! Scroll to that section below…)

When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl until warm and melty. Stir until smooth. Alternately (I think that this method would be a little simpler), chop the chocolate into small pieces and set aside; do not melt. Grab your fully chilled ice cream base and your ice cream maker of choice (this one is mine). Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream freezer and freeze according to the machine’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning, drop the butter flavoring and peppermint oil into the opening of the ice cream freezer. Once the ice cream is almost done freezing, slowly drizzle in the melted and cooled white chocolate, or dump in your chopped chocolate. Let the ice cream churn until it is thick and creamy.

Scoop the ice cream into a freezer-safe quart-sized container, or just throw the whole ice cream machine’s freezer bowl into the freezer, covering the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap. The ice cream can be made several days in advance.

Cookie baking / sandwich assembly: Remove the chilled cookie dough from the fridge and roll out to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness on a well floured surface. Cut cookies with a 3 inch round cutter and place an inch or so apart on parchment-lined sheet pans. Bake in your preheated oven for 6 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake 6 minutes longer. Let cool until room temperature.

Once you’ve got your frozen ice cream and room temperature cookies, lay half of the cookies flat-side up on a sheet pan. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of ice cream onto the cookies, and press gently with another cookie to make a sandwich. Store immediately in the freezer in shallow containers or large zip-top bags. The sandwiches will keep for 2 weeks or so, if you don’t eat them all before then!

These cookies are perfect for ice cream sandwiches because they don’t really freeze rock-solid, and they still keep a little bit of chew even when frozen. The ice cream is a beautiful pale yellow and the mint is perfectly subtle, with the occasional crunch of mellow white chocolate. Light minty ice cream and chocolatey cookies are a match made in some heavenly ice cream shop!

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And thus concludes National Sandwich Month! Stick around in September for some nostalgic back-to-school recipes, and some fun fair-inspired foods!

More recipes for National Sandwich Month:
Steak Sandwiches with Arugula, Roasted Garlic + Horseradish Cream
Little Meatball Sandwiches with Sharp Cheddar + Crispy Onions
Brown Sugar Bacon BLTs with Fresh Herb Mayo
Monte Cristo Sandwiches with Dijon Mustard + Strawberry Jam

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