Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream


 
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux

As someone who is a huge fan of both ice cream sandwiches and doughnuts, I figured that they were going to have to be combined at some point along the line. I had some leftover ice cream base after deciding I wanted to make philadelphia style for the project I was working on, so figured it was the perfect time to give them a spin. And ohhh my. The result was these chocolate choux ice cream sandwiches with double chocolate ice cream - a ridiculously indulgent treat, but a total crowd pleaser and an amazing end to a dinner party or a gathering with friends.

I started with a cruller type doughnut - chocolate choux pastry (same as used for eclairs), which I piped into circles with a star tip onto parchment, then froze solid before frying off. Freezing the dough helps it keep a perfect shape whilst being fried. The freshly fried doughnuts are then rolled in sugar, and once cool, sandwiched with a homemade dark chocolate ice cream, which is flecked with shards of dark chocolate. You can absolutely use a store bought ice cream here if you like - the creamy ice cream compliments the light doughnut perfectly.

A few wee tips:

  • The Chocolate choux dough can be made ahead, frozen solid on the parchment, then transferred to a ziploc bag until you are ready to fry.

  • A candy thermometer is super important to keep the oil for the frying at the right temperature. I prefer to fry in cast iron because of how consistent it is.

  • I made the ice cream for these because I had some base on hand, but using store bought ice cream would be just as good!

  • I found that frying these on one side and then turning half way through caused them to puff up unevenly. Flipping them every minute throughout the frying process helps to keep them nice and flat while they are cooking.

  • Because these have cocoa in them it is hard to tell when they are done - this is why a thermometer is important. I also recommend frying one off at the start just to double check your frying time.

  • If you don’t want to make these as ice cream sandwiches, you can pipe circles such as in this cruller recipe, or bake them up as chocolate cream puffs

  • If you aren’t planning on eating all of these on the day they are made, I suggest storing the frozen dough and frying off as you want them. You can cool the oil and store back in the oil bottle and re-use - because it gets so hot, it is safe to re-use, just don’t use oil that you have used to fry things such as fish as the flavour will transfer.

  • I included the recipe in grams, as even the slightest amount of differentiation in flour will change the consistency of your mixture.

  • I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test. 

 

 

Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream

- Makes 8-10 ice cream sandwiches -

Chocolate Flakes from Stella Parks / Serious Eats

Double Chocolate Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp salt
35g dutch cocoa
360g (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
360g (1 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream
55g good quality dark chocolate (65-70% cocoa solids)
15g refined coconut oil

Chocolate Choux Doughnuts
240g water
110g butter
20g sugar
5g salt
5g vanilla bean paste
165g all-purpose flour
25g dutch process cocoa
220g egg, lightly beaten, plus extra if required (see last point on notes)

Neutral oil for frying
About 100g (1/2 cup) Sugar for dusting

 

- PROCESS -

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Whisk well until pale. Set aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the whole milk, heavy cream and cocoa. Heat to just shy of a simmer

Pour half of the milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling. 

Pour the milk yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer. 

Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to an airtight container, and allow to stand at room temperature for an hour or so, and then chill for at least two hours, or overnight.

To make the chocolate shards for the ice cream, microwave the chocolate in a heat proof bowl in 15 second increments, until smooth. Stir in the coconut oil, then spread onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan and freeze for 15 minutes, or until completely set. Break into pieces your desired size. Store in the freezer until ready to use (I like to do this step just before I churn the ice cream)

Place a loaf pan or the container you are planning to store the ice cream in into the freezer. Pour the chilled chocolate ice cream base into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Once the ice cream is churned, add the chocolate chunks and mix in the ice cream maker until combined.

Scrape the chocolate ice cream into the chilled loaf pan or container, and smooth down. Press a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight.

 

CHOCOLATE CHOUX DOUGHNUTS

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw circles, evenly spaced, about 2 3/4” (70mm) in diameter on each using a pen or pencil - these will be your guide for piping. Flip the paper over so you can trace the outline without tracing on the ink. You need approximately 20 circles.

Line a large piping bag with a french star tip - I used a wilton 1m tip.

Sift together the flour and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour and cocoa all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste. 

Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture. 

With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 220g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate. 

Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circles as a guide, and starting from the middle, pipe rounds of pastry onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. They should look like rosettes. Repeat with the second tray until you have used up all your pastry. Transfer the trays to the freezer and freeze for one hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 350˚f (180˚c) on a candy thermometer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan, and place 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl (for coating the cooked doughnuts)

Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning every minute to ensure even cooking, until cooked. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Drain for a minute or so, then toss in the sugar and return to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them.

To assemble, sandwich two doughnuts with a scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately. Leftover Assembled sandwiches can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to eat, but are best eaten fresh.

Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream. The ultimate ice cream sandwich - homemade, rich chocolate ice cream is sandwiched by two light and crispy chocolate choux doughnuts. A simple but indulgent treat. #cruller #icecreamsandwich #choux

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel Cookies


 
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich
Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich

There are a few things I am kinda mad I missed out on eating as a kid. It's not that I was deprived - we just do food differently in New Zealand. And Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches are one of them. The only type we ever had was slabs of vanilla ice cream sandwiched with these bright pink wafers. They simultaneously gave you brain freeze and caused you to choke on wafer crumbs at the same time. So my little mind was blown the first time I tried a proper cookie sandwich at a food market when I first moved to NYC. When I got an ice cream maker last year I knew that cookie sandwiches were going to be fairly high on the list of things to make, and they quickly became my favourite thing to take for a dessert if I'm going somewhere for dinner - you can make the cookies ahead of time, and then either make ice cream or pick some up on the way. They are super easy to put together, and always a huge crowd pleaser. 

One thing I wasn't able to nail with my ice cream maker though, was frozen yogurt (Or frozen yoghurt, we spell it differently in NZ!). I always had issues with it being too icy, or having a weird texture once it was frozen. This year I decided I wasn't going to let it get the better of me, and set out to nail the perfect frozen yogurt cookie sandwich. And I had the best base to start with - Brown Cow Yogurt. Brown Cow Yogurt is delicious and creamy, with this dreamy layer of cream on the surface of the yogurt. It comes in loads of different flavours, and it's creamy texture makes it perfect for the smoothest, tangiest, creamiest frozen yogurt. 

I did a load of research before I started recipe testing, and found a few things that can be done to avoid the dreaded ice, which can ruin the texture of your frozen yogurt. The main one was to strain the yogurt before using, to remove any excess water. I wanted to avoid that step if possible, as I found it made the process more labour intensive and time consuming than it needed to be. After a few tests, I was able to find a workaround which eliminated the straining, while still giving you a creamy end product. I ramped up the fat content of my mixture slightly by adding some mascarpone and a tiny bit of heavy cream. These helped reduce the likelihood of ice forming, but didn't mask the yogurt flavour, and still left a light mouth feel. The addition of sugar and an invert sugar also helped with the final texture. I used golden syrup to help compliment the taste of the cookies, but light corn syrup, honey, or glucose would work well here too. I think that's enough science for now - I promise I did all the testing, so you don't have to! Six batches of frozen yogurt later, and I managed to find a winning ingredient combination. I'm obsessed, and I think you will be too. 

Once I had a base recipe nailed, I experimented with flavouring the yogurt. Brown Cow has some super delicious flavours, which work perfectly for incorporating some flavour into your froyo. I ended up going a little overboard in the best way possible, and ended up making blueberry, raspberry, coffee and vanilla batches to go with my cookies - all each as delicious as each other.

Another thing that is so perfect about this frozen yogurt is that, unlike ice cream, it doesn't require making a custard base. I think that the work involved making an ice cream base is what puts lots of people off. Because there is no straining or cooking involved with this recipe, all you have to do is choose your flavour of yogurt, whisk all the ingredients together, rest the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so, then churn in your pre-frozen ice cream maker, spread into your container of choice, and after a second freeze, it will be perfect for scooping, or for making the best frozen yogurt cookie sandwiches ever. 

Seeing as I had four different flavours of fro-yo in my freezer, I decided to keep things simple-but-a-little-fancy with the cookie. I went with a coffee cake inspired cookie - a brown sugar cookie, loaded up with brown butter streusel, which Kate and I made last year, and is quite possibly one of my favourite things ever. The balls of cookie dough are rolled in the streusel before baking, then given another generous sprinkling just as they are finished baking to ensure maximum cookie to streusel ratio. They are perfect on their own, but become something special when used to sandwich a disc of creamy frozen yogurt. I think I am going to have to keep a stash of these in my freezer for sneaky treats on hot days, all summer. 

A few wee tips:

  • I ended up making four batches of frozen yogurt - the vanilla was made with Brown Cow plain whole milk yogurt, whilst the coffee, blueberry and raspberry flavours were made using several of the smaller flavoured containers of yogurt. I still can't decide which flavour is my favorite!
  • I added a little freeze dried fruit powder in the raspberry and blueberry flavours, and a little espresso powder in the coffee, just to help enhance colour. It is totally an optional step! 
  • I included ingredients for all four flavours (the method for each is essentially the same), but you only need one quantity of frozen yogurt for this recipe. 
  • Note that I made a double batch of cookies so I could show off all of the flavours - the final recipe makes about 10 large ice cream sandwiches. 
  • Feel free to scale these down, as they are fairly large. Just adjust the size of your cookies, bearing in mind they may need a little less baking time, then cut smaller discs of yogurt using a smaller cookie cutter. 
  • A cookie scoop will be your friend here! I used a 2 Tbsp one. 
  • I prefer to cut discs of yogurt because it can be a little tricky to scoop. If you would like the discs to be thinner, freeze the yogurt in a larger tray. If you would like to scoop the yogurt rather than the discs, freeze it in a loaf pan. 
  • Don't forget to freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker! 
 

 

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel Cookies 

- Makes about 10 large cookie Sandwiches -

Note: I have included four different flavours of fro-yo in this just to provide variety and options. The recipe only requires one batch - so pick your flavour from the options below! 

Frozen Yogurt

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
One 907g Container (32oz) Brown Cow Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Blueberry Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Freeze Dried Blueberry Powder (optional)

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Raspberry Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Freeze Dried Raspberry Powder (optional)

Coffee Frozen Yogurt
900g (Six 150g tubs) Brown Cow Coffee Yogurt
115g (1/2 cup) Mascarpone
60g (1/4 cup) heavy Cream
135g (2/3 cup) sugar
20g (1 Tbsp) Golden Syrup or corn syrup
pinch salt
2 Tbsp Espresso powder or instant coffee, dissolved in the heavy cream

Brown Butter Streusel Cookies

For the Streusel:
155g unsalted butter, cubed
200g Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
230g all-purpose flour

For the Cookies: 
230g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g Dark Brown Sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
300g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
 

- PROCESS -

FROZEN YOGURT

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for at least an hour. 

Mix again well, and churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. While the yogurt churns, line a Quarter sheet pan (9" x 13") with wax paper, and place in the freezer until ready to use. Spread the churned yogurt into the lined sheet pan using a spoon or an offset spatula. Press a piece of wax paper onto the surface of the yogurt, and freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. 

BROWN BUTTER STREUSEL COOKIES

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. 

To make the streusel, place the butter in a small pan, and place on the stove over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook, until the butter begins to foam, smells nutty, and goes a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well to combine. Using your hands, break up any large lumps. Set aside while you prepare the cookies. 

To make the cookies, cream the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, and add to the mixer, mixing on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl to ensure the ingredients are evenly incorporated. 

Using a 2 Tbsp Scoop, scoop out balls of cookie mixture - I had 8 per tray, and worked with one tray at a time, scooping the next while the first was baking. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up slightly. Remove the tray from the freezer. Roll the dough into balls, and coat each one lightly with streusel, pressing down lightly to help adhere. Do not worry if it seems like there isn't enough - more is added during baking. Arrange evenly on the baking sheet, leaving room for spreading. If you are worried about your cookies holding hands in the oven, you can bake 6 per tray. 

Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. After 10 minutes of baking, open the oven, and sprinkle the tops of the cookies generously with extra streusel. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 mins before transferring to a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely. 

Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies. 

ASSEMBLY

Match up the cookies into pairs the same size. Remove the frozen yogurt from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of wax paper. Using a cookie cutter the same size as your cookies, dip the cutter in water and cut out discs of frozen yogurt. Sandwich between two cookies. Repeat until the remaining yogurt has been used up - you can mix and match pieces of yogurt to create a full circle to get a few extra, or you can use an ice cream scoop to scoop the leftover ice cream. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and transfer to the freezer to harden slightly. Store leftover cookie sandwiches in an airtight bag in the freezer. 

 

Frozen Yogurt Cookie Sandwiches with Brown Butter Streusel cookies from Cloudy Kitchen. Streusel Cookies sandwich a creamy, dreamy frozen yogurt, which is incredibly easy to whip up, and requires no straining of the yogurt! #frozenyogurt #frozenyoghurt #cookiesandwich

Thank you so much to The Feedfeed and Brown Cow Yogurt for Sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who help support my blog! 

Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches


 
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.
Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.

Every now and then, my little mind is blown by something food related over here. Things that we just don't have in New Zealand. Strawberry shortcake, s'mores (we sometimes make something similar ish, but it's just not the same), and most recently, ice-cream sandwiches. I had never eaten an ice cream sandwich until I moved to America. The closest we have is two pink wafers, surrounding a slab of pre-wrapped ice cream. Totally pales in comparison to what an ice-cream sandwich over here is. The weird thing is, it's not like they are tricky to make, or require ingredients you can't get hold of in New Zealand, they just aren't a thing. That goes both ways though - there are so many New Zealand foods that haven't caught on here, things like our version of shortcake, tan square, louise cake, and savoury pies. More on the pies later - I have spent the last few days fine-tuning an epic steak and mushroom filling for pies which I will share very soon. In a classic me move, I have decided to do this right in the middle of summer, which of course involves the oven on for hours at a time. Not the most ideal, but it's going to be SO worth it, because meat pies are the best, and everyone needs them in their lives. I promise. Your hangovers will never be as bad again, because meat pies are the magic cure. 

More on ice cream sandwiches - specifically, these chocolate and earl grey ice cream sandwiches. These are something special. My theory is, that if you take two things that are amazing on their own and combine them, you've hit a winner. Here we take a chocolate sugar cookie. The sugar cookies are everything you ever want in a cookie - crispy on the edges, chewy on the inside, and perfectly flat. We pair them with perfect circles of earl grey ice cream - ice cream that isn't too sweet, and has a lovely subtle hit of the bergamot flavour of earl grey, and the slightly bitter tannins of tea. I have been obsessively buying the Van Leeuwen Earl Grey ice cream for a few months now (it's a great choice because Rich doesn't like it, so it's all mine!), and I can safely say, that as an earl grey enthusiast, this tastes just like it. Sandwiched between two chewy chocolate cookies, the earl grey flavour bounces off the cookies in the most amazing way. This is the dessert you didn't know you needed. 

A few wee notes:

  • The Chocolate sugar cookie recipe I used here is from the amazing Sarah Kieffer's book, the Vanilla bean baking book. I have made these maybe 10 times already - they never last longer than a day because they are so amazing, so when it came to finding a cookie to pair with earl grey, I knew these would be perfect. If you want a book filled with solid, reliable no fail baking recipes, pick a copy up. It's THE BEST.
  • If you don't like earl grey / don't want to make your own ice cream / can't be bothered with any of that carry on, you can absolutely use store bought ice cream. Simply allow it to soften (you will need 1 to 1 1/2 quarts, or about a litre), spread it into a 9x13 pan lined with wax paper, and freeze until hard before you cut out using a cookie cutter. Alternatively, scoops of ice cream between cookies would also work perfectly. Don't like ice cream? Make the cookies anyway. They are epic.
  • I used a mixture of black cocoa and regular cocoa to amp up the chocolate flavour in the cookies. Using only plain cocoa is perfect too.
  • The cookie recipe makes about 24 cookies, if you use a 2 Tbsp scoop. The ice cream makes about enough for 9 circles, so you will have a few cookies left over. There will be some left over - store in a freezer safe container for scooping later.
  • The Ice cream base needs at least 2 hours to chill completely before churning, and then an additional 3-4 hours to solidify in the pan, so allow time for this! Don't forget to freeze your ice cream bowl!
 

 

Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches
- Makes 9-10 sandwiches -

Cookie recipe slightly adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

Earl Grey Ice Cream
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
Pinch of salt
2 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk, plus a little more to top up after tea has steeped
6 Tbsp loose leaf earl grey tea
2 1/4 cup (540ml) heavy cream

Chocolate Sugar Cookies
1 3/4 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
1/4 cup (25g) black cocoa powder (optional - alternatively use 1/4 cup regular cocoa powder)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup (350g) sugar, plus 1 cup (200g) for rolling
1 large egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
 

- PROCESS -

EARL GREY ICE CREAM

In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Whisk well until pale. Set aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the milk Warm until bubbles begin to form around the outer edge of the pot. Add the tea, stir well to combine, and steep for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down hard on the tea to get as much liquid out as possible. Measure the infused milk. Top up to 2 1/4 cups if needed. Return to the pot, and heat until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat.

Pour half of the milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling. 

Pour the milk and yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer. 

Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the cream. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least two hours, or overnight.

Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a quarter sheet pan or 9 x 13 baking dish lined with wax paper. Place a second piece of wax paper on the surface of the ice cream and smooth down. Place in the freezer in a flat place for 3-4 hours, or until frozen solid.

CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line three baking trays with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer, beat the butter until pale. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low until just incorporated. 

Using a cookie scoop, scoop 2 tbsp worth of mixture at a time. Roll into a ball using your hands, then roll generously sugar. Place on the baking tray, leaving plenty of room to spread (I had 8 cookies per baking tray).

Bake one tray at a time for 11-12 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and are beginning to crack on the tops, and the edges are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Place in a ziploc bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches (this helps reduce melting).

ASSEMBLY

Match up the cookies in pairs of similar size. Line a quarter sheet pan or large freezer safe plate with parchment paper. Using a round cookie cutter slightly smaller than the cookie, cut out circles of ice cream. It may help to mark where you are going to cut first, so you can get as many cut-outs as possible. Place the circle of ice cream on one cookie, and top with a second. Place on the prepared sheet pan, and place into the freezer. Repeat until you have run out of ice cream. 

Serve immediately, Rest the cookie sandwiches in the freezer for an hour, or until the ice cream has re-frozen completely. Store the remaining cookie sandwiches in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

Chocolate earl grey ice cream sandwiches - creamy earl grey ice cream sandwiched between perfectly chewy chocolate sugar cookies. The dessert you never knew you needed. Until now.