I remember when I was younger, I used to take my neighbour's dog for a walk and would get paid 50 cents. (For a long time I thought their dog's name was "U-ey" but actually it was Huey. Makes a lot more sense.) I'd take my 50 cents and rollerblade up to the corner store and buy myself an ice cream sandwich. Those were exciting times!
Now I rarely eat ice cream sandwiches, and while I do go through times of ice cream obsession (like if there's some coffee flavoured Haagen Dazs in our freezer), ice cream is the easiest dessert for me to turn down. But E loves all things ice cream, and my friend was coming over for dinner who also loves ice cream so I thought I'd try these out. I loved them, a lot. The cookie part was so addictive and I must admit that I loved eating it with ice cream!
I had a couple of issues with these ice cream bars, but neither were the recipe's fault. The first was that I used chopped milk chocolate on top of the bars and I think my milk chocolate is old so wouldn't melt very well - I ended up leaving it in the oven longer to try and get it to melt but it just started to dry out and be strange. The other problem was the ice cream. I let it soften too much, so that when I put the sandwich together, the ice cream oozed out. It was a delicious mess though!
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Peanut Butter Squares with Milk Chocolate and Oats
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
Caramel Crunch Ice Cream Bars
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
I made these as ice cream sandwiches but you could just eat the cookies as they are too.
For the base
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips
ice cream, softened so that it's spreadable (I used vanilla)
For the topping
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped (next time I'd use bittersweet chocolate)
3/4 cup toffee pieces (I used Skor, in the US they're Heath)
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 9x13 inch baking pan, line the pan with foil and butter the foil. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Make the base: Whisk together the flour, espresso powder, salt and cinnamon.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla, then turn off the mixer. Add all the dry ingredients, cover the stand mixer with a kitchen towel (so you and your kitchen don't get showered with flour) and pulse the mixer on and off on low speed about 5 times - at which point a peek at the bowl should reveal that it's safe to turn the mixer to low and mix, uncovered, just until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix only until the dry ingredients disappear. If the chocolate isn't evenly mixed, finish the job by hand with a spatula. You'll have a heavy, very sticky dough. Scrape the dough into the buttered pan and, with the spatula and your fingertips, cajole it into a thin, even layer.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the base is bubbly - so bubbly you can almost hear it percolating - and puckery. It will look as though it is struggling to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a rack and turn off the oven.
To make the topping: Scatter the chopped chocolate evenly over the top of the hot base and pop the pan back into the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chocolate is soft. Remove from the oven and immediately spread the chocolate over the bars, using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the toffee bits over the chocolate and press them down lightly with your fingertips. Place the baking pan on a rack to cool to room temperature.
If, by the time the bars are cool, the chocolate hasn't set, refrigerate them briefly to firm the chocolate.
Carefully lift out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut about 26 bars, each about 4 inches x 2 inches. (Next time I'd cut the bars when the cookie is a bit warm because my cookies cracked when I cut them at room temperature.)
To make the ice cream bars: Working with half of the squares, leaving them frosted side up and working on a baking sheet, spread them with a thick layer of softened ice cream. Top with the other half of the bars, frosted side up, and slide them into the freezer to firm up again. If you need to keep them for a while, double wrap each bar in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.