Some foods stay in your mind and grow in importance over time. When I first encountered ‘cookiewiches’, or ice cream sandwiches, at Newport Creamery on a foggy July night four years ago I wasn’t overly impressed – I found them quite sweet and a bit underwhelming, and I couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about.
Months later, home from Rhode Island and having discovered the charms of eating Icebergers with Americanos in college, I realised I had to give the humble cookie sandwich another go. I made them with homemade chocolate chip cookies and Smarties for some friends one evening, and, unsurprisingly enough, everyone loved them, myself included.
I made them again recently with my favourite burnt butter biscuits instead of the chocolate chip cookies, and they worked out really well – the subtle, slightly grown-up flavour of the biscuits combines perfectly with the ordinary, plain, whiter-than-white vanilla block ice cream.
Now when I have them they just seem perfect to me – all the charm and nostalgia of an American summer in a bite.
GROWN-UP ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
Makes 10 or so – perfect for late summer barbecues and get-togethers.
1/2 cup caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1&1/4 cup self-raising flour, sieved
almonds or pecans
1 block of plain vanilla ice cream
Melt butter over a low heat. When the butter turns faint brown, remove and cool slightly. Beat in the sugar and add the vanilla extract and the egg. Mix until smooth. Fold in the sieved flour and stir well. Roll the dough into small balls and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Press down on each with your hand and bake for 20 minutes at 180°c, adding an almond or a pecan to the top of them if you like. Once golden brown, take them out out of the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. When they’re completely cool, sandwich twos together with slices of plain vanilla ice cream, trimming the edges if needs be, so that there’s no overhang. Re-freeze for around 20 minutes, and serve alongside cups of strong black coffee.