A good ice cream sandwich can bring out the kid in just about anyone. In her new book Ice Cream Sandwiches, Donna Egan, founder of Buttercup Cake Shop in London, offers up 65 ways to make this nostalgic cool treat at home. Everything single one sounds delicious on warm August days, like the Peanut Butter Dreams — decadent peanut butter cream smooshed between flat brownies — or the more sophisticated Ginger Lemon Gems.
Here’s summery ice cream sandwich recipe that pairs cool, fruity sorbet with vanilla cookies, perfect for that barbecue you’re planning this weekend. Enjoy!
Melon Sorbet Butterflies
Makes 6 sandwiches
Rolled Vanilla Cookie dough (see below)
1 ripe honeydew melon, cubed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 to 1 1/2 lemons )
1¼ cups (250 g) superfine sugar
Pinch of black pepper
Prepare the cookie dough as directed, and while it is refrigerating, you can prepare the sorbet.
Use a food processor to blitz the melon into a puree. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and pepper and process for another 45 seconds. Transfer to an airtight plastic container and refrigerate until very cold.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace in the airtight plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before using to fill your sandwiches. The sorbet should remain easy to scoop even after freezing for longer.
Meanwhile, finish making and baking your cookies. Roll out the cookie dough and cut out at least 12 butterflies using a sandwich mold or shaped cookie cutter. It is wise to cut out 1 or 2 extra in case of mishaps. Bake as instructed.
If you are using a sandwich mold, gently stamp the pattern on half of the cookies immediately after taking them out of the oven. If not using a mold, you can create your own pattern on the wings by using the handle of a decoratively patterned spoon, the back of a miniature espresso or mustard spoon, the tines of a fork, or other kitchen implements. Take care not to press too hard.
Once the sorbet is sufficiently frozen, scoop the desired amount onto the flat side of 1 undecorated butterfly, distributing evenly. Use the mold or cutter placed over the cookie as a guide for adding the sorbet. If using a sandwich mold, you can use the plunger. Remove the mold and gently place a decorated cookie on top, with the decorated side facing up. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Serve immediately, or quickly place in an airtight plastic container (they can be stacked) and freeze.
Rolled Vanilla Cookies
Makes 16 to 24 cookies
1 cup (225 g) butter, at room temperature
½ cup (110 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
1 extra-large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5½ teaspoons milk
2½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
Colored sugar or sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Note: If you wish to substitute pure almond extract for vanilla, decrease to 1 teaspoon and increase the milk to 2 tablespoons.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer with the beaters or paddle to cream the butter. Add both types of sugar and the egg and mix until creamy.
Beat in the vanilla extract and milk and continue beating until well mixed. Add the flour and baking powder and beat on low speed until well incorporated.
Divide the dough in half; flatten each half to about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. One disk at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Cut with the desired shape of cutter. Wiggle the cutter slightly to ensure a clean outline. Place the cookies 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the cookie sheets. At this stage, colored sugar or sprinkles may be added to the unbaked cookies; press it on lightly.
Bake for 6 to 9 minutes, until the edges are just lightly browned. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling or storing in an airtight container.