Apricot Ice Cream & Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches
My cravings lately have been focusing on a new object of affection (obsession)…ice cream sandwiches. And I’m not talking the soggy-chocolate-cookie-bars-enclosing-weirdly-fluffy-“vanilla”-ice-cream kind. I’m talking full-out homemade cookies and homemade ice cream…my growing belly seems to whispering to me “Amy…I MUST have an ice cream sandwich…FEED me!” And really, who am I to deny these cravings? Perhaps baby will be an ice cream lover (judging from B and I, there’s a good chance that gene was passed along.)
My first attempt was salted butter caramel ice cream sandwiched between chocolate cookies, courtesy of (who else?) David Lebovitz. I could taste how good this combination would be before I even started making them. And so it pains me to tell you that my adventure with this combination was…ah…less than successful. Way less than successful. My mind was distracted (seems to be happening a lot more lately), I don’t think I cooked my ice cream custard long enough, I overbaked my cookies, and this was the result:
You know you’ve done something wrong when your ice cream melts into a puddle 15 seconds after filling the cookies (I haven’t yet figured out on what step in the recipe I went astray, but I have a few hunches.) Oh, the ice cream tasted amazingly good — intense caramel flavor — and the cookies would have been good had I checked the oven sooner and not overbaked them by probably about 5-10 minutes. But still – these were a no go.
Anyway, let’s move on to happier topics, because I want to tell you about my second attempt (also coming from Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop) which was a definite success. Fresh apricot ice cream, sandwiched between spicy oatmeal cookies…ding ding ding! We have a winner!
The apricot ice cream was super easy to make; apricots are cooked until soft, then pureed and combined with cream before being churned in your ice cream machine. The oatmeal cookies are spicy and the perfect size to sandwich a good smear of ice cream between. I found it easiest to assemble the sandwiches when the ice cream had been churned and firmed up for just an hour or so; longer and it might be a little hard to scoop (or, you’d just have to leave it out for a few minutes at room temperature to soften slightly.)
The best part is that I can keep these individually-wrapped sandwiches in the freezer, ready and waiting to devour when the craving strikes. And that is very handy, indeed.
Fresh Apricot Ice Cream
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Note: if apricots are no longer in season around you, you can also make this with a pound of fresh plums (yum!) If you do so, use 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/3 cup water instead of the amounts listed below, and substitute 1/2 teaspoon kirsch for the almond extract. The remaining ingredients and methods are the same.
1 pound squishy-ripe fresh apricots (10-16, depending on size)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 drops almond extract
a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Slice the apricots open and remove the pits, then chop them into six wedges each. Cook them with the water in a covered medium saucepan over medium heat until they’re tender, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir in the sugar until dissolved. Cool this mixture to room temperature.
Puree the apricots (and any liquid in the saucepan) in a blender or food processor until smooth. If there are little fibers left (I didn’t find this to be a problem in the blender, but it might be if you use a food processor), you can strain the mixture through a sieve. Stir in the cream, almond extract, and lemon juice.
Chill thoroughly, then process in your ice cream maker.
Oatmeal Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies
From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 16 cookies, for 8 sandwiches
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable oil
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line several sheet pans with parchment or silicone baking mats.
Whisk together the flour through the salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Stir in the raisins and oats.
Make a well in the center and pour in the oil and milk; stir until you get a smooth batter.
Drop 6 heaping tablespoons at a time onto each baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Spread each tablespoon of batter into a 3-inch circle with the back of a spoon.
Bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes (I think I slightly overbaked mine at 20 minutes, so you might want to start checking around 15 minutes), rotating the sheet pans midway through the baking time.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. Once completely cool, sandwich the ice cream between 2 cookies, then wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.