There are few foods that are more quintessentially SUMMER than a classic ice cream sandwich. Eating one always makes me feel like I’m a kid on summer vacation, and that’s a feeling we could all use a little bit more of, don’t you think? They are one of my favorite desserts to make when I have friends over for a dinner party in the summer, for two reasons. First, you can make them days in advance, and more importantly, everyone completely loses their minds when you bring out a platter of giant ice cream sandwiches after dinner. Try it, you’ll see what I mean. I’m all for blueberry crumble or peach pie, but there is no greater crowd pleaser than ice cream sandwiches.
Now, making ice cream sandwiches is a project no matter how you spin it, but this sheet pan method takes a little bit of time and mess out of the process. Instead of having to assemble each individual sandwich, all you have to do is make one giant ice cream sandwich, pop it in the freezer, then trim the edges and cut it into individual sandwiches. Cutting the sandwiches into squares after they’ve hardened in the freezer makes them look incredibly professional, with crisp, clean edges and no melty wreckage from an ice cream sandwich assembly line.
The cookie dough in this recipe is similar to a traditional Tollhouse style recipe, but with a few changes for optimal ice cream sandwich texture. I’ve added cornstarch, which helps the cookies stay really soft and tender, and an extra egg yolk, which makes them incredibly moist. The absolutely crucial, critical, essential, very important part (not taking any chances here) of this recipe is to not over-bake the cookie. Remember this line when you are checking on your cookie: when in doubt, take it out. The cookie will continue to firm up as it cools, and then even more when you freeze it, so you really want to make sure you take it out of the oven when it’s still slightly under-baked. The ice cream sandwiches won’t be ruined if you over-bake the cookie, but they will be harder to cut and won’t have the same soft texture.
Let’s talk sprinkles – one of my all-time favorite subjects. These ice cream sandwiches don’t need anything, and if you’re a classicist (hi Mom) you can serve these plain Jane and they will be absolutely delicious. But there’s something about rainbow sprinkles I just can’t resist. The colors, the crunch, the nostalgia! I also like to do some with mini chocolate chips for those who prefer a more classic Chipwich vibe. There’s not a bad option all around.
Make these for the 4th of July this year and I promise, they will become an instant tradition. You might even be asked to make these ice cream sandwiches every 4th of July for the rest of your life, or possibly more often than that. In other words, make this recipe at your own risk. Happy 4th of July!!
Sheet Pan Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 2½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips, about 12 ounces
- 1 (1.5 quart) container vanilla ice cream, softened at room temperature for 15 minutes (see note)
- Sprinkles and mini chocolate chips, for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line an 18-by-13-by-1-inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, and then the vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the butter and mix until just incorporated, then add the chocolate chunks and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the cookie batter onto the prepared sheet pan and using a spatula, spread it into one even layer that covers the entire surface of the pan. (This step takes a little bit of patience. I find it’s easiest to hold the parchment paper with one hand while using the spatula with the other.) Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly golden brown and still soft to the touch. The cookie should seem under-baked. Cool completely.
- Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan, then carefully invert the cookie onto a flat surface. Cut the cookie in half to form two equal-sized rectangles. Transfer one half to a large cutting board or flat platter that fits in your freezer, with the bottom side of the cookie facing up. Working quickly, spoon large scoops of ice cream onto the cookie. Spread into an even layer, making sure the ice cream reaches the edges of the cookie.
- Place the other cookie half, right side up, on top to form a giant sandwich. Press lightly, then transfer the board or platter to the freezer and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully trim about ¼-inch from each edge of the giant cookie sandwich, then cut it into 12 individual sandwiches. Place mini chocolate chips and sprinkles on small plates and press each side of the sandwiches into so the toppings adhere. Place all the decorated sandwiches back on the platter, freeze until firm, then serve or wrap individually with wax paper.Note: Skip the super premium ice cream brands for this recipe. I’ve found it works best with grocery store brands like Turkey Hill, Breyers, or Edy's.Copyright 2019, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved