Sunday, May 20, 2018
Cooking

Chill out with do-it-yourself ice cream sandwiches

Making your own ice cream sandwiches is worth the effort, because you can choose your own filling, they taste better — and you can say, "I made these myself."

We know. Ice cream sandwiches are right there in your grocer's freezer case. Why would you fuss and make your own?

Well, for the reasons that anyone bakes: The wafers are fresher. The fillings can be customized to your taste. Mostly, though, there's an undeniable satisfaction in baking from scratch. It shows you care and, in the case of ice cream sandwiches, that you're literally cool.

The trick is getting the ice cream between the wafers without becoming a melty mess. A tour of the Internet reveals various strategies — cutting and filling, filling and freezing, stacking and cutting, glopping and dripping. Thanks to a series of experiments (you're welcome), we think we have the process down cold.

The key is planning ahead.

The first step is transferring a carton (1.5 quarts) of your choice of ice cream into a 9- by 9-inch pan lined with parchment paper, spreading it into an even layer, then letting the ice cream freeze solid once again. Give it 24 hours. Premium ice creams freeze harder than other ice creams.

Now, a word about the chocolate wafers themselves: We're purists here; no using actual cookies and squishing them around a scoop of ice cream. The chocolate wafer — like a thin brownie — is integral to this treat. It must be firm enough to handle, yet soft enough that it yields to a bite without oozing ice cream.

We made two large wafer squares, then made a sort of giant ice cream sandwich that we then cut into shapes. We made nine (3-inch) Klondike-like sandwiches, but you also can cut rectangular, or even triangular, shapes.

Whatever you do, immediately wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for another couple of hours before serving. This melds the sandwich together and lets the wafer soften just a bit.

The moment of assembly is a good excuse for enlisting a helper: One cuts, one wraps. (Don't worry; you can do this solo. Just don't answer the phone.)

Consider these a grab-and-go dessert. You can doll them up by dipping the edges in sprinkles, toasted coconut, candied ginger, chopped peanuts — you get the idea. Or just enjoy them as the perfect handheld combo of ice cream and chocolate.

Having a supply of customized treats in your freezer is … pretty cool.

Comments
Host a watch party and British breakfast for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding

Host a watch party and British breakfast for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding

The nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry commence Saturday in London, and once again we Americans have become bonkers for the wedding of a member of the British royal family. Almost 23 million viewers in the United States watched coverage of H...
Published: 05/16/18
Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

Five ideas for sleep-friendly midnight snacks

When the clock strikes midnight, I reach for the cookie jar. Okay, maybe itís not an actual jar ó maybe Iím even lazier, and I reach for the cardboard box of chocolate chip cookies I bought from the store. The point is, my late-night snack habits are...
Published: 05/16/18
Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markleís royal wedding

The year was 2011. It was the night before Prince Williamís wedding to Kate Middleton, and I stood in my kitchen making chocolate chip scones. I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m., with plans to sit in the spare bedroom of the townhome and watch Britainís ro...
Published: 05/15/18
Taste test: pineapple juice

Taste test: pineapple juice

Having always loved a fresh pineapple stick in my brewed iced tea, I wondered recently if a splash of pineapple juice would give it the same sweet kick. While few of us drink pure pineapple juice, our panelists definitely enjoy an occasional watered-...
Published: 05/14/18
Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Branch out: Give Sauteed Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze a try

Asparagus is by far the favorite vegetable of my family. I can serve nearly 3 pounds of asparagus a couple of times a week to my family of six, and my girls will still argue over who gets the last stalk. I say this not to impress you with the adventu...
Published: 05/11/18
Five ideas for Motherís Day breakfasts

Five ideas for Motherís Day breakfasts

Are you stumped for Motherís Day ideas? Donít stress. This year, surprise the mothers in your life with a special breakfast that fits perfectly with their personalities. Whether she loves the tradition of breakfast-in-bed or prefers her meals on the ...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/10/18
Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

Review: Rick Bragg’s ‘The Best Cook in the World’ a loving food memoir about his mother

When Rick Bragg told his mother that his new book about her would be titled The Best Cook in the World, Margaret Bragg protested: "I wasn’t even the best cook that lived on our road." Bragg writes, "I told her we couldn’t call it The Thi...
Published: 05/09/18
Making granola at home is easy and scrumptious with this Maple Cashew Granola

Making granola at home is easy and scrumptious with this Maple Cashew Granola

If Iím being honest, most of what I do in the kitchen is recreate really delicious things Iíve eaten somewhere else. No, it never tastes the same, but itís a useful way to get cooking inspiration, and also to not spend $10 on something it takes $2 to...
Published: 05/08/18
Updated: 05/09/18
Recipe for Slow Cooked Pork Roast

Recipe for Slow Cooked Pork Roast

Slowly cooking a big hunk of tough, inexpensive meat isnít just the best way to cook this cut of meat. Itís really the only way. Most tough cuts of meat come from the hardest working parts of the animal, and therefore have a lot of collagen. This col...
Published: 05/08/18
Taste test: New frozen chocolate treats

Taste test: New frozen chocolate treats

With longer summer nights on the horizon, our judges are always looking for a new cool treat to beat the heat. This week they sampled four new chocolate offerings found in local grocery store freezers. A couple were pool party worthy and others were ...
Published: 05/07/18