Ice Cream for Sandwiches

With summer coming, I have been working on ice cream sandwiches. The format of the sandwich works well for the high volume Poppy, simple to plate, texturally interesting, nostalgic, and focused on a minimal amount of flavors; that of the cookie, the ice cream, and the dish of something or other to dip it in.

Currently, as per the relentless nagging request of one of the line cooks, Abby, I have vanilla ice cream sandwiched between gingersnaps, with lemon curd to dip it in.

However, one of my huge pet peeves in eating ice cream sandwiches, is that of the drippy soft ice cream that often inhabits the space between the cookie. I disdain the ice cream squirting out as I sink my teeth into the mixture, rushing to the back of my throat and covering my fingers.

So I set to the task of making an ice cream that would stay firm through the entire process of eating. This would require a hard ice cream, and one that has a slow melt down. The texture needed to endure the entire time it takes for the cook to pull it from the freezer, cut it and plate it, flag down a food runner, run the plate to the table, and then stand up to the 5 or 10 minutes it takes to eat the dessert.

I found my answer in cocoa butter.  Because cocoa butter has a high melting point, around 90 degrees, it stays very firm at cold temperatures, and is slow to melt. Those who have made an ice cream or two will recognize that chocolate ice creams are always hardest to scoop. This is exactly the quality I wanted to present inside the sandwich. By using deodorized cocoa butter, Mycryo, I have been able to give this quality to ice creams without chocolate flavor.

I have been substituting 3 percent of the total fat, which is at a high 16 percent, for cocoa butter, which hardens the texture just the way I wanted.  It also allows me to use a crisp cookie for the sandwich.  Because the ice cream offers enough resistance to the pressure of your teeth, they are able to cut through a crisp gingersnap.

The flavor combos of possible ice cream sandwiches have been discussed highly in the kitchen, as the sun has made it’s first appearance in Seattle in what feels like 6 months. Any requests?

13 Responses to “Ice Cream for Sandwiches”

  1. Eric Hegwer says:

    just dip the damn thing in chocolate to encapsulate the melting ice cream

  2. Becky says:

    I love all things cherry, but unlike most, I don’t like it paired with dark chocolate. I have found a new favorite cookie in Cindy Mushet’s, The Art and Soul of Baking: oatmeal cookies with dried sour cherries. I am betting that an oatmeal cookie sandwich with sour cherry ice cream would be equally wonderful.

  3. Irwin Dolobowsky says:

    I’d just like to know when they’ll pop up on the menu. The Ginger Snaps are fab, and wrapping them around ice cream just makes it that much better!

  4. Shannon says:

    Coffee icecream with a chocolate cookie and caramel sauce.

  5. j.o. says:

    They are a winner and made that much better by the lemon curd.

    Now about the black cardamon creme brulee……

  6. Erik says:

    I’ve played with unusual flavor combinations for intermezzos which can be a lot of fun. Two that may work in this context would be a rosemary sugar cookie with rose ice cream and a dark chocolate dip…or fitting the thali link how about a chili pappadum with roasted sweet corn ice cream and a toasted curry powder dip

  7. Camille says:

    Dark chocolate cookies, espresso ice cream, caramel for dipping.

    Lavender shortbread, mint ice cream, apricot or peach compote (maybe later in the season).

    I’ll be in Seattle in June and really hope to get a chance to try Poppy!

  8. That sounds marvelous. Of course, cooking nothing but chicken and pork all day (I’m a culinary school student) makes me crave sweets. And salads. So I’ll make the latter if you make the former!


  9. Spring says:

    Mmmm, the coffee ice-cream dipped in caramel sounds delish.

    Lavender-honey ice cream might also be good with some finely chopped nuts or nut brittle for dipping.

  10. Leslie says:

    This isn’t particularly summery, but my failed-but-tasty attempt at your cinnamony-caramelly ice cream (I always chicken out too early with caramelizing) was delicious in a chipotle gingersnap cookie (based on the Demo Desserts gingerbread) with a smear of coffee sauce. I’ve been also wanting to try like a tea-flavored ice cream in a honey cookie… Also like Erik’s idea above for a rosemary cookie, and Camille’s for lavender and mint.

  11. John says:

    Love this idea, and will be working this into our dessert menu.
    Just off the top of my head:

    Shortbread cookie, cinnamon ice cream and a warm apple compote.

    Sugar cookie, blueberry ice cream and lemon curd with thyme.

    Oatmeal cookie, Guinness ice cream (yes Guinness) and a chocolate-malted dipping sauce.

    Sugar cookie, orange sherbet and creme anglaise.

  12. Mery Hill says:

    I love this idea like i love ice cream, for decoration i would put on more colors, for instance i can use some cherries with another color of fruit maybe some cut watermelon just a little in order my presentation is colorful.

  13. Matt says:

    I wonder if you can elaborate on your fat substitution for the ice cream. You say that you substitute 3% of the recipes total fat with cocao butter, but then you mention 16%.

    A particular recipe calls for 1/2c of condensed milk, and 1-1/2c evaporated milk. I am thinking of omitting a couple of teaspoons of the evaporated milk, and replacing with cocao butter.

    Thank you

    ps it seems like if i can convert the recipe to ounces, I’d get a more accurate result.

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