Hello again, everyone. Were you here last Friday? We talked about the blogging community and how much I love it. There were so many kick ass comments on that piece, proving once again that bloggers and people who read blogs are the bomb.com.
So today, in the spirit of togetherness, being cool, and taking a step back, I bring you all an ice cream sandwich.
I said last week that one of the main reasons I write about food is that I’m fascinated by WHY we eat what we eat. Why we eat chicken soup when we’re sick, or pies at Thanksgiving, or pizza whenever we possibly can.
So why do we eat ice cream sandwiches?
Is there ever a moment in life that screams NOW is the time for an ice cream sandwich? I think there are, but they’re not very easy to pin down.
Eating an ice cream sandwich is a kind of meditation. It requires your full attention. There’s no cone, or cup, or bowl to stop you from getting slowly, stickily covered in drips. You have to stay on top of the game; a bite here, a lick there, stop that drip.
And then occasionally you might come across a chunk of salty peanut butter fudge, and your taste buds will get a jolt, recalibrating you once again to enjoy the sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream against the soft, cocoa flavoured cookie.
And the cookie is so important. Any hint of solidity, of hardness, and the experience is ruined. Suddenly the ice cream is spilling out the sides, you can’t keep the situation under control, and all is lost. The very opposite of a relaxing, meditative time.
These cookies are one of my proudest kitchen achievements to date. How DO they get the cookie to be so soft, I asked myself, time and again, after countless unsuccessful (though delicious) attempts at ice cream sandwich nirvana. It’s so SOFT, so CAKEY, HOW! I was tearing my hair out.
Then I realised the answer was in front of my face all along. Cake. How do they get those cookies so soft? Easy. It’s cake. It’s a thin, very dark, very chocolaty cake. BOOM.
Never again need I worry about my ice cream spilling out the sides. Which is a very tiny, very insignificant load off my mind, I can tell you!
So what’s your proudest kitchen achievement to date? I still have some others that I can’t wait to crack, and when I do you’ll be the first to know! Tell me about the bee in your kitchen bonnet!
- 1 + ¼ cup (190g) plain flour
- ½ cup (75g) cocoa
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ stick (85g) butter
- ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
- ½ cup (110g) brown sugar
- ⅔ cup (160ml) hot coffee
- 1L vanilla ice cream (or 1 quantity Jeni's vanilla recipe)
- 1 cup chopped Peanut Butter Fudge
- Preheat the oven to 350F/170F and grease and line a 15x10inch (40x25cm) sheet pan with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mixing slowly, add in half the flour, then half the coffee, then the remaining flour and then the last of the coffee.
- Scrape down the bowl, and mix everything together. It will be the texture of a thick(ish) cake batter. Spread the batter evenly over the lined baking sheet, and then bake for 8-10 minutes or until dry and matte on the surface.
- Cool the sheet of cookie completely, before slicing it widthways into two squares. Wrap them well, and place them in the freezer for at least an hour.
- To assemble the sandwiches, get the ice cream out to soften for 10-15 minutes. Place a very large piece of plastic wrap onto a surface, and then place one of the frozen cookie pieces onto the plastic.
- Working quickly, spread the ice cream over the cookie, sprinkling it with fudge as you go. Top with the other piece of cookie and press down gently, before wrapping tightly in plastic and placing back in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, cut into 12 ice cream sandwiches!