At the Table: A Summer Smash

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Ice cream sandwiches are an easy and fun way to cool off on hot summer days, and the varieties of these sweet sensations are endless.

Story by Alex Ugolini | Photography by Brandy Angel

Summer days in the south just simply call out for the cool relief of creamy ice cream. When you take that sweetness and package it into an even sweeter ice cream sandwich, you get a fun and easy snack that can be served anywhere, anytime.

Ice cream sandwiches can be created in as many combinations as there are varieties of ice cream, toppings, and cookies. Part of the fun for any age is introducing your favorite cookie to your favorite ice cream flavor to create new sweet sensations. Make ahead for lakeside gatherings or bring the kids in the kitchen for a fun project.

Before you get started, make sure to clear out some room in your freezer. You will need a level spot and a metal pan or tray that fits in your freezer to load the finished products.  If your freezer has a temperature dial, turn that to its coldest setting.

Get creative and try different pairings of your favorite cookie and ice cream flavor. It’s hard to go wrong with any combination. Below are two of my favorites, the Georgia Classic and Summer Sprinkle Deluxe.

Georgia Classic – Sugar Cookie and Peach Ice Cream

The Georgia Classic may be familiar to you if you have had the opportunity to try one at the Masters tournament in Augusta. If not, whip up your own batch of sandwiches to cool off after a hot day on the course.

What you’ll need:
Sugar Cookies

Wax Paper

Peach Ice Cream

1 oz trigger scoop

If you’re in a rush, you can use a store bought cookie for this or pre-made dough. I used a gluten-free sugar cookie and it turned out lovely. If you buy a cookie already baked, it is important to keep in mind size and texture. Using a cookie with a 3- or 4-inch diameter is best. An overly crunchy cookie will break when pressing the sandwich and overly soft will produce the same results. It’s better to buy the fresh in-house baked cookies from your nearby grocery store or local bakery than a shelf-stable name brand cookie. It is important to build your cookies in a cool kitchen, and out of sunlight. If your kitchen gets hot in the afternoon, make these sandwiches in the morning.

After baking your cookie, allow ample time to cool. Place your freshly baked cookies or locally-baked cookies in a pan in the freezer for 15 minutes. It’s OK to stack them at this point.

Leave your pan in the freezer and bring out your cookies and peach ice cream.  Now begin building the sandwiches, two 1-oz scoops per sandwich is what I go with. Apply scoops to pan side of the cookie and then slowly and gently press other pan side of cookie to lid your cookie. Sometimes rotating cookies slightly will help bind and distribute the ice cream between the cookies. Once this cookie is done, pop it in the freezer and shut the door. Repeat the process for as many cookies as you desire. Use wax paper to layer your cookies as you stack them and be sure to keep that freezer door closed in between creating cookies or pulling items out. After one hour, these beauties are ready to serve. If you’re enjoying the sandwiches over the next week or so, individually bag them in sandwich bags.

Summer Sprinkle Deluxe

In this rendition, we used a caramel toffee cookie, caramel toffee ice cream and rolled the cookie in colorful sugar sprinkles.

Following all the same steps from the Georgia Classic, assemble the first cookie and roll the exposed ice cream in the sprinkle plate until they are coated in the desired amount of sprinkles.

Some of my other favorite toppings I like include with this rendition are Oreo crumbles and toffee crumbles.

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