That’s right, we’ve got It’s It ice cream sandwiches from San Francisco in the freezer case. A dark chocolate dipped oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich that comes with chocolate, vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream filling, this is an iconic San Fran treat.
For a more locavore ice cream sandwich, try Van Leeuwen Ginger Ice Cream sandwiched between two Whimsy & Spice chocolate gingersnap cookies. Surprisingly spicy! Or exercise your own creativity and make your own ice cream sandwiches using components from our grocery shelves and freezer section. Homemade ice cream sandwiches are a perfect post-bbq dessert. You can even grab a few different flavors of ice cream and cookies and let your guests build their own!
Whether your childhood memories are of Carvel’s or Baskin-Robbins, ice cream cakes seem to scream “birthday.” But unfortunately the store-bought ones often disappoint a grown-up palate. Maybe you never can go home again?
If home isn’t the same because it has changed or you have, don’t despair. We have a quick, inexpensive fix. Make your own ice cream cake – you can spring for better quality ingredients and still pay less.
We served our homemade ice cream cake at a recent birthday and even overheard a friendly neighbor question whether we had indeed made the cake because it was so good. But she ended up asking for the details and served the cake at her own son’s birthday – pretty in pink, pictured above. Only she sandwiched a layer of sorbet between two flavors of ice cream and put it on a chocolate chip cookie base. If the grass is not greener, the ice cream cakes are certainly more elaborate and delicious.
1 pint Whipping cream or heavy cream
1 gallon ice cream
1 8-inch cake pan filled with your favorite brownie or cookie recipe
Fill an 8-inch springform pan with your favorite ice cream flavor (soy-based works too if you’re going dairy-free). You may have to leave the ice cream out a bit to soften it so that it is moldable. Then put the springform pan in the freezer. Freeze until firm (we did it the night before). While it is firming, bake brownies or cookies (from a mix, from scratch, doesn’t matter) in an 8-inch cake pan. Make sure to flour the pan or bake them on parchment paper so that they can come out in one piece (but don’t stress out, this part is the base and no one will see it. Turn the brownie or cookie base out onto a cake plate. Dip the springform pan into hot water briefly then run a knife around the side to separate the ice cream from the side of the pan. Remove springform part and invert ice cream cylinder onto base. Slice off bottom of pan that is on top of ice cream cylinder (or remove if it has melted enough). Put base topped with ice cream cylinder in freezer. Right before serving, beat cream with mixer until it magically turns into whipped cream, adding sugar to taste. Frost cake with whipped cream. Note that whipped cream can also be piped onto cake but whipped cream melts quickly if you are holding the pastry bag. Add sliced strawberries or fruit to top to cover any imperfections in whipped cream icing. Refreeze but only briefly. Remove from freezer 15 minutes or so before serving. Bask in adulation of peers and/or pint-sized people.
We need to get the 88th Precinct on this brazen case of theft. At the beginning of the weekend we had a full container of our new “Fudge is My Life” dark chocolate sauce and now it looks like this. The only other thing the perps took was a half a pint of Adirondack Creamery vanilla ice cream.
We suspect an inside job. The sauce was open and kept in an unlocked fridge. Because the fudge is sweetened with honey and sugar, not corn syrup, we have high hopes for our “sting” operation using a jar of the mint dark chocolate sauce. If that doesn’t work, we’ll crack the case anyway using old-fashioned detective work. They appear to have gotten every last taste out of the jar using their fingers.
Remember, it’s almost ice cream season. So stay safe out there. And keep an extra jar hidden in the crisper.
Gianduja (or gianduia) is chocolate made with 50% hazelnut paste – and is the inspiration behind Nutella. Even more inspired, Ben Van Leeuwen – of the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck that should soon appear on the streets of NYC – has tried to capture this flavor in an ice cream. We’ve got Leeuwen’s ice creams in pints in the store right here in Fort Greene so there’s no reason to chase down the truck with a fistful of dollars.
You will find no chunks or streaks of chocolate here. The flavor of Michel Cluizel chocolate and rich Piedmont hazelnuts are blended through, making a creamy flavor and texture that hints at its inspiration without being overpowering. We find Ben’s ice creams to be adult ice creams – not overly sweet but possessing that creamy, dense, rich, fresh goodness that appeals to the kid in all of us. As if it couldn’t get any better, the ingredients he uses are good for you: hormone-free milk from farmers he knows in Lewis County at the foot of the Adirondacks in New York, egg yolks and sugar. No stabilizers, no emulsifiers or preservatives.