Few treats say -- or perhaps scream -- summer quite the way ice cream does. And frankly, it's hard to improve on a giant, creamy, chilly bowlful.
But we figured we'd try, anyway, because sometimes you want a little more pizazz.
So we came up with these ice cream sandwiches that are ridiculously easy to put together. We baked up some cookies (which you can do well in advance), then filled them with a blend of purchased sherbets, sorbets and vanilla ice cream. We liked orange sherbet and raspberry sorbet because they had a creamsicle effect when combined with vanilla, but you could use any flavors you prefer.
To jazz it up even more, we rolled the edges of the exposed ice cream in a variety of toppings. Try chopped nuts, shaved chocolate, candy sprinkles, toasted coconut, or whatever.
SUMMERTIME ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus cooling the cookies
Makes 12 sandwiches
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons spiced rum or brandy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup orange sherbet, raspberry sorbet or other fruity frozen dessert
3/4 cup vanilla ice cream
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly coat with cooking spray. Place 1/4 cup of the sugar in a shallow dish or pie pan.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the remaining 1 cup of sugar, the butter, vanilla, almond extract and rum until light and fluffy. Add the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until well incorporated. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder.
Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful and form into balls. One at a time, place each ball of dough in the sugar in the shallow dish. Roll around until all sides are coated. Arrange the sugared balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between them to allow for spreading. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet.
While the cookies cool, remove the sherbet or sorbet and ice cream from the freezer. One at a time, microwave for 10 to 15 seconds, or just long enough to soften. In a large bowl, combine the two flavos and use a rubber spatula to swirl them together. Do not overmix or completely blend them.
Overturn 1 cookie and place about 1 tablespoon of the ice cream mixture on it. Top with a second cookie and gently squeeze together. Return to the freezer until firm. If not serving right away, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 240 calories; 80 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 40 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 75 mg sodium.