Ice cream sandwiches are a fun summertime treat. They’re easy to make, because you can take just about any pair of cookies and stuff them full of whatever ice cream you have in the freezer for an instant ice cream sandwich. Now, some types of cookies work better as ice cream sandwiches than others. You want cookies that are tender, slightly soft and fairly thin. This results in ice cream sandwiches that you can fit in your mouth and won’t be hard as rocks when you make them in advance and store them in the freezer! But brownies often work better than cookies. Not only does chocolate go with just about every flavor of ice cream out there, but brownies are more tender than cookies and tend to make a softer, easier to eat ice cream sandwich that most cookies do.
These Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches are definitely a great choice for ice cream sandwich lovers. The brownies are rich and chocolaty, with a hint of cakiness to them that helps keep them easy to bite into even after freezing (great when you don’t have a whole lot of patience for digging into that sandwich!). The brownies are baked in a 9×13 pan and, after cooling, the whole batch of brownies is cut in half. Softened ice cream is spread onto on half of the brownies and the second half is stacked on top. Chill the whole thing and then use a sharp knife to divide up the block into small ice cream sandwiches. The brownie layers are still relatively thick (especially compared to a store bought ice cream sandwich), but I definitely like to have a good brownie:ice cream ratio.
I used mint chocolate chip ice cream inside of these brownies and added a little peppermint extract to the brownie batter, as well. The mint chocolate brownies will still go nicely with chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but omit the mint extract if you prefer to use something like peach ice cream or rocky road as your filling. If you really want to make the brownie layer thinner, cut the sheet in half, chill the brownies slightly and use a large, serrated knife to cut them in half horizontally. You’ll get less brownie in each sandwich, but you’ll end up with twice as many sandwiches this way!
Mint Chocolate Chip Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
(slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Kid’s Cookbook)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 quart mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
Make the brownies:Preheat oven to 350F. Ling a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil.
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Add cocoa powder to butter and whisk until well-combined. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until mixture is smooth. Whisk in butter mixture, followed by vanilla and peppermint extracts.
Stir in flour and salt mix until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in mini chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the brownies are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool brownies completely in the pan.
Make the sandwiches: When cooled, use the foil to lift the sheet of brownies out of the pan and place them on a cutting board.
Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies lengthwise down the center, creating two long strips of brownie (4.5 x 13-inches). Use a spatula to loosen the brownies from the aluminum foil and set one piece aside.
Transfer second brownie strip to a large, clean piece of aluminum foil. Spread the softened mint chocolate chip ice cream over the strip of brownie, creating a thick and even layer. Place second brownie strip on top and gently press into place. Wrap this ice cream sandwich log up in the sheet of aluminum foil it is laying on and transfer to the freezer to set up, for at least 3-4 hours.
When ready to serve, cut brownies into smaller sandwiches (4.5 x 1-inches) for easy serving. Sandwiches can be individually wrapped and stored in the freezer for several weeks.
Makes 13 ice cream sandwiches (or 10-12 if you slice them generously)