I love a good ice cream sandwich, and while you can simply buy a box in the freezer department of the grocery store, you get a lot more options when you make them yourself. I like to bake a batch of cookies and stock my freezer full of homemade ice cream sandwiches instead of buying them. I get better cookies this way (since the cookies in store-bought sandwiches are often “throwaway cookies” that aren’t great) and can make them in any flavor I want, for a perfectly satisfying treat on a summer afternoon. These Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are something that you will usually find in my freezer, and they feature an addictive combination of cinnamon-kissed oatmeal cookies and vanilla ice cream.
The cookie is the most important part of an ice cream sandwich because it holds everything together and is the main flavor in the sandwich. It should be sturdy enough to hold together while you eat the sandwich, but tender enough that you can bite through the cookie easily. I prefer to make a chewier cookie when I’m going to make ice cream sandwiches, because crunchy cookies often get too hard to easily bite through when frozen. These oatmeal cookies are a variation on my lower fat oatmeal cookie recipe, made with some applesauce or yogurt in the cookie dough that helps keep the cookies very moist and tender. The cookies are good plain and when made with raisins, which add some extra sweetness to each bite of the ice cream sandwich, but you could mix things up by using other dried fruits or chopped nuts in the cookie dough, too.
I used storebought vanilla ice cream in these sandwiches. I would rather put my time into baking a batch of cookies from scratch, then take advantage of the convenience of using a (good quality) storebought ice cream with them. Vanilla goes with just about every cookie flavor you might come up with, not to mention almost every dessert out there, so I always have some in my freezer. Feel free to mix things up by using chocolate, rocky road, strawberry or any other ice cream flavor that sounds promising to make your own ice cream cookie creations!
Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup plain, unsweetened apple sauce or plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking oats
2/3 cup raisins (optional)
approx 3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until light. Beat in the egg, followed by the applesauce (or yogurt) and the vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the raisins, if using.
Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening each cookie slightly. Bake for about 10-12 min. Cookies will be light brown at the edges when done.
Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
When cookies have cooled, pair up cookies of similar sizes and shapes and fill them with about 1/4 cup of slightly softened ice cream. Place cookies onto a baking sheet and immediately place into the freezer to allow the ice cream to firm up.
When the cookies are firm, they can be stored all together in a large freezer bag, or wrapped individually with plastic wrap for easier serving.
Store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Makes about 1 dozen sandwich cookies (2 dozen oatmeal cookies).