The ice-cream sandwich is equal parts form and function: a biscuit providing texture and crunch hugging a soft centre of ice-cream, while simultaneously serving as the perfect vehicle for getting said textures to your mouth in the most efficient manner. Keep it simple and bake your own cookies but tweak store-bought ice-creams and sorbets.
All recipes serve about 6-8 depending on biscuit/brownie size.
Dark chocolate, olive oil and sea salt brownies with raspberry sorbet
This brownie is quite fudgy so allow it to cool completely in the fridge before using a cookie cutter to cut out the circular pieces (more brownie recipes here).
230g (1 cup) brown sugar (rapadura sugar also works well)
125ml (½ cup) olive oil
1 tsp quality vanilla extract
110g (¾ cup) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
90g (¾ cup) cocoa powder, sifted
about 1½ tsp sea salt flakes
1 litre raspberry sorbet
freeze-dried raspberries (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a baking tin (about 33cm x 23cm).
Add the eggs, sugar, olive oil and vanilla to a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt and stir well until incorporated and a thickish batter forms.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes – it should have that cracked-earth look, yet still yield slightly in the centre when you wobble the tin. Cool in the tin then transfer to the fridge to cool completely.
To assemble the sandwiches, remove the raspberry sorbet from the freezer to soften for a few minutes. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 10cm circles from the brownie slab (you can use whatever size or shape you like).
Place the brownie rounds on a flat surface, cracked side facing down. Top half of the circles with a scoop of raspberry sorbet, then place another round of brownie on top. Gently press together then scatter the sorbet section with freeze-dried raspberries, if using.
Cheat's coffee ice-cream and 'cupboard cookie' sandwiches. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Cupboard cookie and coffee ice-cream sandwich
Feel free to sub in any cupboard leftovers for this riff on Christina Tosi's Compost Cookies – you want a mix of sweet, salt and crunch. Any leftover biscuits will keep in an airtight container for about a week.
1 litre vanilla bean ice-cream, softened
90ml (3 shots) espresso
215g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
pinch of salt
120g butter, chopped, room temperature
115g brown sugar
115g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup pretzels
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup salted potato crisps
1 tbsp ground coffee
½ cup chewy caramels, chopped and placed in the fridge until firm (we used Werther's Original caramels)
pinch of salt flakes
Add the vanilla bean ice-cream and espresso to a bowl. Stir until the espresso has fully incorporated into the ice-cream then return to freezer to firm up while you bake the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, bicarbonate soda and salt, and set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugars together using electric beaters until pale and creamy (about 2 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
Gently add the flour mix and fold in the pretzels, chocolate chips, potato crisps, ground coffee and caramels. The chips and pretzels will break up as you combine the mixture, but don't worry about this.
When the dough has come together, break off pieces and form into balls roughly the size of a golf ball. Place the balls at least 10cm apart on the lined tray. Press down gently and sprinkle the top of each cookie with salt flakes.
Bake in batches for 8 minutes, then gently press each cookie flat with a spatula. Bake for another 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from the oven, cool on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the coffee ice-cream from the freezer a few minutes before you assemble the sandwiches.
To serve, top a biscuit with a scoop of the ice-cream then sandwich with another biscuit, pressing down to ensure the ice-cream reaches the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice-cream.
Ginger spice snaps, chai ice-cream and cool date salted caramel. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Ginger spice snaps with chai ice-cream and salted date caramel
This recipe makes more cookies and date caramel than needed but both last well beyond the sandwich. Any leftover caramel will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
6 chai tea bags
1 litre vanilla ice-cream, softened
Salted date caramel
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp malt extract
generous pinch salt
110g castor sugar
110g brown sugar
60g piece of fresh ginger, finely grated using a microplane
330g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
To make the ice-cream, add the teabags to a small bowl with just enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 10 minutes for the tea to infuse. Strain the tea into a larger bowl with the softened ice-cream and stir to combine thoroughly. Return to freezer until ready to assemble the sandwiches.
To make the caramel, place the dates in a heat-proof bowl, pour over boiling water to cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and place the dates with the remaining caramel ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the milk solids coagulate and the caramel becomes flecked, pour into a saucepan over low heat and warm through for about 3 minutes or until dissolved. Place in the fridge until completely cooled.
For the cookies, preheat oven to 170C.
Beat the butter, sugars and honey with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg and beat again, scraping down the sides. Add the fresh ginger and dry ingredients and stir to combine. If you don't like the fur-like texture of freshly grated ginger, simply squeeze as much juice as you can from the grated ginger into the dough, and discard the solids.
Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls, flatten slightly, and place on oven trays lined with baking paper, leaving 5cm between each to allow for spread. Bake, swapping trays halfway to cook evenly, until dark golden around the edges (10 to 12 minutes). Cool on trays, then store in an airtight container until required. Cookies will keep for 5 days.
Place a cookie on a flat surface, place a scoop of ice-cream on top. Dollop on a teaspoon of caramel then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies, ice-cream and caramel.
Two-tone Weis-inspired ice-cream sandwiches. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Gluten-free oat cookie, mango and coconut ice-cream sandwiches
This is the Weis bar for the new age.
*Please note: A protein found in oats may affect a small percentage of Coeliacs and people with gluten sensitivity. For more info.
220g (1 cup) brown sugar
110g (½ cup) castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cream
2 cups gluten-free flour (we used Bob's Red Mill GF flour blend – gluten-free flour blends can vary greatly so add slowly)
120g rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
500ml coconut frozen yoghurt
500ml mango sorbet
Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a bowl until well combined (2 to 3 minutes). Add egg and yolk and cream and beat until pale and creamy. Stir in flour, oats, baking powder and stir to combine. The mixture will seem quite wet.
On a flat surface, lay out some cling wrap. Scoop the mixture onto the wrap in a log shape then wrap the log and place in fridge for at least 20 minutes. It will still be quite soft to work with.
Preheat oven to 170C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Cut the log into 1cm thick slices and arrange them on the tray at least 8cm apart – the biscuits spread quite significantly as they cook. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool completely.
Place a cookie on a flat surface, place a small scoop each of sorbet and frozen yoghurt on the biscuit then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining biscuits and ice-cream.