It was a lesson in patience to make these chocolate chip shortbread ice cream sandwiches with my 4-year-old. The recipe isn’t complicated, but there are steps that involve baking, cooling and waiting before the final assembly. For days we had been talking about making cookies and our brainstorming went from just cookies to full-on dessert complete with ice cream and sprinkles. I couldn’t say no to all his creativity and imagination!
We started by making the shortbread dough, which was crumbly until we pressed it together into a disk and chilled it in the fridge. Then we rolled out the dough and cut out the cookies. Once they baked and cooled, it was time to put together the sandwiches. With half the cookies in a row, I used an ice cream scoop to divvy up the vanilla ice cream and then sandwiched another cookie on top. They weren’t finished until we decorated them with sprinkles.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches
Loosely adapted from The New York Times September 6, 2012
Makes about 18 ice cream sandwiches
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup sprinkles
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on low speed to combine the butter and sugar followed by the egg yolk. Beat in the flour, cornstarch and salt until the dough is just starting to form. Stir in the chocolate chips and press the dough into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour until the dough is firm.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is 1/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place them on the prepared sheet pans 2 inches apart. Reroll the dough scraps and continue cutting out the cookies.
Bake for 30 minutes until the cookies are firm, but not browned. Cool on the sheet pans for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Let the ice cream soften at room temperature until it is just scoopable, but not too soft. Use an ice cream scoop to place 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream on half the cookies. Place another cookie on top and press down slightly to sandwich them together. Decorate the sides of the sandwiches with sprinkles and chill in the freezer until firm.