Do you whistle while you work? Hum to the tune of your favorite foods? Like to get a little jiggy in the kitchen? Food, drinks, and music are the perfect mood-enhancing combination. Twice a month, this blog will explore the intersection between feelings, memories, sounds, and flavors by providing fun recipes accompanied by drink and music pairings. Culinary explorer and resident singer-in-the-kitchen Nicole Capó will also highlight awesome women doing interesting things in music, food, and beverage and discuss how these things bring out the best in each other.
I would argue that ice cream sandwiches are the perfect summer desserts—cool, sweet treats that can take you back to a time of sticky fingers and skinned knees with just one bite. Nowadays, they’ve become something of a foodie experimentation lab (if you’re keen on trying salted caramel on brioche or ricotta gelato on pumpkin whoopie pies, you may need to start planning a trip out to NYC). But, even just the classic chocolate-wafer-and-vanilla-ice-cream combo can be entirely satisfying to an ice cream sandwich connoisseur such as myself.
There are plenty of ways to dress up this simple summer luxury. When the heat started making me crave some ice cream, my first thought was that it should be refreshing as well as creamy, and fruity as well as decadent. Of course, I started thinking about my favorite summer drinks, like Bon Appétit’s Strawberry-Ginger Punch. I could probably drink an entire bowl of this punch all by myself.
A warm kitchen, open windows, and sunshine are an instant gateway to daydreaming and, if you’re anything like me, you’re spending your prep time remembering summers spent lazing outside, waiting for the ice cream truck to announce its arrival. Though this recipe is a bit more grown up than the classic version of the ice cream sandwich, nostalgia is what really makes these treats so exciting. Classic, chill, lively tunes reminiscent of another era, such as the hauntingly beautiful songs voiced by Pink Martini’s China Forbes in their older albums and their latest, Dream a Little Dream, make for a great soundtrack, both while prepping and eating these beauties.
Ginger-Strawberry Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches
Yields about 16 cookies, for 8 sandwiches
• 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. allspice
• 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
• Pinch of nutmeg
• Pinch of kosher salt
• 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
• 2 Tbsp. honey
• 1 lg. egg + 1 egg white
• 1/2 - 1 cup chopped candied ginger (depending on your ginger flavor preference)
• 1 pint vanilla ice cream
• 1 1/2 cup halved or quartered (if they’re very large) fresh strawberries
• 1/3 cup chopped basil
• 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1. Make the Cookies. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a standing mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the brown sugar, oil, and honey on medium speed for about five minutes. Change the speed to the lowest setting and add the egg and egg white. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for one minute, until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Once all ingredients are well combined, mix in the candied ginger. Using an ice cream scoop, do half-scoops (or if you have a cookie scoop it would probably be closer to a full scoop) of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown. Set aside to cool.
2. Prepare the ice cream. Combine the strawberries and basil in a small bowl and mix in the sugar until well-coated. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for thirty minutes. In a small food processor, process the strawberries and basil until liquefied. Then, slowly add in the ice cream until you’ve achieved the flavor you like (I like my ice cream to really taste like strawberries). Place the ice cream in the freezer for a few minutes to re-solidify (or else you’ll end up with a sloppy mess).
3. Assemble the sandwiches. This is the easy part! Take a cookie and scoop ice cream on it. Then, put another cookie on top. Depending on how soft the ice cream is, you make want to pop it in the freezer for a few minutes before attempting to eat.
Recommended drink: An aged Madeira with balsamic notes will play on the strawberry flavors in the ice cream for a classic combination you can’t pass up. Try Broadbent Reserve 5 Years Old from Portugal for an exquisite treat that won’t break the bank and is delicious to drink on its own.