Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

This was the scene at our house last night.  I had sweets on the brain, so between watching X Factor and Modern Family, I whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream sandwiches.

I decided on a classic chocolate chip cookie with french vanilla, and then a chewy molasses spice cookie with salted caramel ice cream.  Not to toot my own horn, but they were AMAZING!!

A few tips: to get the ice cream evenly spread, let it soften for about 10 minutes before scooping on the cookie.  Don’t spread it all the way to the edges – when you press the cookies together, the ice cream will spread out.  Also, don’t even TRY to make these when the cookies are still warm.  It will turn into a (delicious) mess, as I learned on the first batch.  Yes, I ate more of these than I’d like to admit…

Keep reading for the cookie recipes!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies (adapted from Alton Brown):
Ingredients:
8 ounces unsalted butter
12 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ounce whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate. Pour the butter into your stand mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to “stir” and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.

**Note: The darker the sugar you use, the chewier your cookies will be.

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Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies (adapted from Martha Stewart):
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. 
Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms.
Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes 

**Note: cookies can be baked two sheets at a time, but they will not crackle uniformly. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely.

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