After reading about the exercise and study of “Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches” (Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2019), I couldn’t resist trying for myself.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cook’s Illustrated,
July/August 2019

Makes 6 sandwiches (12 cookies)

5 Tbsp. butter
2.63 oz. dark brown sugar
.38 tsp. table salt
½ cup + 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour (2.83 oz.)
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (1.5 oz.) + ½ cup garnish
1½ pints ice cream

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring and scraping skillet constantly with rubber spatula, until milk solids are dark golden brown and butter has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to heatproof large bowl. Whisk in sugar and salt until fully incorporated and let mixture cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir flour and baking soda together in second bowl; set aside.

Add half an egg, water, and vanilla to browned butter mixture and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until combined. Stir in ¼ cup chocolate chips. (Dough will be very soft.)

Using a 1-Tbsp. measure, evenly space 12 mounds of dough on the prepared sheet. Bake cookies until puffed and golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Place the empty sheet, still lined with parchment, in the freezer.

Place 3 cookies upside down on counter. Quickly deposit 2-inch-tall, 2-inch-wide scoop of ice cream in center of each cookie. Place 1 cookie from wire rack right side up on top of each scoop. Gently press and twist each sandwich between your hands until ice cream spreads to edges of cookies (this doesn’t have to be perfect; ice cream can be neatened after chilling). Transfer sandwiches to sheet in freezer. Repeat with remaining cookies and remaining ice cream. Place ½ cup chocolate chips in shallow bowl or pie plate.

Remove the first 3 sandwiches from freezer. Working with 1 sandwich at a time, hold sandwiches over bowl of chocolate chips and gently press chocolate chips into sides of sandwiches with your other hand, neatening ice cream if necessary. Return garnished sandwiches to freezer and repeat with remaining 3 sandwiches. Freeze sandwiches for at least 8 hours before serving.

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Frozen food tastes different than warmer food. Our taste buds are wired this way. So, a frozen cookie would be too crumbly and taste too dull if we didn’t make a frozen-specific cookie. This is how Cook’s Illustrated came up with this particular chocolate chip cookie: browned butter, brown sugar, extra vanilla and extra salt punch up the flavor; 1 Tbsp. of water makes a softer cookie.

My cookie dough was soft and thin. My cookies were “puffed and golden brown” after baking for 14:30 minutes. And indeed, my finished cookies were soft and thin too. It’s easy enough to “press and twist” the scoop of ice cream between two cookies (I used vanilla Häagen-Dazs). Mini chocolate chips are quite adorable.

What a crowd pleaser! Biting into this ice cream sandwich tells all: it’s “substantial but not too tall,” with its chocolatey chip crunch. A soft-enough cookie. Dark brown sugar. Celebrate.

Next time, I will bake this month’s secret cake. Stay tuned.