Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Molasses Cookies
I love making ice cream. I think it’s miraculous the way frozen cream can capture such diverse flavors, and then deliver them to my taste buds in such a way that I am transported in a swoon of sweetness and smoothness. The flavors I love the best are the ones that surprise me. Sure, everyone loves chocolate ice cream, and Americans are suckers for candy, nuts and fruit mix-ins. But give me a scoop of flavor (e.g., lemon, honey lavender, prosciutto, or peanut butter curry) unadulterated by anything I must chew and I will likely stop talking as I concentrate on the wonder of it all.
And with that philosophy in place, I addressed Emeril’s recipe for Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Molasses Cookies. First, I love his recipe for ice cream because it did not contain eggs. I am a staunch supporter of an ice cream base that is not a custard. Second, my heart beats a little faster at the generous proportions of fresh ginger (1/4 cup!) and pure vanilla extract (1½ teaspoons!). The recipe is solid: I followed directions and it came out with wonderful texture and flavor. I altered things only a tad—it called for chopped fresh ginger, which would apparently be left in the base when frozen. Since I like my ice creams to be infused with flavor rather than actually carrying chunks of it, I grated the ginger, steeped it in the base, and then strained it all out. This worked out brilliantly.
The cookie recipe was a cinch, although my technique was a little lax. When I put the dough into the fridge to chill, it was shaped more like a blob than a log. This meant that when it came time to cut the cookies they were more ovular than circular, and the cookies sliced from the ends of the log are smaller than those in the middle. I’m OK with all of this since it gives my ice cream sandwiches more of a rustic, homemade look to them. However, if you’re after perfection then I suggest forming a respectable cylinder before you put the batter into the fridge. Then once it’s chilled up right before you’re ready to slice into it, hand roll it to even out the diameter along the length of the cookie dough.
This treat does not disappoint. The ice cream is sweet and smooth, gingery but not so spicy that it makes us cough (as sometimes happens with ginger). The cookies are moist and chewy, so that when we bite into the sandwich, it doesn’t fall apart. The candied ginger bites in the cookie are both pretty and surprising. One thing’s for sure—this is an ice cream sandwich for grown-ups.
My favorite parts of preparing this recipe? Feeling triumphant that my tweak to the ice cream base worked out. Waking up this morning with the scent of Ginger Molasses Cookies still lingering in my bedroom (I’d baked them right before I went to bed, and the smell had wafted all throughout my apartment). Precisely scooping ice cream onto the backs of cookies, then smoothing the ice cream borders out once I’d put the top cookie in place. Popping these little treasures, one by one, into the freezer. It felt like I was wrapping up a bunch of presents. I can’t wait to hand out these sandwiches at the office tomorrow, as if I were the Easter Bunny delivering treats into everyone’s basket.
This recipe (and more than 100 other recipes for irresistible stacked meals) is published in Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, available wherever books are sold.
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