Sunday, March 25, 2018

Raspberry Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches

It has been a long time since I have indulged in an ice cream sandwich. When I was a kid, I ate the ones that had the chocolate rectangle cookies with holes in them and vanilla ice cream on the inside. Back then, they were pretty delicious. However, time and blogging has changed my thoughts on those specific sandwiches. Now, they just look bland and very manufactured. They do not get my interest.

I believe that ice cream sandwiches should have lots of flavor and be very appealing to the eye. So in order to mimic that thought, I came up with these raspberry almond sandwich cookies.

When I was thinking about the components, I wanted to make sure that the cookies were chewy. No one likes a sandwich cookie that shatters into pieces when you bite into it, especially if ice cream is in the center. The buttery almond cookies are just the texture I was looking for.

The other component, the raspberry ice cream, has a smooth mouth feel and a touch of tartness. Putting the two elements together, sweet cookies and tart ice cream, created a good balance of flavor. I did not want it to taste too sugary or too tart.

The last touch to these delicious disks are the candy coated almond pieces encircling the outer edges of the ice cream-a major crunch factor with all the colors of Easter. The recipes below make 1 quart of ice cream and about 24-26 cookies. How much ice cream you put into the center of the cookies will determine the number of ice cream sandwiches and if you have any of one component left over.

Since I do not have a big family, I only formed 6 sandwiches. I stored the remaining ice cream and cookies separately.

Raspberry Almond Ice Cream Sandwiches

by Flourtrader

2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Ingredients/Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop

4 pints raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks (room temp)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup crushed candy coated almonds

Since the ice cream requires chilling time, this component is to be made first. Start by placing the raspberries in a food processor and pulse until pureed. Then take the puree and place in a sieve set over a large bowl. Push the puree through the sieve, separating the seeds from the fruit. Discard the seeds. Cover the bowl of puree (approx 1 1/2 cups) and place in refrigerator.

Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg yolks. Mix until blended together and set aside. Also, place the heavy cream in a large bowl and balance a sieve over the bowl.

Take out a saucepan and fill with half and half and sugar. Whisk together and place saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Using the wire whisk attachment, run the mixer on medium speed, beating the egg yolks. Continue to beat and stream in the sugar/milk mixture. Once blended, pour the liquid back into the saucepan and place over medium heat.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture as it cooks. It will thicken and turn into a custard. Test for proper consistency by checking the back of the spoon. The custard will remain there as a coating and running a finger through it should leave a mark.

Set up an ice bath and prepare your ice cream machine as per the manufacturers' instructions. Pour the custard into the sieve placed over the heavy cream. Once strained, mix the cream and custard together. Then blend in the raspberry puree along with the lemon juice. Set the bowl in the ice bath and let chill until cool in the center. Transfer to ice cream machine and follow churning instructions. Once the mixture has set up, empty ice cream into a medium sized bowl. Cover and place in freezer.

While the ice cream is chilling, proceed with making the cookies. Fill the bowl of the stand mixer with butter and sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes on medium high speed, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This process should result in a fluffy, ivory-colored batter.

Add one egg and mix into batter, beating for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and repeat with the second egg. Add the vanilla extract and the almond extract, running the mixer on medium high speed for about 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors into the batter. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and set aside.

Take out a medium sized bowl and sift in the regular flour, baking powder. If using salt, sift that into the mix. Then whisk in the almond flour until blended.

Preheat the oven to 315 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a wooden spoon, fold the dry blend into the wet batter, until no dry streaks remain. Leave the dough in the bowl, but scrape it all together to form a mound. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

After the chilling time is complete, remove the bowl of cookie dough. Separate the dough into 24 to 26 equal pieces.Roll each into a ball (they will be about the size of golf balls) and place on baking sheet spacing about 2 inches apart. Flatten the circles slightly, forming a thick disk.

Place filled cookie sheet in the oven and let bake for 13-16 minutes. The end result will be a flat cookie that is golden on the edges and bottom. Remove and let cool on pan for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack. Prepare another baking sheet by lining with parchment paper.

For assembly, remove the ice cream and check the consistency. It should be easy to mold, not runny and not hard. If it is too hard, let it sit for awhile and periodically scrape the ice cream from the edges of the bowl and on the surface to help it reach the correct consistency. Then, pair up the cooled cookies by matching them in size. Also, flip one cookie in each of the pairs with bottom facing up.

Using an ice cream scoop, mound the ice cream on one of the cookies with the bottom facing up. Take the other cookie in the pair and place on top of the ice cream, applying light pressure until ice cream comes to the outer edges of the cookies. Then press the crushed candied almonds into the ice cream, covering the outer edge. Place sandwich cookie on prepared baking sheet and put in freezer. Continue with the process until all the sandwich cookies are formed and in the freezer. Let chill for about an hour before serving.

Tips and Notes:
1. For more flavor, you can melt some candy coating or white chocolate in a double boiler and coat the bottom side of each cookie prior to assembly. Be aware that it makes the cookie have a slick coating that may cause some sliding when sandwiching the ice cream.

2. Since it is Easter, there are white chocolate pastel colored candies in the grocers that you might want to use in place of the almonds.

3. The cookies do spread quite a bit, a few of mine had a little bit of the edges sticking together. This was not a major issue, but it is something to consider when placing the dough on the baking sheets.

4. Since my kitchen was warm from baking, I had to act quickly on using the crushed candied almonds. The ice cream started to get runny on the edge.

5. If you plan to store these for a week or more, it is probably best to use some invert sugar in the ice cream to prevent it from forming an icy texture. The directions for this component can be found here                   
                                   **LAST YEAR:Frozen Maraschino Cream**