This particular ice cream “sandwich” was inspired by a delicious treat created in San Francisco in 1928 called IT’S-IT - a very basic but invariably delicious composition of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and dipped in dark chocolate. Here I keep the presentation simple by just topping one cookie with ice cream and a double pour of bittersweet chocolate. The cookie is made from a basic Quaker Oats recipe. The ice cream is from David Lebovitz.
But be sure to have fun with your choice of flavors and textures. Some of my favorites are:
Oatmeal Cookie + Coffee Ice Cream + Dark Chocolate
Ginger Cookie + Caramel Ice Cream or Orange Sherbet + Dark Chocolate
Peanut Butter Cookie + Banana Caramel Ice Cream + Dark Chocolate or Rum Sauce
Chocolate Cookie + Mint Ice Cream + Dark Chocolate
Chocolate Cookie + Fennel Ice Cream + Fig Sauce
Chocolate Cookie + Oatmeal Ice Cream + balsamic syrup reduction
Anyway, you get the picture.
- Choose a cookie that is soft and chewy so it’s easier to eat with a spoon.
- I use a large scoop (about 2 1/4" diameter) to portion the cookie dough, which yields about a dozen cookies. For a more polished presentation, I used a sturdy glass with a 3” diameter to press out uniform shapes once the cookies cooled.
- I doubled the salt in the cookie because I like the contrast with the rest of the components. You can also sprinkle a tiny bit of coarse salt on top of the chocolate shell before it hardens for a different salty effect.
- I’ve given the Quaker Oats instructions for the cookies, but I like to chill the cookie dough for several hours so the cookies hold their shape better when baking.
- My ice cream formulations tend to be leaner, using less sugar, less cream and fewer egg yolks. For this vanilla ice cream, I use 1/2 C sugar + 2 T sugar, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and 4 egg yolks. The final product is not quite as rich and creamy as David’s but it’s still very delicious.
- For the hard chocolate shell, I use 1 oz of chocolate + 3/4 teaspoon oil per serving (coconut oil is ideal but canola oil works just fine). This forms a hard shell once poured onto the ice cream. If you prefer a more gooey effect, try a simple Chocolate Sauce.
adapted from Quaker Oats
Makes about a dozen 3” cookies
7 oz (14 T) butter @ room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground nutmeg
3 C oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg and oats.
Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg one at a time and mix until thoroughly blended. Add vanilla. Add the flour and oat mixture and mix just until blended.
Divide dough into about 12 portions, form into a ball and place 6 on each prepared baking sheet. Press down with your palm of your hand to flatten the tops slightly.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Vanilla Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 quart
1 C milk
pinch of salt
3/4 C sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 C heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 t pure vanilla extract
Heat milk, salt and sugar in a saucepan to a low simmer. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a paring knife, scrape the seeds into the milk and add bean pod. Remove from heat, cover and infuse for one hour.
Pour the cream into a medium bowl and set a strainer over the top.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
Reheat the milk until warm to the touch. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Return the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula, leaving a clear track when you run your finger through it. Take off heat immediately and strain the custard into the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture to blend thoroughly and to cool. Add vanilla extract. Refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Remove the vanilla bean and freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into clean airtight container, press a piece of plastic into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.
Chocolate Shell Topping
Makes about 6 servings
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 T + 1 1/2 t canola oil
Set a metal bowl over a pan of slowly simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Place the chopped chocolate in the bowl along with the canola oil. Whisk gently as it melts. Take off the heat and cool to lukewarm. Pour over ice cream. The chocolate will harden into a shell within a minute or so.