This blog is part of our “Summer Sparks” series where we will give you tips to inspire a summer of wonder! For more ideas on how to encourage imagination all summer long check out more blogs and toys!
National ice cream day is coming up and in our family, we celebrate with luscious homemade ice cream!
To make things a little more fun for my soon-to-be four year old, I decided to go the route of ice cream sandwiches. That way, she could help me make the cookies and assemble these handheld delights.
My daughter and I play pretend baking on a regular basis and lately she’s been joining me in the “real” kitchen, learning how to break eggs and make cookies for her father.
What’s even cuter is when she brings in her pretend baking kit, slides up next to me and mimics everything I do. When she lost interest in assembling the sandwiches, she started experimenting with her adorable ice cream sandwich toys.
Try out these recipes with your kids and if you find the ice cream recipe too time consuming, using store bought ice cream will also do the job!
1 1/4 cup all- purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 medium bag of m&m’s (I used peanut butter filled m&m’s) You’ll have a lot left over to snack on. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl whisk together flour and baking soda.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix in flour mixture. Use a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon to drop batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.
With the palm of your hand, flatten each ball of dough out and add as many m&m’s to the top of each cookie.
***A good tip is to wet your hand with cold water before flattening out the cookies. This will prevent the batter from sticking to you.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating each pan halfway through until edges are brown but the center is still soft. Cool completely on a rack before assembling ice cream sandwiches.
Ice cream should be made one to two days before you need the ice cream sandwiches.
ICE CREAM RECIPE
3 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
9 ounces sugar
1 fresh vanilla bean sliced in half lengthwise and beans scraped out
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Place the heavy cream and half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring the whole time. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks until they lighten in color. Slowly add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the yolks and sugar by gradually adding 1/3 of the warm cream to the eggs, mixing the entire time.
Pour in the remaining cream and place the saucepan over a low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mix thickens and coats the back of the spoon and reaches 175 degrees (a food thermometer comes in handy here). Stir in the fresh vanilla bean and pour the mixture into a bowl. Place that bowl in an ice bath and stir until the mix is cold to the touch.
Add the pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Place the mix in the fridge for several hours, allowing the temperature to drop to 40 degrees or below. Pour the mix into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. Freeze the ice cream until stiff but easily spoonable.
Assemble the ice cream sandwiches with your kids and freeze for several hours before serving.