It's no surprise that we're having a hot summer here. We always do. We have had an impressive 40 days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees F though, and it's only July 25. From the looks of the weather forecast, we're about to add seven more days to that total. What this means is that all I really want to eat is food that's cold and preferably frozen. Last August, there was a photo in Bon Appetit of a stack of chocolate dipped ice cream sandwiches. The sandwiches were all different flavors, one end of each had been dipped in melted chocolate, and then sprinkled with jimmies or toffee chunks or chopped nuts. This photo had been touched up with added vapor swirls around the sandwiches to further highlight their lovely coldness and perfection as a treat during the heat of summer. That pile of extremely cold sandwiches was something I needed in my freezer. You could use whatever ice cream or sorbet you'd like for the filling, but since I'd been waiting to find fresh, organic cherries for a few weeks, there were a couple I'd had on my mind. First, I made candied cherries and used them in white chocolate cherry ice cream, and then I cooked some cherries and pureed them for cherry sorbet. Both of those recipes are from The Perfect Scoop. The fillings were already delicious on their own, but the brown-butter cookies and chocolate coating with chopped almonds didn't hurt them one bit.
Yes, that was brown-butter cookies. And, the technique, found in the Bon Appetit recipe, for making these sandwiches was an interesting one. The cookie was baked in one solid layer in a nine by thirteen inch pan. I cut the sheet of cookie into four pieces horizontally. Two were filled with white chocolate cherry ice cream, and the other two were filled with cherry sorbet. In each case, the bottom cookie sat at one edge of the pan in which it was baked, ice cream or sorbet was piled thickly on top, and the other cookie piece was placed on top of that. With an off-set spatula, you can smooth the exposed edge. Then, each long piece of filled cookie sandwich was wrapped in plastic wrap, left in the pan, and placed in the freezer to firm up. After a few hours, the cookie bars were cut into separate, little sandwiches. The great news is that these brown-butter cookies cut easily with a serrated knife. They didn't break or chip apart as I feared they might. The cut apart sandwiches were placed back in the freezer once again before the next step. Last, chocolate was melted, one end of each sandwich was dipped into the chocolate and then into chopped nuts, and they set up in the freezer until dessert time arrived.
Almost any cookie would make a good ice cream sandwich, but some are easier than others to bite into after being frozen. The cookies used here performed perfectly for filling, cutting, and biting. The process of filling a long piece of cookie and then cutting the sandwiches after they were frozen and firm worked amazingly well. I haven't decided which filling, the white chocolate cherry ice cream or the cherry sorbet, I like better, but opening the freezer to find two different options for frozen treats is certainly making our hot summer a little more bearable.