Soooo… Cinco de Mayo is over. As a food holiday, it is one of my very favorites. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas– I have been overjoyed seeing the glut of Mexican recipes circulating around the web last week. And getting the chance to cook some of my Mexi favorites? Even better. Now that’s all a distant memory and this Monday is starting to feel a bit like the day after Christmas. Time to drown my sorrow in some red velvet ice cream sandwiches.
I think red velvet is something you either love or hate. Some don’t get it. “What’s with red velvet?” they say. “Is that even a real flavor?” Haters gonna hate. I, for one, love red velvet. I appreciate the simplicity of the flavors. A cake flavored with just a hint of cocoa slathered in a creamy frosting. Gotta love that ruby red color, too. A laser beam of pure, unadulterated sugar fiend satisfaction sent right to your taste buds.
And since ice cream just happens to be one of my absolute favorite desserts, these are gonna be red velvet ice cream sandwiches. Any objections? Didn’t think so.
Cinco de Mayo withdrawal can only be cured by thinking of the next awesome holiday and how I can translate its essence into something food related. Memorial day is on it’s way and that’s exactly why these red velvet ice cream sandwiches dole out a big dose of USA love. They’re red, white, and blue!
But you know what’s perfect about these ice cream sandwiches? (Ummm… everything?) They aren’t just for Memorial Day. No way, Jose. These can be adapted to any day of your life. Having a baby? How about some blue or pink velvet sandwiches with pastel sprinkles? Black velvet sandwiches with orange sprinkles for Halloween. Green sprinkles with red velvet to celebrate Christmas. And if you’re having a grumpy cat day and you are swearing off sprinkles, roll these tasty suckers in some crunchy walnuts. They can even be wrapped individually in wax or parchment paper and frozen until you are ready to dish them out at a party. Oh yes, there is no limit to the joy you can extract from this simple dessert.
And one more thing! Have you ever had an ice cream sandwich where you bite into it and the cookie that holds it together is so hard that the ice cream just squeezes out of the sides? Talk about frustration. Fortunately, the cookie in this recipe is chewy and soft– even when frozen. You’re gonna love these.
And because I love you and I want you to succeed, here are a few ice cream sammich tips:
The freezer is your friend. Ice cream sandwich success is highly dependent on keeping your ice cream from melting during preparation. So freeze your cookie before topping it with ice cream. If they start to melt, shoo these little guys in the freezer pronto. Also, put them on the top shelf of the freezer, toward the back. This is usually where the coldest air is.
Trim ’em if you wanna. It isn’t 100% necessary to trim these cookies, but if you’re feeling like being a perfectionist today, you can use a round cutter to trim the edges from the cookies. They do look awfully fancy that way.
Give the batter room to breathe. The batter for these cookies spreads a lot. So make sure you put at least 3 inches of space between your dollops of batter.
Don’t worry if they stick. These cookies will stick to the parchment paper and it will happen regardless of if you grease the pan or not. They’re just special like that. Simply remove them with a metal spatula, scraping them slowly and as close to the bottom of the cookie as possible.
Pssst… by the way, if you’d like to make some cool USA flag toothpicks like I did, you can print them out here.
So, what kind of festive ice cream sandwiches are you going to make? Do you love or hate red velvet? Tell us all about it! See you soon!
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup milk mixed with 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons liquid red (or other color) food coloring
- 2⅔ cups flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups vanilla ice cream
- ¾ cup sprinkles or chopped nuts for decorating (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the softened butter in a medium bowl along with the sugar and cream until fluffy, at least 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated. Add the milk/vinegar mixture, vanilla, and the red food coloring. Be careful with the food coloring. It’s the devil and stains everything it touches.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the liquid ingredients and stir just until mixed.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto the lined baking sheet. They will spread quite a bit, so leave at least 3 inches of space between. Bake in the oven until the red velvet cookies bounce back when pushed in the middle, about 10 minutes. Continue this process until all of the batter is used up.
- Set the cookies aside to cool, then using a spatula, scrape under the cookies to remove them from the parchment paper. They will stick to the parchment paper, so don’t be afraid to really scrape them off. I tried oiling the parchment paper, but this didn’t seem to make a difference at all.
- Trim the cookies with a 2-inch round cutter or leave as is. Place the cookies in the freezer until cold.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of ice cream onto half of the cookies and top with another cookie. Squeeze the sandwiches and smooth the ice cream with a spoon or butter knife so that it is even on the sides. This will enable the toppings to adhere evenly. If the ice cream is melting, place them in the freezer until they firm a bit. If not, proceed to the next step.
- Place your sprinkles or nuts (if using) on a plate. Press the sides of the ice cream sandwiches into the sprinkles or nuts until the ice cream is covered. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and chill in the freezer until they are firm, about 3 hours.
- Devour right away or wrap individually with parchment or wax paper and place in a resealable plastic bag for long term storage (yeah, right!).