Did you eat ice cream sandwiches when you were a kid? Remember how BIG they were? At least they seemed big to me.
I remember reaching down into the chest freezer at Mr. Seigler’s store near my growing-up house. The frosty air coiled up to my face, crisp and cool. Do I want a Push-Up or an ice cream sandwich? Don’t stand there holding the freezer open, you’ll let all the cold out…decide!
Ice cream sandwich it was, almost every time! Sometimes, I would get the kind with the graham cookies and strawberry ice cream. Did you have those? Oh, they were good! Maybe I should recreate those… we’ll see. But first, let’s go old fashioned with the traditional chocolate-vanilla goodness that makes an ice cream sandwich so delicious.
I’m not much of a fan of pre-made anything, and that goes for ice cream sandwiches, too. There are gluten-free and dairy-free ones, which I tried several years ago when I first learned I had to live gluten-free. Meh. They were mediocre at best. I’m sure there are better ones now, but part of the fun is in the making, I say!
Not to mention, when you make your own ice cream sandwiches, you get total control over important aspects such as ice cream to cookie ratio, and even what type of “cookie”.
To me, the store-bought sandwiches didn’t live up to my standard of indulgence, at least from what I remember. I mean, really, if I’m going to eat dessert, I want to know I had dessert. Know what I mean? Yeah, you know.
So, instead of serving you a thin, soft cookie-ish shell for sandwiching rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, I made thin, chewy brownies.
These are SO simple to make, and they are perfectly pliable and filled with rich chocolate flavor. You bake the brownies in one giant slab in a jelly roll pan, then cool them and slice them with a pizza cutter (or sharp knife, whatever works for you). Then, sandwich ‘em together and gobble ‘em up! Easy.
The great part about these is that even if you’re dairy-free, you can adapt the recipe to suit your needs. Just sub dairy-free butter substitute in the brownies, use a dairy-free chocolate and use your favorite dairy-free ice cream and you’re all set.
I like to wrap these individually in pieces of wax paper and store them in a large zip top bag in the freezer… perfect for those hot summer nights when I cannot bear to turn on the oven to make dessert. I just go out to the big freezer, reach in and grab a couple. If I close my eyes, sometimes, it’s almost like I’m reaching into the deep chest freezer at Mr. Seigler’s store, at least for a sec, anyway.
Gluten-Free Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
The picture up top shows sandwiches that were made larger, then cut in half, yielding 12 sandwiches from this recipe. I wanted you to see how nice they slice even after sandwiching. The picture after the recipe are the big boys right after they were put together. They reminded me of Klondike bars when I put them together, which made me wonder if these ice cream sandwiches should be chilled and then dipped in chocolate? ;)
- 12 Tablespoons butter (or dairy-free butter substitute)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate that is at least 60% cacao (this is nearly 1 cup, if measured by volume)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey brand.)
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose type flour blend without gums, such as Gigi's Everyday Gluten-Free Flour (Gum-Free) or King Arthur Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- About 1 quart of vanilla ice cream (or other flavor of your choice), for filling sandwiches (Use dairy-free "ice cream" if you prefer.)
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 15x10-inch pan with foil, leaving approximately 2-inches of overlap on each end so that the brownies can be easily lifted from the pan after baking. Lightly grease the foil.
- Either in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, or on the stove top in a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate together just until melted.
- Stir sugar into melted butter/chocolate mixture, then add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition, then stir in vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the chocolate mixture. Stir until batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared pan, spreading evenly, and making sure batter reaches the corners of the pan so your brownies will be even.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the top appears dry and edges have risen slightly. Do not overbake or brownies will dry out.
- Remove brownies from the oven and cool on pan completely.
- Once brownies are cooled, lift the entire piece from the pan using the foil edges as a handle.
- Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the brownies into an even number of equal sections. (I cut mine into 12 sections, approximately 3x3-inches for large ice cream sandwiches, but you could easily make 24 equal sections, which will make 12 nice sized sandwiches.)
- Once the sections are cooled and cut into desired size, turn half of them upside down, fill with ice cream to your desired thickness, top each with another brownie section and wrap individually in wax paper.
- Freeze until firm, then serve.
- You can also roll the edges in mini chocolate chips, toffee, sprinkles, etc. if you like.
This recipe originally appeared on GlutenFreeGigi.com.
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