There was a recent article in Bon Appetite with some recipes for making perfect cookies for ice cream sams. They were thin and crisp, one of which read a bit overly fussy to me, but I can appreciate the extra effort to get something just right. That is not my life right now, I'm more about ease and speed, but I appreciate it. They looked pretty and would undoubtedly be delicious, but I'm quite happy with our current "house cookie" acting as book ends to a creamy scoop of ice cream... or as a skillet cookie, I'll put those notes below. The recipe started at Tara O'Brady's chocolate chip cookies but they're looking pretty far from her original at this point, so I'll leave you her words here. I replace some of the flour with oats and reduce the leaveners for this reason (and also because I don't want a poofy cookie for an ice cream sam). I skip browning the butter out of sheer laziness, though I assume you could handle that step if you wish. I also let the dough sit overnight a la Jacques Torres which he swears makes all the difference and is habit for me now. All sorts of cookie science here on Serious Eats.
I made these for a dinner with friends, which is great because a sit in the freezer is necessary, making them a great make-ahead dessert. When you eat them straight off assembly, the cookie and ice cream are both too soft and they make a big mess. When you assemble them, and then freeze them again together, they become the same temperature/consistency, so they are just easier to eat. Because thin and crispy is also delicious and homemade is not always possible, in a pinch, the Tate's cookies (or gluten free chocolate chip ones from Trader Joes which are private labeled from Tate's) are perfect. Just have dinner with friends, that's the important part. xo
ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES // Makes 14ish
To make this a skillet cookie, simply press half the dough into an 10" skillet and cook it at 325' for about 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. The center will still look tender but that's ok, it will set more as it cools. Let it rest for 10 minutes before topping it with ice cream and serving.
You can halve this cookie recipe and end up with about 16 cookies/8 sandwiches. Specifics will depend on how big you make your dough balls.
2 sticks/ 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar or muscavado sugar
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
flaky salt, for finishing
1 quart vanilla bean, coffee, or chocolate chip ice cream
In a stand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars for a good two minutes. Add the eggs, salt and vanilla and mix again, scraping down the sides so it is all incorporated. Add the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and mix again until just combined, do not overmix. Add the chocolate, one more quick mix, scrape down the sides, and store it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350'. Make golfball size rounds and arrange them on cookie sheets or baking pans. Press down the center gently and sprinkle them with flaky salt. Bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes until the edges are browned and the center still looks slightly tender. You want them slightly underdone. Remove the tray, smack it on the counter, and let them cool a few minutes. Remove from the tray and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
Assemble each sandwich with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and then gently smush them together to press down the ice cream ball. Freeze them for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
*I put a long skinny tupperware in the freezer and just stash them in there as I assemble. They should last for about a week, or longer if you keep them individually wrapped in plastic wrap.