It's national ice cream month....but that's not why I'm making these. My guy is obsessed with ice cream.....it's not that he likes it or even loves it-he adores it. It's the only sweet thing that he would happily eat everyday. Lately, we've tried a few different ice cream sandwich places. Some have been good, but to be honest they've all been a bit of a let down-hard cookies, store bought ice cream- those kinds of things. So, I decided that I needed to make ice cream sandwiches entirely from scratch. This also gave me the opportunity to try out what's meant to be the "best" chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. I have to say these cookies were very very good....but I wouldn't say they are better than the ones I normally make. However, the combination of the deliciously creamy vanilla ice cream and the chocolate chip packed chewy cookie is absolutely sublime.
Ice Cream Sanwiches
For the Vanilla Bean ice cream:
Yield: 1 quart
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the cookies:
: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate
disks or chips, at least 60 percent cacao content
To Make the Ice Cream:
Combine the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and the
salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan
and drop in the vanilla pod. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
until the mixture is warmed. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and
let the mixture steep for 30 minutes. Pour the remaining cup of cream into a bowl and set a
fine mesh sieve over the top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks
until smooth. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the egg
yolks, whisking constantly. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place
over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan,
until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. The mixture should reach
170˚-175˚ F. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the bowl with the
cream. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate
until completely chilled. Remove the vanilla bean before churning. Freeze in
an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
To Make the Cookies:
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, approximately 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt (if desired) and bake until edges are golden brown but the cookies are still soft, 12-18 minutes. Do not overbake.
Transfer the sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. This recipe makes more cookies than you need for the ice cream, so you will have some left over.....surely that's a good thing!
Ice cream recipe slightly adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
Cookie recipe slightly adapted from Jacques Torres