Arias stresses that making ice cream sandwiches is a time when being well-prepared is a huge help. Everything from making the cookie dough and baking the cookies to churning your ice cream can all be done ahead of time, and Arias usually gets it all over with well in advance of serving. "I prefer to assemble my sandwiches ahead of time [as well] because, wrapped in plastic, they will keep for about a week in the freezer, making serving much easier," she tells us.
"Whoopie pies — those traditional New England treats — are like little cakes in the shape of cookies, and they typically sandwich a thick layer of frosting. In this recipe, chocolate whoopie pies sandwich fresh cherry ice cream to make a frozen version of Black Forest cake. You don’t have to be from New England to enjoy these sandwiches."
— Tessa Arias
While you may not want to make one of the boozy ice cream sandwich recipes Arias offers in her book, she encourages you to add a tablespoon or two of alcohol to the ice cream mixture before churning if you’re making sandwiches for adults. A light, tasteless alcohol such as vodka helps make the ice cream softer she tells us.
The texture of the ice cream is one of the most important parts of making the sandwiches, Arias states. When making either a custard-based ice cream of Philadelphia-style ice cream, she advises to make sure the mixture is thoroughly chilled to about 40 degrees before pouring it into the ice cream maker to churn. If it’s too warm, your ice cream will come out soupy rather than what you need for an ice cream sandwich: luscious and thick.
"This is the traditional sandwich that comes to mind when most people think about ice cream sandwiches. Unlike the typically bland and soggy sandwiches you buy at the store, this recipe creates a rich and flavorful vanilla ice cream with a chewy and fudge like chocolate wafer cookie that is sure to delight any sweet tooth."
— Tessa Arias
If you’re trying to cut down on the fat in your diet, your homemade ice cream for sandwiches is not the time to do so. Arias warns against using low-fat dairy ingredients or reduced sugar with your ice cream recipe, because that will prevent you from making an ice cream that’s malleable and easy to work with for sandwiching.
While there’s nothing better than a freshly baked cookie, you need to cool yours down before assembling the ice cream sandwiches. Freeze the baked cookies until firm for about 30 minutes or up to an hour, Arias tells us. This not only helps you avoid melting the ice cream during assembly, but prevents the cookies from becoming soggy, as well.
"You can also call this sandwich 'The King,' because it may be one of the most over-the-top indulgent treats ever. Thick, rich, and nutty peanut butter ice cream is paired with soft banana oat cookies. The best part, however, is the crumbled bacon around the edges of these sandwiches. One bite will have you talking like Elvis: 'Thank you, thank you very much.'"
— Tessa Arias
It’s great to be prepared and make your sandwiches ahead of time to be stored in the freezer, but Arias instructs to let them sit at room temperature for five to 10 minutes before serving so that they’re not too hard for your guests to bite into. Not even the best-tasting ice cream sandwich out there is worth a chipped tooth.
Everyone’s idea of a what one scoop of ice cream is can vary, but when making ice cream sandwiches, it’s important to be consistent. To make sure your ice cream is evenly shaped for the cookies, Arias offers this helpful tip:
"Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and top with a scoop of slightly softened ice cream. Cover the scoop with the plastic and use a measuring cup or the bottom of a glass to press down on the ice cream until it matches the size of your cookies. Now you have perfectly shaped ice cream for sandwiching."
"The combination of fresh blueberry ice cream with sweet and tart lemon cookies tastes like a beautiful summer day with every bite. Not only does this sandwich taste wonderful, but it also looks just as great. The ice cream is a brilliant violet color and you can actually see flecks of yellow lemon zest in the cookies. Make these for your next summer cookout — they’re sure to be a hit."
— Tessa Arias
Ice cream sandwiches lend themselves to so many mix-and-match ideas and decorating options. Get creative with your ice cream and cookie flavors. Roll the edges in sprinkles, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, or even crumbled bacon and pretzels, and dust sandwiches with cocoa, cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar, or even drizzle with caramel or chocolate sauce.