Sunday, August 24, 2008

Red Velvet Ice Cream Sandwiches

Don't ask me why, I've recently been obsessing over ice cream sandwiches. During my undergrad days at UCLA, my friends and I would take study breaks and head into Westwood to Diddy Reese for their yummy homemade ice cream sandwiches (gee, and I wondered all that time how the hell I gained 15 pounds my freshman year). The fun of this experience was creating your own cookie/ice cream combo --- my favorite was white chocolate macadamia w. strawberry ice cream (sounds strange, but it was delish). The bonus was that this delicious treat was only $1 (and no, this isn't a typo) --- perfect for a student budget. Mind you, this was many moons ago, but today Diddy Reese is still staying strong in the ever changing retail landcape of Westwood, and they are still making those lovely ice cream sandwich treats for only $1.50.

I don't make it into Westwood as often as I'd like (well, until UCLA basketball season starts - Go Bruins!), so Diddy Reese is a bit out of reach for me. I wanted to recreate these treats at home, but do something with a little twist. I've been craving red velvet lately, so why not kill two birds w. one stone.

I 'm reluctant to admit this, but the red velvet cookie base was based on a recipe by Rachel Ray. Love her or hate her, she's here to stay. I've never bothered with her cooking show or books (RR is now working on a petfood line...i'm not sure if I really needed to know that), so this would be a first to try one of her recipes. The cookies sandwich a rich, homemade cheesecake ice cream. This was a terrific treat, as it has all of the flavors of red velvet cake, complemented by the tangy, cool and creamy ice cream.

Red Velvet Cookies
adapted from Every Day w. Rachel Ray
makes approx 20 cookies for 10 ice cream sandwiches

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsn unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsn salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsn red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
2. Using a mixer, beat butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, food coloring and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until smooth.
3. Place 1/4-cup scoops of batter 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet; spread out. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

8 oz cream cheese
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
2/3 cup sugar
zest of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vodka (optional: helps ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer)
pinch of salt

1. Combine all of the ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth
2. Chill mixture in the frig, and then freeze in an ice cream maker

Ice Cream Sandwich Assembly
1. pull ice cream from freezer and allow to soften slightly at room temp
2. place a 2oz scoop of ice cream on one cookie. place another cookie on top and press slightly to sandwich together. Optional: press chopped pecans into the exposed ice cream.
3. wrap individuals sandwiches in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.


The Food Librarian said...

I'm a Bruin and spent way too much time at Diddy Reese too. I had an event at the library and order 300 cookies from them. Yum! Your cookies look great, especially that ice cream!!

Steph said...

I wouldn't call Rachael Ray's 'dump a can of this and a can of that' type recipes my favourite, but these look great!

CB said...

Ohmygod. Diddy Reese! Huge cookies for $0.25. You're bringing back memories! I wasn't a Bruin (Go Anteaters!) but I had/have many friends that went to UCLA and Diddy Reese was always a staple after dinner. Those RV ice cream sandwiches look ... ::droooling::

Nate-n-Annie said...

Awesome pics. I'm drooling.

So, do these cookies turn out chewy or crisp?

Debbie said...

The pictures look so good I'm going to have to give this a try. I'd never thought of Red Velvet cookies... I just found your site today and have bookmarked as a favorite.
Thank you

PaniniKathy said...

I love Diddy Riese and I love red velvet cake so this one is right up my alley!  Fantastic photos, by the way!

janelle said...

WOW what a photo. Red velvet blows my hair back every time I see it. It makes me think of Halloween. Bloody read in some fun party menu with sinfully delicious treats... eh, I get a kick out of making concoctions for that holiday:). The macadamia with strawberry sounds fantastic!

Ingrid said...

Oh, MY GOODNESS. That looks and sound SO GOOD! RR or not that's a must make!

Thanks for posting the recipes!

Joy the Baker said...

Amazing adaptation! I used the same RR recipe to make the red velvet black and white cookies. It's a pretty amazing cookie, so I put my feelings for RR aside. These ice cream sandwiches look absolutely amazing! So creative. So rock star! You've totally made my day. I'm going to feature them... and your lovely pic on my other blog... hope you don't mind!

Ivy said...

Ooooh! I love Diddy Reese!

Yours look way better though. :)

Libby said...

I was requested to make 4 dozen of these for Thanksgiving. I love the recipe, but was never able to get a uniform size/shape to the cookies. SO! I greased and floured a jellyroll pan and used about half of the batter, baking for approx. 20 minutes. I ended up with a sheet cake about 1/4 inch thick. I cooled the cake completely, then used a cookie cutter to make perfect bite-sized ice cream sandwiches. Now I keep a supply of these cookies in the freezer for assembly anytime there's a request.

JR said...

I just went to Diddy Reese yesterday (Go Bruins!)but these look amazing! I will make these as soon as I get a free moment. I will blame you if I gain a few pounds but it will be worth it! :)YUM!

living in PA said...

I'm making these for my son's birthday and we are all pretty excited about it. I used the 1/4 cup measuring cup for the cookies and I only got 8 cookies out of it. They are HUGE, as you can imagine.
Oh only have one birthday a year, right?
If/when I make them again, I will make the cookies much smaller.

ATasteOfMadness said...

Wow. This looks so good.
All my friends are always raving about red velvet anything, but I have not yet had anything red velvet. It's all about to change.. Thank you for the recipe!

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