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.