Homemade ice cream sandwiches are already pretty simple to make. You bake a dozen cookies, you fill them individually with ice cream, and then you freeze them to enjoy later. The only problem is the time it takes to individually scoop and portion all that cookie dough, and then you have to do the same thing with the ice cream. There is a much faster (and much better) way to make ice cream sandwiches for a crowd.
One Cookie to Rule Them All
Instead of baking individual cookies for ice cream sandwiches, bake two large cookies. These large cookies will bake up quickly in a metal 8x8-inch baking pan that is perfectly portioned for cutting into square sandwiches. This technique is ingenious because an 8x8-inch pan fits almost anywhere in any freezer. You can use any store-bought dough you like or make your own, which means the flavor combinations are nearly endless.
Cookie Tip: Slightly underbaking the cookies will help them remain soft and chewy after freezing.
Fill and Chill
Temperature is an important factor in building this slab of ice cream sandwiches. The cookies must be cooled completely and the ice cream should sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before filling. The softened ice cream will spread more evenly into the cookies' nooks and crannies, as well as the corners of the pan. Press down firmly on the top cookie before freezing to ensure the three layers are snuggly combined. The ice cream should be firm after just four hours of re-freezing, but waiting at least six (or ideally overnight) will make cutting the cookies easier.
Square Tastes Better
Use a serrated knife to cut the giant ice cream cookie slab into nine portions. The frozen cookies will be quite hard, so use a swift sawing motion to avoid breaking the cookies. The square shape of the cookies means that each cookie will have the same ratio of cookie to ice cream from corner to delicious corner.
How To Make Ice Cream Sandwiches for a Crowd
Makes 9 servings
What You Need
(18-ounce) package chocolate chip cookie dough, at room temperature
vanilla ice cream
(8x8-inch) baking pans
Wire cooling rack
Spoon or spatula
Large serrated knife
Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line 2 (8x8-inch) baking pans with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on two sides of each pan.
Bake the cookies: Divide the dough between the 2 pans. Press the dough evenly into each pan, making sure to press into the corners. Bake until the edges are set and golden and the middle is slightly underdone, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool: Cool the cookie squares in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Using the parchment paper as a sling, remove the cookie squares from the pan and cool completely on the rack.
Soften the ice cream: While the cookies cool, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature so it can soften slightly, about 30 minutes.
Fill and freeze: Return 1 cookie square (parchment and all) to its original baking pan. Transfer the ice cream onto that cookie square and spread it into an even layer. Remove the parchment from the second cookie square, place it on top of the ice cream, and carefully press to combine. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid.
Cut into squares: Grasping the parchment, remove the ice cream sandwich slab from the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a long serrated knife, cut into 9 squares.
Homemade cookie dough: Use your favorite homemade chocolate chip cookie dough instead of store-bought.
Storage: Store the ice cream sandwiches tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.