- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The end of the summer is approaching, so it’s time to start thinking about the last few backyard cookouts before school starts and things such as homework and soccer practice take over our lives once more.

I know we can grill year-round, but once fall is in the air, we cannot grill with the same abandon as in summertime. So let’s savor it.

One way to savor summer grilling is to plan an easy party for friends. It might be ribs on the grill with the fixings, possibly burgers, a nice piece of fish, you name it.

But do whip up a batch of these chocolate cookie sandwiches with ice cream inside for munching after dinner.

Angeleen Geddes of Osceola, Iowa, passed this recipe to me several years ago.



You bake the cookies from a devil’s-food cake mix, and it’s up to you what ice cream is sandwiched inside. Try vanilla or mint chocolate chip, or let the children fill them with thawed whipped topping and then roll the sides in colored sprinkles.

A great do-ahead, you can store the cookie sandwiches in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.

Five time-shaving, delicious ways to pair cake and ice cream:

• Lightly toast slices of your favorite poundcake and top with butter pecan ice cream and sweetened sliced peaches.

• Cube angel food cake, and combine it with softened chocolate ice cream and a splash of Kahlua coffee liqueur. Refreeze this, spoon it into goblets, and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

• Place slices of angel food cake in shallow serving bowls. Top with strawberries and raspberries that have been sweetened lightly with sugar, and add a small scoop of mango sorbet or raspberry sherbet.

• Bake lemon cupcakes, and top each with softened vanilla ice cream and fresh blueberries.

• Crumble chocolate cake into goblets, then top with a small scoop of coffee ice cream and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with dark rum and hot coffee.

Chocolate cookie sandwiches

COOKIE:

1 18.25-ounce package plain devil’s-food cake mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

FILLING:

1 pint vanilla ice cream or ice cream of your choice

Set aside two ungreased cookie sheets.

Place cake mix, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 to 1½ minutes. The dough will be smooth and thick. Spoon out teaspoons of dough, and place them 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Place sheets in preheated 350-degree oven.

If your oven cannot accommodate both cookie sheets on the center rack, place one on top rack and one on center rack and rotate them halfway through the baking time. Bake cookies until they puff up and are firm around edges but still soft in the middle, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, and immediately flatten each cookie with a metal spatula. Let cookies rest on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Then use spatula to transfer them to wire racks and allow them to cool completely, 15 minutes.

Repeat process with remaining cookie dough.

For ice cream filling, remove ice cream from freezer for about 15 minutes to soften slightly.

To fill cookies, place a tablespoon of ice cream on flat side of one cookie and sandwich it with a second cookie, flat side in. Wrap each cookie sandwich in plastic wrap, and freeze until hard, 30 minutes. Makes 20 cookie sandwiches.

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