One of the best things about summer is the frozen treats that come with it. I’ve always been partial to ice cream sandwiches — thick slabs of ice cream between soft chocolate cookies are as good as it gets. I’ll take the boxed kind, but homemade blows them out of the water — the problem, though, with homemade ice cream sandwiches are the cookies, which are invariably too hard and force the soft ice cream out both sides when you try to bite into it. Enter brownies, which stay soft and chewy, even when frozen. And they have that deep chocolate flavour I associate with ice cream sandwiches — even more so than the store bought kind.
They’re surprisingly easy to make, and perfect for a celebratory dessert or backyard party — all you need is a box of brownie mix (consistency is key here) and a tub of whatever ice cream you’d like to sandwich. I always go for classic vanilla, but when it has been someone else’s choice we’ve had moose tracks, cookies and cream… you name it. They’ve all been fantastic.
I like to prepare the brownies — divided between two pans to make them half the thickness — and then freeze them for easier handling; once spread with ice cream, you can put them all back into the baking pan or wrap them individually to store in the freezer until you need them, or serve them right away, as you assemble them.
If you want to add a little extra bling, dip one or more sides into a shallow bowl of sprinkles and you’ll blow little minds.
My son has chosen these instead of cake for his summer birthday in August - I can't wait to stack them high on a cake plate, with a long, thin candle or sparkler in each soft brownie.
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 box Betty Crocker Brownie Mix (any kind)
1/3 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 pint ice cream, any variety, softened
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Mix the brownie batter according to the package directions, by stirring in 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup water and 2 eggs until smooth. Divide the batter between two parchment-lined 8x8-inch pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the brownies are set and the edges are starting to pull from the sides of the pan. (If you don’t have two 8x8-inch pans, bake half the batter at a time.) Cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze until firm.
When you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches, cut each pan of brownies into 9 squares. Spread a large spoonful of softened ice cream on one brownie and top with another, squishing so that the ice cream spreads to the edges. If you like, put some sprinkles into a shallow dish and dip one or more sides of the ice cream sandwiches in them to coat.
Serve immediately, return to the pan or wrap individually in plastic wrap and return to the freezer until you’re ready for them. Makes 9 ice cream sandwiches.
* Thanks to Life Made Delicious for helping bring this post to life!