DIY ice cream cookie sandwiches have been on my mind for the last oh, twenty years or so. My love affair began in a famous cookie shop called Diddy Riese in my college town of Westwood, California. For one whole dollar (and I’m really not that old, I swear) you could get a scoop of rich and creamy ice cream layered between two freshly baked, gooey chocolate chip cookies.
To die for.
I’ve never really been able to find its equal, and I think that’s because the Diddy Riese ice cream sandwiches always tasted homemade. So I decided to start making DIY ice cream cookie sandwiches at home with my kids.
And let me tell you, it’s quite possibly the best summer treat there is.
They’re really not difficult to make, but there are a few expert tips and hacks you’ll want to know before you start – which I share below.
I also threw in some flavor combination ideas from top bloggers, because I have a feeling you’ll be making these more than once this summer. I know I will.
Related: 12 mind-blowing ice cream hacks for a deliciously cool summer.
DIY ice cream cookie sandwiches: Tips to make yours come out perfectly
Photo © Jane Sweeney | Cool Mom Eats
1. Start with a great homemade cookie
It’s important to start with a chewy, rather than a crisp, cookie, so you want a recipe that lets you control the softness of the cookie and not overbake it. The recipe I consistently return to is MJ’s Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies from Modern Honey. (I use all semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks for what it’s worth).
Besides being frickin’ delicious, the recipe is made all in one saucepan, no mixer required. But obviously, you can go with any cookie you love.
2. Take care to not overbake your cookies.
A little softness is key, as I mention above. And be sure not to assemble your sandwiches until the cookies have completely cooled! Otherwise…melty ice cream, right?
You also don’t want overly thick or tall cookies. Remember you’ll have two of these AND a scoop of ice cream for you (or your kids) to get your mouth around.
3. Store-bought cookies can work…but choose wisely.
If you want to work with store-bought cookies go for it, but I’d suggest grabbing store-bought dough then baking yourself to control the softness.
4. Try these three ways to add the ice cream.
First off, be sure to use the good stuff. Live a little. Great ice cream = great DIY ice cream sandwiches.
– Slice a pint I wish I could take credit for this trick, but it’s been floating around the web for a few years now. It’s perfect for times when making just a few (I find you can get four sandwiches per pint). Using a sharp serrated knife, cut a cold pint of ice cream into slices.
Then, simply place cut slices between cookies and carefully tear or cut and unravel the wrapping.
– Use a scoop If you do prefer a scoop, I have used this OXO ice cream scoop (available from our affiliate Amazon) for both the ice cream and the dough – either the medium or the large depending on how big I want the sandwiches.
– Use a measuring cup. Another smart idea is to use a measuring cup you already own for perfectly shaped scoops. Don’t worry that it isn’t round; you’re going to squish it all together, right?
I also find it easier to use ice cream that isn’t rock hard. If it’s easily scooped, I can better sandwich between the cookies. Plus, you can always pop back in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up if needed.
Related: How to make chocolate dipped ice cream cones for 4th of July (or anytime!)
5. Easy on the ice cream.
Whether using a classic scoop or slicing the pint, don’t use too much ice cream. You want the ice cream filling nicely proportioned to the cookie.
If preparing these for a party, or you want that classic Chipwich shape, check out the Pioneer Woman’s ice cream sandwich technique. It’s a neat trick using a cookie cutter — though admittedly I’m all for ease when it comes to summer desserts, and a scoop or the pint slices work well for us.
6. Assemble on a parchment-lined baking sheet
I think this is the best way to work, provided it will fit in the back of the freezer — great for popping everything back into the fridge if you want to firm up the sandwiches as you go.
You can also work on a plate provided you’re okay putting it in the freezer if you need.
And extra wax or parchment paper is good to have on hand if you’re wrapping and freezing the ice cream sandwiches for later.
7. Work in batches
The best DIY ice cream sandwiches are assembled and eaten right away. But if you are making a lot or want to freeze for later (or the ice cream has simply become too soft), wrap sandwiches individually in parchment or wax paper and freeze.
Make a couple, wrap, freeze and continue on.
8. It’s okay to share!
There is nothing wrong with making one big fat ice cream cookie sandwich, placing it in a bowl and digging in with a few spoons. I find an entire sandwich is sometimes just too much for
me, er my little kids – and truthfully it’s fewer messy faces for me to clean up afterward.
Related: 10 gourmet popsicle recipes we love, with tips for making them boozy too.
DIY ice cream cookie sandwiches: Some fabulous flavor combinations to try
Yes, there’s always classic chocolate chip with vanilla. But ooh…so many more ideas!
1. Black and White Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
These come from the relentlessly talented Jessica at How Sweet Eats. I had never thought of using a black and white cookie but it’s brilliant. The chewy cakiness of the cookie is a perfect texture for the ice cream. Plus, you can always go store-bought if needed. (Shhh, don’t tell Jessica.)
2. Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
If you’re a Good Humor ice cream sandwich kind of person, then check out this recipe at Last Ingredient. Thin brownies are the ideal base for pretty much any kind of ice cream you wish. I love this one for summer parties, too.
3. Caramel Snickerdoodle Gelato Sandwiches
For the caramel lovers out there, I’m so in love with this combo from at Love From the Oven. Caramel vanilla goodness layered between two soft snickerdoodle cookies? This actually could be a little dangerous for me.
4 – 1,000,000 Get creative!
It’s kind of hard to know where to stop, there are just so many awesome flavor combos out there. One idea: We love the Coohaus ice cream sandwiches on the go, but they’re pretty spendy. Use their flavors for inspiration: chocolate cookies with mint chip ice cream; rainbow sprinkle sugar cookies with vanilla ice cream; double chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter ice cream… endless. Truly!