I hit one of my favourite stores, Williams Sonoma, while shopping in the city before Christmas and couldn't resist buying this Ice Cream Sandwich maker for my DD's boyfriend. He always enjoys it when I have a box of frozen treats in the freezer so this seemed like a whimsical, quirky little gift for him under the tree. Ok, it might have been a little self-serving but I knew it would be fun to make them together.
The kit comes with the silicone form consisting of the top and bottom cookie-shaped molds, the insert tray to pack the ice cream in, and a trowel/spatula utensil for spreading and scraping the overflow ice cream. The instruction booklet includes a simple recipe for the sandwich biscuits along with the directions.
I followed the recipe exactly, which is very simple and basically the ingredients for a brownie. (I don't have the booklet here - he took it home - so I can't give it to you.) It was soon obvious that the quantity of brownie mix was going to be waaaaaay more than necessary to fill the very shallow cookie molds! It was a little tricky getting the batter to fill the rectangles because it pulled away from the non-stick sides. I learned to make sure to use the spreader from the centre out so as to force the dough into the shape.
The two halves of the maker go straight into the oven on a cookie sheet. It's actually quite clever that you can make and bake in the same tray. After cooling, the thicker form is nested over the bottom cookies and packed with ice cream. Of course, you can use your favourite flavour! We tried a lovely, traditional natural vanilla bean and a decadent Ben & Jerry's Tonight Dough. Once the ice cream has filled the spaces the top half of the mold is carefully flipped on the top to create the sandwich.
The next step is to freeze the whole maker for at least an hour. We were full of anticipation so we pulled it out at the 60 minute mark. While the ice cream sandwiches looked completely authentic and professional, I think it would have been better to let them freeze longer to become really firm. They were absolutely scrumptious but as soon as you bit into the cookie the ice cream oozed out the sides! Never mind, we just used a spoon to scoop up the excess as a bonus bite.
Since the sandwiches have to freeze for an extended period, and boyfriend was going home the next day, I just spread the remainder of the brownie batter into a pan and baked it off. The "brownies" are not as sweet and gooey as a real batch but he ended up using them as a brownie sundae base - not a bit wasted!
The Ice Cream Sandwich Maker was a fun (and funny to us) gift to give and receive but I think in the end it is much easier and a lot less expensive to just go to the store and buy a box of sandwiches. For the money I spent on the kit and ingredients, not to mention the ice cream and effort (!) one could choose the PREMIUM ice cream sandwiches at the grocery store in several different varieties!