Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nothing Cookie Cutter About It

I was an Industrial Engineering major* in college.  In a nutshell, we're all about process.  We break down tasks, analyze steps, and figure out the most efficient way to consistently produce things.

If this is still too abstract, think IKEA**.

The last one is from If Ikea made instructions for everything on CollegeHumor.com. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to kids, there's no black and white, cookie cutter manual. 




17. (!!!)

There's nothing useful in the box, and customer service is zero help.

But I do have an optimized process for these. 

 Hint: involves cookie cutters.

DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 1 hour or so total, over the course of a day
Cook Time: 20 min for the cookies, plus freezer time for the sandwiches

Huge props to Katherine from the wonderful Eggton blog for this idea. I used my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe, but the process is all hers. It was especially heartwarming to put my college degree to such practical and tasty use. It's been pretty useless with child rearing.
  • 2 c. flour
  • scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • generous 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 packages (12 oz. each) mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 gallon (1 1/2 tubs) good vanilla ice cream

Note: Start this the day before you want to eat the sandwiches if you have the time. Allowing the cookie dough to rest makes that part extra tasty, and you'll want to give the sandwiches some time in the freezer before serving.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, and sugar with an electric mixer or by hand, stirring well. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla, just until the dough is very smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture, by hand or on low speed of your mixer, just until combined. Finally, add one package of the mini chocolate chips by hand. Press the dough into a 13x9 pan, and allow to rest in the fridge for at least an hour or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake cookie for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch in the center when pressed. Allow to cool completely.

While cookies are resting, allow the ice cream to soften up a little, then, using a flat spoon or paddle, pat out in an even layer into another 13x9 pan. It should be about an inch thick, or a little less. Spread a piece of waxed paper on top, and use your hands to give it a final smoothing. Put the ice cream tray back into the freezer until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches. Again, this can be done the night before if you like.

To assemble the sandwiches, choose a round or square cookie cutter about 2 1/2 inches across. Cut circles out of the cooled cookie in the pan.

Yes, you will have scraps left if you use a round cutter.  
Do yourself a favor, and use a round cutter.

Carefully slice each circle in half horizontally, so you have a top and a bottom piece out of each cookie. Lay these out on a work surface, so you can do the assembly pretty quickly.

Fill a shallow bowl with the other package of mini chocolate chips, and set aside.

Have a tray that will fit back into your freezer ready to hold the finished sandwiches.

Take the pan of ice cream out of the freezer. Using the same cookie cutter, cut circles of ice cream out. As you cut each circle, place it on top of a cookie bottom, and cover with a cookie top, pressing down gently.

Once all your sandwiches are assembled, carefully roll the edges through the bowl of mini chips to coat, pressing with your fingers if you need to.

Put all the sandwiches on the tray, and return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

If you are not serving these immediately, transfer the sandwiches to individual ziplock bags. They will keep for up to a week.

If you are serving immediately, prepare to be adored.  It's one of the perks of being an Industrial Engineer.  And a mom.

* Derisively referred to as "Imaginary Engineers" by the "real" engineers in the department.  It still stings a little, I have to admit.
** Ironically, one of my son's favorite places when he was little.  We usually had to forcibly drag him away from the store.  In one particularly tragic exit, he hung desperately out of the cart, arms outstretched, screaming "I-KEE-AH!"as if his heart would break. Stanley Kowalski would have been proud.


  1. Awesome! I love the flow of this post. Happy birthday to your son!

  2. this is such an easy diy and with such tasty results--perfect for a birthday celebration! and mmm...scraps. :)