Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coconut cookie ice cream sandwiches

After yesterday's healthy post, my brain/body instantly rebelled  -- I ate the entire emergency Three Muskateers bar that I had stashed in my desk even when I had a delicious lunch of a meatloafette, Old Bay roasted sweet potatoes, and broccoli.  So much for trying to eat a filling lunch so I wouldn't be hungry later.  Next time I'll just skip a more culinarily-impressive lunch in favor of the candy bar, thankyouverymuch.  And yes yes, more sweet things on here.  I promise.

Speaking of more culinarily-impressive foods, one of my New Year's resolutions is to start working through the mountain of recipes I've copied, torn out, or bookmarked for later use but haven't looked at since that time.  Because I'm constantly exposing myself to food, I get a bad case of shiny object syndrome and jump from one recipe to another.  I am going to do my best to balance the library of recipes waiting with those that catch my attention in the future.  [insert fanfare of sorts here]

Last winter, I often had friends visit to watch Penguins hockey games.  Sometimes I'd have cookies or another treat freshly made, others not so much.  I needed something that would store for long periods of time and be ready at a moment's notice in case the gym was a liiiiiiiittle more crowded than I expected.  Ice cream sandwiches!  A batch of thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream sandwiched between the two.  Wrap each individually and store in a freezer bag until one is desired.  Easy as that. 

So, when I saw this recipe for coconut cookie ice cream sandwiches, I had to try it.  Easy shortbread-like cookie with ice cream.  The cookies have an awesome crunch to them, just out of the oven or even after being stored in the freezer with ice cream.  If you don't need them to store for a long period of time or want them to be stored at room temperature, try filling with Nutella (I did and it was friggin' amazing).  Done and done.

Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
(courtesy of Martha Stewart online)
-makes 12 sandwiches... unless you eat two fresh out of the oven, and another two with Nutella

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 2/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut, loosely packed
Vanilla ice cream, slightly softened

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. 

Mix in flour, then coconut, beating until a dough forms. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper; pat into a rectangular log, about 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Wrap with waxed or parchment paper; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  With a serrated knife, slice log of dough crosswise 1/4 inch thick, you should get about 24 cookies.  To make it easier, cut first log in half, then half again and work from there.  Arrange slices on two baking sheets.

Bake until golden, rotating sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, about 20 minutes.  Watch these very closely toward the end to avoid any excessive browning or even burning.  (I actually took three cookies that were on the outside edges of the cookie sheets off and put them onto the cooling rack while letting the rest bake for an additional minute or two. )  Allow sheets to cool on rack for two minutes, then carefully remove paper or cookies to rack to cool completely.

Dividing evenly, spread ice cream on flat side of half the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies, flat side down. Freeze on a baking sheet until firm, about 3 hours.

Wrap each sandwich individually and store in freezer bag.  Enjoy whenever you are in the mood for an ice cream sandwich.  For me, it's often when I've walked in the door from the gym.  Yum!

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