Mini chocolate chip ice-cream sandwiches

Why, when my fridge is full of delicious summer fruits (really ripe cantaloupe, a bag of organic grapes, the plumpest peaches ever) do I find it necessary to make ice cream sandwiches at 10pm on a weeknight?

All throughout the summer, my friends and family complain that the heat steals their hunger, that they can only stomach simple salads and unfussy, no-cook foods.

Nope, not me.

I still crave hearty meals. Creamy pastas, buttery tarts stuffed with goat cheese and leeks, pies of pizza. And real desserts. Sure, juicy plums or watermelon slices are a refreshing end to any summer meal. It's just that when I'm given the choice between a piece of fruit and a more substantial dessert (say, peach cobbler or a whoopie pie), I always go for the really sugary stuff.

I'll go the healthy route when eating lunch at work, in the confines of my cubicle. But once I'm home and dinner is done, I start scheming about all sorts of unnecessary sweets. Case in point: these ice cream cookie sandwiches that I made last night, just an hour before bed.

The recipe is simple. You whip up a batch of basic chocolate chip cookies, slap a couple tablespoons of ice cream between two, then freeze for a few hours. When frozen, the cookies stay surprisingly soft and chewy and the mini chocolate chips make each bite really rich and sweet. They taste just like the ice cream sandwiches I loved as a kid (minus all the freaky ingredients).

I worked at home today, and after breakfast, I sliced up some cantaloupe and promised myself that I'd eat a big bowl of it after lunch. For dessert. When 2pm rolled around, do you really think I wanted a cup of fruit? Instead, I rushed to the freezer like a disobedient child and treated myself to another mini chocolate chip ice-cream cookie sandwich. Tonight, after dinner, I WILL eat that fruit. Well, I'll try.

On another note, I'd like to pat myself on the back for some improvements over this past year. Some of you might remember that one of my first posts featured another ice cream sandwich I found on Everyday Food, although that experience wasn't nearly as enjoyable (perhaps because I chose to make the ice cream myself) as this one.

Not only did these ice cream sandwiches turn out way better, but I think my photography skills have improved quite a bit. Wouldn't you agree?

Mini Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches
From Everyday Food
Makes 12

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add sour cream, egg, and vanilla; beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix in 1 cup chocolate chips.

2. Using 1 rounded tablespoon per cookie, drop mounds of dough, about 1 1/2 inches apart onto two baking sheets (you'll have about 25 to 30 cookies). Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

3. Scatter remaining chocolate chips on a plate. Place 2 tablespoons ice cream between 2 cookies, bottoms facing in, press gently. Roll the sides of each sandwich in chips (if ice cream is melting, place sandwiches in freezer until firm enough to roll in chips). Transfer sandwiches onto baking sheets. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours; then wrap individually in plastic. Freeze up to 2 weeks.

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