When it comes to dessert, sometimes you just want a little nibble. Or sometimes little hands are reaching for a treat. Or sometimes you want to house half a package of cookies and an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, and you’ve been looking for more creative ways to do it. In any of the above scenarios, I’m hard pressed to find a more universally beloved combination than Oreos and ice cream. Cookies ‘n’ cream is historically often cast aside as a kids’ flavor, and I find that unfair and inaccurate. In this two ingredient recipe, I’m bringing justice back to Oreos and ice cream by packaging them as simple, adorable mini ice cream sandwiches that will be popular with kids and adults alike.
It All Starts With Oreos
The beauty of using Oreos as the “bread” in this sandwich is that the cookie itself is not extremely sweet. Together with your favorite ice cream flavor, there’s balance and textural contrast that few other cookies can provide. The important (and potentially controversial) part to focus on here is that the filling doesn’t matter. We won’t be using it. It’s all about the cookie. Classic chocolate and the cult favorite Golden Oreos are the two most widely accessible options.
Cookie and Ice Cream Combos
Of course I will always advocate for the best quality you can find and afford, but ice cream preferences are about as personal as underwear. I will say, however, premium ice cream works best during the shaping step: it’s denser, more creamy, and melts slower than lower-quality ice cream, which is lighter and more airy (a quality in ice cream world known as “overrun”). Otherwise, the only other requirement is that it should be a flavor that goes well with your cookie of choice.
- If using chocolate Oreo cookies, I recommend mint chocolate chip, black raspberry, coffee, salted caramel, peanut butter, and green tea.
- For golden Oreo cookies, I think lighter, fruitier flavors work best: strawberry, peaches and cream, pistachio, or even cake batter would be great. But this is a fun opportunity to get creative and experiment with combinations that suit the tastes of your family and guests.
The Trick for a Picture-Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich
Assembling an ice cream sandwich from Oreos and ice cream in theory seems simple, and it is in practice! But there is an efficient trick to prepare the ice cream for a picture-perfect sandwich that has a satisfyingly even ratio of ice cream to cookie in every bite. Whip out your slice and bake cookie skills, because molding the ice cream into a parchment tube and freezing to harden will create a perfectly sliceable log that will give you even, flat discs of ice cream, ready to be matched with their cookie partners.
Working with ice cream in pints is best for this technique: simply run a dull knife around the edge of the pint to loosen the ice cream, let it slip out onto the parchment, and then cut the cylinder in half, lengthwise. Lining the two semicircular halves on their sides, end to end, will aid in the shaping process: the less you have to work with the ice cream to squish it into a log, the better. Once it’s wrapped tight, allow it some time in the freezer to harden again before you can slice. Your patience will be rewarded, because this technique makes assembly a breeze.
Storing Ice Cream Sandwiches
I can speak from experience when I say these ice cream sandwiches won’t last long, which is convenient, because you won’t want them to. In my rigorous testing (for science, of course), I found that letting the cookies soften slightly in the freezer overnight (at least 12 hours) produced a sandwich that was the best version of itself. The cookie was tender and had some give to it, but still had a bit of crunch. Eating them any sooner, of course, will give you a crunchier cookie. And after 24 hours or more, they’ll be so soft that you won’t even need your teeth to chew them (fun for all ages!). It all depends on what you’re into!
But no matter how long you keep them around, store them in an airtight container either all in a single layer, or stacked horizontally in a row like books on a shelf. That way, the weight of the cookie tower won’t force the ice cream out of the sandwich.
More Easy Frozen Treats
- Banana Nice Cream
- Rice Cake With Dulce de Leche and Dark Chocolate
- Baked Alaska
- No-Churn Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
- Peach Daiquiri Popsicles
Prepare the ice cream:
Lay a piece of parchment paper at least 18 inches long on a flat surface. Run a dull knife around the edge of the pint to loosen the ice cream, and let it slip out onto the parchment. Cut the cylinder in half, lengthwise, and lay the two halves on their sides next to each other, end to end. Wrap the parchment around the ice cream and use your hands to gently and quickly form it into a log shape, approximately the diameter of one Oreo cookie. Wrap tightly and place in the freezer until frozen solid, at least 1 hour.
Prepare the Oreos:
Working on a baking sheet that can fit in the freezer, twist the oreo cookie open and scrape the filling away with a dull knife. Discard filling, or share with a nearby child who is desperate for sugar. Repeat with remaining Oreos and arrange 16 cookie halves scraped side up in preparation for ice cream. Set aside.
Slice the ice cream:
Once the ice cream log is solid, remove from the freezer and cut into approximately 16 slices, each approximately 1/2 inch thick, using a thin, sharp knife.
Working quickly, place one ice cream disc on every upturned cookie, and top with the cookie’s other half. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to allow the ice cream to solidify before storing in an airtight container.
Time eating the ice cream sandwiches based on your preference. For a tender cookie that still has some crunch, wait about 12 hours before eating. After 24 hours or more, the cookies will be very soft, more like the wafers of purchased ice cream sandwiches. The ice cream sandwiches are best consumed within 1 week.
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