Friday, August 22, 2014

Salted Chocolate Diablo Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oh man do I have a treat for you guys today.  Well, I should rephrase that.  I have a treat for my fellow choc-aholics today.  Behold these incredible little ice cream sandwiches.  Super rich, super fudgy, super dense chocolate cookies sandwiching smooth vanilla ice cream.  It's an already out of this world combination that gets even better, if you can believe that.  These chocolate cookies also have an added kick from a touch of freshly grated ginger and cayenne pepper, making these ice cream sandwiches the ultimate grown-up version of your favorite kiddie ice cream snack.  

I discovered these little ice cream sandwiches while browsing through my Instagram feed.  One thing led to another, and I found myself on The Artful Desperado's page, and these cookies caught my attention immediately.  I'm chocolate-obsessed, and these sandwiches looked too incredible for me to merely bookmark and save for later.  I saw them, and knew I needed to make them as soon as I could.   The cookies embodied all of my most favorite things:  tons of dark chocolate, sea salt, and ginger.  Adding a little vanilla ice cream to the mix and calling it a day is what sold me on the cookies though.  I absolutely love when seemingly disparate flavors and sensations come together, so I knew that these ice cream sandwiches, with their chocolate-spice and hot-cold features would be right up my alley.

These cookies are definitely among the easiest cookies I've ever made.  They require two bowls and a wooden spoon, and about ten minutes or so to mix together.  In the first bowl, flour, cocoa powder, a little baking powder, are sifted together, along with some cinnamon and cayenne pepper- the first surprise ingredient.  It seems like a lot of cayenne, but the flavor is more subtle than that of the ginger.  Dark chocolate chunks are whisked into the dry ingredients now, rather than mixing them in at the end.  I think mixing them in now makes a lot of sense because the chunks will get a nice coating of flour, which will help ensure that the chunks are evenly distributed throughout the cookie batter.  This method works well in a cookie recipe like this because the wet ingredients are very easy to mix into the dry ingredients.  The second bowl needed for this recipe contains all of the wet ingredients: some sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and ginger.  The original recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger...if you think that's a lot of ginger, don't worry I thought the same thing.  I thought that would be a little intense for my taste, so I opted to use only a tablespoon and a half, which I thought created a nicely balanced cookie.  I still wanted to really taste the chocolate in the cookie, so I was completely fine with removing a lot of the fresh ginger.  If you happen to really like the taste of ginger, then by all means add more!  

Shaping the cookies is simple as well; it's just a matter of rolling the cookies into balls and arranging them on a baking sheet.  It's a little messy, but I wasn't really complaining when I ended up with chocolate dough all over my fingers.  These cookies don't spread too much, so you need to flatten them just slightly with damp fingertips.  A sprinkling of sea salt on top finishes off the cookies, and then they're ready for the oven.  The cookies only take a short amount of time in the oven.  They're meant to be fudgy, so if they look like they might be under-baked, they're probably ready. The cookies will come out of the oven and will have little glistening pools of melted chocolate chunks peeking thorough, and resisting the urge to eat one straight from the oven will be the hardest thing you'll do all day.  Promise. 

I think it's obvious to say that I loved these ice cream sandwiches.  Actually, I wasn't sure if I wanted to even make the sandwiches after trying a cookie by itself.  I thought the cookie was so good, that it potentially needed a post on its own, so that I could focus all of my attention on it alone.  I decided to make just one ice cream sandwich, and that was enough to change my mind.  The cookie was fantastic, but the ice cream sandwich was something else.  The combination of the heat and spice from the ginger with the cool and creamy ice cream, along with the spice and salt paired with the's just an eating experience that words can't describe.  It might sound like overkill, but regardless, the flavors all work together to create a really well balanced satisfying ice cream sandwich.  You better make these sandwiches quick, before summer ends!

Salted Chocolate Diablo Ice Cream Sandwiches
barely adapted from The Artful Desperado


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping cup dark chocolate chunks
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoon (or more) freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
sea salt, for sprinkling
vanilla ice cream 


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. 

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper into a large bowl.  Stir in the chocolate chunks, and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars, oil, grated ginger, and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix the egg mixture into the cocoa mixture, and stir until just combined.  The dough may seem a little dry, but don't worry, it'll be fine.

Divide and shape the dough into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets.  Using lightly dampened fingertips, gently press down on each cookie to flatten slightly, and then sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt.  

Bake the cookies for about 11-13 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack. The cookies are meant to be fudgy, so make sure you don't overbake them!  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Once the cookies have cooled completely, you can create the ice cream sandwiches.  Simply place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the underside of a cookie and top with another cookie. Eat the ice cream sandwiches quickly before they melt. Enjoy!

Makes 22 cookies or 11 ice cream sandwiches.

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