The perfect indulgent summer dessert, these Brown Sugar Toffee and Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches are a great way to treat yourself, family, and friends. Allow at least a day before serving to get the ice cream made.
True Confession: I made and shot these ice cream sandwiches a long time ago. As in, that goodness has been eaten and gone for at least a month. And I keep forgetting to share the recipe, even though it is a thing of beauty, and therefore also joy forever.
You know the Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread cookies from Alison Roman's book Dining In? They're the ones that have been taking the world (aka Instagram) by storm and making all the sweet tooths (teeth?) of the world got together with the angels and rejoiced.
But that ain't all! We go next level with a brown sugar ice cream studded with toffee pieces. Glory, glory hallelujah.
I actually tried this ice cream several times, because ice cream is a science (one of the finest) and playing with a key ingredient like sugar can mess with the results like you wouldn't believe. When I used all brown sugar, it was a gooey mess, never freezing hard enough to do more than get to soft serve. But I wanted the darker caramel flavors of brown sugar to compliment the toffee, and so I found a compromise. A balance, if you will. Half white & half brown sugar is the yin yang of ice cream here, and it will have great flavor along with a more scoopable texture.
Plan ahead at least a day or two before you want to eat or serve these-- home made ice cream is a labor of time and love, and while most that time is spend in the fridge or freezer just chilling (literally), this is not the type of dessert that you whip up when the company announces that they're five minutes out. So give yourself time, and enjoy the process.
Then reward your patience and sandwich the ice cream with the cookies, and well, you should hear the angels and sweet teeth (tooths?) then.
Brown Sugar Toffee Ice Cream Sandwiches with Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
Ice Cream Recipe by Rebecca Neidhart || Cookie by Alison Roman
Makes 5-6 Large Ice Cream Sandwiches
Hands on: 1 hour || Churn/Baking: 1 hour || Resting: 48 hours
For the Ice Cream:
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 batch of toffee pieces (recipe below)
For the Toffee
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
For the Shortbread Cookies:
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cold salted butter, cut into 1/2" chunks
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 oz. dark chocolate bar, cut into large chunks
- 1 egg, beaten
- Turbinado sugar for edges
For the Toffee: Set out a metal baking sheet. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and water. Heat on medium, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly as the butter and sugar melt and begin to bubble. Continue cooking and stirring for about 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture has reached 300 degrees on a candy or instant read thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer, it is ready when the mixture is the color of a raw almond skin.
When it has finished cooking, pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out with the back of the wooden spoon. While it's still hot, sprinkle the chocolate over the top, allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Spread the melted chocolate out with a clean spoon and put in the refrigerator to let it harden. When it has finished setting, break it into small pieces (abut 1/4" to 1/2") and store in an air tight container until ready to make the ice cream.
For the Ice Cream: Combine one cup of the whipping cream, the whole milk, and salt in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. While the milk and cream heat, beat together the egg yolks and both kinds of sugar in a small mixing bowl until they are completely combined. Once the milk & cream are heated, slowly pour half of it into the eggs & sugar, beating as you pour. Add the whole mix back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat while stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened and coats a spoon without running off the edge. Pour the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, lay a piece of cling wrap over the custard (this prevents a film from forming on the top), and refrigerate until very cold, at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours.
Prepare your ice cream maker according to the directions, adding in the custard and extra cup of whipping cream at the same time. During the last 2 minutes of churning, sprinkle in about 2/3 of the toffee bits. Use a rubber spatula to remove all of the ice cream to a container that is freezer safe and freeze for at least 24 hours.
For the cookies: Combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer, but it may take longer to achieve the fluffy texture.
Scrape the sides of the bowl, and with the mixer on low speed, add in the flour slowly, followed by the chocolate chunks, and beat just until blended. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a single log about 3" across. Wrap in the plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat liners. Beat the egg in a small bowl and roll the outside of the logs with it, then roll in the turninado sugar. Slice the log into 1/2" thick rounds and lay out on the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between the cookies.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to look brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack with a metal spatula.
To assemble the sandwiches: Just before servings, scoop the ice cream into round balls, and place a scoop on the bottom of half of the cookies. Put the other cookies on top of the ice cream and press gently to flatten the ice cream until it reaches the edges of the cookies. Roll the edge of the sandwiches in the reserved toffee bits and serve immediately.