It is the day before Valentine’s Day. February 13th, in case you did not know. It has just dawned on you that you have not given tomorrow’s holiday a lick of thought. You have not stepped foot in a mall or a flower shop or a bakery. You have nothing, not even a card. Slowly the realization that someone is depending on you to show them how much you care is creeping up on you. You kept putting it off, telling yourself “eh I still have time. I have days left to think about it. I will deal with it later.” Well guess what, later has arrived. There is no more time left. Tomorrow is the big day, and unless you want to really cut it close and find yourself wandering the crowded shops—rubbing elbows with all the other soon-to-be-sleeping-on-the-couch spouses—you better think of something fast. You begin to panic, sweat beading down your forehead, heart pounding. You quickly go online to find what florist delivers on such short notice, crossing your fingers that you might be able to pull a miracle out of where the sun don’t shine. The panic rises as you are only met with sky rocket prices, and without a guarantee that the delivery will even get there on time. You stare at the screen absentmindedly, mouth slightly agape, and all you can see spelled out on the monitor is the impeding DOOM. You begin to cry a little. What else is there left for you to do?
I hope you like the dog house, because that is where you are headed. You have a one way ticket to Fido’s house without a return in sight unless you can turn things around, which is highly unlikely at this point. Let’s be real. That is what you get for waiting until the last minute. You cannot say I did not warn you. After all if I do recall, I did tell you to make ice cream did I not? That surely would have smoothed things over. Well, you did not listen to me did you? And now you are facing the prospect of a hurt loved one and there is nothing you can do about it. But you are wrong. There is something you can do. Thankfully I am here. The first thing you need to do is snap out of it! Let’s try and salvage the car wreck you are driving into. Okay, so you did not buy anything. Big deal. Any ol’ Joe can purchase something from the store. Who cares that you did not buy flowers? Those die within a week, and what do you have to show for it after? Nothing but dead flowers that are now garbage. Eh, you do not need roses or expensive gifts. Last resort, chocolates. You have been to every bakery and store, and all that the vultures have left behind are a few boxes of prepackaged, cheap looking heart-shaped boxes. Who knows what lies inside? Do you want to take that chance, and risk them finding out that you picked up that pitiful box up at the corner liquor store on your way to the house?
The way I see it, you have only one option left. The one you should have taken from the beginning. Get your butt to the grocery store and pick up a few ingredients. Make your amour a special treat. Do not mention your lack of investment this year, we will keep that between you and I. Make it seem like you had this planned out from the beginning. That you put all this effort into making them something they could truly enjoy. A sweet dessert that means so much more because you made it from scratch and with all the love in your heart. Just stand back and wait for the swooning, the tears, the hugs and kisses. You can thank me later. So what do I have for you? Ice cream sandwiches, because chocolate and strawberry are Valentine’s Day star ingredients and nothing says I Love You more than ice cream between two cookies.
And if you cannot even do that and all else fails, dishevel your hair, lose a shoe, rip your clothes and rub your face with dirt. Tell them that you were at the office/house/car and a squirrel/raccoon/dog came in through the window, and went straight for their gift. You tried to tackle them down to the ground. At one point you were wrestling with the squirrel/raccoon/dog, both of you holding on for dear life to the gift with a death grip. The two of you growling and biting. You tried reasoning and pleading to let the gift go. Say that you offered the squirrel/raccoon/dog some money/food/shelter in exchange for the gift because you had a caring and beautiful loved one at home that you needed to give this to. Eventually the squirrel/raccoon/dog won by punching you in the face, and then ran off with their gift. Start crying and say that it was a great present too, and that you put so much thought and effort into picking out the diamond necklace/keys to a brand new car/deed to a bigger house. For shame. Woe to me. Finally, top it off with a sympathy “I’m just glad I made it out alive. I need a hug and a kiss after everything I just went through. Hold me.”
Let’s start by making the chocolate cookies. Valentine’s Day would not be complete without some sort of chocolate. Stuff a heaping amount of ice cream in between, not one but two, chocolate cookies and you are golden. Sounds like the best dessert to me.
As with all good things in life, we need butter.
Softened butter, which is just butter left at room temperature, placed in the bowl of an electric mixer. Side note, every time I have to type butter I write out better and then realize I added an “e” instead of a “u” so I have to go back and fix it. Even my subconscious knows that everything is better with butter. I’ve trained my subconscious to think food thoughts as well. It’s a nifty talent, you should try it.
Turn on the mixer and start creaming the butter.
As it is running on low, slowly stream in the granulated sugar.
Raise the speed to medium-high and whip together for a few minutes.
You want to beat it until the two are light and fluffy.
And somewhere in between that process you can add the vanilla extract.
You can add it now. Right this second. Hurry! Your vanilla window of opportunity is going to pass. Don’t miss it.
And once you’ve added the vanilla, you can continue to mix for a few minutes.
Remember, we’re looking for light and fluffy.
As those ingredients are dancing around in the mixer, this would be a great time to mix the dry ingredients.
In a large bowl, add the flour.
To the flour, add the cocoa powder (I’m using regular ol’ unsweetened cocoa powder) and baking powder and salt and a tad of espresso powder.
**Note: I am a strong believer that coffee has magical powers. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t really address the “coffee wakens you up” or “coffee helps you get through the day” rumors. The magical powers I’m referring to is the baking with coffee powers. Coffee and chocolate go so well together. If you want to make a dessert more chocolatey, and let’s be real who doesn’t, then add a bit of coffee liqueur or instant espresso powder. You’ll be amazed how much the chocolate flavor is transformed. Now I’m not saying to add a whole bunch of coffee that you can taste it in the dessert and have people say “ooooh I don’t like coffee so I don’t like this dessert.” No, I’m saying add a teaspoon and call it a day.”
Okay those are all the dry ingredients.
You can whisk them all together. Of course any book will tell you to sift all the ingredients together.
These aren’t delicate cookies that need airy dry ingredients. I don’t have the patience to sift, so I always just whisk my dry ingredients. I’m sure I’m angering someone out there, but I can’t help it. I’m just plain lazy when it comes to sifting.
You can be a goodie-two-shoes if you’d like and sift away. I’ll just stand back and watch and laugh a little.
Set that bowl off the the side and forget about it for a bit.
Right now, let’s turn our attention back to the creaming butter and sugar and vanilla.
It’s time to add the eggs.
Add them one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer with a spatula to make sure everything is getting incorporated.
After all the eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth, add the milk.
Whatever kind of milk you have on hand will do. It doesn’t have to be whole milk.
Mix the milk in, and then add the dry ingredients.
Can you guess what the next step is? That’s right, mix in the dry ingredients. Look at you, you’re reading my mind.
Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and the dough comes together.
It will be very sticky.
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap.
Wrap each half of dough tightly with the plastic wrap and shape it into a disc.
Place the dough in the fridge and allow to chill for at least one hour. You can leave it over night at this point if you needed to run off and do chores and errands. Or you can just leave them in the refrigerator for an hour because you are like me and are impatient and all you really want is for time to go by faster for that one hour so you can make cookies and eat them by the handful!
Here in the internet world the hour flew by. I swear, I don’t know where it went. It’s like I just blinked and poof the dough is chilled.
Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Get out a rolling pin and a heart-shaped cookie cutter. You know, because of Valentine’s Day and all.
If you’re anti-Valentine’s Day this year, don’t worry you’re not alone,
you can just beat the crap out of the heart-shaped cookie cutter and break it into small pieces you can just use a circle cutter or a squared one.
Working with one half of dough at a time, roll it out to about ⅛ of an inch thick.
**Tip: When rolling out dough it is crucial to frequently rotate the dough itself so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the work surface. If it starts to stick, slightly lift the dough and sprinkle with more flour. Also, keep your rolling pin well-floured because that will stick too.**
Once the dough is nice and flat and even and ⅛ of an inch thick—now don’t bust out the ruler and start measuring out an ⅛ of an inch just eyeball it—you can start cutting out hearts. Or circles or squares if you don’t like hearts for whatever reason. You don’t have to share why you don’t like hearts. No one needs to know.
Did you notice my ultra, super-duper, mighty, fancy heart cookie cutter? Oh you know, I just roll with the highest quality of plastic in my kitchen. It even has a fluted edge, I mean come on, try not to be jealous.
Place the cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. These cookies don’t spread out much so you can snuggle them up on the sheet and fit more onto it so that they bake faster which in turn means you can eat them faster.
I didn’t know what image of pre-baked cookies to add so I’ll just added both.
Really it’s just an excuse to stare at unbaked cookie dough for longer.
Also, while we’re on the subject of unbaked cookies, make sure that you count out the cookies and have an even number so that each sandwich has a top cookie and a bottom cookie. Although I guess you can have an odd number so that you can eat one before you make the ice cream sandwiches.
Okay so you know those rectangular ice cream sandwiches that we used to get at the ice cream truck? The Carnation ones? Maybe it was just me, but anyhow, said ice cream sandwiches always have those holes throughout the cookie. Do you know what I’m talking about? Are you visualizing it? Are you just staring at me blank faced and nodding because you have no idea what I’m talking about but don’t want to be rude and say that I’m crazy? That’s okay. Well those ice cream sandwiches always had holes on the chocolate rectangular cookies, so I wanted to poke holes on these as well so they look like the real deal. Authentic.
I used a wooden skewer to make nice precise even holes.
I made sure the holes looked nice and even. Took my time to make the cookie look good. Then I got super tired after just one. I glanced over at the other three trays and almost fainted because the thought of me using the single skewer to make ALL those holes on ALL those cookies caused me pain. I felt like a sweat shop worker.
So I ditched the skewer and used a fork. At that point I didn’t care about whether the holes were even or not. I just started jabbing the fork all over the cookies and wherever the holes were made, they were made. My OCD almost killed me though because the holes weren’t precise.
Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12 minutes.
Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through baking.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pans for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool down completely.
**Note: The cookies have to be completely cooled down before we proceed to the next step. When we add the ice cream, the cookies can’t be warm because it’ll melt the ice cream.**
Please note that one cookie at the bottom row towards the middle. That’s the one I used the skewer to poke the holes. Yup, the fork was a better tool.
Okay now we are ready to start making some ice cream sandwiches.
If there are any cookies left, because let’s be honest we snacked on some as they cooled down, get them ready with your ice cream of choice.
You can use any store bought ice cream you’d like. Whatever flavor that you prefer. BUT if you recall the post is entitled “Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches” and the last post was for homemade No-Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. You do the math. I planned it all conveniently well didn’t I? You’re welcome.
This would be the time to take out the homemade ice cream, because I really recommend you make it for this recipe, and let it thaw for a bit.
I can just stare at those images all day long. Homemade ice cream, without a machine, it’s like a dream. A dream I never want to wake up from. Let’s stare at another image.
I mean, come on, What can be better than that? Excuse me while I lick the screen repeatedly.
What were we talking about? Oh yea, ice cream sandwiches. That’s right.
We are going to utilize the flat underside of the cookie so get two and flip them over.
I used a medium-ish sized ice cream scoop and placed a scoop of ice cream on one of the cookies. Then you grab the other cookie and sandwich them together.
Since the cookies are heart-shaped, when you go to sandwich them together, the ice cream will ooze out and it might be a little difficult to smooth it out. I used a butter knife and just smoothed out the sides, it worked.
Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and stick the sheet in the freezer for half an hour to firm up the ice cream.
Then you can let loose and eat as many as you’d like.
I, myself, would like a giant stack please.
If you are not going to eat all the ice cream sandwiches all at once
then something is wrong with you then you can wrap each individually with plastic wrap, pop them in a freezer storage bag and leave them in there for whenever you want a delicious icy treat. They will keep in the freezer for about a week. But I know, I know, I know, that they will not last one week. Or at least they didn’t in my house. I was the guilty party that had about ten myself.
I had to force myself to give some away because I knew that if I didn’t I would’ve just eaten them all. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but let’s face it, it’s not the greatest.
These are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat for that special someone (or someones, I don’t judge) in your life.
Also if you’re like me and are a citizen of SingleTown, well then, these are the perfect treats to eat in bed while you cry and wallow in your loneliness and misery, while watching romantic movies on this evil day. They comfort you and help the day go by faster so that you can put February 14th behind you and you can move on. But I’m not bitter. I’m happy for those who will make these for someone special.
Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
If you don’t have the time to make homemade ice cream, store bought will do just fine. If you don’t like strawberry and want to make it with a different flavor, DON’T! I kid, of course you can. You can do whatever you want. Although, I do have to tempt you because chocolate and strawberry are a match made in heaven, and this is Valentine’s Day so I feel like they go so well together on this day. Also if you don’t want to make ice cream sandwiches, you can make your favorite frosting and fill these cookies with that instead.
yield: about 24 sandwiches, depending on their size
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 pints No-Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, or your favorite store bought kind
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for one minute. Slowly stream in the granulated sugar and continue to mix until it is light and fluffy, about three minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure it’s all incorporated. Stir in the milk and mix once more.
2. In a medium bowl sift or stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix on low until just incorporated and the dough comes together. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping it into a disc. Place the dough in the fridge and allow to chill for at least one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
4. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Place the dough on and roll it out to a rectangle about an ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or your desired shape) and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the second half of the dough, until all the cookies are cut. Using a fork, prick the cookies all over with holes. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pans for a few minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
5. Flip half of the cookies over so that the flat underside is facing up. Spread or scoop softened strawberry ice cream onto each cookie. Top with another cookie and sandwich them together. Place back on the baking sheet, and transfer to the freezer to firm for about half an hour. Repeat with all the cookies and ice cream. You might have cookies left over, you can eat them later on. It’s a treat for you. After 30 minutes, you can serve them right from the freezer. Or you can wrap each individually with plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer. They will keep for about a week. Enjoy!