It might officially be autumn, but I’m holding on to summer for just a little bit longer (try not to judge me too hard right now). In my defense, though, it’s only because LA hasn’t fully gotten the fall memo just yet. We’re tardy to the party. Sorry. Unfortunately, it’s still a little too warm for scarves and pumpkin spice lattes over here, no matter how much we don’t want to believe it. Lucky for us this means there’s still time for a late summer/early autumn recipe. We can handle it, I believe in us. I don’t think there’s ever a time when ice cream sandwiches aren’t the right answer, even when it’s freezing outside, and with that being said, these Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches are no exception. Homemade honey graham cookies, that taste exactly like graham crackers (except chewy), are sandwiched together with easy pumpkin ice cream. It’s like the epitome of autumn all rolled into one tasty frozen treat, that just happens to be two homemade cookies stuffed with ice cream. I’m definitely not mad about it this entire situation, and I hope you’re not either. Because the cookies are freshly baked, we’re taking a little help from the store and jazzing up ready-made vanilla ice cream. I’m sharing a quick and easy trick for semi-homemaking this recipe because it’s okay to cheat in the kitchen every once in a while. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. Deal? Deal!
Let’s start by making these cookies. Before we dive in though, let’s talk about these cookies. I’m obsessed with graham crackers and these cookies taste just like a honey graham cracker but chewy and even more delicious if that’s even possible. They’re great alone all by themselves, but they’re fantastic with ice cream shoved in the middle of two of them. Breathe.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy. Add the honey, vanilla and egg and stir until well combined. Then add the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed well together. Scoop out the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and then sprinkle with either turbinado sugar or white crystal sprinkles!
**Tip: We need these cookies to all be relatively the same size so that they’re able to sandwich together with the ice cream. To ensure this, I recommend using a small ice cream scoop!**
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, for about 5 minutes, on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
**Note: It’s important that these cookies are completely cooled before sandwiching together with ice cream. The longer the cookies sit the firmer they’ll get, making them perfect for ice cream sandwiches. If you’d like, you can bake the cookies ahead of time, a day before you plan on making the sandwiches.**
The great thing about this post is that you get two recipes for the price of one! That’s right, TWO recipes. You can take it and use the post just for these cookies, because they’re soft and delicious and you’ll love them. Or you can go all the way and make the ice cream sandwiches just as directed. If you’re smart, you’ll bake the cookies, have a few to snack on, and then make the sandwiches as well. Best of both worlds.
**Tip: I posted a photo of these cookies on Instagram yesterday and someone left a comment saying that these would be great for s’mores, and all I can say is YESSSSSS!!! Since these taste just like honey graham crackers they would be bomb dot com as s’mores. Get it.**
Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Let’s talk about the ice cream for these ice cream sandwiches. I don’t have time to make homemade ice cream, not especially when I really want ice cream sandwiches because I usually want them faster without much effort. So the way to go about this is to jazz up store-bought ice cream. Let vanilla ice cream soften for a bit and then stir in canned pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin pie spice with a sand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, until well incorporated. Transfer to the mixture to a metal loaf pan or it’s original container and freezer until firm, about 4 hours or over night.
I make the ice cream the night before that way it can freezer over night. When you’re ready to assemble the pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, lay out half of those cooled cookies upside down and then top with a scoop of this super easy pumpkin ice cream.
**Tip: If you want to eat these sandwiches even faster, feel free to use whatever store-bought ice cream flavor you love! There are so many flavors out there that will go so well with these honey graham cracker cookies! That’s the great thing about these cookies, they’re simple in flavor that the sandwiches are fully customizable.**
Sandwich together with the remaining cookies, pressing firmly so that the ice cream extends all the way out to the edge of the cookies. You might need to smooth out the sides a bit with the back of a spoon or a butter knife. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and then place in the freezer to firm up.
At this point, the ice cream sandwiches need a little more time in the freezer to firm up so that the ice cream doesn’t just melt or spill over the cookies when you go to eat it. It doesn’t have to freeze for that long, just long enough to firm up the ice cream, about 1 hour. Again, feel free to make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer until ready to eat.
You can freeze these ice cream sandwiches for up to 1 month before they start to get a little icky. The trick to keeping them fresh, longer, is to allow them to freeze for 1 hour and then wrap them each individually in plastic wrap. Then place all of the wrapped ice cream sandwiches in a large freezer storage bag. That’ll prevent them from getting frost bite.
Just in case you’re feeling inspired and would love to see more ice cream sandwich recipes, don’t forget about these Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches. Banana ice cream, homemade peanut butter cookies, sandwiched together and then dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts…how crazy is that? Trick question! It’s not crazy at all.
Don’t say goodbye to summer just yet, with these ice cream sandwiches! They’re a great treat to keep in the freezer and share with friends or family whenever they come over….or just keep them in there for you for whenever you’re in need of a cool treat. There’s nothing wrong about an end-of-the-week ice cream sandwich snack. In fact, I insist that you give them a try soon, you deserve it!
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light-brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup white crystal sprinkles
- 1 (1.5 qt) store-bought vanilla ice cream, softened
- ½ cup canned pumpkin pie filling
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the honey, vanilla extract and egg until well incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and stir until combined. Scoop out the dough evenly, using a small ice cream scoop, onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with the white crystal sprinkles and bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 5 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the ice cream, stir together the softened vanilla ice cream, pumpkin pie filling, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Transfer to a metal loaf pan or return to the original container. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours or overnight.
- To assemble the sandwiches, lay out half of the cookies upside down. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of each and then sandwich together with the other half of the cookies, pressing firmly. Return to the baking pan and freezer until set, at least 1 hour before eating. Keep them in the freezer for up to 1 month, until ready to serve. Enjoy!