National Ice Cream Sandwich Day: How to Make This Dessert Yourself

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Ice cream sandwiches are an iconic summer treat loved by kids and adults alike. They are easy to make at home with your favorite ice cream flavor and cookies, or you can get creative and try some unique variations. Here are some tips and recipes to help you celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day today.

Where did ice cream sandwiches come from?

No one is sure of exactly who invented ice cream sandwiches, but we know that the earliest versions of them were called “hokey pokeys” and that street vendors began selling them on the Bowery in New York City in the early 1900s.

These sandwiches consisted of plain vanilla ice cream pressed between simple sheets of paper or thin graham crackers. Later, ice cream sandwiches became popular in other countries, such as Germany, where they were made with Neapolitan ice cream and wafers. National Ice Cream Sandwich Day was first celebrated around 2005 and has been on August 2 every year since!

Classic ice cream sandwich recipe

To make a classic ice cream sandwich, start by heating your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13- by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together a cup of flour, ¾ cup of cocoa powder, and ¾ teaspoon each of baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together a stick and a half of melted unsalted butter and a cup of sugar until creamy. Add two eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth, then beat in two teaspoons of vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and beat until combined, then scrape the batter into your pan, smoothing it out with a spatula. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the brownie layer is set, then let it cool and transfer it to a cutting board. Remove a quart of your chosen ice cream from the freezer and let it stand for a few minutes to soften slightly. Cut the brownie layer in half crosswise so that you have 2 pieces that are about 9 by 13 inches each.

Using a large ice cream scoop, dollop ice cream evenly over the top of one half of the cake, then spread the ice cream into an even layer with a spatula. Place the remaining piece of cake on the ice cream, with the top facing down, to make a large sandwich cake. Immediately wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. Cut the cake into your chosen size of ice cream sandwich and serve!

Other ice cream sandwich variation ideas

There are endless possibilities for making ice cream sandwiches with different ingredients and flavors. Here are some more ideas to try out:

  • Use brownies, blondies, or sliced donuts.
  • Use waffles, pancakes, or French toast for a breakfast twist.
  • Use peanut butter cookies and chocolate ice cream for a classic combo.
  • Use lemon cookies and raspberry sorbet for a refreshing treat.