These cookies are big and chewy with an aromatic blend of spices. The gingery bite of the cookies is a delicious contrast to the caramel sweetness of the ice cream. These are a great do-ahead dessert choice (my favorite kind) for a warm-weather family gathering. Children and adults will love them with equal zest.
Feel free to substitute vanilla ice cream for the dulce de leche flavor here; just make sure to purchase the best brand of ice cream possible to go with your cookies.–Jill O’Connor
Gingersnap Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Makes 18 ice cream sandwiches
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In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set at medium speed, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and eggs and beat until blended; the mixture may appear curdled at this point.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, white pepper, baking soda, and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they form a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into thirty-six 1/4-cup portions and roll into balls. Place the Demerara sugar in a large shallow plate. Roll the dough balls liberally in the Demerara sugar and place 2 inches apart (about 9 cookies per sheet) on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are flattened and crackled and smell very spicy and fragrant, 11 to 14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with clean parchment paper to bake the remaining cookies.
Place a large scoop of ice cream on the bottom of one cookie, spreading the ice cream slightly to cover. Top with another cookie, pressing the bottom of the cookie onto the ice cream. Give the sandwich a gentle squeeze to compress the ice cream and cookies together.
Serve immediately, or wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap or waxed paper and store in the freezer until you are ready to serve. These ice cream sandwiches can be made up to 1 day in advance of serving. Right before serving, roll the edges of the ice cream sandwich in Demerara sugar, if desired.
Gingersnap Ice-Cream Sandwiches Recipe © 2007 Jill O'Connor. Photo © 2007 Leigh Beisch. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.