Photo by Kenji Toma
The secret to an ice cream sandwich? A soft cookie. Harder cookies will smush the soft ice cream out of the oh-so-perfect sandwich when you bite into it, causing pain and anguish as that delicious ice cream falls to the ground--or, worse, into your lap.
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But we take it a step farther, dipping half of our cookie into a tempered chocolate sauce, then letting it harden in the freezer to hold in all that creamy goodness. Let's call it a deliciously practical way to save your pants from being ruined by ice cream (or, let's be real, your ice cream being ruined by pants).
Chocolate Chip and Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 16.5-ounce log refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough or two 16-ounce tubs pre-portioned chocolate chip cookie dough rounds
2 pints premium banana ice cream, slightly softened
2 ripe bananas, cut into very thin slices
1 11.5-ounce package bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups loose granola or English toffee bits (optional)
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Preheat oven to 350°F. If using dough log, cut into 20 equal-size rounds. Arrange sliced dough rounds (or 20 pre-portioned rounds) on 2 baking sheets, spacing evenly. Using fingertips, press each into 2 1/2-inch round. Bake cookies until golden, about 11 minutes for sliced rounds and 15 minutes for pre-portioned dough. Transfer to rack; cool.
Line baking sheet with foil; place in freezer. Place 1 cookie, flat side up, on work surface. Top with 1/3 cup ice cream; spread almost to edge. Top with single layer of bananas. Sandwich with another cookie; press gently to compact. Place on baking sheet in freezer. Repeat with remaining cookies, ice cream, and bananas. Freeze 2 hours. Using knife, smooth sides of ice cream sandwiches. Freeze 1 hour.
Place chocolate chips and oil in small glass bowl; microwave on medium-high until chocolate is melted, stopping occasionally to stir, about 1 1/2 minutes. Let stand just until cool, about 10 minutes.
Place granola or toffee (if using) on plate. Dip 1 ice cream sandwich halfway into melted chocolate; lift and quickly shake excess chocolate back into bowl. If desired, roll dipped edge in granola or toffee; return to baking sheet in freezer. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, chocolate, and granola or toffee. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Wrap each sandwich in foil; keep frozen.