Photo by Charles SchillerBy Epicurious.com
Ice cream by itself is delicious, but paired with cake or cookies, ice cream becomes fantastic. Perhaps it's the textural combination of chewy and crumbly with smooth and rich. Or the relatively foolproof assembly required for an ice cream cake or sandwich. Whether it's a slice of Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream on July 4th or a Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake for Christmas, an aura of decadence comes with every bite. Yes, a little time and patience-and some assembly-are required, but some things are worth the wait.
1. Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl. In a rush? Save time by using store-bought brownies instead of homemade for the crust.
2. Coconut Coffee Marbled Ice Cream Cake. Layers of coconut sorbet and coffee ice cream rest on top of an espresso-flavored chocolate cookie crust. If you prefer a lighter coffee flavor, omit the espresso powder when making the crust. Or try a flavored instant coffee.
Related: Our Favorite Ice Cream Recipes
3. Chocolate Chip and Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches. Can't find banana ice cream at your local grocery store? Make your own banana ice cream. Just be sure to use really ripe, brown bananas for a richer banana flavor.
4. Chocolate-Peppermint Ice Cream Cake. Here's an easy way to crush the peppermint candy filling: Place candy in a sealable plastic bag, then either roll over the bag with a rolling pin or use the flat end of a kitchen mallet or tenderizer to pound the candy into bits.
5. Sicilian Ice Cream Sandwiches. Brioche and ice cream may seem like an odd pairing, but on a hot summer's day, the brioche roll acts as a net and catches the melting hazelnut gelato. Substitution ideas: Pistachio Gelato will keep it Sicilian, as will Zabaglione Gelato, but really, any flavor will taste delicious.
6. Strawberry and Chocolate Baked Alaska. Making meringue can be tricky. Here's a tip: Crack and separate the eggs when they're cold, but wait for the egg whites to reach room temperature before beating.
7. Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream Cake. The red strawberry sorbet, white lemon ice cream, and blueberry sorbet in this cake showcase the flavors and hues of summer. But there's more to summer than just berries, so change it up with unusually flavored-and colored-ice cream or sorbet, such as Mango Coconut Ice Cream or White Nectarine Sorbet with White Peach Ice Cream. Making the ice cream in the colder months? Consider using ice creams and sorbets that are especially rich, like Prune Armagnac Sorbet, Spiced Fresh Orange and Honey Sorbet, Cranberry Ice Cream and Eggnog Ice Cream.
8. Gingersnap Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches. Turn up the snap in this ice cream sandwich by adding finely chopped candied ginger to the lemon ice cream.
9. Chocolate-Cherry, Pistachio, and Raspberry Ice Cream Cake. The no-bake crust for this three-layer ice cream cake is made from amaretti cookies (an Italian almond macaroon). To change up the crust but keep it in the family, try using crushed biscotti.
Related: Our Favorite Icebox Desserts
10. S'mores Coffee and Fudge Ice Cream Cake. Up the chocolate quotient by using chocolate graham crackers rather than plain ones for the crust. The recipe calls for browning the top layer of marshmallows in the broiler, but to create a roasting-over-a-fire experience, use a propane kitchen torch instead.
11. Almond Florentine and Black Raspberry Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. This ice cream sandwich plays up the classic chocolate-raspberry combination. If you're making the cookies yourself, bake them a day before assembling. For a quicker and easier version, purchase Florentine cookies at an Italian bakery. Go one step further and buy the chocolate-coated Florentines for a more intense chocolate taste.
12. Malted Milk Ice Cream Cake with Blackberry Topping. The malted milk flavor hearkens back to the days of soda shops. The cake's sweetness is balanced with slightly tart blackberries. For a topping that's even more tart, add a little acidity to the blackberries with some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
More from Epicurious:
Photo by Charles SchillerBy Epicurious.com
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an