Want to be the hero of your next BBQ? Make these brownie ice cream sandwiches, wrap up tight and store in freezer, after dinner surprise friends/family/guests with their own little present of summertime sweetness and prepare to be hailed as the champion of all summer gatherings. I’m not kidding, people go crazy for these and it’s not just because they are delicious. There’s something about an ice cream sandwich that triggers memories of summer vacation running around barefoot as a kid without a care in the world but sticky fingers after getting a visit from the ice cream truck. These will bring you back to that moment with your very first bite. Don’t feel like baking from scratch? No problem! Pick up your favorite cookies or brownies from the store and assemble, wrap and store as directed below. Nobody will ever know the difference. Now go plan your next get together so you have an excuse to make these puppies!
For the Brownies
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan (or non-stick spray for pan)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour (I used gluten free and it was still delish!)
For the Filling
2 to 3 cups ice cream (I used about 2 and it was perfect)
Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans or one 9×13 with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.
Divide batter between two prepared pans (or one 9×13 pan) and spread it evenly — an offset spatula will make this easier. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out batter-free. Transfer directly to freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves) and chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you used one pan, remove from freezer and cut brownie in half, working quickly, cover one side of cut brownie with ice cream. I did this in a patchwork of each flavor. If using two pans add ice cream to one side and then add other brownie as the ‘top’. Carefully press the top firmly down and wrap tightly in parchment from baking pan. Return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes. Transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting bard. Cut into squares — and either store in an airtight container or bag in the freezer as-is, or individually wrap in waxed paper and foil. They should keep for at least two months in the freezer.