“Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, folks dressed up like Eskimos…” Does that help make you feel cool by thinking cool?
I heard somewhere that “The Christmas Song” (also known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written in the heat of summer in an effort to “think cool.” Everyone hears things somewhere; I file these tidbits away and the random thoughts pop up (no, not quite à la Cliff Clavin in the old Cheers sitcom). This one came to mind while working on the winter/holiday issue of Real Food magazine—in the heat of summer. Maybe that will help me stay cool by thinking cool, too. And sure enough, a quick look at Wikipedia concurred my tidbit—musician, composer, and vocalist Mel Tormé and Bob Wells wrote it during a blistering hot summer to “stay cool by thinking cool,” then the definitive recording was sung by Nat King Cole.
In this effort to stay cool, ice cream is always welcome, too—and if it’s sandwiched between gingersnap cookies, which add a taste of the holidays, even better for the mind-over-matter. You’ll need to turn on the oven to bake the cookies, but just crank up the air conditioning—or think those cool thoughts, reveling in the anticipation of cold chocolate ice cream sandwiched between spicy chocolate-dipped ginger cookies.
Happy holidays to you! Feeling cool yet?
(This recipe from Real Food magazine is by Elinor Klivans, author of many cookbooks, including Big Fat Cookies and Fearless Baking: Over 100 Desserts That Anyone Can Make.)
Gingersnap Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ginger and chocolate is a popular combination that pairs up for this chocolate-dipped cookie and ice cream sandwich. Be sure to let the cookies cool completely before filling them with ice cream.
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¹⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. molasses
¼ c. granulated sugar
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
2 pints chocolate ice cream, softened until spreadable, but not melted
Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Add egg and molasses and mix until blended. On low speed, add flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Put granulated sugar on a large piece of parchment paper. Roll a rounded tablespoon of dough between your palms into a 1¼-inch ball. Roll ball in sugar. Repeat to form 12 cookies. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies until tops feel firm and have several cracks, about 14 minutes.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Put chocolate and oil in a heatproof container or top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, barely simmering water in a saucepan. Stir mixture over hot water until chocolate and oil are melted and smooth. Remove container from over water and set aside to cool slightly.
Use a sweeping motion to coat half of the top of each cookie with chocolate and place it on the wire rack to let the chocolate harden.
Working quickly, use a small metal spatula to spread flat bottom of a cookie with about ½ cup of ice cream. Smooth edges of ice cream. Top ice cream with another cookie, flat side facing ice cream, pressing cookie gently onto ice cream. Wrap ice cream sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Continue filling and freezing remaining cookies. Freeze for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
Nutrition info (per serving): Gingersnap Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches: CALORIES 686 (306 from fat); FAT 34g (sat. 19g); CHOL 98mg; SODIUM 406mg; CARB 95g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 8g