Mocha Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe

In honor of the “holiday” on August 2—you know, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day—this treat turns store-bought ice cream into an even more delicious dessert.

Cookies and ice cream—one of the world’s best combinations—come together in this delightful sandwich. The cookies are crisp, dark-chocolate shortbread, the ice cream rich coffee, and melted chocolate completes the creation, notes cookbook author Elinor Klivans, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. Nearly any flavor of ice cream that goes with chocolate can be substituted for the coffee, if you prefer. (To soften ice cream for use in the recipe, simply place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.)

These sandwich cookies can even be made way ahead and ready for enjoying or entertaining whenever you are—not even on a “holiday.”

Mocha Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

112 c. all-purpose flour
12 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
12 tsp. baking soda
14 tsp.salt
1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 quart coffee ice cream, softened
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

For the cookies: Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar 1 minute, until smoothly blended. Mix in coffee and vanilla. On low, add flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate.

Form dough into a rectangular log 3 inches long and 4 inches square at ends. Wrap in plastic wrap, rotating dough while patting to form straight edges. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until firm, or wrap aluminum foil over plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If frozen, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight for easy slicing.

Using a large, sharp knife, cut log into 12 14-inch-thick slices. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until tops feel firm if lightly touched. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before using a wide, metal spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To fill cookies, either leave whole or cut them diagonally to form 2 triangles. Working quickly, use a small, metal spatula to spread smooth side of a cookie with a 34-inch-thick layer ice cream. Smooth edge and press another cookie, smooth side down, gently onto ice cream. Place completed sandwiches on a plate or baking sheet in freezer.

Place chocolate in a heatproof container or top of a double boiler and place over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until smoothly melted. Remove from over water and set aside to cool slightly.

Remove sandwiches from freezer and use a small spoon to drizzle generously with chocolate, letting drip down sandwich sides. Return to freezer to firm then individually wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 week.

Nutrition Info (Per Serving): Calories 357 (197 From Fat); Fat 22g (Sat. 14g); Chol 52mg; Sodium 131mg; Carb 39g; Fiber 3g; Protein 4g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.