This recipe was written in partnership with got milk?
The holiday season is a great time for anyone with a sweet tooth. Between cookie swaps and gingerbread house–decorating, there are endless opportunities to enjoy festive treats. But while many focus on baked goods, we’d like to propose a chilly treat. Because, let’s face it, ice cream is delicious any time of year—especially in the form of ice cream sandwiches.
And these aren’t just any ice cream sandwiches. We’re talking candy-cane ice cream couched between chocolate mint cookies. It’s like a cup of frozen hot chocolate with a candy cane swizzle stick. It’s pure holiday flavor in every bite.
The candy cane ice cream is luxuriously creamy, thanks to a combination of real milk and heavy cream. It's flavored not just with peppermint extract but crushed candy canes, too. If you want an impressive homemade holiday food gift this year, candy cane ice cream is a surefire way to turn heads and earn thanks.
While we won’t pretend that these ice cream sandwiches are healthy, we do feel good knowing that we're getting a solid dose of good nutrients thanks to the dairy milk. Real milk is full of natural, high-quality protein (eight grams in just eight ounces!). It's also an excellent source of calcium for building strong bones and teeth, and has potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins D, B12, and A.
The ice cream may take center stage here, but the cookies play an important supporting role. They've been engineered to maintain a chewy texture even straight from the freezer, so that every bite is soft, crunchy, icy, creamy, and sweet. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Chocolate Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: Makes 10 ice cream sandwiches
Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus chilling time
For the Ice Cream
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream, divided
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup (56g) finely crushed candy canes
For the Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cup (160g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes for garnish (optional)
1. To make the ice cream:In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the milk, sugar, and salt, and gently warm over medium-low heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan. Put the pan back over medium-low heat and stir nearly constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, 6 to 8 minutes (if it starts to scorch or bubble too much, lower the heat). Remove from the heat.
3. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream in a large bowl, and place a fine mesh sieve on top. Pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer and stir into the cream. Stir in the peppermint extract.
4. Allow to cool slightly (you can speed this up by placing the bowl over an ice bath). Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions (about 20 to 25 minutes total). After about 15 minutes, add the crushed candy canes and finish churning.
6. Scrape the ice cream into a 8x8x2-inch cake pan (you could also use a rimmed half-sheet pan) lined with two overhanging sheets of parchment, and spread it flat with an offset spatula. Put the pan on a small cutting board and freeze both overnight.
7. To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
8. Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low to moisten, then increase to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pause to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula, then resume beating on medium low. Add the egg, salt, and peppermint extract, and mix until fully combined, another minute or so.
9. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar in thirds, mixing on low until fully incorporated before adding more.
10. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough and put it on one of the prepared cookie sheets (a cookie scoop is great for this). Repeat with remaining dough. Gently press each cookie with your hand or the bottom of a glass to flatten slightly (some wax or parchment paper between the cup and cookie will help prevent sticking). Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until the cookies have expanded and are slightly firm; they will continue to harden as they cool, and you want them on the softer side for your ice cream sandwiches.
11. Remove from the oven (gently press crushed candy cane onto the tops of the cookies if you like) and allow to cool for at least an hour or overnight; refrigerate them or stick them in the freezer to speed up this process.
12. To assemble the ice cream sandwiches: Remove the cake pan of ice cream and cutting board from the freezer, and use the parchment flaps to tug out the brick of ice cream. Cover the exposed surface with a sheet of parchment, and flip the whole thing over to peel the parchment off the bottom.
13. Use a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter that is the approximate size of your cookies to punch out circles of ice cream. Place each ice cream disk in between two cookies. If you wish, you can roll the side in crushed candy canes for a festive look.
14. Freeze in an airtight container at least 1 hour.
15. Serve with a glass of real milk!