At room temperature, these cookies may seem weirdly soft and cakey, but once frozen they transform into the crunchy but tender basis for a classic twist on the ice cream sandwich. Whether filled with creamy fior di latte gelato, your favorite store-bought ice cream, or perfectly cut wheels of no-churn ice cream, it's a frozen treat that can be customized to your heart's desire.
Why It Works
- Brown sugar keeps the cookies soft and flavorful at frozen temperatures.
- Malted milk powder helps the cookies taste more flavorful when frozen.
- Nutmeg amplifies the aroma of butter.
- Milk lets the cookies spread, so they're not too thick, with a texture that's crunchy (not hard) when frozen.
- Yield:About 10 ice cream sandwiches
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:about 1 hour
- For the Cookies
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened to about 65°F/18°C (about 8 tablespoons; 115g)
- 4 1/2 ounces light brown sugar (about 1/2 cup, firmly packed; 125g)
- 1/2 ounce malted milk powder, such as Carnation or Hoosier Hill Farms (about 2 tablespoons; 14g)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch nutmeg
- 6 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal (about 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon; 185g)
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (about 1 tablespoon; 15g)
- 4 ounces milk, any percentage will do (about 1/2 cup; 115g)
- 2 ounces bittersweet mini chocolate chips, (about 1/4 cup; 55g), plus more for garnishing
- For the Filling:
- 1 recipe Homemade Klondike Bar Filling, prepared and frozen as directed
- Or 1 recipe Fior di Latte Gelato (eggless)
- Or about 1 quart of commercial vanilla ice cream
- Additional mini chips, as needed
Make the Dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Combine butter, brown sugar, malted milk powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. 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 flour all at once, followed by the vanilla, then drizzle in the milk to form a soft dough. Scrape the bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue mixing for a few seconds more. Off the mixer, fold the dough a few times from the bottom up to ensure there are no streaks of unmixed dough, then stir in the mini chips.
Portion the Dough: With a cookie scoop, divide dough into 2-tablespoon portions, and arrange on a parchment-lined half sheet pan, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie to account for spread. With moistened fingers, gently press each portion into a flat disc, about 1/2 inch thick, and sprinkle a few extra mini chips on top. Bake until the cookies are puffed and lightly golden all over, but still a little soft, about 18 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze until needed.
Form the Sandwiches: Pour reserved mini chips into a small dish. If using the Klondike-style, no-churn filling, cut into rounds with a cookie cutter approximately 1/4 inch smaller than the chocolate chip cookies. If using fior di latte gelato, scoop into approximately 1/4-cup portions. Sandwich the portioned ice cream between two frozen cookies, then roll the exposed edges in mini chips to coat. Freeze in an airtight container at least 1 hour. Serve, or wrap each in plastic and return to the airtight container to freeze up to 1 month.