In elementary school, on special occasions, we used to get ice cream after lunch in the cafeteria. We had a choice of three desserts: a Hoodsie, a Nutty Buddy, or—my favorite—an ice cream sandwich. What could be better than rich, velvety ice cream squished between two pliant pieces of chocolate cookie? Years later, I still love ice cream sandwiches above all other frozen treats. That's why I was excited to try out Stonewall Kitchen's Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie Mix.
I picked up the mix ($6.95) at Sur La Table, where it was conveniently displayed next to a stack of Wilton Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie Pans ($12.95). The instructions on the box of mix implied that the pan was nice but not necessary. I could also drop the dough into mounds on a cookie sheet. I asked a saleswoman, who told me that the mix was "really crumbly" and some kind of mold was definitely needed. I splurged for the pan, but after preparing the mix, I'm positive a jumbo-sized muffin tin would work just as well.
To prepare the dough, I beat the mix with six tablespoons of softened butter and one egg. When all the ingredients were incorporated, the dough resembled a crumb topping or crust—it looked like wet sand. I scooped up heaping tablespoons and pressed them my specialty pan, as if preparing a tart crust. The mix was so dry I was worried it wouldn't bake into solid cookies, or worse, that I would never be able to chisel them out of the pan.
Fortunately, my fears were unfounded. After seven minutes in the oven and 10 minutes of cooling, each cookie popped right out of its mold as easily as a slice of toast springing from a toaster. What I liked best about these cookies was their flavor, which was more than a little reminiscent of Oreos. I also appreciated their simplicity. These are cookies that know their place—not as the star of the show, but as a vehicle for the ice cream. What I didn't love was their texture. The cookies were shatteringly crisp, which made for a pretty messy eating experience. Either the cookie broke in several places when I bit into it, or the ice cream gushed out the sides.
In the end, I would recommend this mix if you love Oreos, or if you like your ice cream sandwiches on the crunchy side. Otherwise, you can make ice cream sandwiches that are just as delicious with any cookie mix (or homemade recipe) you chose.
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