Every year I make a big deal out of choosing and baking a special birthday cake. And for a good reason. Every year on December 17th we celebrate two special birthdays, so of course the cake has to be extra amazing! I don’t only do this for my birthday, though. I like baking for everyone’s birthdays! My specialty is delicious layer cakes, not decorated cake mixes or sheet cakes with too much icing. Last year, we had a maple crunch layer cake, which we made by hand and was a hit at our birthday party. This year, though, I thought just baking one cake would be a little boring. So I racked my brain until I figured out what the perfect birthday dessert would be, and settled on these ice cream sandwiches. Chocolate, ice cream, and cookies all in one! What could go wrong?
Another plus? The parts can be made in advance and stored in the freezer (except the ganache, of course), and the finished product can be, too. This way you can focus your attention on the show-stopping birthday cake and all your birthday party guests will be shocked by the two wonderful desserts you made.
I contemplated making my own marshmallows for this dessert, but realized that sometimes I’m a little too crazy. And then, Whole Foods Market was generous enough to send us a gift card to their store, and walking around the aisles I saw that they have kosher marshmallows! If I’m gonna buy junk, at least let is be a little healthier than usual. So I bought them and decided to use them for my ice cream. The ice cream turned out delicious with them, plus no one really has to know that it’s not completely homemade. Browning the marshmallows under the broiler allows for the finished product to have little black flecks in it, the perfect look for these s’mores!
S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches:
For the Ice Cream:
- 1 8-ounce bag marshmallows
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
1. Toast the marshmallows: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the marshmallows on top, making sure none overlap.
2. Broil for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.
3. In a medium sauce pan, combine the milk and heavy cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Small bubbles should form around the edges, but make sure the mixture doesn’t boil.
4. Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until they lighten in color. Add the sugar gradually and whisk until even lighter and smooth.
5. Temper the yolks: Slowly ladle one third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return everything to the pot.
6. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the custard reaches 170-175 degrees, or coats the back of a wooden spoon.
7. Pour the custard over the marshmallows into a blender (or bowl if you will use a hand blender).
8. Blend until smooth.
9. Refrigerate mixture overnight.
10. Freeze according to your ice cream maker directions.
11. Transfer to containers and freeze until firm.
For the Cookies:
I made this graham cracker recipe, but rolled out the dough so it was 1/4 inch thick and cut it into circles using a cookie cutter (or use a glass) before baking.
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat cream over medium-low heat until simmering.
3. Pour the cream over the chocolate.
4. Stir until desired consistency is reached.