Biting into an ice cream sandwich is a quick ticket to childhood memories for me. Lazy warm summer days, riding bike all the day long with my sisters and friends, finding cool relief from a sprinkler’s swaying arch…and enjoying a cold treat from the giant chest freezer that Mom kept stocked so well. Ice cream sandwiches were one of my very favorites.
These Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwiches are a fun take on an old classic, with a twist of red velvet cake. Creamy cheesecake ice cream is sandwiched between crisp red velvet shortbread cookies, all in the shape of a star. Just the ticket for staying cool and celebrating the fourth of July!
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1/2 c. half-and-half
- 2/3 c. sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 4 T. cocoa powder
- 2 T. (1 oz.) red food coloring
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- red sugar, to sprinkle on top
Cut cream cheese into small pieces and place into a blender or food processor. Add the lemon zest, sour cream, half-and-half, sugar, and salt. Puree until very smooth. No chunks!
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for 1 hour, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Line a 9'' square pan with parchment paper and then spread the ice cream into the prepared pan, smoothing it out as much as possible. Freeze ice cream in the pan until it is completely frozen. This will take at least 2 hours.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until the mixture is a bit fluffy. Add in the salt and flour and mix until just incorporated. Then add the cocoa powder and mix again. Carefully add the food coloring and vanilla, stirring until red coloring is evenly distributed. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and pat each into a 4" round disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Remove one dough disc from the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4'' thick. If the dough is sticky, just pick it up and pat into a round, flour your surface again, and roll out the dough again. I found that this second rolling did the trick every time. With a small star shaped cookie cutter (mine measured 2-1/4'' across), cut out star shapes and place them on your parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with red sugar. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, taking care to not let the cookies brown. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet a couple minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut the ice cream around the edge of the pan and then gently remove the frozen slab of ice cream using the parchment paper overhang. Dip the same star cookie cutter you used for the ice cream into a shallow bowl of hot water and start cutting out ice cream stars, dipping the cutter into the hot water in between each cut.
Turn a star cookie upside down and place an ice cream star on top of the cookie. Top with another star cookie (right side up) and gently press together to make a sandwich. Repeat until all ice cream stars are used. You will have more star cookies than you need. Immediately place the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer to freeze thoroughly. Keep frozen until ready to serve.
Red Velvet Shortbread Stars adapted from Raspberry Shortbread Hearts, originally from Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook's Scotch Shortbread recipe. Cheesecake Ice Cream adapted from Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, originally from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.