I love cooking seasonally. Finding the freshest foods of the season and turning them into luscious desserts is one of my favorite things to do. Whether that means strawberries in the spring or pumpkins in the fall, certain flavors evoke the seasons in a truly perfect way. Many seasonal foods are based on the agriculture cycle, and cooking with the seasons allows us to capture the freshness of each crop as it ripens and comes to market. There are other seasonal flavors however, that are from ingredients available all year. It is their link with the holidays or other foods of the season that make me crave them only during certain times of year. Like cinnamon in the fall and eggnog, gingerbread and peppermint in December. Perhaps it is because cinnamon pairs so perfectly with apples and pumpkins but when the fall comes around I find myself making all kinds of cinnamon flavored treats.
These snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches are the perfect fall ice cream treat. I firmly believe that ice cream is not just for summer, and my ice cream maker gets a workout all year round. This time of year I make a lot of cinnamon ice cream, It is the perfect accompaniment to many of my favorite fall desserts. In this recipe, however, the ice cream is not the accompaniment, it is the main event. Cool creamy and slightly spicy cinnamon ice cream is paired with chewy cinnamon snickerdoodles to make the perfect ice cream sandwich for fall. The soft chewy snickerdoodles stay soft in the freezer making them perfect for making ice cream sandwiches. Since ice cream sandwiches are made ahead and stored in the freezer they are the perfect dessert to have on hand when guests stop by. I love making tiny two bite sandwiches and serving them with other assorted cookies, since there is something about having an ice cream sandwich for dessert that makes people feel like a kid again and makes them smile, but you could also make them bigger for a more substantial snack or treat. No matter how you make them, you can’t go wrong with these.
1 recipe snickerdoodles, baked and cooled (see below)*
1 recipe cinnamon ice cream (see below)
*if making two bite sandwiches use a teaspoon scoop to make the cookies instead of the tablespoon called for in the recipe and bake for a minute or two less.
Place the cookies in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze until firm, at least one hour. Remove the cookies from the freezer. Take one cookie and, using the same scoop used to make the cookies, scoop a ball of cinnamon ice cream onto the flat side of the cookie. Top with a second cookie, flat side down, and press slightly to spread the ice cream out. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Once they are all made place all the ice cream sandwiches in a an airtight bag or container and keep frozen until ready to serve.
The ice cream sandwiches are at their best if eaten within a week but they will last up to two weeks.
1/2 cup (4 oz) salted margarine, softened
1/2 cup (4 oz) shortening (I use Spectrum Organic)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups (13.5 oz) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt (increase to 1/4 tsp if using unsalted margarine)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Using an electric mixer cream together the margarine, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon listed last. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (this makes it easier to handle). While the dough chills, stir the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon together in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Form dough into balls the size of small walnuts (I use a tablespoon cookie scoop). Roll the dough balls in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet in the oven at the halfway point. They are done when they look puffed in the middle and slightly brown at the edges (the tops of the cookies will form cracks). Be careful not to overcook.
Remove cookie sheet from the oven and let cookies sit on it for another minute or so before removing to cooling rack; cookies will flatten out as they cool.
3 cups almond milk (I used Almond Breeze unsweetened original)
1 cup soy milk powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
10 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken up
6 large egg yolks
In a medium saucepan whisk together 2 cups of almond milk, soy milk powder, oil, sugar and salt. Add the cinnamon and heat the mixture until warm. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover it, and let it steep for 1 hour.
Reheat the mixture until warm and whisk it to recombine the oil that will have floated to the top. Strain out the cinnamon by pouring the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Return the mixture to the pan and place the egg yolks in the bowl, whisking to combine. Place the remaining cup of almond milk in another medium bowl and set the strainer on top.
Slowly stream the warm mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Scrape the warmed yolk mixture back into the pan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with the spatula while stirring. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the remaining almond milk. Place the bowl over an ice bath and stir until cool.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator and then freeze in a ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.
Note: The ice cream will get harder as it sits in the freezer so it has been in the freezer a while let it sit out for 10-15 minutes to soften it before serving in order to get the best texture.