All this begs the question, who is the genius who most brilliantly crossed ice cream with the sandwich? To think that a creamy dreamy frozen delight can be held in suspension between sugary wafers, making the melting ice cream a finger food...amazing indeed! We may never know exactly who, but it was as early as 1900 in New York, that news paper records mention street vendors selling them for 1, 2 or 3 cents, depending on the thickness of the ice cream between the wafers.
Okay, enough history; time for the recipe! A thick layer of cheesecake ice cream, swirled with crushed strawberries, between graham cookies ...this, my friends, makes me weak in the knees! I try to eat healthy, honestly, really I do!
This recipe is a two part creation, obviously the ice cream, and then the cookie. The cheesecake ice cream recipe from last week is the base, although here, I have swirled in a concentrated crushed strawberry sauce when removing it from the freezing canister. The cookies are a crisp cinnamon graham like wafer, the perfect crust for your cheesecake ice cream dream!
Part 1: Graham Cracker Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands (or a food processor) rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it's like a coarse meal. Mix the honey and water together in a measuring cup and work it gently into the dry ingredients until it all comes together into a nice dough.
Flatten it into a disc, and on a floured surface, roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut circles with a round cookie cutter, pierce with a fork to prevent air pockets and keeping them flat while baking, and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for around 12-15 minutes, or until crisp but not burnt. Cool completely and store until ice cream is ready. Once completely cooled, you may want to store them in the freezer to prevent the ice cream from melting when making the sandwiches.
Part 2: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/3 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
pinch of salt
3 Tb lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup liquid sugar, like agave, Lyle's Golden Syrup, corn syrup or honey (this keeps ice crystals from forming)
*Optional: 1/2 cup graham crackers, coarse crushed and put through a strainer to remove the cracker "dust".
Place ice cream freezer container in the freezer the night before.
Then make the concentrated strawberry sauce by adding the 1/3 cup sugar to the strawberries, allow it so sit for 10 minutes. Crush the strawberries with a potato masher to extract more juice, let sit for another 10 minutes and strain out the juice. Save the strawberry pulp; we will be adding it back to the juice after it has been concentrated. This will make a fresh strawberry sauce (by keeping the strawberries raw) with robust strawberry flavor. Put the strawberry liquid into a small saucepan and bring to low boil, reducing the liquid to about 3-4 tablespoons. This will take about 10 minutes, depending on your pan and heat, and will create a very concentrated strawberry syrup that will not dilute your ice cream mix. Once reduced, add the liquid back to the raw crushed strawberry pulp and refrigerate until completely cold.This is what we will swirl into the cheesecake ice cream.
Prepare the graham cracker crumbs, if desired, and put them in the freezer. Put a glass square cake pan or loaf pan in the freezer to chill.
Make the ice cream mix by putting the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 & 1/2, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and liquid sugar into a blender and give it several spins on high to completely emulsify ingredients. Pour the mix into the prepared ice cream freezer and churn until it's like soft ice cream.
When ready, place frozen cake or loaf pan on counter, and layer cracker crumbs, ice cream and strawberry puree, swirling the puree into the ice cream. Work fast and don't worry about swirling too much, or you'll have pink ice cream (although it would still taste wonderful!). Cover with wax paper and place in freezer until firm.
To assemble the sandwiches, once your ice cream is solid enough to scoop, using a round scooper, place desired amount of ice cream on one cookie and top with another cookie...rocket science, eh? Right then and there, eat your first home made ice cream sandwich...and do a happy dance! You can't buy anything this good at any store anywhere! Take a bow...well done! Now finish making the sandwiches, wrapping the rest individually in wax paper and store in freezer.