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I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

A Knock-Out Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream Sandwich


Fresh off the press, Jennie Schacht’s latest book, I Scream Sandwich is out in time for summer. Here’s what she says about the following recipe:

The It’s-It company began selling scoops of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, all cloaked in chocolate, at San Francisco’s Playland at the Beach in 1928. By the time I moved to the area in 1978, the It’s-It was a well-established local phenomenon. I’ve filled my version of the novelty with a not-overly-sweet vanilla frozen custard.


A Knock-Out Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream Sandwich



Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard

4 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup (79 g) granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons golden syrup, inverted sugar syrup, or light agave nectar

1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups heavy cream

1 Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise

1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup (100 g) white whole wheat, whole wheat, or gluten-free oat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup packed (134 g) light brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 cups (180 g) rolled oats

1/2 cup (80 g) raisins (optional)

Chocolate Shell

1 pound (454 g) extra bittersweet (64 to 72 percent) chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil or coconut oil


Vanilla Bean Frozen Custard

Whisk the yolks with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a medium bowl until smooth and slightly thickened. Set aside.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the milk with the syrup, tapioca, salt, and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Stir in the cream and the remaining 1 cup milk. Use a paring knife to scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean; toss in the pod. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until it begins to steam and slightly bubble at the edges.

Ladle 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks in a stream as you whisk the mixture to prevent the yolks from scrambling. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan and cook at a slow simmer, stirring constantly with a spatula, until the mixture thickens enough to thickly coat a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a metal bowl. (Rinse and save the pod for another use, or discard.) Stir in the vanilla extract.

Set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is cool, taking care not to slosh water into the bowl. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours. Transfer the bowl to the freezer for the last half hour before spinning it.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturerʼs directions. When it is ready, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Put the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or a handheld electric mixer to mix until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture just until everything is well combined, then stir in the oats and raisins, if using.

Spoon or scoop the batter in tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them evenly, to make 24 cookies. Press the cookies with lightly dampened fingers to flatten them slightly—they will spread further as they bake.

Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them directly to a wire rack to cool completely, sliding a spatula under them if they do not release easily.

Chocolate Shell

A bit of oil keeps the chocolate smooth for dipping, then magically helps it to harden to a brittle coating in only a few minutes in the freezer.

After the sandwiches are filled and firmly frozen, melt the chocolate with the oil in a double boiler or bowl placed over, but not touching, about 1 inch of simmering water in a saucepan until the chocolate is just barely warm and still smooth and fluid.

Alternatively, melt the chocolate with the oil in the microwave until you can stir it smooth. You do not need to get the chocolate very hot—just warm enough to melt when you stir it.

Did you make this recipe?

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Pair the completely cooled cookies with like-size mates. Slightly soften the ice
cream. Sandwich a scoop of ice cream between each set of cookie bottoms.
Press gently to squeeze the ice cream slightly beyond the edges and use a small
offset spatula to smooth the ice cream flush with the cookies. Freeze until very
firm, at least 2 hours.

Have a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer and the melted chocolate
close at hand. (If it becomes too firm to dip, gently warm the chocolate until fluid.)
Dip the sandwiches into the Chocolate Shell to coat them halfway, using a small
offset spatula as an aid to paint on the chocolate and scrape off any excess.

Transfer the sandwiches to the baking sheet in the freezer as you finish them.
Freeze until the chocolate sets, about 15 minutes, before individually
wrapping the sandwiches or layering them between sheets of parchment or
waxed paper in an airtight container.

Note:  I half-dip the sandwiches for a pretty finish. If you wish to fully dip them,
double the Chocolate Shell recipe.

Makes 12 Ice Cream Sandwiches

TAKE IT EASY: Use store-bought oatmeal cookies and vanilla ice cream.

DRESS IT UP: Immediately after dipping each sandwich, dunk the still soft
chocolate into a bowl of chopped toasted nuts.

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Patricia Rain
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