These little ice cream sandwiches are so good.
I wasn’t too sure about them, when I started scheming them up. But I love Chinese 5-spice, and toasted sesame oil, and coconut milk, and cookies and ice cream and crystallized ginger. So why not make dessert instead of stir fry?
You are either totally into this right now, or wrinkling up your nose at me. I understand. But toasted sesame sugar cookies are tasty. Sweet-spicy ice cream with crystallized ginger flecks make them even better. And ‘try new things’ is probably on that list of resolutions you made, right? So here’s a great way to get to it!
Toasted Sesame Cookies
This cookie recipe is taken from Cooks Illustrated – I just added some toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. It’s one of my favorite sugar cookie recipes. This recipe makes 12 very large ice cream sandwich cookies – if you want them smaller, roll dough into 48 pieces. And, these cookies are very good all by their lonesome. Ice cream isn’t totally necessary.
2 1/4 cups [11 ounces] all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups [10 1/2 ounces] sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature and cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons [3/4 stick] unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow dish or pie plate.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour warm butter over the sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine [some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later]. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, vanilla and toasted sesame oil; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces [about 2 tablespoons each]. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with the sugar remaining in the shallow dish [about 2 teaspoons per tray] and the toasted sesame seeds.
Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11-13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
No-Churn Chinese 5-spice Ice Cream with Coconut Milk
You could omit the coconut milk and use heavy cream instead – whip two cups heavy cream and fold into the sweetened condensed mixture. However, the coconut milk does add a nice dimension of flavor. The crystallized ginger is optional, but is so good, and adds another layer of spiciness. If you are worried about the crystallized ginger getting too firm in the freezer, you can always stick them in the ice cream after it’s softened a bit and ready to be made into sandwiches.
1 can [14 ounces] sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice
3 [10 ounce] cans coconut milk
3/4 cup finely diced crystallized ginger [optional]
Chill a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla and Chinese 5-spice.
Using a spoon, skim the top layer of cream from 3 10-ounce cans of coconut milk [about 2 cup of cream] and place it in the chilled mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until the cream thickens and light peaks form, about two minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whipped coconut cream into the condensed milk mixture until well combined. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped coconut cream. Gently stir in the crystallized ginger. Pour into a regular sized loaf pan, and freeze until firm, 6 hours [or, covered, up to 1 week].
To assemble cookies
Let ice cream soften at room temperature until easy to scoop and form. Use about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of ice cream per sandwich.