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Oct 24, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘This is a Cookbook’

By the Book: Max and Eli Sussman’s Gingersnap Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

With this week’s column, we wrap up a month of looking at cookbooks that inspire us to gather around for great food and drink. With spring officially here, entertaining season is upon us, and in this month’s book, This Is a Cookbook, brothers Max and Eli Sussman provide great menus for whatever party you have in mind: from a Father’s Day brunch to a backyard barbecue to a night in with your significant other watching Homeland and cuddling with the dog (wait, that’s me).

While most people have one dish they make every time they’re asked to “just bring something” – the thing they can whip up with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their backs – I tend to veer toward the unexpected (sometimes to my own detriment, I admit). It depends what’s in season, where I’ll be and who will be there. The one thing that’s never served me wrong, however, is gingersnap ice-cream sandwiches. I got the idea from Sauce restaurant reviewer Michael Renner, whose affinity for these triple gingersnaps I wholeheartedly share. I’ve made these tiny little treats for barbecues, Super Bowl parties and dinner parties, and they’re always a hit.

So as I flipped through This is a Cookbook and saw the recipe for giant gingersnap ice-cream sandwiches, I knew it was time to make my go-to dessert from scratch. The recipe is easy enough – a simple mixture of melted butter, sugar, eggs, flour, deep-dark molasses and a few warming spices. The cookies came together in less than 10 minutes and baked up beautifully: crisp on the outside with a nice crackling of sugar and nice and chewy in the center.

There are just a few things to keep in mind before you bake these up for your next get-together, however. First, the recipe makes nearly double the yield that it states. Instead of 12 cookies, I ended up with 20 – and that was after said significant other couldn’t get his fingers out of the bowl, so there could have been even more. Second, the peach ice cream was tasty, but I think a good ol’ high-quality vanilla bean would have been a better match for the warm cinnamon, ginger and cloves in the cookies. Finally, the Sussmans tell us to serve these immediately, but I found that placing them in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes yielded a much easier-to-eat dessert. This tweak to the recipe actually makes them the perfect make-ahead dessert for entertaining. So what are you waiting for? Get those invites out. It’s time for a party.

Gingersnap Ice-Cream Sandwiches

4 to 6 Servings

Courtesy of Max and Eli Sussman

2 cups (1 lb./500 g.) sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
¾ cup (6 oz./185 g.) salted butter, melted
2 large eggs
½ cup (5½ oz./170 g.) unsulphured molasses
½ tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
3½ cups (17½ oz./545 g.) all-purpose flour
1 pint (14 oz./440 g.) best-quality peach or other flavor ice cream, slightly softened

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups (1 lb./500 g.) sugar and melted combined and smooth. Add the eggs and molasses and stir to mix well. Add the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves and mix well. Add 2 cups (10 oz./315 g.) of the flour and stir thoroughly until no flour can be seen in the mixture. Add the remaining 1½ cups (7½ oz./230 g.) flour and stir until incorporated.
• Pour sugar onto a plate. Form the dough into 12 balls about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat thoroughly, then place on a baking sheet. Bake until they just begin to crack on top, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Using a wide spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
• To assemble the ice-cream sandwiches, place 6 of the cookies, top sides down, on a work surface. Spoon about 1/3 cup (2½ oz./75 g.) ice cream onto each, then top each with another cookie, top side up. Press gently to seal and to push the ice cream to the edges of the cookies. Serve right away.

What’s your go-to dessert for a party? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of This Is a Cookbook. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Mark, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won him a copy of Nigellissima. Mark, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

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