Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Whoopie Cookie Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwiches

My fingers were numb by the end of this process but in the name of St. Valentine I did this because I love my friends and knew they would enjoy them. 

Vanilla beans on Ebay = ultra good deal and delicious homemade vanilla bean ice cream
I ordered vanilla beans on ebay - trust me this is the way to go - they're normally $3.50 for 1-2 beans. Ah! I got 10 beans for $5. So with my new high torque blending machine (aka: the Health Master that I got for Christmas from my dad - awesome gadget - makes anything from ice cream to hot soup in less than 10 minutes) I made homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Bryer's has the right idea: just cream, sugar & vanilla beans. I'm sure you would achieve a little bit of a different texture with an ice cream machine but trust me - this was just as incredible. If you have a blender like this all you need to do is add 4 cups half and half, 2 cups sugar, the seeds of one vanilla bean and blend! At first the foam will rise to the top. No worries freeze it anyway. Then reblend it to get a homogeneous mixture and voila - ice cream.

Part II: Whoppie Cookies

For those of you who don't know what a whoppie cookie is - its a soft fluffy cake like cookie traditionally used to make whoppie pies: a cookie sandwich stuffed with marshmallow creme. 

These are great for ice cream cookie sandwiches because they freeze well. They aren't uncomfortably crunchy so that when you bite into the assembled sandwiches you won't end up with cookie crumbs swimming in a puddle of ice cream on your lap. Another reason I chose these is because unlike an average cookie these lovely littles clock in at 75 calories each versus 120 for an average cookie. Now, if you do the math thats 2x120=240 calo's and that doesn't include the ice cream!

Chocolate Whoppie Cookies 
adapted from Dinner with Julie

3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
**I used ice cream but you can use marshmallow cream (aka fluff)

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a minute or so, until well combined. It will have the consistency of wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into 1/2 cup very hot water until dissolved.
With the mixer on low or stirring by hand, add about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk and half the baking soda mixture, mixing each time just until blended. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the buttermilk and baking soda mixture, and then the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing each time just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. ((I skipped this but I did add a few to the top))  The batter will be quite wet, almost like cake batter. (You want them to be cakey and soft, so that the filling doesn’t squish out the end when you bite into it.) <check it out
Drop large, round spoonfuls of batter 2” apart on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. (If you’re making pies, try to keep the mounds similar in size and shape so they will make even sandwiches). Bake for 12–15 minutes, until the tops no longer appear wet and just spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If you're going to make the ice cream sandwiches I suggest you get everything set up first - this includes pairing up similar size cookies.

Regardless of what ever I was going to make for Valentine's Day it was going to be dressed with pretty pink sprinkles!

Have fun & Happy (very belated) Valentine's Day   : ))


Me and My Pink Mixer said...

Yum - I love whoopie pies! Your's look so pretty with the pink sprinkles.

Theresa said...

They look good!

--your cookies were great too!