Nothing says summer to me more than sitting outside eating frozen yogurt or ice cream! In our hometown, we have summer movies on the lawn, where families can bring a picnic and watch a movie with 200 of their closest friends and well-behaved children. Sigh. I jest...I dream of the day when my kids are just a little bit older and they can actually sit through a picnic movie night without me having to chase them or run someone to the bathroom! So until then, my friends and I came up with a better idea for our families (and our sanity): We’re going to do “movies in the yard!”
It’s our attempt to corral our kids and enjoy the evening, and there is a clean bathroom less than 20 yards away! Everyone is bringing something to share, so I chose to make a dessert. Ice cream or yogurt is always a win for our crowd. When you add cookies and chocolate, it’s a home run with Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches! I love any frozen raspberry sorbet or yogurt, and who doesn’t like the idea of anything dipped in chocolate? This is not a quick make-and-take recipe, so take a look at the prep time -- I wouldn’t say these took a full 8 hours to completely make from start to finish, but there are several steps. However, we all agreed that these were decadent, delicious and worth the time to make! It also helped to keep my crew entertained for the majority of the day.
This recipe says it makes about 8 sandwiches in total – I doubled it knowing I had company coming over. Let me walk you through how to make them! First, you will need 16 Blue Ribbon Sugar Cookies. These are the easiest sugar cookies to make.
Heat the oven to 375°F and combine 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add in 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Continue beating until well-mixed.
Next, add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the dough mixture. Cream of tartar helps to provide a creamy texture to your cookie dough. Finally, add in 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour.
Beat the dough on low speed until it starts to form a large ball and comes together like this.
If the dough seems too soft, let it sit in the refrigerator to firm up a bit. If the butter is too soft, then your cookies will spread out and lose their shape. Roll the dough into the shape of 1-inch balls.
Place 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
This is the most amazing simple baking trick ever: To make the cookies flat and be all the same shape, press the bottom of a glass into a plate of granulated sugar. Then press down on the ball of dough so it flattens out to about 1/2 inch thick. I will be doing this from now on when I make cookies. (Mine usually come out deformed; I just tell my friends that the “kids helped me make them!”)
Bake the cookies in the oven 7-9 minutes, or until the edges begin to get golden brown. I found that for the ice cream sandwiches, letting the cookies bake until about 10 minutes was better. The cookies were crisper and made a better base for making the sandwiches.
Remove the cookies from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Once the cookies are completely cooled, take your favorite ice cream and let it sit out for a few minutes to help it soften up a little bit. This recipe calls for using 1/2 pint of low-fat vanilla raspberry swirl frozen yogurt and sorbet. You will drive yourself crazy trying to find a product that matches this description, so just use the closest thing you have to it. I found a frozen raspberry yogurt version. I think any ice cream or frozen yogurt that you prefer would be good to use. You can’t go wrong with cookies, chocolate and ice cream. Seriously. It’s a triple threat!
There’s a really great tip at the end of the recipe about how to easily make the ice cream circles flat for the sandwiches. You place 2 tablespoons of ice cream onto waxed paper, and top with a second piece of waxed paper. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the ice cream into circles that are the same size as the cookie. Place onto the cookie and top with a second cookie. I let my kitchen helpers do this. I think if they were a little older, it may have been easier for them.
“Mom, smash it like this?”
Me: “Nope. Not like that, but thanks for helping!” I did manage to salvage the ice cream. I taste-tested it to make sure that it was still good (wink wink)...
The recipe calls for “working quickly.” My “work quickly” goes like this:
1. I cleared out a 4-foot radius around me – aka the “mommy zone.” The “zone” is often violated when the parent needs to perform some task that involves intricate directions or something that requires concentration or a “quick” completion of a task.
2. Clearing “the zone” will often produce countermeasures by the children, usually involving no fewer than two kids firing repetitive questions at you.
3. This will then trigger the dog to lie down in front of you, which then ensures that the phone call that you have been waiting for all day comes at that exact moment! This will happen all at the same time. Yup. This is the good life, my friends….
So, knowing I was about to enter into the “zone,” I threatened everyone with an imaginary line (“Stand back, do not come near me while I am doing this!”) and I teased them with, “You can watch me do this, but if you move, fight or cry, there will be no ice cream sandwiches.” Sometimes you have to pull out the big guns. Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches restore balance to the universe!
To assemble the sandwiches, place 8 cookies bottom-side up onto a parchment- or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Place 2 tablespoons of frozen yogurt onto each cookie. Spread evenly on top of the cookie.
Then top with another cookie, bottom-side down, creating a sandwich.
Press down gently, using a knife to smooth or remove excess yogurt if necessary. I found it a bit easier to smooth the excess ice cream with my finger and it made a nicer edge to the sandwich part. Place back on the wax paper and freeze 4 hours or until set. We were not as patient to wait the full 4 hours, so we actually did the next part less than an hour later!
This is the super fun part that takes these sandwiches from good to great! Take 6, 1-ounce squares of a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar and melt them in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, 4-6 minutes, until smooth.
Cool slightly (about 10 minutes). In my house, the smell of chocolate is like a bat signal! I can’t blame them, they are my children – it’s a genetic trait that they will possess their entire lives, like the need for braces and glasses. Wait! Someone, somewhere is baking cookies...I smell the chocolate.
Tipping saucepan slightly, dip one-half of each sandwich into melted chocolate.
The chocolate “calling” was just too much, and the kitchen was overtaken by “helpers.”
So excited to help!
Once dipped, return the ice cream sandwiches to the baking sheet. The chocolate is just right…not melting the ice cream, but not scorching hot either. Want to know how we found out that it wasn’t scorching hot? Are you kidding me? Again, I would advise that the chocolate is too hot for immediate consumption. However, we live on the edge of danger here. I really am trying to instill manners and patience in my boys.
Take the sandwiches and place them back in the freezer for up to 4 hours or until firm.
Once the sandwiches are set, wrap individually in plastic food wrap. Place into resealable freezer bag and store in the freezer.
The highlight of movie night is usually the dessert!
All the kids are sitting down for at least 5 minutes and we have achieved greatness! Ice cream sandwiches are the best! I also found that if I put them in fold-over sandwich bags when I serve them, it helps to reduce - notice I didn’t say eliminate - the sticky fingers syndrome! Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches are the perfect summertime treat! If you have a favorite ice cream treat, let me know!
Enjoy the lightning bugs and time with family or friends this summer! Our “movies in the yard” night was a great success, and the ice cream sandwiches were a hit. Please let me know what you thought of this recipe – I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to leave a comment!
“We love Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches!”