Well, I'm up late getting ready for a party for 26 kids. It's about this time that a mom asks herself, "So, why was it I said yes to a big party again this summer?" The answer, I believe, is that I love that my kids love to entertain and we do have a lot of fun hosting. The party is entirely outside, and the kids play volleyball, throw water balloons, and generally goof around for about 5 hours.
We're serving dinner for everyone, and topping it all off with our signature homemade ice cream sandwiches. This year we're trying a new recipe, the aptly named Giant Ice Cream Sandwich. I liked this recipe because you basically make one big round ice cream sandwich, then you just cut it into wedges. No cutting and individually wrapping needed. It's basically a thin brownie surrounding ice cream -- hard to go wrong!
Start by softening your ice cream and spreading it into a cake pan lined with a sheet of plastic wrap. I simply scooped my ice cream onto the plastic wrap and let it soften for about 5 minutes until it was spreadable.
The smoothing out is easy. Since the Giant Ice Cream Sandwich isn't quite giant enough for our party, I decided to make FIVE! Some were vanilla, and the others were mint chocolate chip. The mint is our favorite but every year we find vanilla to be a solid crowd pleaser. (To manage this larger quantity, I bought some foil cake pans at the grocery store, which I highly recommend if you're making more than one or carrying it out to the park like I do.)
Now just wrap the plastic around the ice cream.
Once it's all wrapped up, put it into the freezer right in the pan (to help the ice cream "patty" hold its shape). Or, in my case, I had a stack of ice cream "patties." Finding space in my freezer was the most challenging part of this recipe!
OK, now that's a little crazy, but very, very fun! Since this is supposed to be a helpful blog, I decided to bake up a single batch of brownie batter to show how this recipe works. (I then made another much bigger batch!)
The brownie batter is so easy. Start by melting your butter and chocolate.
The recipe says to stir constantly, but if you keep the heat low enough and stir often I don't think this is necessary. So, if you like, you could grease and flour your pans now. I just butter the cake pan -- bottom and sides -- and then throw about 1/4 cup flour into the pan and tap it all around. I tap the excess into my second buttered pan and do the same.
When it's all coated with flour, I also like to turn it upside down over the sink and give it a good whack to get off all the excess.
Now that the pans are ready, your chocolate butter mixture is probably close to being ready. Stir until it's melted and smooth.
Then, let it cool for a couple minutes and add the sugar and eggs right into the pan.
Beat it good (by hand is perfectly adequate) so it's all mixed together. It will look a little grainy.
Now just dump on the flour and then the baking powder and salt and, again, mix with your wooden spoon.
When the batter is smooth and shiny, divide it between your two cake pans.
Next, smooth the batter to the edges. Do this carefully, so as not to disturb the greasing and flouring. The final step before baking is to add the little chocolate sprinkles. A nice touch!
After baking and 10 more minutes on the cooling rack, run a butter knife gently around the edge of the brownie.
This helps prepare the brownie for flipping. To flip, simply place the rack on top of the cake pan ...
... then flip it upside down and give it a nice pat or two to encourage it to drop out onto the rack.
Now, lift the pan up and ... voila!
I lost a few edges on this one, but most of the others were pretty near perfect. Besides, this is the inside of the sandwich, so I'm not worried!
Since I was doing several of these, I slid them off the cooling racks onto waxed paper sheets as they were cool. Once the layers are completely cool, and your ice cream has been in the freezer at least a couple hours, it's time to assemble.
To assemble the final sandwich, line a tray with plastic wrap, and slide your bottom brownie onto the plastic, sprinkle side down of course. (If your brownie is still on the rack, it can simply slide off from there.)
Next, spread your fudge topping onto the bottom layer.
Oooh. This adds a nice touch. Now unwrap one ice cream "patty" ...
... and press it gently onto the brownie fudge layer.
Next, the recipe calls for spreading more fudge on the non-sprinkles side of the other brownie layer, but I chose to conserve fudge and skip this step!
For the final step, flip the top onto the ice cream by, again, holding the rack and brownie together, bringing them close to the target and flipping the brownie over and on top of the ice cream, sprinkle-side up.
Now just press the top into place gently and wrap it all up in the plastic. I put mine back into their cake pans for easy stacking in the freezer.
Our mint chocolate chip version worked wonderfully, too. l loved the little scalloped edges from the foil pans!
As I mentioned, a combination of homemade brownie, ice cream, fudge and sprinkles is a pretty sure-fire winner. After your ice cream sandwich has been in the freezer 5 hours or longer, it's time for the giant treat to make its debut! Simply let it soften in the fridge for 5 minutes, and cut it into wedges with a sharp knife.
Nice that all of this is in the park and not in my living room!
Take a good look at your masterpiece before you serve it, because it will disappear before you know it. It will turn almost instantly into the most amazing smiles you've ever seen, turning almost as instantly into messy faces and hands.
I hope you take time this summer to enjoy this Giant Ice Cream Sandwich. As the kids say, it rocks!
Be sure to stop by in a few days when Becky has more summer fun with corn on the cob.
Liz is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.