It’s officially 13 days before Christmas!!! I kind of feel like Christmas came early this year, but I have been having a lot of fun discovering new things during this year’s holiday baking. I wanted to do some relatively unusual recipes this time around; stuff I haven’t done in the previous years. Being relatively new to the ice cream sandwich-making scene, I decided I absolutely needed to make one with holiday vibes for this season to spice things up!
I have been falling slowly but surely in love with both the process of making ice cream sandwiches while I have always loved eating them. Little did I know these Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwiches would end up being one of my favourites.
No, it’s actually more appropriate to say I am utterly in love with this ice cream sandwich.
Now I don’t even like real candy canes, but these are simply irresistible. I only wish I could’ve made my cookies look like actual pinwheels, but despite the less-than-perfect appearance, they are one of the best minty-sugar cookies I’ve eaten. Though following that sweet-minty flavour profile of candy canes, the peppermint element in these ice cream sandwiches is not in the ice cream but in the cookies themselves. I think this is an even better idea because the minty-ness gets balanced out by a light buttery sweetness that is the predominant flavour. I know some people who liken peppermint to toothpaste but among those I gave this to who think that way, none have given me that particular feedback. YAAAAY!
I had a little trouble keeping the cookie log round in the fridge but they still look great in an oblong-ish shape, don’t they? The problem though was that my swirls got ruined as I tried hard to reshape the dough log, and it wasn’t until after I made these that I actually found a link with a great tip for keeping your circular cookies perfectly shaped. It might seem like the cookies look small as they are sliced, but these particular ones actually expand quite a bit as they bake. They become these not-too-hard-not-too-soft just rightly sweet cookies that pair wonderfully well with cold, melty ice cream.
And they smell like Christmas, these peppermint sugar cookies do.
The ice cream is a mega-easy vanilla ice cream that does not make use of a custard base. (Didn’t realize I forgot to take ice cream photos!!!) It’s mostly made up of milk and cream mixed together, making it the milkiest soft serve I have ever eaten. (I know I’m using the advective “milky” a lot because that is really the best way to describe this.) Although it melts faster and is a little less creamy- but still creamy!- than the typical custard-based vanilla ice cream, it goes amazingly well with the peppermint pinwheel cookies.
I don’t know what else to say. These are just really damn good.
Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich
Makes about 1 quart ice cream + about 20 cookies
Before making the ice cream, make sure to freeze the bowl of the ice cream maker at least 24 hours before.
For the Easy Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
- crushed candy canes, from about 6 candy canes, for rolling
To make the ice cream
- 1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- 2. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. If the mixture isn't cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- 3. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
- 4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, pressing plastic wrap against the ice cream surface, and freeze until it is firm and the flavour is ripened, at least 2 hours.
To make the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
- 5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- 6. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer (or in the bowl of an electric mixer), beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- 7. Add the eggs and extracts and beat until combined.
- 8. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
- 9. Remove half the dough from the bowl and set aside. Beat the food colouring into the remaining dough until evenly coloured.
- 10. Place one portion of the dough in between two large sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the second portion.
- 11. Carefully place the red dough rectangle on top of the plain dough rectangle. Trim the edges if necessary.
- 12. Using the parchment paper as a guide to prevent sticking, roll the long side of the dough into a long log, creating a pinwheel effect. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 2 days.*
- 13. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 14. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough log into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart as the cookies spread quite a bit. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 2 minutes before removing the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Freeze the cookies at least 1 hour until firm. At this point, cookies can be stored in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 1 month if not using immediately.
- 15. Top one cookie with a scoop of ice cream. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream and gently press down to form a sandwich. Wrap cookies in parchment, or proceed with rolling in candy.
- 16. Place the crushed candy, if using, in a shallow dish. Roll the edges of the ice cream in the crushed candy and repeat for the remaining cookies. Wrap in parchment paper.
- 17. Freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.
If planning on giving these away, keep in mind that they melt! I would recommend giving these to people who live close by, and remember to inform the receiver to immediately place these in the freezer. The people who end up getting these will surely feel like the lucky ones! 😉