Walnut Cookie and Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

    Sandwiches

Appears in

For my Aunt Mardo’s eightieth birthday party, I made caramel ice cream to serve with both a double-chocolate layer cake and a strawberry crème fraîche cake, (if you can’t have two cakes when you’re eighty, when can you have them? And we had to have room for all the candles.) The next day, we had leftover caramel ice cream but no cake, so for lunch I put together these ice cream sandwiches. The important part of making caramel ice cream is getting the caramel cooked to the proper color. Too light and it won’t have enough flavor, too dark and it will taste bitter. It should be a medium amber color. You shouldn’t be able to see through to the bottom of the pan, but it should not be dark brown. When I think it is just about ready. I remove the pan from the heat and let the bubbles dissipate so I can see the color more clearly. (You can always put it back on to cook a little more.) it may take you a couple of times to get comfortable with knowing exactly when it is done, but once you figure it out you will be a pro at using caramel to make many different types of desserts.

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Ingredients

Caramel Ice Cream

  • 7 large egg yolks
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 cups milk

Walnut Cookies

  • ½ cup ( ounces) walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Method

To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar and water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the sugar is medium amber in color. Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly stir in about ¼ cup of the cream until combined. Be careful as the cream will sputter as it is added. Slowly stir in the remaining cream about ¼ cup at a time. Stir in milk. Slowly pour the caramel cream into the eggs, whisking as you pour.

Return the caramel cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain into a clean bowl and cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To Make the Cookies

In a food processor, finely grind the walnuts with ¼ cup of the sugar. In a large bowl, beat the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the butter until smooth. Stir in the egg. Sift the flour and baking soda and stir into the butter mixture. Stir in the salt and ground nut mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until hard, at least 1 hour. Roll into a log 8 inches long. Wrap again in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough about ¼ inch thick. Place the cookies 3 inches apart on the prepared pans. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature on the pans.

In Advance

The cookie dough can be made and refrigerated for up to 1 week. The sandwiches can be assembled and frozen for up to 3 days. Wrap individually in plastic wrap.

To Assemble the Sandwiches

Invert half of the cookies bottom side up. Place a scoop of caramel ice cream on top with the remaining cookies, bottom side against the ice cream. Place the remaining cookies, bottom side against the ice cream, on top of the ice cream. Press gently to adhere the sandwiches together. Serve immediately, or freeze until ready to serve.

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