Monday, November 29, 2021

Gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches

This is a sponsored post by Hudsonville Ice Cream, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

There are few desserts that symbolize the holiday season more than gingerbread cookies. I love the combination of warm, comforting spices. The only way to make these sweet treats even more festive is by pairing them with peppermint ice cream, specifically, Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream

The Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream is delightful on its own, but it’s truly heavenly when sandwiched between two gingerbread cookies. It’s all the flavors of the holiday season in one bite!

Gingerbread cookies are notoriously tricky to make. The dough is really sticky because of the molasses, and it’s hard to get just the right combination of spice, soft centers, and crisp edges. Fortunately, after many trials and errors, I have lots of tricks up my sleeve for creating the best gingerbread cookies!

First, you must cream the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy, not just smooth. It should take about 4 to 5 minutes on medium speed. The butter will be pale and yellow, and it should look noticeably different. The purpose of creaming is to aerate the butter by beating it over and over again, and the tiny sugar crystals work to help the process. 

Properly creaming your butter creates cookies that are less dense, and it expands the volume of the dough, which results in more cookies!

It’s also imperative that you scrape your bowl throughout the mixing process. Scraping ensures that a thick film of butter and sugar doesn’t collect against the bowl. I always scrape before I add each additional ingredient to ensure a more uniform dough.

Getting the spice level just right in gingerbread cookies can be tricky. Too much spice and the cookies can taste bitter. Too little spice and you can’t taste anything at all. I tinkered with which spices to use and the amount. I found that using a combination of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice gave the cookies a complex flavor without being over-the-top.

Gingerbread cookie dough is nearly impossible to work with right after mixing because it’s so sticky. That’s why you must chill the dough before rolling it out. The dough is only manageable when it’s firm. The best way to do this is to divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, flatten into discs, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to roll out the dough, generously flour your work surface, your hands, and your rolling pin. I promise, the flour won’t affect the taste! Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thick. Any thinner, and you’ll have cracker cookies. No one likes cracker cookies.

The cookies take between 8 to 10 minutes to bake, depending on your oven and your desired softness level. Many ovens heat unevenly and have hot spots, so it’s important that you rotate the baking sheets at the halfway point. Since these cookies will ultimately be frozen and become ice cream sandwiches, it’s best to bake them on the softer side.

Once your cookies are cool, you can decorate them if you choose or you can leave them plain. I included a simple icing recipe in this post. Remember, you only need to decorate half of the cookies since one cookie goes on the bottom of the ice cream sandwich.

The last and most important step in completing this recipe is evenly spreading the Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream between two cookies. It’s easy to do when working with round cookies, but it’s a little harder when working with cookies that are different shapes. The easiest way to achieve an even spread is to turn one cookie bottom side up, place the cookie cutter on top, add a scoop of ice cream in the center of the cookie cutter, and spread it with a knife.

These gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches are adorable and delicious, and they will certainly be the highlight of your holiday gatherings. Hudsonville’s Limited Edition Peppermint Stick ice cream is proof that sometimes the sweetest packages aren't under the tree—they’re in the freezer.

Use this Scoop Locator tool to find Peppermint Stick ice cream near you!

Gingerbread peppermint stick ice cream sandwiches

Yield: Makes 18 cookies / 9 ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (420 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (170 grams)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (160 grams)
  • 1/2 cup molasses (170 grams)
  • 1 large egg (55 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing (optional)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk

For ice cream sandwiches

Directions

For the cookies

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla and cream on medium speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.
  5. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and shape into discs.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  8. Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Flour work surface, hands, and rolling pin.
  9. Roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Use your cookie cutter and cut dough into gingerbread man shapes and place on baking sheets.
  10. Re-roll leftover scraps and use cookie cutter again. Repeat until all dough is used.
  11. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. They shouldn’t get any darker.
  12. Allow to cool.

For the icing

  1. Mix together all ingredients until no clumps remain. It should be very thick. Add more powdered sugar if needed.
  2. Transfer icing to squeeze bottle or pour into pastry bag with small tip.
  3. Decorate gingerbread men as desired.

For assembly

  1. Turn one cookie bottom-side-up and place cookie cutter on top.
  2. Add 1/4 cup softened ice cream to center of cookie cutter and spread. 
  3. Remove cookie cutter and top with second cookie.
  4. Press cookies together and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  5. Store extra ice cream sandwiches in freezer.

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