Monday, July 6, 2015

It's July! Time for Ginger Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches!

July has to be my favorite month - it's full of birthdays!

There's Independence Day, of course. We went to a great barbecue party at a friend's house. Fabulous :)

And the 4th is also my dear daughter's birthday. The whole country celebrates with fireworks JUST. FOR. HER.

(What? You thought the fireworks were for Independence Day? Sorry to burst your fantasy bubble!)

Later in the month we celebrate my birthday :) and our anniversary.

So July is just one party after another, all month long!

This year, I thought ice cream sandwiches would be fun, so I started browsing through the internet for ideas. Susan Branch had an interesting sounding recipe on her blog - Susan Branch's Ice Cream Sandwiches - but I couldn't find the ingredients here in our corner of the midwest.

So I came up with my own concoction - -

Ginger Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches

The ingredients are so simple:

For the sandwich part, you need a thin, crispy cookie. Anna's was the brand I found here, but I've seen other brands in other parts of the country. Basically, you need to look for the cookies that are sold stacked vertically in boxes like this one. These are ginger, but there are other flavors, too.

The salted caramel part needs, well, caramel. And salt. You also need a small can of evaporated milk.

And finally, the ice cream. Since my ginger cookies were already going to be fighting for attention with the salted caramel, I chose vanilla ice cream. If you had vanilla cookies, chocolate ice cream would go well.

So the first step is to lay the cookies out on a tray, pretty side down. I lined my tray with parchment paper.

You might want to have two boxes of cookies handy, because these can be pretty fragile. You might find several broken cookies.

And then you'd have to eat them instead of using them for your ice cream sandwiches.

Too bad. :)

Now unwrap your caramels (I used a 4 ounce bag) and put them in a microwave safe dish with one Tablespoon Sweetened Condensed milk.

Microwave for thirty seconds, stir, then microwave and stir at 15 second intervals until the caramel is runny. I only had to heat mine for a total of 45 seconds.

Next, drizzle the caramel on half of the cookies, and then sprinkle with coarse salt. I used a half-turn with my salt grinder.

Let the caramel cool for about ten to fifteen minutes, and then put a small scoop of ice cream on each caramel drizzled cookie. Put the other cookie on top and squish them together carefully and lightly. Be careful not to break the cookies!

You can eat them immediately (of course!), or you can put the tray in the freezer for a couple hours. Once they're completely frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag or container.

Now, if you've been paying attention, you'll notice that I only used one tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk out of the whole entire can.

And since I'm not one to waste anything I don't have to, I made Magic Cookie Bars - Mounds Candy Bar style.

Preheat your oven to 350°.

In a 9x9 square baking dish, melt 1/4 cup butter. (I just stick the baking dish in the oven while it's preheating.)

Sprinkle 1 cup graham cracker crumbs on top of the melted butter.

Sprinkle 1 cup 60% Cacoa Ghiradelli Baking Chips on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Pour your leftover sweetened condensed milk over the chocolate chips.

Sprinkle about 1 cup flaked coconut over the whole thing (I used unsweetened coconut flakes).

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until it's bubbly and the top is browning.

Let it cool completely before cutting and serving.

The perfect way to use leftovers, and my husband loved them!

What is your favorite way to celebrate in July?


  1. Why does everything in summer TASTE SO GOOD?????? Whaaa! Whaaa!!! Whaaaaa!!!!!!!

    And I ate like we were runnin' out o' food this weekend, shame on me!

    And I made a trip to Abbott's for my favorite ice creams and I brought some home and made a few chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches out of one of the pints because great minds think alike, Jan!

    But the salted caramel idea is brilliant! I hadn't thought of that, so I think I'll do this for the coming weekend, our annual Cousin Palooza is this weekend where we celebrate fourteen grandchildren... and no, I'm not old, darlings. I'm young at heart and that's what counts!

    I get to see all kinds of grandbabies!!!!! And one on the way!

    So I can intrigue and impress with a treat like this! Jan, my problem with the thin cookies is that they crumble when you bite into them. Was this a problem or not really?

    The commercial ones use a cake-style cookie, like a thin Whoopie-Pie, so I've done that by slightly undercooking cookies to use them.

    I wonder if the softer, thicker ginger or molasses cookies would work.... but then they'd be bigger.

    Well, bigger isn't exactly bad, is it??? :) Says Ruthy who needs an exercise regime! Why do I love ice cream? Why????????

    1. Oh, I forgot to mention this in the post! When you freeze the sandwiches, the cookie softens. It absorbs the moisture from the ice cream, I guess. So if you can wait 20 minutes to eat them, you'll have a soft cookie :)

      And of course you love ice cream! It's like heaven in a cone...or on a cookie...or on your spoon. My philosophy is that a little bit of ice cream never hurt anyone. Now a LOT of ice cream, that can be dangerous.

      And holidays are made for forgetting the diet. They're celebrations, right? You can go back to your old lifestyle today and only your waistline will be the wiser.

      Fourteen grandchildren plus one! That is fantastic. And I think I told you last year that I plan to copy your cousin palooza when I have grandchildren. Someday.

  2. Oooohhh - two recipes for the price of one! Love the idea of making your own ice cream sandwiches though I'm not convinced that salt should be on the ingredient list. I'm one of those annoying people who doesn't like the combination of salt and sweet. Dessert should be dessert, you know?

    And too funny because I was thinking "what a waste of sweetened condensed milk -- what can you do with the leftovers?" Magic Cookie Bars it is.

    Oh and happy birthday to your daughter -- how fun that it's July 4. I bet when she was little she really did think the fireworks were all for her. LOL

    1. Kav, you can leave the salt out.

      I happen to love the sweet/salt combination, but I understand that there are some among us who don't. That's okay. (All the more for me!)

      Yes, when our daughter was little she thought everyone was celebrating her birthday. It's always been fun :)

  3. Yum, yum, YUM! This looks and sounds absolutely delicious, Jan. Especially with the caramel.

    We're still in mourning down here in Texas, because our beloved Blue Bell Ice Cream has yet to go back into production. Makes it real difficult to buy ice cream, because the other brands just don't compare. Sigh. These would be awesome with a scoop of BB Homemade Vanilla!

    1. Happy birthday to your daughter and happy anniversary to you! Lots of celebrations around our house this month, too. My mother is a July baby, as is our oldest son and then three of our grandsons!

    2. I thought of you Texans when the news about Blue Bell came out. When we lived there, I didn't know anyone who didn't love Blue Bell ice cream! It's like the official state ice cream or something!

      Happy Birthday to your family members, too!

  4. YUM!!! Oh my goodness, I'm drooling. I want to try this NOW! Must go buy caramels.

    1. One word of warning - only do a light drizzle with the caramel. If you put too much on the cookie, it's too thick to bite through!

  5. Jan, I'm laughing because my husband's birthday is March 17th and he grew up thinking they had a parade in his honor.

    This looks delicious and they do sell Anna's cookies here. Yum!

    Sadly ice cream puts weight on me just by looking at it! I kid you not.

    1. Re-read my comment on Ruthy's comment - a little bit of ice cream never hurt anyone :) These sandwiches are best with just a spoonful of ice cream!

      BTW - I have a friend with a March 17 birthday. Is it any wonder she isn't all that excited about the color green?

  6. Jan, These look yummy. My problem would be that I would eat the ingredients (ice cream and caramels) way before the sandwich was made. LOL