Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

It, in my mind, is already fall. It might be 83° out right now. I might be sitting at my desk downing cold fizzy water and avoiding stepping out of the path of my fan for more than a few moments. It doesn’t matter, because none of this can counteract the mental shift that began last week, when my body sensed a chill in the air and the faint, unmistakeable smell of autumn. It’s that first hint of season change that makes my brain snap out of a its whiny I-am-so-over-summer-and-all-its-oppresive-grossness dormancy and come alive, in an unstoppable way. It feels like every little bit of me is vibrating at an alarming frequency, starting in my synapses, traveling down my spine, and radiating out through the rest of my body. I speak louder and faster. I fidget excessively. I get crazy eyes. I’m so edgy that I actually scream when I catch sight of a stray thread hanging from the dishtowel above the sink because I assume it’s a spider. (A spider that presumably intends to lay eggs in my face, because that’s a thing I’ve been afraid of since I was little — thanks a lot, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell.)

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

The weather, unfortunately, is not cooperating with my fall cravings. I want to eat soup and roasted butternut squash and an entire spice cake, but it’s too warm, so I rifle through the veggie crisper and throw together some sort of salad-y thing with a serious lack of enthusiasm. These little ice cream sandwiches, however, were a different story. A summer treat with fall flavors that tasted like the perfect compromise between seasons.

carrots

I have been obsessing over the idea of carrot ice cream ever since Phi suggested it last month. Carrots. Roasted carrots. In ice cream. With tons of warm carrot cake-y spices. Then my friend Matt agreed to let me go a little crazy and make a thousand treats for his birthday, and I began thinking about the carrot ice cream in a cute, party-friendly sandwich form. With ginger cookies, which seemed like the perfect choice. And then I found Cat’s recipe for carrot & ginger ice cream, which was pretty much exactly what I’d envisioned (right down to sandwiching it between two ginger cookies). I was psyched.

carrots

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen me describe these as tasting like ice cream and carrot cake had a baby and wrapped it in a delicious gingerbread blanket. But it begs repeating, because it’s so true. While the ice cream and the cookies and delicious on their own, they are amazing together. Even if you didn’t want to bother with making sandwiches, I’d recommend crumbling a spicy, molasses-y ginger cookie over a bowl of this stuff. The thought of making ice cream out of carrots might seem a little strange, but you’ll cast aside all doubt once you taste the finished product. And since this has been the summer of sweet corn ice cream awesomeness, it’s safe to say that putting veggies in ice cream is a very good idea. So yeah, put some carrots in your ice cream. For your health, ya know.

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

(adapted from Savory Notes)

makes: around 1 quart

For the roasted carrot purée:

Preheat oven to 375°. Peel around 1–2 lbs of carrots and cut into chunks. Toss with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a liberal sprinkling of brown sugar. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 35–40 minutes, until carrots are soft and nicely browned. Cool slightly, then add roasted carrots to your food processor or blending, along with a tablespoon of water. Blend, adding a little bit more water if necessary. (You’re looking the create a thick sort of paste, not a runny purée, so add as little water as possible.) You can use any leftover purée for a variety of things. (My personal favorite is adding it to mashed potatoes, because my mom did that all the time. Cat also suggests frying it into patties with sweet potatoes, which sounds awesome.)

For the ice cream:

2 cups of heavy cream

1/2 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of buttermilk

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup of roasted carrot purée

1/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of raw honey

1 vanilla bean

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

pinch of salt

Warm whole milk, sugar, honey, and 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream in a heavy saucepan. Scrape in vanilla bean caviar and add the pod to the mixture as well. Once warm, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for half an hour.

Pour the buttermilk and the remaining 1/2 cup of cream into a large bowl along with the salt, spices, and carrot purée. Set a strainer on top. Prepare an ice bath big enough to hold the large bowl. Remove the vanilla bean pod and rewarm the milk mixture. Beat together the 5 egg yolks in a separate bowl. Once the milk mixture is warm, temper the eggs by slowly whisking it into the eggs a little at a time. Once you’ve incorporated the two, pour everything back into the saucepan.

Stir constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the large bowl of heavy cream. Transfer bowl to the ice bath and stir until cool.

Chill the custard in the fridge overnight, then process in your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ginger Cookies

(slightly adapted from The Kitchn)

makes: around 5 dozen cookies

Notes: I opted to go with a cake-y cookie to ensure that they stayed chewy even when frozen. I made my cookies a little too thick and wound up cutting them down, which was a tedious process. I’ve adjusted the recipe to make thinner cookies, but you’ll want to keep an eye on them when they’re in the oven, to be sure they don’t over-bake. I also recommend gently flattening them with a cake spatula when they first come out of the oven, since they tend to puff up a little bit. Also, it occurs to me now that since I recommend flattening the cookies below, it might be easier to roll out the dough and cut out the rounds with a cookie cutter. Since I haven’t tested that theory, I’m sticking to the original instructions, but feel free to give it a try.

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup unsulfured molasses

1 large egg

Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

Cream the butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the molasses and egg. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients with a spoon. Divide the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until dough is firm (at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days).

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Break off a small piece of dough and form into a ball about a 1/2 in diameter. Place on the baking sheet and flatten into a disc about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake for 7–9 minutes, or until edges of cookies are firm and look dry, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

Once cookies have finished baking, remove from the oven and immediately flatten them by pressing gently on their tops with a cake spatula. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Separate your cookies into pairs that are approximately the same size and shape. Add a scoop of ice cream to a cookie, top it with another, and smush together. Place sandwiches in the freezer as you make them, returning the ice cream to the freezer for a bit if it gets too soft and melty. Once you’ve made all the sandwiches, let them sit in the freezer for a bit to fully set. Once completely frozen, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or stack them in a container with layers of parchment in between.

Ginger Cookie & Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Comments

  1. says

    Oh my gosh, I am totally with you this. I have been craving a hearty bean and potato stuffed acorn squash situation. But it just seems like it’s too hot still for that. These would definitely work with my current mindset and the temperatures, and they sure are pretty too!

  2. says

    Oh I am *so* glad that you posted the recipe for these. I love the mash up of summer and fall and those perfectly cake-like and soft ginger cookies.

    • says

      Thank you, Kathryn! These cookies definitely ramped up my fall dessert cravings too. All I can think about is pumpkin and gingerbread. :)

  3. says

    The carrot in this absolutely gorgeous frozen concoction would most definitely cancel out the butter and sugar in the cookie, which makes these treats healthy. Therefore, eating 27 ice cream sandwiches would be justified, and maybe even life-saving.

    Also, yesterday there was a beetle in my bed. It was on the pillow next to me. When I opened my eyes he was looking directly into them saying, “so… coffee?” Not cool, Nature. Not cool.

    • says

      Yes. You totally get it. Ice cream for our health!

      Right? Wtf, Nature. A beetle flew into my face once when I was looking at my phone before bed, and I couldn’t fall asleep for the next hour.

  4. says

    i have a life long (ok fine, since 5th grade) to carrots. my stepmother used to make me drink carrot juice after school everyday to improve my eyesight because the sight of me wearing glasses was offensive to her. my eyesight is still shoddy and i can only stand carrots in certain dishes, but barely.

    however, i am with you about autumn and molasses cookies.

    • says

      Noooooooo. Oh man, that so would have ruined carrots for me too. (I tried carrot juice once in high school, and it creeped me out because it tasted like a carrot, but it was liquid. It didn’t make any sense to my brain.) Molasses-y ginger cookies with pumpkin ice cream would be equally awesome. :D

  5. says

    It is not fall. It is not fall. I’m not ready! This summer has been the fastest summer ever. We walked over crunchy leaves last week and I wanted to die. I just made a batch of gazpacho because the tomatoes are finally ripe here. At the end of freaking August. WTF?! But these transitional treats make the idea of fall slightly less devastating. Your filling and cookie ratio look like the ultimate. And you are so right about roasted carrots in ice cream. What a phenomenal concept! I love the background you’ve used with these. Complementary colors for the win!

    • says

      Oh man, I so agree. This summer flew by! One of my publishers in upstate NY was talking about how the leaves were turning a couple weeks ago, and I couldn’t believe it.

      And my tomatoes are FI.NAL.LY turning too! They sure took their sweet time. I am so looking forward to them, because the rest of my garden has been shite. (My herbs did not seem to like the weather we had all summer, except for the rosemary and the parsley. I’m pretty sure parsley could flourish in a post-apocalyptic environment.)

      I still can’t believe I scored a tray in such an amazing color at an antique store. I always thought I’d have to paint-then-destroy something to get a beat-up teal hue. :)

  6. says

    Oh. my. God. I want to eat these SO BADLY right now. It’s been miserably hot the past week and a gingery carrot cake ice cream sandwich would be the solution to all my problems (well, not in reality, but that’s what my brain is telling me right now.) Such a great idea! Your friend Matt is a very lucky fellow to have been able to have these *and* other sweets at his bday party. I know Jeremy would be obsessed with these, too, since carrot cake is his favorite dessert. I think I’ll make some of these for him next month and surprise him :)

    • says

      Yes yes yes, these babies could totally solve some problems. (And provide a moment of brief respite from wedding planning madness!) :)

      I made so many things for Matt’s party, it was crazy. AND I finished everything hours before the party, which is a huge first for me. There are leftover peach-ginger froyo and grilled herb-infused brioche ice cream sandwiches in my freezer from that party, waiting for some documentation. (Did you know that when you freeze brioche, it basically turns into something reminiscent of shortbread? And when it’s grilled too…sweet Jesus.)

      And I’m so psyched for you to make these for Jeremy. Carrot cake in ice cream form is kind of a mind-blowing thing. I kept tasting and tasting it, and eating it with the leftover cookie ends from when I cut them into thinner bits…

  7. says

    Wut wuuut carrots in ice cream? Mega yum!!!! And I feel you, it is time for Autumn to get here already. I made pumpkin gingerbread last week (I’d hoarded pumpkin purée in the freezer from last year heheheheh) and it was maaaagical. The weird weather this year has meant all the fruit and veg from the allotment is coming in really late so we’re about to get a glut of tomatoes, corn and a HECK load of autumn raspberries which I am so excited for. And dude, bugs – I can deal with spiders but if there is a caterpillar anywhere near me at any point in time I will RUN. Get to England if you want colder weather though. I’m by the south coast at the moment and it is raaaiiining and grey :( although now I can eat gingerbread and drink tea and bury myself under blankets woohoo!

    (Ps I’ve said this already on my blog but thanks for the backup on the stupid commenter – I always feel super harsh after replying to negative comments and am like ‘ahh I’m so mean should I delete this?’ If I find it hard to respond to mean comments, I don’t know how people can WRITE them! But anywho your comment made me feel better about my response haha)

    • says

      Pumpkin gingerbread yesssssssss. I want that. We’re totally dealing with the same late produce situation. The tomatoes in my garden just finally started turning red. Tons of raspberries at the market. I even scored some end-of-season peaches from the stone fruit vendor at the market yesterday. :D

      And YOU BET. I have a severe need for justice when it comes to trolls and other generally stupid commenters. It’s unfortunate that the Internet makes it so easy for miserable Bs to say whatever dumb thing comes to mind. (The irony is that they don’t have to read a post, but we do have to read their idiotic comments!)

  8. says

    I am SOOO excited for these sandwiches!!! I’ve been wanting to make carrot cake ice cream for a while, but got stymied as to how to incorporate the carrots. Roasting them is brilliant, and the flavorings sound spot-on perfect. Gorgeous pictures, as always! I love the texture on the tops of those cookies, and the way they look against the worn blue paint. Mmm!

    I’m craving fall flavors, too, but that’s because we’re having our usual foggy, blustery, cool summer weather in San Francisco. Still betting on a sweltering Indian summer come September/October — when I REALLY want to be making things like pumpkin gingerbread and spice cookies!

    • says

      The roasting is totally key! A much better flavor than steaming or boiling, bleh. :P And I was SO happy that those cookies did that classic molasses-y cookie crinkly thing. It made them look like hearty, serious cookies, despite the fact they were on the cakey side.

      Our weather doesn’t seem to quite want to let go of the possibility of a few more hot days out here either. It has been cool in the mornings and evenings, but hotter and humid in the afternoons. But I’ve hit my “eff-it!” stride, and I’ve got a loaf of bread in the oven and designs on soup for dinner tonight. Woop! :D

  9. says

    Ooh, Humphrey Slocombe. I’m ambivalent towards it because I think some of its flavors are *too* weird, like weird for weird’s sake (i.e. Jesus Juice, red wine & Coca Cola, ick), but if they’re serving up carrot ice cream I would totally be down. I mean, as long as it tasted like this ice cream. The cake element is very important. And I love carrot cake! I have to confess, my summer ice cream intake has been limited to vanilla frozen yogurt, so I’m almost afraid biting into real ice cream, much less an ice cream sandwich (made with gingersnaps – my favorite!), would be too much goodness for me to handle.

    Also, I don’t want summer to end! I realize it’s gross and muggy and laziness-inducing (BIG time), but I still love it. Ask anyone who’s lived in San Francisco – I swear we’re all summer-deprived, haha!

    • says

      Haha! I have yet to try the red wine + cola in drink form, although they were serving it at my favorite restaurant during the summer. (What the heck is it called…kilamtoxsomething. Kalimotxo. I really wasn’t that far off. :P)

      If I had a wedding dress to fit into, I’d definitely be on a froyo kick too. (I should really be on a froyo kick anyway, as I have been SO lazy about riding my bike this summer. And my remaining bike riding days for the year are dwindling, along with my hopes of getting back into the shape I was in last summer!) I wish I could mail both you and Eva mondo ice cream sandwiches to eat as soon as your weddings were over!

      I am definitely also a little sad that summer is already gone. I feel like I was still waiting for some perfect summer days, not either rain or humid grossness. But I hear that from a lot of SanFran-ites! Sometimes I swear that a consistently temperate climate is all I want, but I bet I’d miss the contrast of seasons. :)

    • says

      100% agree! I love waking up with the sunlight in the wee hours of the morning. I woke up the other day at 5:00am and it was still practically pitch black out, and that made me sad. :(

  10. Michael says

    These sound AMAZING!!! And they open my eyes to some pretty cool thoughts. Roasted Beet Ice Cream? My only questions are…

    1.) I read through the entire recipe maybe 3-4 times, but I can never see where you are supposed to add the carrot puree. You talk about making the carrot puree, but is it added and cooked to a custard, or do you add the puree in after the cream is churned, kinda like a swirl?

    2.) Why, out of curiosity do you leave 1/2 cup of cream and some buttermilk out of custard mixture, only to add it in after the cream is “cooked?” I would think that this would mess with the protein matrix in the finished ice cream and make larger ice crystals grow… i.e. gritty ice cream. But I honestly know very little about ice cream’s chemistry et cetera, so all I can say is… I made your Honey-Thyme Blackberry Goat Cheese ice cream, and the texture was magnificent. Perfect! But I did add a half oz of vodka to make it so that it won’t freeze so hard. .

    • says

      Oh dear! Thank you for pointing that out. I amended the recipe to note that it should be added to the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and buttermilk mixture along with the spices.

      As far as the 1/2 cup of cream and buttermilk being left out of the custard goes, I’m going to admit that I’m not sure about the science behind this. I learned most of my ice cream-making techniques from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, and this is a method he regularly employs for all of his custard-based ice creams. I always assumed that it functioned as a way to immediately cool the custard down and keep it from cooking any further (while also heating the remaining cream/milk as the temperature evens out). I’m not sure if that makes sense, though? I’ve had great luck with the texture of most of my custard ice creams in the past, so it seems to be working, but I’m interested in trying to cook all of the cream and such together to see if it makes a difference.

      And roasted beet ice cream? YES. I have been thinking more about veggies in ice cream, and beets were one of the first things to cross my mind. :)

  11. says

    I’m totally, completely with you on this one. I love the long light filled days, but I am longing for warm cozy food and nights curled up with books and animals all around. And really ginger cookies don’t need to be restricted to just winter. We’re Scandinavian and we eat them all the time! Crisp, Pepparkakor with creamy cambozola cheese is just about as awesome as it gets.

    • says

      Omg, all I can think about now is eating crispy ginger cookies with cheese. That sounds SO amazing. Definitely not just for winter! :)

  12. says

    You, my friend, have officially reached the level of genius. I don’t know if I ever would have thought to put carrots in ice cream, but now it seems incredibly obvious and so. freaking. delicious. It almost sounds better than carrot cake itself. Genius, I say, genius!

    • says

      Crazy right?? I don’t know if I’d ever thought of it if Phi hadn’t put the idea in my head! I’m so glad she did, because it turned into a magical treat. :)

  13. says

    Yay; another lover of carrot ice cream! I’m so glad you stumbled onto my site when you were looking into it. It kind of makes me wanna make some right now… but I have Bourbon ice cream I need to finish first. ;)

  14. says

    Ok, so the thought of making carrot ice cream intrigues me and kinda grosses me out at the same time. I have been making ice cream sandwiches all summer and I think I need to try these out, since I’m totally curious now. Love your blog BTW. Great work :)

    • says

      Haha! I definitely know what you mean. Just the words “carrot ice cream” in conjunction don’t exactly evoke delicious thoughts. But it’s totally got a carrot cake vibe going on. (It’s crazy how some sugar and spice can transform them into a delicious dessert!) :)

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