Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches

Have you tried an It's-It? Ice cream, sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, then dipped in chocolate... that's right. That's the kind of summer treat I'm craving these days. It's-Its were created in San Francisco in the 1920s and you can still find them tucked into ice cream freezers all over the West Coast.

INGREDIENTS - slightly adapted from Jennie Schacht's I Scream Sandwich!

Oatmeal Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour {GF folks: I use Pamela's Bread Mix and Flour Blend}
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats {GF folks: be sure to buy GF oats}
  • optional: 1/2 cup raisins
Chocolate Shell:
  • 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
 Ice Cream: Jennie makes her own, but I was too lazy this week.
  • Store-bought vanilla ice cream for filling. For those of your who can't tolerate dairy, try Coconut Bliss... it's really creamy and good. {GF friends: be sure to check the ice cream label to be certain it's gluten-free}

Preheat oven to 350.

First, go ahead and make your cookies. In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, or using a medium mixing bowl with a hand-mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla. Blend until ingredients are integrated.

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. While the standing mixer is still whirling, slowly add the dry ingredients. Finally, add oats to the batter. Mix until batter is well blended.

Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto the lined cookie sheets. Jennie very wisely suggests making 24 tablespoon size cookies. (We went ahead and made 14 bigger cookies - piggies, I know. From here on out, I'll stick to Jennie's reasonable portions!) Give the cookies some room to spread during baking, and use your fingertips to flatten the dough a bit, flatter disk-shaped cookies make for more manageable ice cream sandwiches.

Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes until golden, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning.  Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on their baking sheet, then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.

Once cookies have cooled completely, scoop (slightly softened) ice cream between two cookies to make a sandwich. Stick the prepared sandwiches in the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet to chill thoroughly before dipping them into the chocolate shell.

Making the chocolate shell... Gently melt chocolate with coconut oil in a double boiler, or microwave. Once the chocolate is just warm, liquidy, and smooth, stir and you've got your dipping chocolate.
Take each fully-frozen ice cream sandwich, and dip it halfway into the the melted chocolate. Let the drips fall away and then return the dipped sandwich to your cold, parchment-lined baking sheet.  Freeze the sandwiches again for 15 minutes, until the chocolate had chilled and hardened.

Eat and enjoy! Wrap any extra ice cream sandwiches in parchment and store them in the freezer until you're ready to munch again.

makes 12 ice cream sandwiches (we made 7 monster-size sandwiches, but I will definitely stick with a more manageable size next