For a few months now, Captain Awesome has been asking me to make ice cream sandwiches similar to an It’s-It. I thought it would make a nice treat for Father’s Day, so I made some just for him. Aren’t I swell?
If you don’t know, It’s-Its are ice cream sandwiches made with oatmeal raisin cookies, ice cream (duh), and a chocolate coating. They have been made in San Francisco since 1928. They are delicious treats. Unfortunately our local grocery store does not carry them, so it’s not very often that Captain Awesome gets to enjoy one.
The thing about It’s-Its is that even though they have raisins, you don’t bite into a raisin when you’re eating one. It’s like the raisins have been pulverized or something. I wanted to try and replicate that, so I combined the raisins with about half of the oats. I gave them a good toss so that the raisins would get coated in the powder from the oats. Then I put the two in the food processor and processed until the raisins were ground into bits and came together.
I used two 10×15 sheets like this to bake the cookie in. Line the sheets with parchment. Process the raisins with the oats and set them aside.
In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugars, spices, salt, and baking powder. Then mix in the eggs and honey. Next add the raisin/oat mixture and mix until it is evenly distributed throughout. The mixture will be thick and look like this.
Finally, stir in the flour and the remaining oats. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes. Chilling the dough makes it easier to press into the pans.
Once the dough has chilled divide it in half. Press each half into a parchment lined sheet. Use an offset spatula to help smooth the dough.
Wrap the dough lined sheets with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours until chilled.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Baking times will vary based on your oven and rack position, etc. (I originally baked at 375°, but I feel this was too hot and would bake at 350° in the future.) Keep a watchful eye on the cookies as they will brown fast. You want them to be golden, but not too dark. If they get too dark, the raisins will taste bitter.
After baking, allow the cookies to cool to room temp. Once they have cooled, wrap the sheets in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to fill the cookies with ice cream, remove your ice cream from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. You want the ice cream to be soft, but not melted. Use any flavor of ice cream you would like. I chose Tillamook Vanilla Bean.
Remove one cookie sheet from the freezer. Loosen the cookie from the edges of the pan, so that it will easily come out once it has been assembled. Cover the entire cookie with ice cream. Work fast and use and offset spatula to smooth the ice cream. I added enough ice cream so that it came up to the rim of the sheet pan. I used about 3/4 of the carton. You can add more if you would like.
If at any point your ice cream starts to melt, just pop everything in the freezer for about 10 minutes so it can firm back up.
Once your ice cream is on the cookie, place the whole thing back in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes remove the ice cream covered cookie and the other cookie from the freezer. Top the ice cream with the 2nd sheet of cookie. Press gently on the cookie so that it will stick into the ice cream.
Put the whole thing in the freezer for about 2 hours so it can firm up. After it has been in the freezer for a couple of hours, go around the edge of the pan with an offset spatula to loosen the cookie and ice cream from the sides of the pan. Turn the pan over onto a large cutting board and lift the pan off. The cookie and ice cream should slide right out.
Cut the cookie into bars. I chose to cut mine into 16 pieces. They were kind of on the big side, so you might want to cut yours into a smaller size.
Place the cut bars in the freezer. While the bars are in the freezer, melt some chocolate over a double boiler. Add about a tablespoon of shortening to the melted chocolate.
Work quickly and dip the bars into the chocolate or use a fork to drizzle chocolate onto them. Place the chocolate coated bars onto a parchment lined sheet. Place them in the freezer to firm up.
Store ice cream sandwiches in the freezer in an air tight container or on a sheet pan wrapped in plastic.
This recipe does take quite a bit of time to produce because of the time needed to chill everything. If you want to make it, I recommend doing so over the course of 2 days. Bake and chill your cookies on the first day and assemble the ice cream sandwiches on the second day.
Ready to make your own? Here’s the recipe:
Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
Oatmeal Cookie Bar Recipe
(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)
6 oz butter, unsalted, softened
2.5 oz sugar
3.75 oz brown sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 egg white
3.25 oz honey
4.5 oz all purpose flour
7.75 oz oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
11.25 oz raisins
Line the bottom of two 10×15 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine the raisins with about half of the oats. Toss to coat the raisins with the powder from the oats. Place in a food processor and process until the raisins are chopped into bits and it all comes together.
In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugars, spices, salt, and baking soda. Add the vanilla, eggs, and honey. Mix to combine. Add the raisin/oat mixture and mix until combined.
Add the flour and oats and mix.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Use an offset spatula to press the chilled dough into the parchment lined pans. Wrap the pans in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool the cookies to room temperature.
Wrap the pans in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Ice Cream Sandwich Assembly
Spread softened ice cream onto one of the frozen cookies. Place the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes and then top it with the other cookie. Place the whole thing in the freezer for about 2 hours.
Use an offset spatula to loosen the cookie and ice cream from the sides of the pan. Turn the pan over onto a large cutting board. Lift the pan off. Cut into equal sized bars. Place the bars in the freezer.
16 oz Chocolate (Dark, Milk, or a mix)
1 Tbsp shortening
Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Add shortening and stir to combine.
Dip the frozen bars into the chocolate or drizzle them with chocolate. Place bars on a parchment lined tray. Place chocolate coated bars in freezer until chocolate is firm.
Have a Happy Father’s Day Weekend!