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Flavor of the Month: Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Raspberry Swirl

The minute I  saw the August issue of Gourmet Magazine [1], I knew what this month’s Flavor of the Month [2] would be.  On the cover was a gorgeous photo of the most luscious ice cream sandwiches I’d ever laid eyes on!   They were called Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl [3].  The chewy lemon-scented blondie cookies filled with a lemon-infused vanilla ice cream, streaked with a fresh berry compote were irresistible to me.  Sheer perfection!

There is something magical about an ice cream sandwich that can reduce even the biggest stuffed shirt into a delighted, giggling  child.   Maybe it’s because you have to eat them with your hands.  It’s kind of hard to look very dignified with ice cream dribbling down your chin and damp cookie bits stuck to your fingers.  For some, it may bring back warm, fuzzy memories of the carefree days of youth.  Perhaps both.  Whatever the reason, ice cream sandwiches are a quintessential and universally loved summertime treat. 

The recipe for these lovelies is actually quite easy.  You don’t even have to make homemade ice cream if you don’t want to, although I highly recommend it. While it does take some extra time to make your own ice cream, it also eliminates the time needed for softening the store bought product.  Six and one-half dozen of the other!

I made my favorite Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream for these and just swirled the fruit compote in it right out of the ice cream maker. Philadelphia-style ice cream is ice cream that is made without egg yolks and doesn’t require any cooking.  It freezes firmer and has a lighter texture than its French-style counterpart.  For that reason, I prefer it when making fruity ice creams. It was perfect for these ice cream sandwiches.

Of course, I had to tweak the original recipe a little bit.  Instead of blueberries, I decided to go with raspberries.  No reason. Just because.   I also added a little Limoncello [4] to my ice cream, for just a little extra lemony zing.  And finally, I mixed a little ground ginger into the cookie batter, because I really love the way ginger and lemon harmonize with each other.

My Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Raspberry Swirl turned out beautifully!   The ice cream itself was so rich and creamy with a subtle pop of bright, lemon flavor.  The raspberry compote was just enough to complement the ice cream without overpowering it.  And, the cookie sandwich layers were light and crisp, but really held up to the task of containing the ice cream filling.   They looked lovely.  They tasted lovely.  And, they made lovely little packages all dressed up with their pretty pink ribbons.