Blueberry Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches

The other week a few friends and I got together for an impromptu weekday potluck, and naturally I wanted to bring dessert. I had a bit more time on my hands than just buying something from the store but not enough to make something elaborate from scratch. I love the idea of an ice cream sandwich. Whoever first thought of using cookies as a vehicle to deliver ice cream to your mouth is a genius. I decided to do a semi-homemade approach here by making my own delicious blueberry lemon compote as one of 3 ingredients for these sammies. I swirled the compote into vanilla ice cream and smushed that between graham cracker squares. The lemon zest in the compote kept it light and refreshing — one bite and I almost forgot it was 30 degrees out. Almost.

The great thing about ice cream sandwiches is that they’re kind of like a white canvas, and the combinations are endless. It was sort of empowering in a way to realize I could add pretty much anything (fruits, nuts, fudge, cookie butter, caramel, candy, etc…) to an ice cream base and create any dream flavor I wanted. If you had more time, any homemade cookie or even brownies or blondies cut in half would be incredible in place of the graham crackers. The method I describe below makes perfect square ice cream sammies, but feel free to go for a more rustic (aka easy) approach: scoop some ice cream onto your graham cracker, dollop it with a spoonful of compote, top with another cracker, and EAT!

Blueberry Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches
1.5 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened
9 whole graham crackers (18 squares)
Blueberry Compote

  1. Line a square 8×8 pan with parchment paper so the paper is hanging over the edges. Leave the ice cream at room temperature for about 10 minutes until softened enough to spread.
  2. Spread the vanilla ice cream into the bottom of the square pan.
  3. Dollop the compote over the top and use a knife or spoon to swirl it into the ice cream.
  4. Freeze for at least 4 hours or longer.
  5. Remove the ice cream by lifting the parchment paper onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the ice cream into squares the same size as the graham cracker squares.*
  6. Press the ice cream squares between two graham cracker squares and lay back into the baking pan. This should make 9 ice cream sandwiches. Cover the pan in plastic wrap and place back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until ready to eat.

(*Note: The ice cream started out very hard and the graham crackers were not sticking to it. The ice cream softened while I was assembling them, and the sandwiches held together more. They started melting quickly, so I tried to do this step fast and get them back in the freezer.)

Blueberry Compote
Adapted from Epicurious

2 heaping cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch

  1. Cook blueberries, sugar, and zest in small saucepan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, mashing the blueberries to release the juices.
  2. Stir together lemon juice and cornstarch and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil for 1 or 2 minutes to thicken the compote.
  3. Transfer blueberry compote to a bowl and chill until cold.

 

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