Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwich

It's practically telling you to eat it.
My attempts to beat the summer heat joined forces with the ultimate in childhood comfort desserts (and my mild arrested development) this past week in the form of an ice cream sandwich. After some subpar pistachio cake during restaurant week, I was in desperate need of a dessert deserving of the magically flavorful and addictive green nuts. Would my hands and mind survive the endless shelling and chopping, or would dessert be derailed faster than the sun could melt these ice cream sandwiches?

Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwich
Adapted from
Servings: 12 sandwiches or 24 cookies
Time: 90 minutes (60 of which are just refrigeration)
I'll find any excuse to buy Ben & Jerry's.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
2/3-1 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 pint Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio Ice cream

For once, I had figured out the proper distance between cookies.

I now hate them after all the chopping & shelling.
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed.
  2. Drop in the baking powder and nutmeg and mix well.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract until full incorporated.
  4. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  5. Fold in the pistachios using a rubber spatula.
  6. Refrigerate your dough covered for an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  8. Drop 1 inch balls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Leave about 2 inches of room between cookies.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies start to brown.
  10. Let the bottoms crisp up on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes then transfer on to wire racks to cool.
  11. Once cooled, scoop ice cream between two cookies and enjoy.
A proper pistachio to cookie ratio was reached.
Originally, I wanted to make a more traditional Italian pistachio cookie, but I could not get a hold of the required almond meal. Instead, I compromised and made a fairly standard cookie and loaded it with almond extract to make up for it. The resulting cookie had just the right level of crispness and was only very subtly sweet allowing the lightly roasted pistachios to really come through in each bite. These delectable little pistachio stuffed morsels also managed to set a new record for fastest devouring when I brought the leftovers to work the next day (the ones who sadly didn't find their other cookie soul mate in eternal ice cream sandwich love).

While these cookies shined on their own, they really made an impression when bookending ice cream. I don't know that there is any store bought dessert better than a pint of Ben & Jerry's (as my brother-in-law Bryan and I discovered while starting out the blog and serving as private amateur chef. At least now, I've learned to not eat the entire pint. Take that arrested development!). The Pistachio Pistachio helped up the sweetness to more sinful levels and pumped in additional almond-like flavor (it's seriously almost like they managed to make petit four ice cream). In the end, I was left with a fantastic slightly more adult take on the ice cream sandwich that thoroughly satisfied my pistachio needs (and another bag of pistachios to shell and eat in obscene quantities).
Don't let the picture fool you, these were tiny bite-sized (or four bites) snacks that strayed from my usual human head-sized baking tendencies.

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