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Apple Cider Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
The hardest part is not eating them straight from the oven.
Sorry folks. I have a hard time calling it a donut if it doesn't come out of a fryer. And while I was inspired to make an apple cider donut-esque dessert this season, this is far from it. But a spiced, seasonal, and super flavorful cookie? We nailed it.
If you are looking for an apple-cinnamon treat that’s easy to make at home, then these Apple Cider Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are for you.
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Thank my less-than-enthusiastic, pie averting kids and husband for this non-traditional Thanksgiving dessert. I’ll gladly bake and eat a pumpkin pie all for myself, but their disdain for both fruit and custard pies alike warrant a second option.
What started as an applesauce whoopie pie with cream cheese filling turned into these fully mouth-watering cookies that just begged to be stuffed with ice cream. Applesauce gave them too much of a cakey texture. Instead, these are chewy with a crispy edge and coated in cinnamon sugar. Even frozen, they are manageable and remain soft enough that ice cream doesn’t squeeze out with every bite.
The cookies themselves have both reduced apple cider and shredded apple. Not unlike a snickerdoodle in texture and ideation, the flavor of these cookies tops the chart of desserts I've eaten this season. Obviously you can eat them straight up, but paired with vanilla bean ice cream, they are *chef’s kiss!
Apple Cider Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 8 sandwiches
½ cup (140ml) apple cider juice
1 small apple (Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, or similar)
2 ½ cups (312g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) brown sugar
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 quart vanilla ice cream
Pour the apple cider into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium–high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the cider is reduced to about ¼ cup. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl or jar to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
Peel the apple. Grate about half of the apple on the large holes of a box grater. Pack a ¼ cup measuring cup with apple shreds then tip onto a paper towel. Squeeze out the excess juice and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment), mix the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the brown sugar and ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar and mix until combined and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the reduced apple cider and the shredded apples. Mix until combined.
In two batches, add in the dry ingredients, mixing until combined and the dough is uniform.
Place the remaining ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a mixing bowl (the one from the flour is fine).
Use a medium cookie scoop to portion out 3-tablespoon balls of dough, rolling each one in the cinnamon sugar then placing on the prepared baking sheets. Space the cookies at least 2 inches apart (they will spread).
Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes until the edges are set, rotating halfway through baking. Feel free to give the tray a bang on the oven rack to encourage spreading.
Immediately after baking, use a large, round cookie cutter to encircle the cookies. Rotate the cutter around the cookies, pushing in the edges to re-from the cookies into circles.
Sprinkle the tops with more cinnamon sugar. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then use a spatula to move them to a wire rack.
Once the cookies are completely cool, match them up as best as possible. Scoop slightly softened ice cream on the bottom of one cookie, then use another to gently sandwich them together. Repeat with the remaining cookies, setting on a sheet pan in the freezer as you go.
Once firm, store in the freezer in an airtight container until serving.
Serving and Storage:
This recipe makes about 17 cookies - enough for 8 sandwiches and extra for the chef.
Freeze the filled cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet for about an hour. Once firm, transfer them to an airtight container (a zip-top freezer bag or lidded container will do). Enjoy within a week of making.
No ice cream? Serve straight up! Store plain cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
I ended up with a spare cookie. Consider this a chef’s treat. You’re welcome.
Clear a spot in your freezer before assembling. Place a quarter sheet pan or cutting board in the freezer to eliminate any panic when assembling.
To assemble the sandwiches, a regular scoop of ice cream placed in the center of two cookies will do. Press down gently to push the ice cream towards the edges and make it easier to fit in your mouth.
If you want smooth ice cream edges, I recommend doing the above and freezing slightly to firm. Then, take a bit of ice cream on an offset spatula to fill in the gaps between the cookies. Use the edges of the cookies to gently scrape the spatula and clean away any excess ice cream. Refreeze or eat straight away.
If your cookies are on the softer side, take care when pushing them together with the ice cream or they may crack. Place on a hard surface then gently press down on the top cookie instead of sandwiching them together in your hands.