Sandwiches go a long way back in history. The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped lamb and bitter herbs placed between two pieces of soft unleavened bread. The idea of a sandwich didn’t leave Europe till around the 19th century, when it was promoted as an elaborate meal in the USA. While I much prefer my steaming bowl of prawn noodles or sambal fried rice, sandwiches are admittedly a fast food and delicious option at the same time.
Sandwiches are easily handheld and so portable. I would say it’s almost like your cellphone. It’s hard to see the busy without one to fill the tummy.
As for ice cream sandwiches, you probably can’t use just any random cookie. It has to be one that freezes well with the ice cream, without becoming rock-hard. Today I made Flo Braker’s chocolate snaps. Pardon the terrible pun but not only were the cookies a snap to make, they were the perfect body for my stale vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was sitting idly in the freezer and I’m pretty sure they were just dying to be finished in the most appropriate way. Hence today’s dessert. Now excuse me while I devour the rest of my stash.
Flo’s Chocolate Snaps
makes 80 cookies
- 3 cups (420 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (75 g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups (250 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
In a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter and the sugar on medium speed just until smooth. Add the vanilla, then beat in the egg and egg yolk.
Gradually add the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until completely incorporated and no streaks of butter remain.
On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into quarters, and shape each quarter into a log about 7 inches (18 cm) long and 1½ inches (4 cm) in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they’re firm enough to slice, about 1 hour.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Slice the logs into disks ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick and place the disks on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about ½ inch (1.5 cm) apart.
Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the cookies are puffed and slightly firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the cookies with a bit of sugar.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to handle, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack. They will continue to firm up and get “snappy” as they cool.
STORAGE: The dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container for 2 days.