The crème de la crème of frozen desserts – creamy spiced pumpkin ice cream on a layer of caramel sandwiched between the chewy perfection of oatmeal cookies. The whole creation is dipped in a rich, crunchy chocolate coating.
December may not be the time that most people think of ice cream. But in our home, this is the time of the year when camping and fishing gear are stowed away and the stormy weather outdoors has us working on projects inside. One of my favorite winter hobbies is creating with baked goods.
I’m not sure what caused me to think of It’s Its, but somehow they overtook my thoughts last weekend. It’s Its are a San Francisco frozen creation that I was introduced to during a visit to the great city while in high school. It is really a simple dessert – vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and dipped in chocolate that instantly hardens. Simple but a perfect balance of flavors and textures – the ingredients have so much flavor and the cookies have the best texture. The sandwich is messy enough that you have to pay attention to the potential loss of ice cream, chocolate bits and cookie, but it manages to stay together long enough so you never lose one little bit.
This time of the year, I’m drawn to pumpkin-flavored creations. This being the case, I have a quart of homemade spiced pumpkin ice cream tucked away in our freezer. I also had a jar of caramel topping in the fridge. An It’s It-type dessert made with this ice cream and topping seemed like a winning combination. All I needed was a chewy oatmeal cookie and a chocolate dip that hardens and then cracks just right to turn this memory into a reality with a pumpkin-caramel twist.
Let the experiment begin!
Would the caramel be too hard? Would the frozen cookies remain chewy? Would the coating have that wonderful crunch? The answer, as you’ve probably guessed, is a resounding Yes! They are a bit time consuming to make because of having to wait in between steps for freezing. It’s totally worth it. After all the time put in to making these at home, we have eight delicious ice cream sandwiches to enjoy and to share with friends.
Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 8 scoops pumpkin ice cream (click here for recipe)
- 16 oatmeal cookies (see below)
- caramel ice cream topping
- chocolate dipping sauce (see below)
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pair up oatmeal cookies so that cookies are of equal sizes.
- Spread caramel topping on one side one of the pair of oatmeal cookies.
- Place one scoop of ice cream atop caramel topping.
- Sandwich second cookie atop ice cream.
- Place sandwiches on prepared baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- While sandwiches are freezing, prepare chocolate dipping sauce.
- Use a pair of forks to maneuver sandwiches. Place one sandwich at a time into dipping sauce. Flip sandwich. Remove from dipping sauce and place back on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with all sandwiches.
- Freeze for one hour.
- Enjoy right away or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer until you are ready to eat.
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup rolled oats (instant or regular)
- Combine butter and sugars. Mix well.
- Add vanilla. Mix well.
- Add egg. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Mix flour mixture into butter mixture.
- Stir in oats.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop out dough and roll it into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheet.
- Flatten cookies with fingers, or base of a flat glass. Use a small amount of water on your fingers or on the bottom of the glass to prevent sticking.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan for a couple of minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack.
- 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil
- Place chips and coconut oil in top of double boiler.
- Melt mixture over simmering water.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Use coating immediately in above recipe.