Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chocolate Cayenne Ice Cream Sandwiches - A Sweet Treat with a Touch of Heat!

I have a dear friend who spoils me rotten with her cayenne-infused goodies. Cheddar "biscuits", caramels, etc. But one of my favorite bites ever are her chocolate cayenne cookies. As she's a semi- professional baker (makes gift baskets at Christmas, Easter and so on), she's very hush-hush about her recipes. So, I ventured out on my own (okay, I did have some help from a friend who is a WAY better baker than I am), did some research and stumbled upon a brownie cookie recipe. I simply added some cayenne and played around with the cooking time and method. I must say that these cookies rock! All three people that sampled them loved them fresh out of the oven. The ice cream is just a bonus. Great for a backyard BBQ or a movie night at home. They do take a couple of days to make, but absolutely nothing about them is difficult. That's mainly due to using the Mrs. Anderson's Bread Crisping Mat, from Harold Imports Company. After baking the cookies and letting them cool, they came right off of the mat, no worries. I was very impressed (and yes, that's my own opinion, nobody told me to say that!) I'm not a huge "baker", but I am excited about this mat. I honestly see myself using it soon to turn out the thin, crisp cookies (hello, toffee bits) that I adore. These cookies are awesome, as is the mat. Add in the ice cream, and you've got a nice sweet treat with a little hint of heat! Cheers!

Chocolate Cayenne Ice Cream Sandwiches
by Chris
Adapted from the recipe "Easy Brownie Mix Cookies" from
Makes about 30 cookies, or 15 sandwiches

1 Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie box mix (18.3 ounces)
2 ounces (I used a kitchen scale to measure it out) plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (combining the two is fine)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 Tablespoons water
1 cup Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips
Cooking spray (PAM) or a spray olive oil
Extra flour for forming cookies
French Vanilla ice cream, about 15 Tablespoons (to make 15 sandwiches. If making less, plan on one Tablespoon per sandwich)

* I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but these could easily be made using either a hand mixer or good old basic stirring. I would use a sturdy spoon or a large fork, not a whisk, as the batter ends up being pretty thick and it would be difficult to get it all off of a whisk.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the brownie mix, all of the flour, and the cayenne pepper on the lowest speed (#1) for about 30 seconds, just enough to incorporate all ingredients. Add the oil, eggs, and water. Mix at a slightly higher speed (#2) for one minute or until everything is well-blended. Add the chocolate chips and gently (on #1) blend into batter for about 30 seconds. Do not over mix. Scrape the paddle attachment in order to remove any remaining dough. Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to either 325°F with convection (this is the method I used) or 350°F without. Remove the dough/batter from the refrigerator and let it sit out while the oven heats, about 15-20 minutes. At this point, you will need a non-stick spray (PAM or a spray olive oil), a small ice cream scoop or a Tablespoon (to measure the dough out), and a medium-sized coffee cup or drinking glass (to press the cookies). Spray both the scoop and the bottom of the cup/glass with your non-stick spray (I resprayed both after every 3-4 cookies throughout the baking process.) You will also need a small bowl of flour (about 1/2 cup) to use on your hands when forming the cookies (I coated my hands in flour after each 3-4 cookies as well.) Place your Mrs. Anderson's Bread Crisping Mat on a cookie sheet to fit. Using the oiled scoop/spoon, measure out about one Tablespoon of batter and roll into a ball using your floured hands. Place on the Crisping Mat. You will be able to fit 6 cookies on one sheet without issue. Once you have 6 balls of dough, use the oiled cup/glass to gently press the cookies flat. You may need to flatten them a bit more using the palm of your hand. Make sure that they are fairly even in size if you plan on making ice cream sandwiches (one of my taste testers was not able to eat ice cream, so he sampled the cookies alone. They are awesome either with or without the ice cream.) When your cookies are ready, place into the heated oven. Be sure to cover the batter and leave it in the refrigerator between batches (if it is not cool enough it will get sticky and icky!) Bake for 8-10 minutes (8 was perfect in my oven at 325°F with convection, but your oven may be a tad different.) After cooking, remove cookies from oven and let sit to cool for at least 10 minutes. When cooled through, use a plastic spatula to gently take cookies off of the mat. Let them sit on the counter, uncovered, for at least one hour. During this time they will harden up quite well.

When ready to assemble the sandwiches, pull your ice cream (I love them with French Vanilla, but you could totally do whatever appeals to you) out of the freezer and let it soften for 15-20 minutes. While waiting, go ahead and pull off enough squares of Saran Wrap to wrap your sandwiches in (you could leave some cookies just to nibble on), and match your cookies up according to size. When ice cream is softened, place a scant Tablespoon on one cookie, and top with another similar-sized cookie to make a sandwich. Press down lightly to insure that the ice cream is spread out evenly, but don't let the ice cream spread out over the edges of the cookies. Wrap tightly in the Saran Wrap, and place in the freezer to harden, at least 2 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment