Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

August 22, 2011 § 35 Comments

Or, as I like to call them “Brownie Surprise.”  These delicious treats were created by accident one day.  As with many holidays, my parents had a ton of people in the house for Easter.  I was trying to stretch a couple batches of brownies to accommodate everyone without having to go to the store again.  However, I made the mistake of making them WAY too thin and was very disappointed in myself.  How could I serve these measly little things to people and call it dessert? Luckily, I had this brainwave…

What if I take 2 pans of the way-too-thin brownies and stick a layer of ice cream in the middle? Surprise! Delicious. Hence the name “brownie surprise.”

In my house, they didn’t last long enough to make it back into the freezer after they were cut.  I made them again for my then-fiance’s bachelor party, before I headed back to Chicago and left the boys to…whatever that weekend entailed. This time, I cut them into little squares, wrapped each one in plastic wrap, and stuck them back in the freezer.  It worked great and ensured that the treats were split evenly among so many greedy little fingers.

The original recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen.  Though she has no clue who I am, I like to call her my Most Trusted Advisor, since I’ve tried out so many of her treats. All have been amazing.

Makes roughly 15 2″ x 3″ homemade ice cream sandwiches. Another great thing about this recipe is that you only need one bowl for all the mixing!


10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tub of an ice cream of your choice (we used vanilla)


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of 2 9×13 brownie pans/cookie sheets (since they are so thin) with parchment paper or foil. I don’t have 2 of the same size pans- but the batter is thick enough to mold into similar sized blobs so you can use 2 different sizes.

{butter, sugar, cocoa, salt}

Fill a wide skillet with water (about half full- leave some room for water displacement) and simmer it.  Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in the simmering water. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.  At this point, if you stick your finger in it, it should be hot enough that you want to pull it out right away.  Take the bowl out and let it cool a little bit- until it is still warm, but not hot. It may not look pretty at this point, but it’ll get better after adding the other ingredients.

{vanilla, eggs, flour}

Stir in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.  When the batter is smooth and shiny, add the flour and keep stirring until you can’t see it. Then, beat it vigorously with the a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  Spread the mixture evenly into the 2 pans. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. The mixture should be really thick- spread it around until both pans have blobs of a similar size and shape. If any batter splatters, wipe it up with your finger (and then lick it off, of course).  Otherwise the little drips will burn.

See? Different sized pans, similar sized delicious chocolate blobs.

**Note:  At this point, depending on how much batter you eat, the pans may not be entirely full. (Sometimes it’s a wonder my brownies even make it to the oven).  Don’t worry, just spread it around on the pan and try to make the two blobs evenly sized/shaped. If you have some asymmetrical ones along the edge, you can just eat them before serving and no one will ever know.

Bake until a toothpick comes out almost clean- It should be about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them; depending on how thin you have spread them they may take longer/shorter. If you like them on the gooey side, bake them to your liking- I always like mine a little underbaked.  Let cool completely on a rack.

Make sure you have a big enough flat surface in your freezer for the brownies.  Once they are cool, stick the pans in the freezer to harden up.  If you want to even them out, you can take a rolling pin to them before putting them in the freezer.  At some point while they are hardening, take the ice cream out of the freezer (maybe 10 minutes before you take the brownies out) so it can soften up and become more spreadable. Once the brownies are hard, remove them from the pans, but leave them on the parchment paper.  You can still roll them out at this point if you want to.  Spread a layer of ice cream on one layer (as much as you want!) but don’t go all the way to the edge since it will spread more once you add the 2nd layer.  Cover with the top layer and stick it back in the freezer.

Now comes the hard part…patiently waiting for it to freeze…Check on them after about 2 hours to see if the ice cream has hardened.  When they are finally hardened, remove the top layer of parchment paper and place the block on a cutting board. Cut into whatever shape and size you would like, wrap each sandwich in a piece of parchment paper and put it right back in the freezer. The ice cream will melt fast at this point so it will help to have an extra pair of hands. You also may need to refreeze in the middle of cutting if it gets too messy. Enjoy, like the happy husband!



§ 35 Responses to Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Adam says:

    I think there were a couple of these in Duff’s freezer when I was there for the bachelor party. Is that possible? Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure you made it, and I’m certain it was delicious! Great blog, I’m looking forward to more! Great seeing you guys this weekend.

    • Maya says:

      Thanks Adam! Yup- that freezer was supposed to be stocked for the bachelor party, but I think the bachelor ate a lot of them before you guys got there 🙂 It was so much fun this weekend and we can’t wait for September 23!

  • Ninette Fernandes says:

    Will the real Iron Chef please stand? Maya you are amazing! Congratulations ! Your blog and brownies are an absolute fabulous, delicious WOW and we loved it! We have been some of the lucky ones who got to taste your heavenly brownies. To those of you who did not you must try them! Truly terrific! Thank you so much Maya. I can (and mark these words from your dear ol’ aunt!)- see you with your own food network soon- mmmmm.. Maya’s marvelous munchies or Maya’s munchy marvels or as Andrew might say, “My marvelous munchy Maya!” You even have a great model Maya! Andrew you look great (and lucky) with them yum yums! And of course- if you need someone to make all the noise (and throw in some dancing too!) you know where to holler!!
    So thrilled and happy for you Maya. You are a wonderful cook besides all your other talents and we are so proud of you. Your strawberry cake at your bridal shower still has me mouth watering girl! I have passed on your recipe to several friends. You have so many fans- so get your show on the road and get going! Do I hear Charles Twistin’ – ‘Food, food.. glorious, fabulous food’ and Alex screamin,’- “What is MAYA?!” So go girl go! -Show them good glorious, fabulous food! You have us all cheerleaders rooting for you! Love you Maya! Million thanks again and then some- And from all of us a million yum yum xoxoxoxoxoxox CNCPN gang!

  • Melissa says:

    These look awesome! I am the same way with brownie batter. Maybe we can try these or another treat when we’re all together in October. 🙂

  • Tara says:

    Great recipe! Looking forward to reading about more concoctions!

  • An'del says:

    Mmmmmmm 🙂
    I’m hyped about this blog! Good job Lil’ Shady…

  • Michelle Halliday says:

    nice blog! way to go on getting it out there- wish i could say the same for my own lofty internet goals 🙂 hope you guys are doing well!

  • Jennette says:

    These sound great! I do a different version w/ homemade cookies and a fun choice of ice cream, and then I roll the sides of the ice cream in mini chocolate chips. Yum!

  • Pat and Joe Noronha says:

    Great blog Mayu, waiting to see it all filled up with recipes and pictures. Very proud of you. Thrilled that the brownie surprises originated at Oak Knolls Road and we got to taste them first. They are really yummy. Looking forward to lots of other great recipes. Keep baking and tasting.

    We love you, Mom and Dad

  • Courtney says:

    Hi Maya! These look delicious!

  • Molly Mungovan says:

    Nice pics, Maya. Glad this blog is off and running. Can’t wait to keep track of all your baking from afar…now it won’t be constantly tempting me in the apartment!

  • Suruchi says:

    Awesome recipe Maya…LOVE IT!

  • Sarah says:

    yum, i can’t wait to make the batter, i mean the sandwiches 🙂

  • Rita says:

    Sounds yummy Maya. Thanks

  • Marisa says:

    Sounds Good slurp…slurp! Envy Andrew. Can see him gorging on it. Must try it out. I’m sure my boys will love it.
    Enjoying being a housewife Maya? Good I wish I could be a full time one sometimes.
    Cherish every moment.
    Love you

  • Devin says:

    i’ll totally vouch for these. one night after the bar i hit up your freezer and downed three brownie surprises. love the blog, keep it comin’!

  • Liz says:

    Love it Maya!!! Very cute & yummy sounding! Can’t wait to make ’em!

  • ashu says:

    🙂 Loved it! Cd be a side-profession, your baking skills. Your chocolate cake is the best chocolate cake i’ve tasted!

  • Tina says:

    I’m jealous that the happy husband gets to eat brownie surprise!

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