I’m still thinking about Valentines Day, which is fast approaching. ..and still thinking about chocolate of course. Here we have a treat that the whole family can get in on making, and there are plenty of opportunities to steal a sample and cover yourself and everybody in arms reach with ice cream as you move along. Keeping with the red hearts theme, we are making a chocolaty Red Velvet Cookie and cutting it into heart shapes, then grabbing our favorite ice cream from the supermarket and dressing it up with big chunks of chocolate and big cherries halves. All in all, we’re pretty happy with ourselves for this one. I will say that photographing melting ice cream definitely inspires non-valentines thoughts, and more yelling was involved than usual. “OK, once we get that ice cream out of the freezer, we will have twenty seconds to try and take a decent photo…ready…set…GO!! (insert yelling and other words here). Let me show you how easy and fun it is!
There are a couple of things happening here: first we need to make the cookie dough because it needs to set up in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Once you’ve got it all chilled and ready to go, the next part of this involves rolling and cutting out the heart shaped cookies. If you don’t have a heart shaped cookie cutter (wondering who does besides food obsessed individuals like us) you can always use any other shape you like, including a biscuit cutter if you’ve got one. If not, never fear: just use a sharp knife and cut the rolled out dough into squares. Word of warning: this dough can get sticky so don’t be shy about flouring your board. We needed to regroup and add more, and this is not a pleasant task.
Give them a little space in the oven since they will expand just a tiny bit. Being the food nerds that we are, of course we had some tiny heart shapes as well and played around with them also.
While your cookies are baking and cooling, you can get going on the ice cream portion. You’ll want to let your ice cream container set out on the counter to get soft, and this might take 20-30 minutes. The objective is that you want to be able to easily fold the added ingredients in, and this is not an easy feat if the ice cream is fighting with you every step of the way. Here is your opportunity to prep your additions, and we chose frozen, drained, and thawed Bing cherries and big chunks of dark chocolate. Of course we did.
Just drop in your additions and gently fold until everything is copacetic.
Now we move fast. You will have been really smart and already lined a 13×9 inch baking dish with plastic wrap, making sure to let enough hang over the sides to grab on to later. You can also use a half-sized cookie sheet with sides if you’ve got one. Spoon your ice cream slush into the pan and chuck it into the freezer. This is now the hard part, which involves waiting. If you can, it’s a fine idea to get your ice cream into it’s freezing position the night before so you can make sure it’s super-firm when you start making the sandwiches. We did not, and waited a couple of hours which also worked but the ice cream was not all that hardened and it involved some do-overs and bad words. When you’re ready to assemble, just pull the ice cream out of the baking dish using the plastic wrap as handles. Using the same cookie cutter you used on the cookies, cut out the ice cream, put each one in between two cookies and there you have your sandwich! If you can put this whole thing back into the freezer for awhile to set up again that would be a very good plan. If not, this will melt quickly which means you will have to eat very fast. See that big chunk of ice cream that fell off the side down there? I see two options: you can mix up your ice cream ‘scraps’, refreeze and make more sandwiches, or you can just eat them. We opted for the immediate gratification of eating immediately.
Stack them up, pass them around, and dive right in.
Can I offer you one?
Happiest of Valentines Days to you!! xoxoxo
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ sticks butter, softened
- 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
- 1-cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- ICE CREAM
- 1 container (the closest thing you can find to half gallon) vanilla ice cream (we used Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla, 1.75 quart)
- 1, 1 pound package frozen sweet Bing cherries, thawed and drained (we used Trader Joe’s)
- 1 12-ounce package chocolate chips, chopped into very large pieces (or 12 ounces of a dark chocolate bar, chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Using a mixer and large bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and food color until light and fluffy.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined.
- Divide dough into two equal sections and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm.
- When dough is firm, roll out until about ⅛ inch thick on a well-floured surface (Note: this dough can get really sticky so no need to be stingy with the flour – it will help your sanity). Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter (if you have one and are feeling romantic, or any other shape you like), cut out dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about an inch apart. No need to use cooking spray.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for a coupe of minutes to set up before moving to a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature before filling.
- ICE CREAM
- Allow ice cream to set out at room temperature until you are able to stir easily.
- While ice cream is softening, drain cherries and slice each cherry in half. Set aside.
- Chop chocolate pieces into the size you prefer. Set aside.
- When ice cream has softened enough to stir, gently fold in the cherries and chocolate.
- Line a 13x9 inch-baking dish with plastic wrap, making sure the sides overlap, and spoon ice cream mixture into the baking dish. Place in freezer and freeze until firm, preferable overnight.
- TO ASSEMBLE
- Remove ice cream from freezer and lift out of the baking dish with the sides of the plastic wrap.
- Using the same cookie cutter you used on the cookies, cut shapes out of ice cream, place in between two cookies, and pop back into the freezer to set up. Continue on until you have all the cookies filled – chances are you will have cookies left over.