Everyone has their opinion on what the best part of back-to-school season is. For us, it’s always been the after-class snacks. Nothing could ever quite top leaping off the bus, slinging the freezer door open, and grabbing one of those classic ice cream sandwiches in the plain-white wrapper.
Even though we’re all grown up, and “after-school snacks” have become “after-work snacks,” we’re not ready to give up this nostalgic treat. So, our friend and recipe extraordinaire Kourtney Paranteau, came up with an elevated version with homemade snickerdoodles, Tillamook ice cream, and wait for it…candied fennel seeds.
Serving size: Makes 12 cookies (6 ice cream sandwiches)
1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Tillamook ice cream, any flavor (optional, for serving)
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. nutmeg
Mise En Place
In the base of a standing mixer on a medium speed, cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy (about three minutes). Add eggs and continue to whip for another two minutes before setting aside.
In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients (excluding the spice mixture) with a wooden spoon before slowly, in quarter-cup increments, stirring the dry ingredients into the creamed butter, egg, and sugar mixture.
For perfectly flat, uniform cookies, refrigerate your dough overnight, or at minimum three hours to ensure they’ll bake in a disc shape.
Once your dough has time to chill, preheat your oven to 350°F, assemble your spice mixture in a small plate or bowl, and start balling your cookies using an ice cream scoop. Dip the top of each cookie dough ball into the spice mixture until they’re all partially coated in spice.
Separate the cookies evenly throughout your baking sheet, leaving at least two inches between cookies, and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
And if you want to go the extra mile (and we know you do), turn your cooled snickerdoodles into ice cream sandos:
Once your cookies have cooled completely, remove Tillamook ice cream from your freezer, and allow it to thaw for five minutes so it spreads on your cookie like butter.
Pick a flavor you think will taste great next to the spice mixture (we used coffee almond fudge, classic vanilla and strawberry), and layer a liberal amount of ice cream on the back of a cookie before topping it with another cookie, to form a little sando.
If your ice cream is threatening to melt, wrap your ice cream sandwich in wax paper and place it back in your freezer for ten minutes to allow the ice cream to harden. Finally, roll the sandwiches in candy coated fennel (or regular-old sprinkles) and serve!