Toasted Walnut Maple Rosemary Shortbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

Something to make the start to your week a little sweeter, these homemade ice cream sandwiches were a labor of love, and totally worth it. My favorite thing is when we do these recipes that have both of us working in the kitchen together. I don't love the fact that I had an oven heated to 375° when it was 90°, but hey. When the urge for ice cream sandwiches calls you better answer. Robert is always in charge of the homemade ice cream, and he knocked this one out of the park. The toasted walnuts add so much flavor, and using grade B maple syrup is an absolute must, as it adds such richness to the ice cream. Sidenote: If you have jumped on the instagram stories train, we showed the process as we went, which it seems like we'll be doing more of in the future. 

The rosemary flavor is subtle, peaking out between bites of toasty walnut and the sweetness from the maple syrup. Both are delicious just on their own, (trust me, we did a lot of sampling before these lovelies were assembled) a nice balance of sweetness with a hint of herb. If you have a low-key weekend coming up, do yourself a solid and give these a try.

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
makes 12, 3" cookies | 6 sandwiches

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
8 oz chilled butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • Using a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, sugar and rosemary until well mixed, and the rosemary is chopped fine.
  • Add the butter and pulse to combine until dough forms.
  • Remove the dough from food processor and pat into a round. 
  • Divide the dough in half, and form into two discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375° and prepare two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. 
  • Roll the dough out to 1/4" thickness. Using a 3" biscuit cutter, cut out the dough and place on prepared pans, taking care to re-roll dough until it is all used. 
  • Chill the cookies in refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking. 
  • Once chilled, bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are browned. *Note: The dough may spread slightly while baking. To make cookies perfectly uniform for sandwiches, remove pans from the oven about 10 minutes in and use the biscuit cutter on the cookies once more. The excess edges will bake normally, and you'll have some seriously delicious cookie crumbles to sprinkle on top of ice cream. Return the pans to the oven, and continue baking until golden brown. 
  • Let cool on pan for 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before assembling sandwiches.

Toasted Walnut Maple Ice Cream
adapted from Serious Eats

1 cup walnuts, divided
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
(or darkest you can find)

  • Chop and toast 1/2 cup walnuts. While walnuts are toasting, warm heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until a light simmer has started. When simmering, add walnuts, remove from heat and set aside from at least 1 hour. 
  • Strain cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard walnuts, set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs and maple syrup.
  • Slowly pour in steeped cream mixture, whisking to combine. Set over medium heat and cook until whisking frequently until mixture reaches 170° or a custard has formed (check for this, by swiping your finger across a spoon. If a clean line forms, custard has cooked). Add a small pinch of salt to taste.
  • Pour custard through a find mesh sieve and chill in refrigerator overnight. 
  • Churn ice cream mix in an ice cream maker for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop and toast remaining 1/2 cup walnuts. Set aside to cool and combine at the very end of churning process.
  • Prepare a half size sheet pan with wax paper (you can also use a full size and not fill the entire pan) and spread the ice cream in one even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

    Sandwich Assembly! (the fun part)
    Using the same 3" biscuit cutter, cut out the ice cream from the sheet pan, place on top of cookie, topping with another cookie to finish. Once all sandwiches are assembled, return to the freezer on a sheet pan, covered with plastic wrap until completely firm, about 1 hour.