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Strawberry Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month?  Apparently Ronald Reagan proclaimed July 1984 to be National Ice Cream month and the tradition has continued since then.  I suppose it makes sense that the hottest month of the year goes hand in hand with the coolest treat around, but I hadn’t really heard of National Ice Cream month until I was contacted by Tillamook to see if I was interested in playing with some of their ice cream to create a treat to celebrate this special month.  I certainly don’t need an excuse to consume ice cream in the summer, but it was a lot of fun sampling some new Tillamook Ice Cream flavors and coming up with an ice cream treat to share with my family and with you.

Just look at what arrived on my doorstep!  SIX different flavors of ice cream.  I didn’t have room in my freezer for these so I took them over to my grandparents to store in their extra freezer and to share with the rest of my family since everyone stops to visit Nana and Grandpa regularly.  The flavors we had to sample were: Old Fashioned Vanilla (my grandpa’s favorite), Oregon Strawberry (Phil’s favorite), Tillamook Mudslide (my Aunt Kathy’s favorite), Marionberry Pie (one of my favorites), Chocolate Peanut Butter (my other favorite), and Fireside S’mores, which everyone seems to like.  It’s been a good month of ice cream.

I decided I wanted to end the month with some cookie-based ice cream sandwiches and as I was browsing through the cookie recipes on Pinch My Salt, I ran across these Giant Lemon Sugar Cookies that I made years ago and thought they would be perfect for an ice cream sandwich.  Since lemon and berries go so well together, these sandwiches would have been great with either Oregon Strawberry or Marionberry Pie Ice Cream.  I decided on the strawberry lemon combination just to keep the flavors simple and straightforward.

Since I had never frozen these cookies before, I wasn’t sure how they would work.  There’s nothing worse than an ice cream sandwich that’s too hard to bite through!  But the cookies worked great.  Even after sitting in the freezer overnight, the cookies were firm but easy to bite through.  Everything holds together well and the combination of sugar cookie and ice cream is perfect.

Big Lemon Sugar Cookies
yield: approximately 2 dozen 4-inch cookies

2 cups sugar, divided
zest of 2 lemons, divided
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Prepare lemon sugar: In a mini food processor, blend 1/2 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Pulse several times until the lemon zest is incorporated into the sugar. Put sugar mixture in a shallow bowl and stir lightly with a fork to break up any clumps. Set aside.

Prepare cookie dough: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Blend in eggs, one at a time then add vanilla, lemon juice, and remaining lemon zest. Add flour mixture, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition, until all flour is incorporated.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shape the cookies: Using a jumbo cookie scoop or a spoon and your hands, shape two tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball and roll in lemon sugar. Place ball of dough on parchment-lined cookie sheet and press down lightly with the bottom of a glass until cookie is about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat. Six cookies will fit on one 18? x 13? baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, until set but not browned.  Remove cookies to wire rack and let cool completely.

Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches

Big Lemon Sugar Cookies (completely cooled)Tillamook Oregon Strawberry Ice Cream (or ice cream of your choice)

Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for a few minutes until softened and scoopable.  Put one scoop of ice cream (the amount is up to you) on the bottom of one lemon cookie and cover with another cookie. Push down until ice cream reaches the edges of the cookies.  Run a spoon (or a finger) around the outside of ice cream sandwich to catch any ice cream that tries to escape.  If the ice cream is very soft and starting to run, place sandwiches on a tray in the freezer unwrapped for 15 minutes to allow the filling to harden before wrapping.  Wrap ice cream sandwiches in waxed paper and store in freezer.  Sandwiches are best eaten after sitting in the freezer for at least an hour or two.

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Disclosure: Tillamook provided me with free ice cream but I was not compensated in any other way and all views expressed in this post are my own.