Friday, August 29, 2014

Banana "Bread" Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches

A little bourbon goes a long way, especially when its good bourbon.  I have grown to love bourbon over the past few years now.  Some people crave wine after a long day; well after a long week all I want is an Old Fashioned..strong and just sweet enough.  I would have to agree with George Bernard Shaw's thought sometimes...that "whiskey is liquid sunshine."  It can make you forgot all of crap that can happen in week for just a little bit.  I however am NOT encouraging heavy drinking in this post...I am just saying how it is for me personally.  So when I stumbled upon the recipe for these ice cream sandwiches when I was trying to figure out what to make with the overripe bananas sitting in my refrigerator I was very excited.  I might not should have served them on a Friday afternoon in the office...but well I did...AND they were delicious.

Let's talk about the cookies first.  These cookies taste like banana bread, soft, light, moist and with a little crunch from the pecans.  You could really just serve them by themselves...which  I did when I sent some with Charles to his office.  I mean I will be honest, I was meaning to send some ice cream sandwiches with him, but the ice cream is just too soft with the bourbon in it and I knew there was no way it was making it on the metro ride downtown.  

Okay so the ice cream...the ice cream is simple.  Take a things of vanilla ice cream and either blend or food process with bourbon and then re-freeze for at least 24 hours.  Learn from me and do the ice cream the day before you make the cookies...then it won't go melting all over the place as fast.  These ice cream sandwiches really turned out the way I hoped they would.  The are a super fun "adult" ice cream sandwich that is a little "fall" with the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and a little "summer" with the cool vanilla bourbon ice cream.  Give them a try sometime and Enjoy!

The ingredients that some in the smallest quantity, but make the most difference ...cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Dry ingredients meet toasty pecans...

Presentation is everything...into the oven they go.

Okay so these cookies made my house smell like donuts and I have been craving donuts ever since.

I would like to call this the money shot.

Banana "Bread" Bourbon Ice Cream Sandwiches: (recipe adapted from Serious Eats)
Bourbon Ice Cream:
1 - 1/2 gallon container French vanilla cream
2/3 cup good bourdon (I used J. R. Ewing)

For the banana bread cookies:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted whole oats, food processed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large bananas mashed (2/3 cup) (I just used the food processor)
20-24 pecan halves, cut in half
1/3 cup white sugar

A day in advance (ice cream)
In a food processor or blender, combine the vanilla ice cream and bourbon until combined.  Put back in the freezer and let sit for 24 hours.

1.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.  Then mix in the toasted and chopped pecans.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until fully incorporated.  Then whisk in the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk.  Next whisk in the mashed banana. (For "mashing" the banana, I just used the food processor since it was already dirty from the oats.)

3.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two additions, mixing until just combined.  Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes. 

4.  While the cookie dough is chilling, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.  In a small bowl, mix together the remaining two tablespoons of light brown sugar and the 1/3 cup white sugar.

5.  Once the dough has chilled, using a 1" cookie scoop to tablespoon, spoon balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2" apart.  Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar mixture and gently press 1/2 pecan on to the top of each.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and set on top.  (While the first batch of cookies are baking, place the remaining cookie dough back in the refrigerator.)  They should bake up the way whoopies pies or the top of cakes do.  Cool on baking sheets for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks.  Continue this process until all of the cookies are baked.

6. To assemble, match up equal sized cookies and using an ice cream scoop, scoop a small ball of ice cream onto one cookie and top with the other, gently pressing down the ice cream.  Serve immediately and Enjoy!.  (I made these on request, serving them immediately.  When I tried making them and storing them in the freezer with the ice cream in them, the ice cream was just a little too soft. But the original recipe says to freeze them for 30 minutes to allow the sandwiches to set.)

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