These brownie ice cream sandwiches are featured in the October episode of Reel Food. They're a fun twist on my favorite Halloween candy – chocolate peanut butter cups. You can easily make these ahead of time – especially if you are serving them at a Halloween party. The brownie batter is thick, so you will have to work with it a bit to spread it on the sheet pan with the spatula. Don’t worry, though, if the batter doesn’t spread all the way to the edges – you’re going to cut them out with a biscuit cutter anyway. Save the brownie scraps for snacking. They may be my favorite part!
HEADS UP! The peanut butter ice cream needs to be made at least 4 hours in advance to freeze enough to make the ice cream sandwiches. If you are pressed for time, just schmear some peanut butter on one side of a brownie with a butter knife before adding the ice cream. It works great that way, too.
Makes 15-17 ice cream sandwiches
- ½ gallon vanilla bean ice cream
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif – natural peanut butters have too much oil)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (1¾ sticks)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup All-Purpose flour
- 1¾ cups dark chocolate chips (1 10z. bag)
- Various crushed Halloween candies, treats or nuts: Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, Tim Tams, pistachios
To make the Peanut Butter Ice Cream:
Using a rubber spatula, remove the ice cream from its container in chunks and place evenly in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Save the container and lid. Add the peanut butter. Pulse for 30 seconds until mostly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula, then pulse again for 20-30 seconds until smooth. Place the finished ice cream back in the container, place the lid back on and put in the freezer until hardened – about 4 hours. Overnight is best if you have time.
To make the Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Line a rimmed half sheet pan (18”x13”) with parchment paper, letting the paper hang 2” over the sides – this makes it easier to cut out the brownies later to make the ice cream sandwiches.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, salt and baking powder.
Add the butter to a medium size pot and bring to a low bubble on medium heat, 5-7 minutes. Whisk in the sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar mostly dissolves into the butter – this will take 3-4 minutes. It will turn a shiny, creamy yellow.
Pour the butter mixture into the cocoa mixture and whisk until shiny and smooth.
Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and spread evenly to the pan edges with a rubber spatula.
Place the sheet pan in the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not continue longer the brownies will burn.
Set the brownies on a wire rack and let cool completely, about an hour. If you’re in a hurry, you can place them in the refrigerator to cool faster.
To Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches:
Using a 2¼” biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter, cut out the brownies to make the ice cream sandwich tops and bottoms. Carefully lift the cut brownies out with a butter knife or offset spatula and transfer to another rimmed baking sheet, placing the top sides down.
With a 1” ice cream scoop, place one scoop of ice cream on half of the brownies – they should be 15-17 pieces. Gently place the remaining brownie pieces on top of the ice cream to finish the sandwiches – press down slightly to bring them together.
Quickly roll the edges of the ice cream sandwiches in your favorite crushed Halloween candy to fully encrust the sides. Return to the cookie sheet and place in the freezer until ready to serve.
Store in an air tight container for up to one week.