Ice Cream Sandwiches
For the brownies
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour
For the filling
2 to 3 cups ice cream (You will need about a pint and a half of ice cream, I used Neapolitan)
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
The batter is divided into two 8×8 pans (although you can use a single 9×13 for a teensy bit thicker brownie that you can later cut in half to form a top and bottom layer) and bakes in half the time. You can tweak the brownie flavor by adding ground cinnamon, mint extract or some espresso powder. I used a little shy of 3 cups ice cream for this (1 1/2 pints, although I took a 1/2 pint from three flavors, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, to be difficult) though I think they’d be just fine with only 2 cups ice cream filling, and easier to bite into. For extra fanciness, you can swirl in some homemade hot fudge (with or without the mint), butterscotch, or salted caramel sauce, or you can roll the sides of the ice cream sandwiches in colored sprinkles, toasted and chopped nuts or cookie crumbs.
Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.
Divide batter between two prepared pans and spread it evenly — an offset spatula will make this easier. Bake on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each pan comes out batter-free. Transfer hot pans directly to freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove first pan from freezer, and, working quickly, cover with ice cream. (I did this in a patchwork 1-tablespoon scoops of each flavor for a mottled look.) Use a spatula to smoosh it down and smooth the top. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use parchment sling to life the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place it on top of the ice cream. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes. Run a knife around brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting bard. Cut into squares.
You can store the cut sandwiches in an airtight container or bag in the freezer as-is, or individually wrapped in squares of waxed paper. They should keep for at least two months in the freezer, but good luck with that.