Yesterday was my sister’s birthday. Since I wasn’t able to see her in person, I decided to make her these ice cream sandwiches as a virtual “Happy Birthday” of sorts. It’s technically arriving one day late, but then again so is her birthday present…better late than never, right?For the longest time, my sister has wanted me to do a post on French Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. I think she might have come across some of these tasty treats in a swanky part of Orange County somewhere. I’ve never tried one myself, but to me, an elegant, ice cream-filled French macaron certainly sounded like a recipe worth trying!
The key to making an attractive Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich is to use a cookie cutter not only as a piping guide for your macarons, but also as a tool to cut out thick wedges of ice cream. Big or small, round or square, choose a shape that has clean lines without intricate details. And just after piping the macarons, feel free to generously scatter the funfetti and sprinkles on! As far as I’m concerned, the more kid-like and festive you make these sammies, the better!
Matcha ice cream isn’t always easy to find, so I make my own. By simply using a food processor to blend frozen vanilla Greek yogurt with sifted matcha powder, you get a healthier version of matcha ice cream–a frozen yogurt ready for shaping and re-freezing. You can technically use any ice cream you like here, just choose one that pairs well with the flavor of the chocolate macaron shell.The easiest way to fill a macaron with frozen yogurt or ice cream is by first packing softened ice cream into a 9″ x 9″ baking pan. Allow the ice cream “cake” to freeze completely before cutting out wedges with your handy cookie cutter. After constructing the sandwiches, it’s important for them to be quickly placed in the freezer to harden completely. The cookie shells and ice cream need to be same ultra-cold temperature so that you can take a bite of the sandwich without all the ice cream oozing out the sides.
For easy serving, give the sandwiches a parchment sleeve and tie of twine. It’s also a good idea to take the treats out to thaw for about 2 minutes before indulging. The ice cream will have melded with the shell by then, and the macaron will take on a tender and slightly chewy texture. If you enjoy the results, you can thank my sister for them, and perhaps even wish her a belated Happy Birthday too!
10 sammies, each 1 1/4″ by 5″ (the # of sammies you get depends on the size of your cookie cutter)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1.5 quarts (1 tub) frozen vanilla Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp matcha, sifted
sprinkles and funfetti
edible marker or pencil
cookie cutter, smooth or straight-edged, preferably with sides at least 1″ thick ( I used 1 1/4″ by 5″ rectangle cutter)
9″ x 9″ baking pan, fitted with parchment on bottom of pan
parchment pieces and twine
1.) Make the Macaron Shells. To make chocolate macaron shells, substitute cocoa powder for matcha in the shell recipe. Using an edible marker or pencil, trace impressions of your cookie cutter shape on one side of the 2 sheets of parchment paper. For my sized rectangle cutter, I was able to trace 10 rectangles on each parchment piece. Turn the parchment over, and pipe the macarons to fit inside of your traced outlines, then scatter generously with sprinkles. Adjust baking time according to how small or large your cutter size is. My rectangular macaron shells took about 16 minutes to bake. After baking, set macaron shells aside to cool, then place them in an airtight container, and then into the fridge.
2.) Make an Ice Cream “Cake.” Let the frozen Greek yogurt sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until slightly softened. Scoop out 1/3 of the tub (1/2 a quart) into a food processor, then add 1 Tbsp of the sifted matcha powder and process until the ice cream is smooth. Pour this into the prepared baking pan, then repeat this process 2 more times. The baking pan will fit the entire tub of processed matcha ice cream. Smooth the top of the ice cream with a rubber spatula, then place the baking pan in the freezer to chill for at least 4 hours.
3.) Make the Sandwiches. Lay the macaron shells on a work surface. Use any unattractive shells to make the bottom of the sandwiches. Remove the ice cream from the freezer. Use your cookie cutter to cut out wedges of the ice cream. Run the cutter under warm water if the ice cream doesn’t cut easily. Dry off excess water drops on the cutter with a paper towel before cutting the ice cream cake with it. Place a cut wedge of ice cream on the “bottom” macaron shells, then top with another macaron shell to make a sandwich. Freeze sandwiches in a single layer in a closed container for 4-24 hours, until completely hardened.
4.) Store the Sandwiches. After the sandwiches are completely hardened, make a small sleeve of parchment for the sandwich, and secure it with a tied piece of twine. Wrap the sandwiches completely with small pieces of plastic wrap, then store them in the freezer in an airtight container. The sandwiches will last for 4-6 weeks in the freezer. Let the sandwiches thaw for 2 minutes before enjoying.