Homemade Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Molasses Cookies
September 2, 2021
Ice cream sandwiches are the best form of serving ice cream. Forget cones, cups, spoons, and bars. It’s all about nestling that rich frozen custard between two perfectly baked chewy cookies. Plus, when the cookies are spicy ginger molasses and they are filled with homemade peach ice cream, how can anyone resist?
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Every summer, I have a couple recipe ideas that are designed to be my jewels of the season, my major multi-day highlight recipes. This is that great work for this year. I just knew that I needed to combine a perfectly soft ginger molasses cookie with ice cream that featured our local fresh peaches.
Homemade ice cream is a game changer, but I have previously struggled with fruit ice creams that end up a little too icy. That’s not the case here. Cooking down the peaches into a jam removes a lot of the water content, which means softer peach pieces throughout.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these homemade peach ice cream sandwiches at your grocery store:
- Produce: Peaches, Ginger
- Pantry: Sugar, Apple cider vinegar, Brown sugar, Molasses, Flour, Cornstarch, Baking soda, Baking powder, Allspice
- Fridge: Eggs, Heavy cream, Milk, Butter
- Equipment: Zester, Saucepan, Glass bowls, Whisk, Ladle, Wooden spoon, Plastic wrap, Sheet pans, Parchment paper, Cookie scoop, Cooling rack
- Ice Cream Maker: You can use any ice cream maker for this recipe. I recommend a KitchenAid stand mixer with the ice cream attachment.
Let’s Make Homemade Peach Ice Cream
Ice cream sandwiches are a little bit of an involved recipe with many different pieces. However, even though it can take a couple days to put everything together, there’s nothing difficult about any of the steps.
In the recipe card, I break down the exact order in which to make each item to save you the most time, but here, I am going to go over the ice cream first and then the cookies. You can make either one of these on their own as well, so feel free to do that or mix things up in your own style.
The first step to making the ice cream is the peach jam. You’ll be adding this to the custard, so this ice cream doesn’t just have a peach swirl or pieces throughout, but it will actually be entirely peach flavored.
Begin by selecting yellow peaches that are ripe but without large soft spots or bruises. Freestone peaches will be easier to cut, but cling peaches will work if that’s what is available. You can peel the peaches if you’d like, but I simply scooped the flesh out of the peel with a spoon.
Normally I don’t even bother with that, but in this ice cream, I don’t suggest using the peach peels. Once you have the flesh, dice it into medium sized pieces and add them to a saucepan. You can use frozen peaches to make the jam if needed, but they may take slightly longer to cook.
Combine the peaches in the pan with a third of the sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar will help add a little extra acidity, which ends up really accentuating the sweet-tart flavor of the peaches.
Cook these over medium heat, stirring frequently until the peaches begin releasing some juices and the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue cooking it for an additional ten minutes, stirring occasionally, and also mashing and splitting the peaches as they soften. It will become thick and jammy, which is exactly what you want. Remove the jam from the heat and set it aside.
In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine the egg yolks with another third of the sugar. Whisk these together for a couple minutes until they have paled slightly and the sugar is fully incorporated. It may not dissolve entirely into the eggs, which is okay. Set the bowl aside.
Meanwhile, add the milk, cream, and remaining sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat this over medium high, stirring constantly but gently until the sugar is dissolved. Scrape the bottom of the pot to be sure no sugar is sticking there. Continue heating and stirring this occasionally until it just begins to boil.
Milk can very quickly boil over, so be sure you keep on eye on this, and are ready at that first sign of bubbling. At that point, turn off the heat. Whisking the eggs constantly, slowly ladle the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the eggs to temper them. Once most of the milk has been added into the eggs, add everything back into the pot.
Turn the heat back on to low, and cook the custard again. This time, stir constantly but gently for at least ten minutes. The movement helps prevent a filmy layer from forming on top. This is ready when the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Transfer it into a clean glass bowl, and add in the jam. Stir these together, although the heavier jam may sink to the bottom of the bowl. Now it’s time to let the custard chill.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic down until it rests on the surface of the custard. Again, this helps prevent any sort of film forming on the top. You will want to refrigerate the custard for at least four hours, but you can store it in the fridge for a couple days if needed.
When you are ready to churn the ice cream, remove the chilled custard from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Give it a quick stir to incorporate some of the peach jam into the custard, and then add it to your ice cream machine. Every machine is different, so be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your ice cream machine.
Once it’s fully transformed into ice cream, quickly transfer it to a freezer-safe container. If you don’t have a dedicated reusable ice cream container, a standard loaf pan works really well, and allows you to get nice round scoops because of its length. Freeze this for at least four hours, but preferably overnight to firm up. You can store this for a couple weeks if needed.
How to Make Ginger Molasses Cookies
Ice cream, check. Now it’s time to make some super delicious and chewy ginger molasses cookies. If you make a double batch of these to have some extras around to munch on, I definitely won’t judge you.
These cookies follow a fairly standard formula of mixing up the dry and wet ingredients separately and then combining them together to make the dough. Get started with the dry by combining the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisking them together.
In this recipe, I really wanted the flavors of molasses and ginger to stand out, so the only extra spice I added is a little bit of allspice. No stronger spices like cinnamon or cloves to overpower the star flavors.
The cornstarch here is also an important ingredient. It helps provide a little extra structure and cakeyness to the cookies. That means you’ll be able to bake them for a shorter amount of time to get a super chewy cookie, but without losing the structural integrity needed for holding the ice cream.
Use a stand mixer to combine the wet ingredients, starting by creaming together the butter and sugars. Use the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-low speed for a couple minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add in the egg, molasses, and ginger. Freshly grated ginger is best in this recipe, but if needed, you can replace it with dried ground ginger instead. Use a spoon to peel the ginger, and then a microplane zester to grate it into the cookie dough.
Continue mixing on medium-low speed until everything is thoroughly combined and smooth. Then, add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until it is just incorporated into the wet, and there are no large streaks of flour.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to chill in the fridge for at least four hours. If you are making this ahead of time, you can store cookie dough covered in the fridge for a few days.
Chilling the dough allows the butter to solidify, which means the cookies spread less when baked and end up chewier. In this recipe, I don’t recommend skipping this step. It’s especially important for the cookies to be nice and thick for the ice cream sandwiches.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to thaw for about fifteen minutes. At this time, you can also preheat your oven with a rack in the center. Prepare two sheet pans as well by lining them with parchment paper.
When the dough has softened slightly, use a cookie scoop to add cookie dough to one of the prepared sheet pans, about eight per pan. They will spread slightly, but not too much, into about two-and-a-half inch cookies, so give them that space.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for right around ten minutes, until they have begun to form into discs, but still appear underdone and puffy. Cookies can be very finicky, so I suggest starting at a lower time until you know for sure how these will bake in your oven.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes, where they will solidify and flatten out a bit more. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. While the first tray is cooling, prep and bake the second sheet of cookies. Keep alternating sheets until all cookies are done.
Once the cookies are fully cooled, place them in a sealed container or bag, and chill in the fridge overnight. The cold cookies help keep the ice cream from melting as quickly when you make the sandwiches. Baked cookies can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for three months.
Putting Together Ice Cream Sandwiches
Now that you have both pieces, it’s time to put together your ice cream sandwiches. Sort the chilled cookies into pairs for making sandwiches. By making a good pair, you can easily disguise a few imperfections in the shape or size of cookies.
Using the same size scoop as you did for the cookie dough, add a scoop of ice cream to the back of one cookie in a pair. Place the second cookie on top, and gently press while twisting the two cookies in opposite directions. If you press straight down in the middle, one of the cookies may split.
You can enjoy one of these immediately or freeze them for later. Completed ice cream sandwiches can be frozen in a sealed container for up to two weeks. I found that letting the fully frozen sandwiches sit out for about five minutes helped make them easier to eat.
There is a certain nostalgia to an ice cream sandwich, and you can elevate it by making yours with chewy ginger molasses cookies and rich homemade peach ice cream!
How to Serve Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches
Naturally, ice cream sandwiches make an excellent dessert. I love the idea of ending a late summer evening enjoying one of these tasty treats. But you know that I am in full support of eating ice cream for breakfast as well! Serve these alongside nectarine and cream cheese stuffed french toast for a stone-fruit sandwich brunch.
Any way you choose to enjoy a homemade peach ice cream sandwich, don’t forget to pair it with a tasty drink. Try a bourbon peach smash for something with a kick, or accentuate the ginger with a bourbon ginger algonquin. If you prefer a zero-proof beverage, try a mango peach iced tea spritzer.
You can also change these guys up a little bit. Try using the same cookies, but with coffee ice cream. Or keep the ice cream and stuff it between some cherry chocolate chip cookies. You can also start from scratch and try one of these 24 ice cream sandwich cookie combos.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Bake up remaining peaches into a tasty crisp with corn and caramel.
- Molasses is the star in a totally decadent no-bake molasses cheesecake.
- Fresh ginger adds a fun zing to this caramel sauce with apple slices.
- Use leftover egg whites to make a fancy cocktail like a key lime vodka sour.
- Extra peach ice cream is the perfect choice to top a super easy fruit pie.
Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Molasses Cookies
Peach Ice Cream
- ¾ pound Peaches about 4 medium peaches, medium diced
- ¾ Cup Sugar divided
- ½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 5 Egg Yolks
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- ½ Cup Milk
Ginger Molasses Cookies
- 3 Cups All-purpose flour
- ½ Cup Cornstarch
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¾ tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Allspice
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Egg room temperature
- ¼ Cup Molasses
- ½ Tbsp Fresh Ginger grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
Make Peach Jam
- Add the peaches, ¼ cup of the sugar, and apple cider vinegar to a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue cooking for 10 minutes, mashing the peaches as you stir, until it is thick and jammy. Remove the jam from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ¼ cup of sugar for about 2 minutes until they have paled slightly and the sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add the milk, cream, and remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Heat on medium high, stirring constantly but gently until the sugar is dissolved. Continue heating and stirring occasionally, until it just begins to boil. Turn off the heat.
- Whisking the eggs constantly, slowly ladle the hot milk mixture into the bowl with the eggs. Once most of the milk has been added, add everything back into the pot.
- Heat on low, stirring the custard constantly but gently for 10 minutes, until it has thickened enough to coat a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl.
- Stir the jam into the custard, and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to touch the surface of the custard. Allow the custard to chill for at least four hours.
Prepare Cookie Dough
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and allspice until well combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Mix on low-medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the egg, molasses, and ginger. Continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and mix on low until just incorporated and there are no large streaks of flour. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Churn Ice Cream
- Remove the chilled custard from the fridge and churn it according to your ice cream machine's instructions.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight to firm up.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge to thaw for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Use a 1 ½-inch cookie scoop to add cookie dough to one of the prepared sheet pans. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes, until they have begun to form into discs, but still appear underdone and puffy.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. While the first tray is cooling, prep and bake the second sheet of cookies. Alternate until all cookies are done.
- Once cooled, place the cookies in a sealed container or bag and chill in the fridge overnight.
Build Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Sort the chilled cookies into pairs for making sandwiches.
- Using the same size scoop as you did for the cookie dough, add a scoop of ice cream to the back of one cookie. Place the second cookie on top and gently press while twisting in opposite directions.
- Enjoy immediately or freeze for later.
- Make ahead tips:
- Ice cream custard and cookie dough can each be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Churned ice cream can be stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Baked cookies can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for 3 months.
- Completed ice cream sandwiches can be frozen in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
- You can use frozen peaches to make the jam. Add them to the pan frozen, and they may take slightly longer to cook.
- You can replace the fresh ginger with 1/4 tsp grated ginger,
- Every ice cream maker is different. I use a KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment. If you are using something different, your results may be harder or softer ice cream than mine.